I’ve been meaning to write a little more about my homebrewing experiences for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it. So, here’s a foray into that. Last summer, I wanted to brew a refreshing warm weather beer to enjoy by the pool or after mowing the grass, and since I have a soft spot for peaches, I settled on a peach wheat beer. Although I tend to drink mostly hoppy beers, sometimes it’s nice to just have a lower ABV thirst quencher on hand, and that’s what I was shooting for.
The beer actually turned out to be exactly what I wanted. It was an easy drinker with a nice peach nose, and a hint of tartness at the end. I liked it so much that I entered it into the 2014 Dixie Cup, one of the oldest homebrew competitions in the country, that takes place in Houston, TX. To my surprise, it actually took first place in the Fruit Beer category. So, naturally I brewed it again recently, and I’ll be sending it back to this year’s Dixie Cup to see how it fares.
For those of you all grain homebrewers who are inclined to give this beer a shot, here’s the recipe. This is just a basic wheat base beer, and the peaches will come into play later.
- 5 pounds 2 row pale malt
- 5 pounds white wheat malt
- 1/2 pound rice hulls (to help prevent a stuck mash)
- 1/2 ounce Amarillo hops at 60 minutes
- 1/2 ounce Amarillo hops at flameout
I mashed pretty low, at 149°, in order to extract a good bit of fermentable sugars, which will also help keep the beer on the dry side. Once the wort cooled, I pitched a starter of Wyeast American Wheat Ale yeast (1010) and fermented at around 66° for 10 days. After 10 days, I added 6 pounds of frozen peaches to the primary fermentor. If you are so inclined, you could certainly put the peaches in a secondary fermentor and rack the beer onto them. But I’m lazy, so…
Anyway, after letting the peaches do their thing for another week, it’s time to keg the beer. I added 2 ounces of peach extract and 1 ounce of lactic acid directly to the keg. I found that this really makes the peach flavor pop and adds a touch of tartness. If you bottle, I’d just add that to your bottling bucket when you add your priming sugar to accomplish the same thing. After I force carbonated, the beer was ready to drink about 36 hours later, and it was every bit as delicious as I remember. It turned out to be a beautiful color and it has that easy drinking quality to it with just enough peach aroma and flavor, without being overbearing. Prunus Persica, which is the genus and species for the peach, is the name I gave this beer.
As always, big thanks to Keith, Donovan and Bruce over at LA Homebrew, and if you are in need of brewing supplies and ingredients anywhere in Louisiana or even the rest of the country, be sure to check out their shop or order online and have it shipped the same day. Check out their Labor Day sale going on right now for some great deals.
Got any questions? Let me know in the comments.