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Wheat Or Blonde?

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Should I brew a US Wheat or a Blonde Ale

  • US Wheat

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rehab

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Hi there,
I am still a fairly new beginner in terms of the AG game but with Nationals coming up shortly I am keen to get some feedback from some high up judges (eg Kelly Ryan formerly of Epic fame).

Now I have been jumping the gun and making some over complicated recipes rather than going for nice easy ones to start with.
So in order to get some feedback I have settled on either making a US wheat beer:

50/50 split GP and light wheat malt and then Centennial for the hop with maybe only 20 and 10 additions to keep bitterness down.

or

Blonde Ale:

100% GP or kolsh malt

Zythos Hops at similar times to the Wheat with a dry hop at the end.

Only have til mid October and I bottle and also only room for one fermenter in the fridge so just out of curiosity what would be the best way to go to make something simple yet able to get good feedback on?

Will keep it easy and go US-05 for either option also.

I would normally make more hoppy but am trying to keep in BJCP guidelines and also may be better to pull the hops back until I learn to use the hops better....



Cheers
 

Nick JD

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Have you had many commercial American Wheats?
 

dr K

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NZ Nationals?
 

rehab

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Have you had many commercial American Wheats?

Nope... Is this saying there is a reason for that? Or should I maybe hunt one down before attempting it?
 

rehab

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NZ Nationals?
Yes, NZ Nationals.

I think they may be making it so that the US styles are opened up to include NZ hopped versions which should make for some tasty sampling...
 

Nick JD

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Or should I maybe hunt one down before attempting it?
For sure. It's pretty much a mild APA with a lot of wheat in it.

Unfortunately the yanks call a lot of them "hefeweizens", which can really piss you off when you buy one and expect a german wheat, then get a sharp, citrusy, hoppy swampwater beer instead!
 

Weizguy

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Neither style should be highly hop flavoured, so drop that dry hop.

I prefer the blonde style and find that the flavour of the bittering hop will shine through in the end product.
Recommended is a noble or a flavour hop to be used for a gentle bitterness and subtle aroma and flavour.
One hop addition only at 60 minutes.
 

Weizguy

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I've had numerous American Wheats that were hoppy as hell.
Not denying your experiences...

BJCP says :
Aroma - Hop aroma may be low to moderate, and can have either a citrusy American or a spicy or floral noble hop character.

Flavour - Low to moderate hop bitterness, which sometimes lasts into the finish. Low to moderate hop flavor (citrusy American or spicy/floral noble).

I would say that dry hopping is not appropriate, based on the style guideline.
 

Bribie G

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One of the most popular "modern" American Wheats in Australia is Murray's Whale Ale and is a very well balanced refreshing beer. And Murrays use exclusively NZ hops.

The version I regularly make is 50/50, Wyeast American Ale 2 and for the hops an initial bittering addition of whatever takes your fancy (I used Mt Hood last time, Columbus this time) and finish it off with a flameout addition of NZ Cascade Flowers. (edit: just to give that hint, not an overpowering addition as Les points out)

:icon_drool2: :icon_drool2:
 

Nick JD

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Not denying your experiences...

BJCP says :
Aroma - Hop aroma may be low to moderate, and can have either a citrusy American or a spicy or floral noble hop character.

Flavour - Low to moderate hop bitterness, which sometimes lasts into the finish. Low to moderate hop flavor (citrusy American or spicy/floral noble).

I would say that dry hopping is not appropriate, based on the style guideline.
While in the 'States I tried quite a few of them - mainly micro's versions - and I think in the US micro fashion, I was drinking the extreme subset of American Wheats. One (Mac and Jacks) was pretty-much battery acid it was so puckering. And when the pricks call it hefeweizen and suck me in to buying a bottle (was at a canadian skifield, really looking forward to me hefe) it's so very disappointing as I'd prefer an APA anyday.

Comments: Different variations exist, from an easy-drinking fairly sweet beer to a dry, aggressively hopped beer with a strong wheat or rye flavor. Dark versions approximating dunkelweizens (with darker, richer malt flavors in addition to the color) should be entered in the Specialty Beer category.
 

rehab

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Some good points to take on board if I go in either direction.

Seems like some adjustments of sorts to the hop usage will be required. I am not too sure weather to go just the bittering and have that carry the flavour or to use Bribie G's style with a small late dash of a cascade type hop... would a Zythos or Centennial work with these styles? I have a ton of them to get through is all!

Cheers
 

rehab

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Anyone have any more pointers for either style? I also have lots of NS to use if that changes anything...

Cheers
 

Weizguy

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If you're brewing to style for a competition, stick to the style, otherwise free-brew what you'd like to drink.
 

rehab

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If you're brewing to style for a competition, stick to the style, otherwise free-brew what you'd like to drink.

I was going to brew to style but not too sure about the hop placement to acheive either style best just yet.

Will decide over the next few days :beer:
 

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