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Wheat beer brewing process

Views: 6     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-07-08      Origin: Site

First of all, what is wheat beer? Wheat beer is brewed with a mixture of wheat and barley, with the wheat portion making up 30-70% of the total. Wheat Extract Malt typically contains 40% wheat and 60% barley. Wheat contains more protein than barley, which helps create a long-lasting head, but also produces more haze. Wheat is lighter in color and less flavorful than barley, so it's a great summer beer that makes a smooth transition to craft beer for the "bud" and "miller" crowds.

There are many styles of wheat beer that you can make:

German Hefeweizens (from the German words Hefe = yeast and weizen = wheat) are typically brewed with special yeasts whose phenols produce clove flavors, along with esters that produce bubble gum, banana, or vanilla flavors especially at warmer fermentation temperatures. Pale malt or pilsner malt is typically used with the wheat malt. Hefeweizens are also lightly hopped and unfiltered and average 4.5% to 5% ABV. There are also two German dark wheat styles: Dunkelweizen and Weizenbock. Dunkelweizens are similar to the regular hefeweizens except they use Munich, Vienna, and Cara-Munich malts in place of some of the pale malts and have darker colors. Weizenbocks are similar to Dunkelweizens but have higher alcohol levels in the 7-9% range.

Belgian Witbiers (white beers) are similar to the German Hefeweizen style. Belgian Witbiers use a special yeast that ferments crisp with a little tartness to it. They also add coriander and orange peel in the last 5-15 minutes of the boil as well as some flavor or aroma hops not used in the German Hefeweizens. All-grain brewers will usually use white wheat to give an even lighter color.

American wheat beers use a neutral yeast that doesn’t give the banana or clove flavors. There are also many variations that include honey and/or fruit added to the end of the boil and then fermented, or fruit can flavoring added at bottling time. Honey is nearly 100% fermentable and will dry the overall malt taste of your beer. You can instead steep a pound of honey malt(a specialty grain) prior to adding your wheat malt extracts to provide more honey flavor to your wheat beer.


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How to Make Wheat Beer

Extract brewers: keep in mind that wheat beers aren’t any harder to make than any other style of beer. The process for all is the same:

  • steep a bag of grains in hot water(about 160 degree) for 20 minutes

  • remove and discard the grain bags

  • stir in your malt extracts

  • turn the heat back on and bring to a boil

  • add your bittering hops and boil for an hour

  • maybe add some flavor and/or aroma hops at the end of the boil (per your recipe)

  • cool your wort down, then pitch the yeast

Pick your poison! Here are some recipes for the different wheat beer styles described above. Do keep in mind that most liquid wheat yeasts are fairly aggressive and will generate a pretty thick krausen (foaming yeast on your wort in the fermenter) so watch that your air lock doesn’t fill up. You may want to use a blow-off tube to prevent clogging.

The main characteristics of wheat beer

  • The fragrance is pure and unique. The elegant aroma is given to wheat beers due to the high content of esters, higher alcohols and certain phenolic compounds. Such as giving beer a fruity, floral, clove and so on.

  • The carbon dioxide content is high, 6g/L-10g/L or 0.8%-1.0%, which can give the drinker a cool and comfortable feeling.

  • The foam is rich, white and delicate and has good foam retention. The bubble holding property can generally reach more than 250 seconds.

  • As a cool drink with low alcohol content, wheat beer can quench thirst better than other drinks.

  • Wheat beer can bring a good appetite to the drinker, and the taste of wheat beer can make the drinker want to drink continuously.

  • Wheat beer can promote digestion. Because the small amount of alcohol and carbon dioxide released in wheat beer can speed up the activity of digestive enzymes in the human body.

  • Drinking wheat beer can speed up sleep. A small amount of alcohol in beer ingested by the human body can produce a sedative effect for a short period of time. A small amount of beer does not cause fatigue, but can relax and eliminate mental stress. If there is fatigue in advance, alcohol will play a role in accelerating sleep.

  • Due to the composition of hops and the effect of potassium salts, wheat beer has a diuretic effect.

  • Because yeast stores a lot of valuable B vitamins (especially vitamins B1 and B2), drinking unfiltered yeast-rich beer is more beneficial to health.

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