Recipe for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat?

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Recipe for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat?

Postby apd1004 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:14 pm

Looking for an extract or partial mash recipe for a clone of Leinie Sunset Wheat.

I'm not a big fan of wheat beers but I had one on tap at Applebees waiting for some carry out, and they put this huge slice of orange on the rim - I was skeptical when I saw that - but wow, what an awesome beer. It was a great thirst-quenching beer with a citrusy/spicy taste with enough balancing hops, yet light & drinkable at the same time.

Trying to do a little research on it, looks like they use wheat and pale malt, cluster hops, coriander and orange peel, even found a reference to blueberry but I couldn't taste that myself. I also found reference to them using a lager yeast instead of a wit or wheat ale yeast, but that was just one source and not sure if it is true or not.

Here's what I came up with on my own using Beertools (5 gal):

3.3# Briess Bavarian Wheat liquid
2# Munton's dry wheat extract
1.5# Briess Pilsen Light dry extract
16 IBU's Cluster
Coriander
Bitter Orange Peel
Frozen blueberries (about 4-6 oz)
Wyeast 2112 (what you might use for a California Common), ferment at 60-65 degrees.

I can run it under a 16A (Witbeer) or a 6D (American Wheat), it comes closer to 100% on a 6D.

Any ideas?
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Postby akueck » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:18 am

I say give it a shot. It might not be an exact clone but you might like it better. The recipe sounds pretty good to me. I added coriander and orange peel in two additions to my witbier, I think that was a good idea (15 & 5 mins).

My only thought is: The blueberries probably won't make much of an impact until you get into the 1-2 lb range. Fruit flavors get destroyed easily by fermentation. For your first try you might want to just skip the berries.
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Postby slothrob » Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:09 pm

From what I could glean from a couple forums trying to decipher this recipe, the concensus appears to be heavier than usual on the coriander, light to no orange peel as the coriander gives the orange flavor, and someone said thay found a blueberry extract that smelled just like the beer. Noone seemed to be saying that they thought they had nailed the recipe, though.

I'll have to see if I can track one of these down, as I was wondering if the blueberry people say they taste was a yeast flavor. Some lager yeasts have what I think of as a slight grape flavor, but might be perceived as a blueberry flavor.
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Drinking one right now, and....

Postby apd1004 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:56 pm

Thanks for the responses!

I've got one going right now, and I agree with you slothrob - I think it's just a perceived blueberry flavor. It's funny because the only time I actually detect blueberries is when I'm thinking about blueberries - otherwise it is an orangy/mild spice taste. Almost a FrootLoops kind of taste. I think I'll scrap the blueberry idea.

akueck - what amount of coriander you suggest? I have one wit recipe that calls for 1/4 oz of coriander and 1/3 oz bitter orange peel, along with 1/2 tsp ginger and 1/2 tsp cardamom (I have no idea what cardamom is).

I'm still wondering about using the California Common lager yeast? Of all the research I did before the original post (didn't find much anywhere), there was only one reference to lager yeast.

I'll have to try a Blue Moon to compare with the Sunset Wheat - I haven't had a Blue Moon in ages and can't remember what they taste like. I haven't been much of a wheat beer fan until Sunset Wheat - maybe I'm developing a taste for it now.

I've got a Bohemian Pilsner that is within a few days of going from fermenter to lagering, so with my fermenter available soon, I may try this Sunset Wheat thing here next.

Thanks again!
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Postby akueck » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:33 am

I added 3/4 tsp (not sure on the weight) of coriander seeds at 15 & another 3/4 tsp at 5 mins. I wish I added more. I cracked the seeds with a mortar & pestle before throwing them in. Next time I'll up the coriander to at least 1 tsp for each addition, maybe 1.5 at 15 mins. I also added 1/4 oz (15min) and 1/2 oz (5 min) bitter orange peel. That was enough.

I'd skip the cardamon (large-ish spice pod, common in Indian cuisine). Ginger can be good if it's there in small quantities. First run I'd skip that too, since it's not the flavor you're really going for. I've heard it can enhance other spice flavors without creating its own flavor, but you have to be judicious in the amounts.

I've never used the SF lager yeast, but a friend of mine has a couple of times and likes it. It's supposed to be lager-like up to around 65F. Keep the ambient at 60F and you should be ok. Higher and you might get too much fruitiness, though that might actually be good for this beer... Still I'd keep this one a little lower in temp than you would with a Belgian yeast.
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Postby Maynard » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:33 am

Just a little tip. Toast your coriander seeds before cracking. Just put them in a saute pan and place it on med heat until you get a nice scent from them. Constantly shake the pan so the seeds to not burn on one side. This should be done with any seed that is used in cooking or brewing to get the maximum oil flavor release. After toasting, crack and brew as u will.
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Re: Recipe for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat?

Postby nathant » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Not sure if anyone is still following this thread but if you are making a leinenkugel sunset wheat copy and you are confused on the yeast, just create a starter with the remnants of a few sunset wheats. They have sediment in them and that is what I did. I did not want to copy the beer, just wanted the yeast though.
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Re: Recipe for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat?

Postby slothrob » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:19 am

What is the yeast like? What have you tried it in?
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Re: Recipe for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat?

Postby nathant » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:59 pm

slothrob wrote:What is the yeast like? What have you tried it in?


I haven't tried it yet. I am making a starter for it tonight for yeast that I captured from the bottles back in April or May- I made numerous starters to get a decent amount of yeast then so one more should get me where I need to be.

I am making a small lager, about 3 gallons, Moravian pilsner with Vienna and cyrstal 40l for color and taste, probably some saaz hops. I originally wanted a German lager but this one is an experiment so we will see what happens? My hope is that the blueberry hints do not follow the yeast but I retain some of the spicy profile of Leinenkugel's sunset wheat. I am taking a chance because I cannot find the temp ratings for the yeast and Leinenkugel wouldn't help me out with my questions. I will probably shoot for around 52-53 degrees to ferment for four to five weeks. I will start posting pictures as the brew moves along.

The sunset wheat was the only brew I saw of Leinenkugel's sampler pack that had visible sediment and like I said, I liked the spice character of the beer, 90% of which I am sure is the coriander but I'm hoping :D I just joined the forum too. I usually stick to Homebrewtalk.com but I was searching the web for Leinenkugel info and I found The Hop Vine. Good stuff on this site. I have been brewing for about 3 1/2 years and just made my progression into lagers. Trying to teach myself patience.
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Re: Recipe for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat?

Postby slothrob » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:55 pm

As far as temperature, it's so hard to say...

I have only been making lagers for the last couple years, myself. I've made Steam Beers with a few Lager yeasts at the low end of Ale fermentation temperatures, high 50's to low 60's, and they've come out quite nicely. If you want to make it as a Lager, 48-50°F is a popular choice for a lot of brewers. I like to warm them up to 60-62°F, before they completely finish, to burn off any diacetyl and blow off some of the sulfur.
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Re: Recipe for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat?

Postby nathant » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:59 am

Just got into lagering. On my third so far but have done hundreds of ales. I grow tired of not getting a super clean, refreshing beer so I lager. I have a small mini fridge and a fermentation bag cooler so any lager has to fit in a 3 gal carboy in the mini fridge.
What makes the difference between the lager temp 48-50 and low ale 52-60? Are you using yeast for that temp or expiramentation?
I have been washing my favorite yeasts over a few months to save $ and now have about 30 1oz jars of washed yeast (hence the leinenkugel discussion)+ my 3 gallons of lager. I need a bigger mini fridge :lol:
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Re: Recipe for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat?

Postby slothrob » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:01 am

nathant wrote:What makes the difference between the lager temp 48-50 and low ale 52-60? Are you using yeast for that temp or expiramentation?

I make a 3 gallon Steam Beer as a starter for new packs of Lager yeast, instead of making a large starter and dumping it down the drain. I've used 2124, 830 & 2782 in both temperature ranges. 2124 and 830 were both very clean at higher temperatures, particularly 2124. 2782 got a little fruity, in a good way, but that one spiked up to 64°F a couple days into fermentation. The beers fermented warm were similar to what you might expect from a very clean Ale yeast, but cleaner, I think.

A lot of Lager brewers swear by keeping the fermentation temperature below 50°F. I would suspect that there is a greater difference between 52°F and 62°F than between 50°F and 52°F, but I haven't really made that exaxt comparison.
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Re: Recipe for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat?

Postby nathant » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:18 pm

I see. I guess I should have known, I am a big fan of traditional kolcsh and I brew a lot of varieties. I have used 830 for my all my lagers until today, a great strain. My last kolsch used a wyeast 2575 limited edition but I think I like the white labs better. I have really been focusing on temp control and am noticing a much less astringent, alcohol intense beer. I live in S TX so it can be difficult to produce ales at times. I am letting my 2575 sit for a long time so maybe the finished product will be what I am looking for?

I made my leinenkugel starter today. I think my recipe seems more like a dort personally which is perfectly fine and I hope the yeast compliments it nicely. I am keeping the starter in the high 50's for now and it took off right away! I am loving lagers but I can't seem to stray to far from the German beers. Eventually maybe but I like what I like. You can't really see in the pic because I shook the hell out of it but it had a great layer of yeast. Hopefully we get something nice by Xmas :D
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