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What does "American Wheat" mean to you?


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#1 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:02 AM

Yesterday I was brewing and took my flask of 1056 out of the fridge and decanted some of the gold beer (from a previous blonde ale) from it into the sink.  Of course, the aroma was intoxicating and my whole kitchen smelled like it.  I envisioned a very straightforward and simple gold beer and I thought "American Wheat".  I put a recipe together last night that basically looked like 55% golden promise, 40% wheat and some CaraRuby/CaraVienne for just a smidge of color and then just one hop addition at 30 (I think I'll use Loral) to get to 24-25 IBUs and then ferment it with 1056.  This sounds like a smooth, gold beer that would just slide down your throat... perfect for warmer weather to come.  But... is it an "American Wheat" or just a blonde ale, golden ale, etc?  



#2 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:29 AM

I just looked up Loral and it says "noble" characteristics.  To my mind, American Wheat needs Cascade or similar.



#3 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:35 AM

I just looked up Loral and it says "noble" characteristics.  To my mind, American Wheat needs Cascade or similar.

I specifically wanted this beer to have "cleaner" hop character but I can see what you're saying.  I have seen a number of commercial "American Wheat" beers that have featured Cascade, Amarillo, Citra, etc.  I think Goose Island 312 has Cascade in it.  



#4 Poptop

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:04 AM

Wheat beers, while not my personal dig, should be subtle in yeast and hop flavor and also hop aroma.  Think, not Wit.  An American version should be poundable and with no more than 5% abv.  Again, too much yeast or hop flavor = no bueno.


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#5 HVB

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:08 AM

I would think you need plain Jane two row and wheat for an american blonde.  I find GP to have too much character.  I think Loral would work fine in there though.  And of course use chico or 1010 or something clean and simple.


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#6 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 08:22 AM

Yes, I'm not talking hefe-type character at all and I have tried 1010 and there is something there that I don't care for.  I have Barke Pils, Briess Pilsen, Golden Promise and Wheat at the moment... no other plain "two row" but I suppose I could mix the golden promise with the Briess Pilsen (which I think is pretty boring) so it doesn't have too much flavor.  My Blonde Ales tend to have some later hopping and I didn't want that here so the wheat in the grist plus the lack of late hops makes this beer a little different than something I might ordinarily brew.  When I was a VERY new brewer (still brewing extract beers from kits) there was an American Wheat kit I got from somewhere and it was liquid extract, a small amount of specialties, one ounce of hops at the start of the boil and dry, plain ale yeast.  I remember liking the concept of it.  



#7 jayb151

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 09:26 AM

In my mind, yea American Wheat is pretty plain with a SMIDGEN of hop character. I could get really fresh 312 when I was going to UIC and it was a great drinking beer. 

 

Your recipe sounds good to me. In my mind, it's supposed to be 50/50 base to wheat. Though even in my American rye I go about 75/25 base to rye. 

 

You can mix bases too if you like, especially if you're trying to get rid of that Pilsen you think is boring, but I wouldn't get too complicated. As far as I know, you shouldn't have any specialty malts in a wheat, but times are changing and i don't see why you couldn't use a restrained hand. 

 

I had actually talked to John j Hall at Goose and asked about 312, I forget the hops but I believe it was cascade and something else, maybe liberty. Both hops were very "old school," easily available hops. 

 

But yea, I'd steer clear of that 1010. I don't much care for it myself!


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#8 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 09:32 AM

My guess is that 55% GP combined with 40% wheat should not be overly malty or assertive.  This Simpson GP is great stuff but cut that much with wheat should level it out pretty nicely.  On the caravienne, I was going to add just 4-6 ounces of it and my thinking is that my beers have been coming out really pale with the low oxygen steps and my thought was that just a little bit of color would be nice.  Caravienne is only about 20°L so it's not going to add much.  I'm going to try to make this beer sometime next week and then I might be retiring this 1056 in favor of some 2124 beers that are coming up.  If I do make another beer with this 1056 it will be a Cascade Pale Ale that I already have drawn up.  Cheers gang.  



#9 LeftyMPfrmDE

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 11:52 AM

always thought of American Wheat as a modestly hopped pale ale with too much wheat in the grist, and a clean yeast profile from 001/1056.   perfect to slam down after mowing the lawn. the recipe looks great!


Edited by LeftyMPfrmDE, 12 April 2019 - 11:53 AM.

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#10 Poptop

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 01:44 PM

Can always fall back on that Sam Adams Summertime Ale.  That is definitely one wheat beer I can get behind.  Had a very background citrus character if I recall.  Ken, I think you "noodled" that one no?


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#11 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 02:16 PM

Can always fall back on that Sam Adams Summertime Ale.  That is definitely one wheat beer I can get behind.  Had a very background citrus character if I recall.  Ken, I think you "noodled" that one no?

I did.  I still have a lifetime supply of Grains of Paradise.  :lol:  I think I added some grated lemon zest and crushed grains of paradise (they're a little peppery and smell nice) at flameout.  I didn't want to go too far with that so I seem to remember not getting a lot of flavor from it.  I think I also tried to make a 'tincture' with the zest and GOP in some vodka and then added that to the secondary and it was slightly more noticeable but in the end I determined that if I want lemon in a beer I'll just tap the plain beer and squeeze a lemon into it.  Squeeze The Day!!  :D

 

I should be clear here too:  The mention of wheat in a beer conjures up some unsavory images for some people but that's not what I'm looking to do here.  This will not be Blue Moon, Hoegaarden, Shock Top, any sort of Belgian Wit, hefeweizen, etc.  The addition of wheat to a beer like this might bring the maltiness down and the refreshment level up but there should really be *NO* flavor contribution from it.  Combine that with "noble-like" hops and neutral ale yeast and I think we could put our fears away.  :P  I'm looking forward to trying this.



#12 djinkc

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 02:37 PM

If it was me I would go 25% pilsner, 25% GP and 50% wheat.  Citrusy hops at 15 minute but I probably go hoppier than you would like


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#13 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 03:17 PM



If it was me I would go 25% pilsner, 25% GP and 50% wheat.  Citrusy hops at 15 minute but I probably go hoppier than you would like

I could see that.  I happen to have a bunch of "clean hoppy" and "citusy hoppy" beers in kegs at the moment so I don't want to do that but I could make a small hop addition at 15 or something.  More nooding to do.  



#14 djinkc

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 03:21 PM

I could see that.  I happen to have a bunch of "clean hoppy" and "citusy hoppy" beers in kegs at the moment so I don't want to do that but I could make a small hop addition at 15 or something.  More nooding to do.  

When we had that uber cheap hallertau or whatever it was I made a German/American wheat that I enjoyed. About 40 IBUs and 50/50 2-row/wheat. 1056


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#15 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 03:29 PM

When we had that uber cheap hallertau or whatever it was I made a German/American wheat that I enjoyed. About 40 IBUs and 50/50 2-row/wheat. 1056

How did you hop it?



#16 djinkc

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 03:31 PM

How did you hop it?

I'll have to look it up but I would guess all at 15 minutes or later


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#17 djinkc

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 04:07 PM

OK - 16# 50/50 wheat/bland 2-row.  11.5 gallons post boil. 7 oz Hallertau 3.8 AAU at 12 minutes. 3+ oz (which means who knows) at flameout.  I was guessing 30 IBUs for a result - I was afraid any more might make it grassy. 1272 that I've been using forever - OG 1.050


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#18 Zsasz

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 04:47 PM

I think something similar recipe wise to a german wheat but with american yeast and hops.


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#19 neddles

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:46 PM

I have used an almost identical grist to the OP (like 1/2# caravienne) and it was terrific. Do that to 1.052 and hop it with just an ounce of Centennial at FO and maybe another ounce or 2 dry and OMMFG... so drinkable. 


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#20 jayb151

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:03 PM

This will not be Blue Moon, Hoegaarden, Shock Top, any sort of Belgian Wit, hefeweizen, etc.  The addition of wheat to a beer like this might bring the maltiness down and the refreshment level up but there should really be *NO* flavor contribution from it.  

 

That's totally my thought when I think American wheat. I'm thinking SN wheat, not gumball head. Hops a great, but should be SUPER restrained.

 

And I forgot you were doing the low O2 thing too. I remember you said your color took a hit from it. Hope it turns out well!


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