(almost) Wheat Beer

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alien13

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Hi,

So, after quite a long break since my first AG brew, I decided that I wanted to tackle a wheat beer. I had been looking at honey wheat beers for a while and had a few recipes in mind for it, but up until a few weeks ago, it hadn't really gotten past the brainstorming stage.

After a bit of thinking and playing around I decided on the following recipe (for a mini mash, approx. 2ltrs):
------------------------------------------
120 grams - Barrett Burston Wheat Malt
100 grams - Weyermann Melanoidin
100 grams - Weyermann Pilsner
050 grams - Wheat, Flaked

1g Nelson Sauvin @ 60 mins.

IBU: ~9.2
OG: 1.049
EBC: 11.3
ABV: ~4.8%
------------------------------------------

The reason the batch was so small was because I wanted to do a small test batch, to make sure that I liked the beer first.

I went to the LHBS on NYE and purchased the grains. The reason I used the NS hops was because I already had them left over from my first AG and they were only being used for bittering.

I went home, got everything ready and started the mash. After I was done with that, and I had finished enjoy the amazing aroma filling the house, I started the boil. It is so much easier being able to only worry about 1 hop addition and to let it do its thing.

Towards the end of the boil I started to sanitize the fermenters (2x 2litre coke bottles). After cooling the wort in an ice bath, I poured the batch into the two fermenters, half in one, half in another. I added approximately 1/4tsp of US-05 yeast (I thought I had some WB-06 on hand, but couldn't find it and was running out of time) to each fermenter and added the air lock to one, and glad wrap to the other. Then began the long wait.

I bottled on the 7th, and have been waiting since then to try it.

I couldn't wait any longer, and placed a bottle in the fridge this morning, and about 10mins ago just finished the last mouthful....

Firstly, the smell of it is amazing. I could sit there all day breathing it in. It's hard to describe it, but its a sweet smell, not too overly sweet, but enough to entice even a non-beer drinker.

The first mouthful was great. It was so different to what I am used to with beers, it actually took me by surprise because a few days before bottling it, I took a sample and it smelt really sweet, but that wasn't the case. I'm not sure what to expect of wheat beers since I haven't had many before (I know that banana and clove are something to aim for, and when I do this again on a bigger batch, I'll make sure I have the proper yeast on hand).

I wish I could be better at describing things, but I'm not that good just yet. The after taste that it leaves in your mouth is another good thing about it. I wish I had of gone for a bigger batch because I only came out with 7 330mL bottles, but at least next time I can improve on the little differences.

Would be happy to hear peoples opinions on the recipe itself.

As for the title, I called it an (Almost) Wheat Beer because I didn't have the right yeast, and by german law it requires at least 50% wheat malt, but this recipe only had ~33% wheat malt. So it's not quite there, but maybe next time I'll play around with the figures a bit more. Maybe I won't. For now, it's a beer that I would like to try again as a bigger batch, just because it is something I can find myself drinking easily.

Cheers,
Now to stop myself from putting the rest in the fridge before they are even ready ;)
 

donburke

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Hi,

So, after quite a long break since my first AG brew, I decided that I wanted to tackle a wheat beer. I had been looking at honey wheat beers for a while and had a few recipes in mind for it, but up until a few weeks ago, it hadn't really gotten past the brainstorming stage.

After a bit of thinking and playing around I decided on the following recipe (for a mini mash, approx. 2ltrs):
------------------------------------------
120 grams - Barrett Burston Wheat Malt
100 grams - Weyermann Melanoidin
100 grams - Weyermann Pilsner
050 grams - Wheat, Flaked

1g Nelson Sauvin @ 60 mins.

IBU: ~9.2
OG: 1.049
EBC: 11.3
ABV: ~4.8%
------------------------------------------

The reason the batch was so small was because I wanted to do a small test batch, to make sure that I liked the beer first.

I went to the LHBS on NYE and purchased the grains. The reason I used the NS hops was because I already had them left over from my first AG and they were only being used for bittering.

I went home, got everything ready and started the mash. After I was done with that, and I had finished enjoy the amazing aroma filling the house, I started the boil. It is so much easier being able to only worry about 1 hop addition and to let it do its thing.

Towards the end of the boil I started to sanitize the fermenters (2x 2litre coke bottles). After cooling the wort in an ice bath, I poured the batch into the two fermenters, half in one, half in another. I added approximately 1/4tsp of US-05 yeast (I thought I had some WB-06 on hand, but couldn't find it and was running out of time) to each fermenter and added the air lock to one, and glad wrap to the other. Then began the long wait.

I bottled on the 7th, and have been waiting since then to try it.

I couldn't wait any longer, and placed a bottle in the fridge this morning, and about 10mins ago just finished the last mouthful....

Firstly, the smell of it is amazing. I could sit there all day breathing it in. It's hard to describe it, but its a sweet smell, not too overly sweet, but enough to entice even a non-beer drinker.

The first mouthful was great. It was so different to what I am used to with beers, it actually took me by surprise because a few days before bottling it, I took a sample and it smelt really sweet, but that wasn't the case. I'm not sure what to expect of wheat beers since I haven't had many before (I know that banana and clove are something to aim for, and when I do this again on a bigger batch, I'll make sure I have the proper yeast on hand).

I wish I could be better at describing things, but I'm not that good just yet. The after taste that it leaves in your mouth is another good thing about it. I wish I had of gone for a bigger batch because I only came out with 7 330mL bottles, but at least next time I can improve on the little differences.

Would be happy to hear peoples opinions on the recipe itself.

As for the title, I called it an (Almost) Wheat Beer because I didn't have the right yeast, and by german law it requires at least 50% wheat malt, but this recipe only had ~33% wheat malt. So it's not quite there, but maybe next time I'll play around with the figures a bit more. Maybe I won't. For now, it's a beer that I would like to try again as a bigger batch, just because it is something I can find myself drinking easily.

Cheers,
Now to stop myself from putting the rest in the fridge before they are even ready ;)
make every drop count with a batch that small :icon_cheers:


with wheat beers, simplicity is a good thing, and as you have noted, the character is largely a product of the yeast strain


i would drop the melanoidin,


keep it simple, 55 to 60 % wheat malt, 40 - 45 % pilsner, include a ferulic acid rest in your mash regime, then pitch your favourite wheat yeast strain, drink it fresh
 

Nick JD

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The yeast is the most important ingredient in a german wheat beer.

You've made an amercian wheat beer.

Google BJCP style guide and read about the differences.
 

pk.sax

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Here is a German style double decocted (if I did them right) wheat beer for you :)

 

alien13

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make every drop count with a batch that small :icon_cheers:

with wheat beers, simplicity is a good thing, and as you have noted, the character is largely a product of the yeast strain

i would drop the melanoidin,

keep it simple, 55 to 60 % wheat malt, 40 - 45 % pilsner, include a ferulic acid rest in your mash regime, then pitch your favourite wheat yeast strain, drink it fresh
Yeah, I'll definitely be trying to make every drop count with this beer. Half of me wants to get started on the other bottles, half of me wants to wait a bit to see how the flavour changes. I reckon I'll leave one bottle in storage so it can age a bit more and see how it goes, but I don't know how much better it can get then this.

I reckon the next time I do this, I'll go more towards the official guidelines for a german wheat beer. After getting caught up and playing around with the recipe, my percentages got a bit out of whack and this is what I ended up with (not that I'm disappointed, that's for sure).

I'll take that into consideration for the next AG, and probably go with the 3068 wyeast. (Any others worth trying? WB-06, etc).

As for the ferulic acid rest, is that done at the start of the mash, and then the temperature is brought up to the regular mashing temp? I had a quick look on google and the first one I looked at tried 30mins at 43C.
If you could point me somewhere in particular that would be great, I'll keep looking for myself til then, but just want to make sure I'm getting the right information.

The yeast is the most important ingredient in a german wheat beer.

You've made an amercian wheat beer.

Google BJCP style guide and read about the differences.
Yeah, I should have made sure I had the correct yeast on hand. I have a feeling it was thrown out over christmas time because the fridge it was kept in was packed and probably got taken out by accident. Probably for the best as it wasn't the freshest packet around.

It's good to know I've made a wheat beer though. I did read up on the BJCP style guide before making it, but as I said above, after playing around with it a bit, I sent my percentages out of whack. I haven't used BS in a while and the new version confused me for a bit, but now I'm getting used to it again.

Here is a German style double decocted (if I did them right) wheat beer for you :)
That looks delicious :D

I'll have to get a picture of mine up here sometime soon. I'm tempted to get another bottle out tonight, but maybe I'll wait 'til tomorrow, who knows.

Thanks for all the replies, it's good to get some feedback every now and then :)

[Edit] While I'm here, how does this recipe look? (For an 11ltr BIAB batch)

--------------------------------------------
OG 1.051
FG 1.013
ABV 5.01 %
SRM 3.2
IBU 10.3

Wheat Malt 1.2kg -- 57.14%
Pilsner 0.9kg -- 42.86%

10g Tettnanger (4% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
--------------------------------------------

It should be within the requirements of the style, but I'm open to any suggestions.
 

warra48

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Interesting experiment. Hope you enjoy the beer. Your latest recipe looks OK to me.

I'm never doing another ferulic acid rest in my life. All it's ever done for me is to encourage clove character in my beers, and it's not what I want at the forefront of my wheaties.
 

alien13

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Interesting experiment. Hope you enjoy the beer. Your latest recipe looks OK to me.

I'm never doing another ferulic acid rest in my life. All it's ever done for me is to encourage clove character in my beers, and it's not what I want at the forefront of my wheaties.
I'm definitely enjoying this beer so far :D Thanks for the feedback on the new recipe!

Do you prefer more banana over clove in your wheat beer?
 

manticle

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I love the clove. Without it, I find wheats a bit dull.
 

white.grant

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I'd go a 90 minute boil but otherwise don't worry too much about the ferulic rest but do control your fermentation temperatures.
 

alien13

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@manticle - What yeast do you use in the GWB? Wyeast 3068?

@Grantw - Okay cool, so up the boil to 90mins then. And the Tett hops should be alright for it?
 

manticle

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3068. Forms a krausen like a kraken so leave some headspace.

Can use 3638 too but I haven't tried that one. I enjoy the ocassional wheat but not enough to brew them very often.
 

alien13

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I'll have to grab some of that when I'm ready for the next brew. I should have enough headspace in the fermenter, so hopefully it will all go well.

If I decide on making another one after that I might try out the 3368 as well. If I had some smaller fermenters I would try half with 3368 and half with 3068.
 

manticle

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Sorry it's 3638, not 3368.

Wyeast also have a German wheat strain 3333 which again I haven't tried.
 

alien13

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No worries. It looks like I had a bit of experimenting to do. I'll have to look into re-culturing yeast as I can't quite justify spending $12 a pack just now. If I could get some interview call-backs I'd be a lot happier.

3638 - This strain produces apple, pear, and plum esters in addition to the dominant banana character. The esters are complemented nicely by clove and subtle vanilla phenolics.

3333 - This yeast strain produces a beautiful and delicate balance of banana esters and clove phenolics similar to the popular Wyeast 3068. However, this strain will sediment rapidly, resulting in bright beer without filtration.

The 3333 sounds good in terms of clarity, but that's not something that really bothers me anyway, but might still be worth looking at.
The 3638 on the other hand is definitely something to consider.

So, I took some pictures in various places around the house because when looking at them on the camera they never look that great, but after putting them on my computer, they turned out better than I thought. Here are the 3 best pics out of the lot:

RIMG0034.JPGRIMG0039.JPGRIMG0042.JPG
 

warra48

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I'm definitely enjoying this beer so far :D Thanks for the feedback on the new recipe!

Do you prefer more banana over clove in your wheat beer?
Yes, subtle banana is more to my taste. A smidgeon of clove to balance the beer is fine, but not when it overpowers everything else!
 

Malted

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Personaly I find them a bit bland and fizzy. I like dominant banana flavours but not clove, other folks are the other way around. Very few commercial ones show strong clove or banana.
Banana or clove flavours are a product of the type of yeast and the temp you brew it at. Generally speaking, towards the cooler end of the recommended temp range of the yeast will produce more clove flavours and towards the higher end will produce more banana flavours (but some yeasts learn more one way than the other).

Some folks have said ditch the melanoiden but I wouldn't be so quick to do that. If you were going for a banana dominance the rich malty flavours might actually compliment it.

Most folks wont use flavour and aroma hop additions either but I reckon that these too could be a good addition. Here we have the joys of homebrewing, you brew it how YOU like it! If tiny batches like that are working for you, try a whole bunch of things and see what YOU like. We all offer suggestions based on what is normally done, what we think should be done or what we like. Experiment and discover, it's good fun!
 

alien13

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I'd love to have a wider selection of commercial beers where I live so I could give some wheat beers a shot and see what I should be aiming for. The idea of banana and clove is something that intrigues me. I can't wait to try my first one to see what they're all about.

Personaly I find them a bit bland and fizzy. I like dominant banana flavours but not clove, other folks are the other way around. Very few commercial ones show strong clove or banana.
Banana or clove flavours are a product of the type of yeast and the temp you brew it at. Generally speaking, towards the cooler end of the recommended temp range of the yeast will produce more clove flavours and towards the higher end will produce more banana flavours (but some yeasts learn more one way than the other).

Some folks have said ditch the melanoiden but I wouldn't be so quick to do that. If you were going for a banana dominance the rich malty flavours might actually compliment it.

Most folks wont use flavour and aroma hop additions either but I reckon that these too could be a good addition. Here we have the joys of homebrewing, you brew it how YOU like it! If tiny batches like that are working for you, try a whole bunch of things and see what YOU like. We all offer suggestions based on what is normally done, what we think should be done or what we like. Experiment and discover, it's good fun!
Thanks for this great reply!

I would be interested to try this exact recipe again, but to leave out the melanoiden just to see how much it differs. That could be the taste I am enjoying in the beer.

I have read about the temperatures of fermentation and how they affect the flavours, so that would be something I could easily do when doing a mini batch like this and just splitting the volume so one is cooler and the other warmer.

I think you have hit the nail on the head with the last paragraph. If it is something you enjoy drinking, then you have pretty much done one of the main goals of a hobby like homebrewing. There's not much point brewing something you don't like drinking, even if it follows the style guidelines exactly. But experimenting is one of my favourite pros for this hobby, for sure!
 

DUANNE

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my 2c. if you really like the beer as is then why change a thing? yes its an american wheat not a german hefe but if you like it who cares, homebrew is about making beer you enjoy not matching style guidelines. brew a big batch of this recipe as is in the knowlwdge you will enjoy it, and if you want to stuff around with bannana and clove flavours or anything else use youre small batch setup to see if you like the recipe before scaling up.
 

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