Back in April we had our first group brew. The base recipe was an American Wheat, which our bloggers and some of our readers then tweaked into their own variations on the style.
It was a new style for most of us, but a great choice for the warm weather that was approaching. We definitely got creative with it. Each person who brewed had a unique twists so although these recipes are based off the same style, they are all very different.
You can read the original post to see the recipes, and here is what the bloggers say about how theirs turned out:
“My American wheat turned out great and is about to go into permanent summer rotation in the keezer! It was a super-easy drinking wheat ale, with just enough hoppiness and fruitiness to keep it interesting enough for people who are into beer and calm enough for the friends I'm still weaning off Michelob Ultra 😉 The East Coast yeast Old Newark Ale was a smashing success, I can't wait to see what else it can do!”
“My intentions were good. I dreamed of a sweet wheaty nector infused with the awesomeness of citrus/grapefruit. Talking with Robert, honey seemed a great way to go to help give this thing some depth, and it was something new (for me anyway) to try. So first off, the flaked wheat and the hops gave this creation an awesome fluffy head that really sticks around and the color, a hazy dirty blonde, just screams refreshment, enticing you in.
However, that's not to say that this beer didn't have issues. The biggest one is that the hops really took over. I like hops as much as the next person. But it needs to be balanced with a solid malt backbone. The aromatics are good, so maybe just adjust the bittering hops a bit and this one is ready for the brewpot once more!”
“When style for the first group brew was discussed I was at a loss. The only American Wheat beer I really drink is Goose Island 312 and most times that is mixed with orange juice (Beermosa anyone?). I had no idea which direction I should take this beer and what my “angle” would be. After some long thoughts over a pint or two I had my idea, an English Wheat. I of course had no idea what that would end up as, but I plowed ahead with brewing it.
Flash forward a month and I've already put down a couple glasses of the English Wheat. The result was staggering, a beautifully balanced beer that kept the light refreshing notes of the American Wheat style while blending in a slight bready and earthy undertones. Perfect for hot weekends and cool summer nights, just as the style intended. I'm not sure I will change anything the next time I brew it. Maybe a different yeast or hop variety, but would be more experimental than fixing any perceived flaws. Overall, I could not be happier with how this beer came out.”
West Coast Wheat
6.15% ABV (my recipe 5.3% ABV)
Aroma – Hop forward, the single hop, Amarillo really comes through nicely. I happen to love the Amarillo, so I'm really digging the aroma.
Color – SRM 10 Slightly cloudy, but a really nice dark golden color. (my recipe 4.22 SRM)
Mouth Feel – Clean and crisp.
Taste – First off the hops really come through. Blindfolded I think IPA for sure. Not a big malty beer, but it does have a “creamy” taste that softens the bitterness a bit. There is a bit of lingering bitterness, but not over the top.
I'm totally satisfied with this beer. The bitterness exceeds the style slightly, but it works for me. The ABV is raised, not sure why that is…efficiency must be up. I'm a new to the American Wheat beer. Not common in So California, but I'm really loving the style. I would brew this again in a second, but I might change up the yeast.
– Robert French
“With such a simple base recipe, the opportunities to experiment were wide open. I still wanted my beer to be recognizable as an American Wheat, so I resisted the temptation to do too much. In the end my twists were using Kolsch yeast (WLP029) and adding a touch of acidulated malt. I wanted light, crisp beer with just bit of sour twang from the acid malt and some fruitiness from the yeast. Overall I'm very happy with the beer. If I had to change one thing, I would use a different yeast. Something I failed to think about is that the WLP029 gives off a white wine flavor that slightly clashes with the acid malt. It's barely noticeable, but something I would change. That's why we experiment!”
How about you?
If you brewed an American Wheat with us, go ahead and let us know how it turned out down in the comments.
Thanks to everyone who participated. It was a big success and we plan on keeping this up so if you missed out, join us on the next Group Brew!