Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bell’s Wheat Project intro/closeout at Rich O's.

Not everything I set out to do comes to fruition.

As a case in point, consider last fall's "wheat project" from Bell's Brewery (formerly Kalamazoo Brewing). I bought a case of each, stacked them in the corner, and forgot all about it until recently, when items were being gathered for the bottled beer clearance last weekend.

Some of the five Bell's wheat ales were sold, and others remain, so beginning tonight, they'll be marked down ($2 each) and available chilled for on-premise consumption.

Here are the descriptions, as provided by the brewery.


1. Bell’s Wheat Project (2005) is an experimental foray into the development of complex flavors in beer.

The Project comprises five new ales, four in series and one specialty strong product. The first four, Wheat 2, Wheat 4, Wheat 6 and Wheat eight are all made using 55% Wheat (either wholly or mostly malted) and 45% Barley malt.

The barley malt makeup is exactly the same in each of the four and consists of three different malts.

The total amount of grain in each of the four is also exactly the same, so each of them should have a virtually identical original gravity. The type and amount of hops in each of the four is exactly the same. And the processing through the brewhouse and fermentation is also exactly the same. The changing factors between the ales are the composition of the 55% of wheat used and the type and number of yeast strains used. In Wheat 2 the 55% of wheat is made up of two different kinds of wheat malt, and this ale is made with two different yeasts. Wheat 4 is made with four different wheats and four yeasts. Wheat six and eight made with six and eight wheats and yeasts respectively.

The final product, Bell’s Wheat Love Ale, is made with the eight yeasts of Wheat eight and is a strong, but relatively light colored, “wheatwine.”

2. Basic Content List for the Wheat Series

Wheat Two

Wheats: White, Dark

Yeast: Bell’s house ale strain, WLP410 Belgian Wit II

Wheat Four

Wheats: White, Victory, Toasted sprouts, Torrefied

Yeast: WLP550 Belgian, WLP570 Golden, Wheat Two blend

Wheat Six

Wheats: White, Dark, Toasted sprouts, Torrefied, Red, Caramel

Yeast: WLP500 Trappist, WLP530 Abbey, Wheat Four blend

Wheat Eight

Wheats: White, Dark, Victory, Toasted sprouts, Torrefied, Red, Caramel, Chocolate

Yeast: WLP4000 Belgian Wit I, WLP565 Saison, Wheat Six blend

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