Recipe: Swamp Head Tropical Vibes

With its soft wheat canvas and punchy additions of mango and guava, this quencher became a seasonal taproom favorite in Gainesville, Florida—and won Swamp Head a gold medal at the 2022 Great American Beer Festival.

Nick Dunn Jan 30, 2024 - 3 min read

Recipe: Swamp Head Tropical Vibes Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Tropical Vibes

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Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.045
FG: 1.006
IBUs: 20
ABV: 5.2%

4 lb (1.8 kg) white wheat malt
3.9 lb (1.7 kg) pilsner malt
4.5 oz (128 g) Carapils/dextrin malt
8 oz (227 g) rice hulls

0.25 oz (7 g) Columbus at 60 minutes [13 IBUs]
0.6 oz (17 g) Amarillo at whirlpool [7 IBUs]
2.5 lb (1.1 kg) mango puree at primary (~1.014 SG)
2.5 lb (1.1 kg) guava puree at primary (~1.014 SG)

White Labs WLP320 American Hefeweizen

Mill the grains, mix in the rice hulls, and mash at 152°F (67°C) for 40 minutes. Recirculate until the runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge and top up as necessary to get about 6 gallons (23 liters) of wort, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops according to the schedule. After the boil, do a whirlpool step: Stir or recirculate to create a vortex, add the whirlpool hops, and steep 20 minutes. Chill the wort to about 66°F (19°C), aerate, and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 66°F (19°C) for 3 days, then raise to 75°F (24°C). When the beer is about 80 percent to terminal (at about 1.014), add the fruit and lower the temperature to 70°F (21°C). After 1 day, raise it back to 75°F (24°C) and continue to ferment until complete and gravity has stabilized. Then crash, rack off the fruit, package, and carbonate.

Water: For this beer, we adjust the sulfate-chloride ratio to roughly 1:1 to add some mouthfeel. We end up at 75 ppm calcium, 19 ppm magnesium, 12 ppm sodium, 90 ppm sulfate, and 104 ppm chloride.