Uses for Midnight Wheat

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by good_gracious, Feb 9, 2013.

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  1. good_gracious

    good_gracious Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2012 Maryland

    I've never used midnight wheat, but I've read that it has almost none of the roasty acrid/bitter taste typical of dark malts. That character plus the inherent head retention sounds good to me!

    I'm starting to plan my next couple of brew days and I'd love to throw midnight wheat into the mix. How do you guys use it? Stout? Black IPA? Belgian strong dark ale?
  2. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,229) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I'd say a Black IPA, Porter, Stout.. It's mainly going to give color and foam retention like you said anyways.
  3. MRsojourner

    MRsojourner Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2011 Massachusetts

  4. axeman9182

    axeman9182 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I used it recently for the first time in a black IPA. The roast character was very subtle and the beer had great head retention.
  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,599) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    I used 13 oz in 6 gal of black ale (pale ale-strength black IPA?) and it imparted just the right kiss of chocolate. I used the remaining 3 oz to impart some color to some other beers. I used 2 oz in a bitter - it was considerably darker than beersmith led me to believe. The other oz went in a flanders reddish-brown. Sojourner is right, I think that it could work in a dunkleweizen. You could pretty much use it anywhere you would use a carafa special for color and subtle roast. It would do the job in a schwarzbier and probably provide some interesting character in a dark belgian, too.
  6. dpjosuns

    dpjosuns Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2009 Illinois

    I think it'd be fun to use a little bit in an IPA (or double) to give the wheat character and some color. I dont think lil sumpin sumpin doesn't use midnight wheat, but that's the general idea. It'll be a bit darker, I'd think. May be fun.
  7. beui

    beui Initiate (123) Nov 3, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I used it in a black wit to give a hint of a roasted flavor.
  8. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

    Also can be used in place of roast barley to give a beer a really red color that crystal malt alone won't get you.

    Used it in Red Ales, Stouts (Milk Stout in place of CarafaIII Special), Black Wit/IPA, a Barleywine (Color), a Pale Ale (Color).

    Planning on using it in a Cascadian Dark Ale (Weyermann Pale Malt, Simpsons Golden Naked Oats, Midnight Wheat) w/ mystery hops and Grapefruit/Papaya/Passionfruit Rooibos Tea (Flameout) tomorrow (Going weird for a GABF qualifier).
  9. good_gracious

    good_gracious Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2012 Maryland

    All these sound great! Anyone interested in sharing a recipe that worked for you?
  10. jmich24

    jmich24 Devotee (447) Jan 28, 2010 Michigan

    I have only used an ounce here and there to add color.
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  11. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,599) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Here's the black ale I am drinking - it was an extract batch as I didn't have time for all grain:
    5.25 gal. OG 1.050 FG 1.010 Est IBU 40

    3.3 #s Northern Brewer Munich liquid extract (this is 50% munich, 50% 2 row)
    1.75 # Briess Golden Light dry extract
    1 # Munton's Wheat dry extract
    13 oz Midnight Wheat
    5 oz Simpson's medium crystal
    .25 oz chinook 60 min
    .5 oz cascade 60 min
    .25 oz columbus 10 min
    1.5 oz cascade 5 min
    .75 oz chinook 5 min
    .75 oz columbus 5 min
    US-05 American Ale Yeast
    2 oz cascade dry hop
  12. good_gracious

    good_gracious Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2012 Maryland

    Looks good to me amigo! I may have to steal this one from you :wink:
  13. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I used it in a Belgian stout and a sour black ale (and I guess a third if you count the blended beer I made from those two). It adds the usual wheat character along with some nice chocolate/roast flavor but none of the acrid character in most dark malts and lacks that weird character you can get from too much dehusked carafa.

    If you want to taste a beer that has a lot of midnight wheat available, try to track down that shock top end of the world beer (whatever it is called). The midnight wheat flavor really comes through. I know it's shock top and I don't care for any of the other shock top beers I've tried, but this one was actually ok. Actually decent enough I wouldn't turn it away if somebody offered me another free one. It isn't half as cloyingly sweet as the others.
  14. axeman9182

    axeman9182 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Thinking of doing a similar brew soon. How much did you use, and if you could have, would you have used more/less?
  15. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,599) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Minor correction - that batch used Briess Munich extract.
  16. beui

    beui Initiate (123) Nov 3, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I've actually made it twice. This is the recipe I used - The first time I replaced half a pound of flaked wheat with the midnight wheat, but it didn't get enough of the roasty taste. Second time I changed a whole pound and it was better.
  17. good_gracious

    good_gracious Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2012 Maryland

    I REALLY like this. Some of the recent threads on this forum discussing mixing Belgian yeasts and/or blending beers put a desire in my head that's been marinating for about a month now. Your description sounds exactly like what I've been looking for. I have a gallon fermenter (jug) that could be made available for the year long souring process, and if it was particularly sour I'd think it would be great for blending. I'd love to hear more.
  18. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,083) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    I cold steeped 7oz overnight and collected a quart of runnings, boiled to reduce by half, sealed in a mason jar and chilled over night. Added syrup to fermenter on a 10 gallon split batch of IPA. Really nice, subtle chocolate.
  19. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I'm really happy with the results. It's a lot of work to blend clean and sour beers where the clean beer makes up enough sugar content that bottling would mean bombs at the worst or extreme gushers at the least. (Of course if you can keg you can just blend in the keg, force carb and stick it in the cold where it won't continue to sour.) However, I think it's worth it. I kept some of the sour beer bottled straight. It's pretty good but it has a sort of off aroma. The flavor is really good though. The blend is a far, far better beer. I started off with the idea of making something akin to New Belgium's Clutch (which is a blend of sour brown and imperial stout) but at a lower gravity. What I got was darker and has a different flavor profile but still excellent.

    It's an easy process to start, you just need to brew a beer and start it souring. You can then spend the year thinking about exactly how you want it blended and then make the final decision once you taste the clean and sour beer. I used a gallon of sour black ale and a gallon of Belgian stout. I blended at a rate of two parts stout and one part sour, so I blended all the stout and half the sour beer. The blend is not very sour but has a nice tartness to it. So I think the gallon jug is a good place to start but you should be aware that unless you are going to blend it in very small proportion of a clean beer you will yield a small number of bottles, especially after you discount loss to trub and some tasting to make sure have a good blend ratio. I ended up with five bottles of straight sour and fourteen bottles of the blend.

    I've used the WLP575 Belgian blend for clean beers and I thought it was an ok way to go. I think ECY also makes a blend of Belgian sacc strains that is probably good but I have a hard time getting ECY. I think the blends are a cool way to get a unique flavor but the blends will always drift if you reuse the yeast strains compete in different environments. That's not necessarily bad but makes it really challenging to repeat results. For example, I used 575 across a stream of beers and got really different results. The first was a huge BGSA that ended up with a lot of acetaldehyde (I fermented it way too hot). Next was a Piraat-like beer. Huge orange flavors from the yeast. People insisted I used lots of orange peel but I used none. Next was a Belgian table blond that came out very spicy. After that the beers I used it with were middle of the road 5-6% Belgian beers and all of them had very typical Belgian ester profiles. Eventually I washed one too many times and ended up with a bad wild yeast infection that ruined the flavor. However, I don't think I could ever reproduce the level of orange in the one beer and I hope to never reproduce that level of acetaldehyde again, but I don't know what the relationship was that produced those specific results.

    Blending is far more consistent because you can perfect each individual component beer and then blend for desired results. It takes some time and experience blending to find the best blends and see how they change for the better or worse over time but I think it's something brewers -- both at home and commercially -- do far too little of. There's some interesting things you can do by blending, even with the same beer but brewed with different yeasts. I haven't done enough blending to think of myself as much of a master but I have done it a few times and been happy with the results. At the end of this year I am going to partake in my biggest blending project, which is to blend this year's pull from my lambic solera with lambic I pulled the first and second year to make a big batch of gueuze with the traditional 1, 2 and 3 year blend. Although, since I maintain my lambic as a solera system it will be more like a blend of 1.3 year, 2.1 year and 3 year old lambic. I am very excited about that one.
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