Replicator July August 2006 - Blue Paw Wheat

Dear Replicator, Several years ago, upon her return home to Pennsylvania, my mother brought me back a six pack of Blue Paw Wheat Ale from the Sea Dog Brewing Company in Maine. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I would like the beer at first. But, this beer was absolutely delicious and the six pack didn’t last long at all. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a place to purchase this beer locally. I’ve tried on several occasions to clone this recipe but haven’t had any success. I would really appreciate your help on cloning this great beer. Matt Hearn Alexandria, Pennsylvania Matt, You are in luck on several counts. First, your timing was perfect. I can’t think of a more appropriate beer to brew for these hot summer months. Second, the good folks at Sea Dog Brewing were very helpful and flattered with the interest. And third, their general manager, Larry Killam, informed me that they now have a contract with the Trader Joes specialty food chain and Blue Paw Wheat is available in most of their stores. Of course, that can’t match the satisfaction of making your own, so let’s get brewing. I was able to reach Jason Silevinac, the brew house manager, and he was very happy to discuss the details of this beer. Jason started like many of us with no formal brewing education. He was exposed to the joy of brewing while working as a cook at Gritty McDuff’s Brewpub. Beer production began to intrigue him. He landed a job at Sea Dog Brewing and worked his way up from the bottom as a keg washer and apprentice. That was 6 years ago and he now oversees all brew house operations. Jason says that Blue Paw Wheat Ale has been a mainstay beer of their’s for many years. He describes it as a dry American Wheat Ale with a pronounced blueberry finish. It is a relatively simple beer with some unique characteristics. Jason reports that it is very important that a fairly low finishing gravity be achieved in order to accentuate the berry profile. He also recommends a cool, slow fermentation to reduce the production of unwanted esters. Their use of British ale yeast is decidedly unusual for the style, but this allows them to maintain just one “house” yeast. The blueberry flavor is imparted by using berry extract instead of whole fruit. This is added at the end of fermentation. Jason reports that their brewery layout does not lend itself to having real berries present as Lambic beers are not part of their future plans. Finally, he doesn’t recommend any finishing hop addition to compete with that wonderful berry aroma. For more information about the brewery or their other fine beers you can access their company web site at or by calling 207-761-0807. Matt, thanks again for your timely request. Good luck brewing this wonderful summer beer! Sea Dog Brewing Company Blue Paw Wheat Ale (5 Gallons/ 19L. extract with grain) OG = 1.050 FG = 1.012 IBUs = 20 SRM = 6 (with slight blue tint) ABV = 5.0 % Ingredients 6.6 lbs. (3.0 kg) Muntons unhopped wheat malt extract (50% wheat) 12 oz. (.34 kg) 2 row pale malt 4 oz. (.11 kg) wheat malt 2 oz. (57g) Munich malt ½ Tsp. yeast nutrient (25 min.) 4 AAU Hallertau hop pellets (60 min.) (1 oz./28 g of 4.0% alpha acid) 2.5 AAU Willamette hop pellets (25 min.) (.5 oz /14 g of 5.0% alpha acid) White Labs WLP 005 (English Ale) or Wyeast 1187 (Ringwood ale) yeast 2 oz. (57ml) concentrated liquid blueberry extract .75 cup (150g) of corn sugar for priming Step by Step Steep the 3 crushed grains in 3 gallons (11.4L) of water at 155º F (68ºC) for 30 minutes. Remove grains from the wort, add the liquid extract and bring to a boil. Add the first addition of Hallertau hops and boil for 60 minutes. During the boil, use this time to thoroughly sanitize a fermenter. Add the second addition of Willamette hops and yeast nutrient for the last 25 minutes of the boil. Now add the wort to 2 gallons (7.6L) of cold water in a sanitized fermenter and top off with cold water up to 5 gallons (22.7L). Cool the wort to 75º F (24º C). Pitch your yeast and aerate the wort heavily. Allow the beer to cool over the next few hours to 66º F (19º C) and hold at this temperature until the beer has finished fermenting. Transfer to a carboy and add the berry extract while stirring very slowly. This is to avoid aerating the beer. Condition for 1 week and then bottle or keg. Allow to carbonate for 2 weeks and enjoy! . All grain option: This is a single step infusion mash. Replace the malt syrup with 6.5 lbs. (3 kg) 2 row pale malt. Increase the wheat malt to 3.5 lbs. (1.6 kg) and the Munich malt to 4 ozs. (.11 kg). Mix the 3 crushed grains with 3.2 gallons (12 L) of 168° (76° C) water to stabilize at 152º F (67º C) for 60 minutes. Sparge slowly with 175º F (79º C) water. Collect approximately 6 gallons (27.3 L) of wort runoff to boil for 60 minutes. Reduce the first addition (60 minute) of Hallertau hops to 4.0 AAU (.75 oz./21 g) due to the higher utilization factor for a full wort boil. The remainder of this recipe is the same as the extract recipe. Note: to help prevent a stuck run off add 4 ozs. (.11 kg) rice hulls to the bottom of your mash tun prior to adding grains and water.