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First Taste of Our Wedding Beer

2011 April 8
by Chris

Many of you have followed along as I have chronicled the process of creating my first all-grain batch of home brew for our August wedding, from building a wort chiller, mash tun and kettle, to the first brewing day and when we moved it to secondary and then bottled it.  HOWEVER, I have not given you an update to let you know how it turned out!  Well…here you go.

All Grain American Wheat Ale

We had our first taste of the all-grain American Hefeweizen Wheat Ale, better known as “Wedding Ale,” and a variety of other names, last week.  The final gravity was spot on, resulting in a light, crisp brew that was about 4.8% ABV.  The wheat really shines in this one, and is followed by a subdued hop bitterness.  It is complemented perfectly by a fresh slice of orange.  Seriously.  The orange takes this beer to a whole new level.

It has a wheat and somewhat floral/citrus aroma and the head (foam) is light and white and sticks around for a little bit.  It really hits the spot after a long day’s work, and I am sure once we start getting the 100-degree summer days, it will be just what the doctor ordered.

All Grain American Wheat Ale

Wedding Ale Light

We brewed the second batch of wedding ale a couple of weeks ago, but I miscalculated the amount of water needed to sparge my grain, resulting in a lower original gravity.  For all of you non-brewers out there, that basically means that I watered it down too much and it resulted in a much lower alcohol content (ABV), just under 3% actually.  It also means it is lighter and has fewer calories!

Instead of bottling this batch and trying to pass it off as the real thing, I decided it would be nice to filter it, keg it, and have it around the house for all of the times we are really craving some wedding ale.  This will keep us from drinking the beer we’re trying to save for the wedding, and help us stay in “wedding shape” and not have that home brewed beer gut!

Fortunately, it still tastes great, and you can drink a couple and not worry about getting tipsy (unless that’s what you’re going for)!  It is the perfect beer to have around for us to enjoy with friends, as it is a good teaser as to what they will be seeing in August, without giving away the real secret.

Now that I know the recipe turns out great, I will be brewing TEN GALLONS of it this Saturday.  That will be about 100 more bottles to add for the wedding festivities!  I better check my math this time and make sure I do everything correctly so I don’t end up with 10 more gallons of Wedding Ale Light…although that wouldn’t be so bad…

Related posts:

Building An In-Line Thermometer
More Water = More Wedding Ale
Sam Adams Longshot Competition

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