The other bloggers and I are excited to announce the first ever Homebrew Academy Group Brew. It's a way for us all to collaborate on brewing the same style but apply our own creativity to make something unique. Here's how it will work:
- Each month the first post will be a Group Brew for a particular beer style
- We'll post a base recipe for the beer style. The bloggers and readers will tweak it and brew their own variation.
- The beer should be brewed by the 3rd week of the month
- We'll do a followup “tasting” post discussing how our beers turned out. When the tasting post occurs will depend on the beer and how long it takes until being ready.
So to kick things off we're going to start with a beer style that goes great with the warm weather that's approaching – an American Wheat.
Here is a base recipe to get you started. This was created in Beer Calculus.
Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.012
Mash Efficiency: 75%
Batch Size: 5 gallons
Malt and Fermentables
- 4.5 lbs American Two-Row (50%)
- 4.5 lbs Wheat Malt (50%)
- Extract brewers: Replace the grain with 7 lbs of liquid wheat malt extract. It usually comes as a 60/40 wheat to barley mix, but check with your supplier.
- 1 oz Liberty [4% AA] (60 minutes)
- .5 oz Liberty [4% AA] (5 minutes)
- .5 oz Willamette [4% AA] (5 minutes)
- WLP001 California Ale Yeast
Beer Advocate has a great summary of the American Wheat:
“An Americanized version of a Hefe Weizen, these beers range within the pale to golden range in color. Reminiscent of a Hefe Weizen in appearance, unless filtered. Long-lasting head with a light to medium body, higher carbonation is proper. German Weizen flavors and aromas of banana esters and clove-like phenols will not be found. Most use a substantial percentage of wheat malt. Hop character will be low to high but most are moderate in bitterness. There may be some fruitiness from ale fermentation though most examples use of a fairly neutral ale yeast, resulting in a clean fermentation with little to no diacetyl.”
And here are some commercial examples for inspiration:
- Widmer Hefeweizen
- Bell's Oberon Ale
- Magic Hat Circus Boy
- Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat
I kept the recipe above pretty generic on purpose. Feel free to use something very similar, or go completely crazy with it. You don't need to stay within style guidelines. Here are some ideas:
- Experiment with a different wheat/barley ratio
- Try specialty malts
- Change the hop schedule and try other varieties like noble hops
- Use a different yeast, like a Kolsch yeast
- Add unusual ingredients like spices, wood, or fruit
- Post recipe here in the comments and brew by 4/22/11.
- Tasting post on 5/23/11. We'll discuss how our beers turned out and what we'd do different.
Use the comment section below to discuss the style and when you're ready, post your recipe. Let's brew!