As American as Tacos
OK, the American Wheat style isn't exactly an American style. Unlike California Common or American Brown ale,
the American Wheat style is really just an offshoot of the German Weizen beer with an American twist.
This style is a light, refreshing ale made with, usually, 40 to 60% wheat malt.
Unlike the German weizen ale style, the American Wheat style does not have the bananna, clove type flavor profile traditionally associated with wheat beers. Instead, the use of US style clean-fermenting yeast yields a more crisp, almost pilsner like lager-like beer that is refreshing, somewhat fruity, and ideal for a summer's afternoon.
The grain bill for an American Wheat style beer is based on a 1:1 ratio (or therabouts) of wheat malt to either
pilsner or american 2 row malt. Other grains like Munich or Vienna can be added at 10% or less for character.
Hops can go one of two ways : either traditional German hops (Hallertau, Tettnang, etc.) or you can make it truly American with hops like Cascade or Amarillo. In either case, the hopping is fairly mild (15 to 30 IBU.)
The American Wheat style is a good one to experiment with yeast. The obvious choice is to go with an American strain of yeast like Wyeast 1056 or White Labs California Ale yeast to provide a clean flavor profile. Other choices might include a Kolsch yeast fermented at a lower temperature for a clean, fruity profile or even an English ale yeast (I won't tell the style police if you won't.) Wyeast also makes an American Wheat yeast : 1010 American Wheat.
|OG: 1.040 - 1.055||FG: 1.008 - 1.013||IBU: 15 - 30||SRM: 3 - 6||ABV: 4% - 5.5%|
All Grain Recipe - American Wheat ::: 1.049/1.012 (5 Gal)
4.5 lbs. - Pilsner or 2-Row Malt
4.5 lb. - Wheat Malt
1 lb. - Munich Malt (use the light 10L version)
Hop Schedule (18 IBU)
1/2 oz - Amarillo (60 Min.)
1/4 oz - Amarillo (20 Min.)
White Labs California Ale (WLP001) - 1800 ml starter
Mash at 153° for 60 minutes
Sparge as usual
Boil for 60 minutes
Cool and ferment at 68°