Brew #11: American Wheat Beer
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Continuing our experimentation with different styles of beers, this time we brewed an American wheat beer. We have never brewed a wheat beer and today was the day!
Check out our recent brews:
This recipe was designed using the Brewfather app by Dave. It has a grain bill that is 50% Wheat, 25% Maris Otter and 25% Pilsner malt so most definitely a wheat beer.
Method: All-grain BIAB
Batch size: 11.5 litres
Brewhouse efficiency: 63%
Estimated OG: 1.047
Estimated FG: 1.010
Estimated ABV: 4.8%
Estimated IBU (Tinseth): 15
Estimated EBC: 7.7
1.4 kg Crisp Pale Wheat Malt (3.5 EBC)
700 g Maris Otter (6 EBC)
700 g Weyermann Premiere (6 EBC)
Hops: 90 min hop boil
60 mins, 12 g Willamette pellets (5.3% AA)
0 mins, 4 g Chinnook pellets (11.3% AA)
0 mins, 4 g Willamette pellets (5.3% AA)
1 pkg White labs American Hefeweizen Ale (WLP320)
1/2 tsp Irish Moss at 15 mins remaining of the hop boil
Mash at 65°C, mash out to 75°C
Fermentation 14 days: 20°C
Carbonation: 2.8 CO2-vol
Brew day - 22/08/20
My brew day beer of choice was a trusty Lagunitas IPA. It was tasty as always, so tasty that I forgot to take a picture.
Anyways this wheat recipe required the use of 700 g Maris Otter and we used stuff that we had leftover in the flat so this was made up with 200g Extra Pale (3 EBC) and 500g normal Maris Otter (6 EBC). We mashed our grains in 7 litres of water at 65°C for 1 hour, then mashed out to 75°C before sparging for 10 mins with 8 litres of water.
The wort was brought to a rolling boil, ready for the hops to be added to season the beer.
The plan was to add Willamette at 60 mins and Cennential and Willamette at 0 mins. For some reason I thought we had Cennential hops in the freezer so we did not order them for this brew. Sadly, on brew day I found out that was indeed a mistake so we added Chinnook instead as a replacement. According to the internet this is a fine substitution so we kept it moving and carried on with brew day! Crisis averted just!
We cooled the wort which took us about 1.5 hours (can't believe it took us 5 hours on our first ever all-grain brew). We then diluted the wort to achieve our target original gravity of 1.047, which meant we ended up with 12 litres of wort! Yayy to loads of beer!
We then pitched the yeast. The yeast was an American hefeweizen ale yeast and it will be responsible giving those banana ester flavours that are associated with wheat beer.
Bottling day - 05/09/20
We took a final hydrometer reading of 1.010 and the ABV ended up at 4.8%, a little stronger than we planned but still super light. The flat beer had a beautiful golden colour and tasted so much like wheat beer it was incredible. This was entirely down to the yeast working to change this into an American wheat style beer.
Reading about wheat beers it is clear that they are really carbonated, between 2.8 and 5.1 CO2-Vol. As we were bottling our beers and the maximum carbonation our bottles could withstand was 3 CO2-Vol, we decided to play it safe with 2.8 CO2-Vol. To achieve this we dissolved 107 g of dextrose sugar in 214 ml boiling water. Once cooled it was added to the bottling bucket and the beer was siphoned into bottles. We ended up with 21 x 500 ml bottles.
Beer day - 19/09/20
This is the best beer that we have ever brewed. We planned for a wheat beer and this tastes like a wheat beer. It had a lovely light, golden colour and was very well carbonated. It was borderline fizzy, which is what you want from a wheat beer. The head was very thick and was well maintained throughout drinking. It smelt like wheat beer and was very light. I really enjoy lower alcohol beers. I am so impressed with this beer and every time I have drank it I have been shocked that we actually brewed this in our tiny London flat. Basically, the conclusion is I absolutely adore this beer!!!
Colour: Light, golden colour
Clarity: Clear, no sediment
Carbonation: Very carbonated with large head.
Smell: Wheaty and bananary
Taste: Wheat, banana and
Alcohol level: 4.8%
Perceived alcohol level: Very light
Would I pay money for it?: Absolutely