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American Wheat Ale

I’m about to brew the American Wheat Ale for the first time. I’ve read quite a bit about how this beer is good on it’s own but also good to add to. Has anyone had a success with this brew by adding to it that they would care to share?

That was my first five gallon brew. I added 1# of honey, Clementine zest, coriander and a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary late in the boil and left it in primary. It was pretty well received and I liked it a lot. All the flavors were fairly subtle but combined well with each other and in the wheat ale.

I added blueberry extract to 1/2 of the batch once. I think it was just 2 oz. or so, was really not that much. I didn;t have high hopes for it, I did it just to test it out. BUT it actually turned out pretty good. Never wanted to drink 4-5 of them in a row, but maybe a cold one now and then was pretty good.

I always add 1# of real honey, ( watch out for that Chinese honey that is mostly corn syrup) buy local. It make the beer finish crisp and dry. Very refreshing and the honey boosts the ABV a point or two.

American wheat beers are great beers to add something to. The flavor of the beer by itself is very mild, so most things you add will be easy to taste. The exception to that would be honey. Honey will boost the alcohol level and dry the beer out, but it won’t add any appreciable flavor to the beer. In my opinion, you might as well just use table sugar and save some money.

I brew an American wheat each year to be ready for summer, and will add several pounds of fruit to the secondary bucket before racking the beer onto it. That is enough fruit to make the fruit dominate the flavor of the finished beer. I’ve tried raspberries, blueberries, cherries and sea hawthorns. I just racked this year’s batch onto the fruit today. Here is a picture of the same beer from a few years ago.

Of course you would not add honey for flavor. It is for dryness and the boost in alcohol. I like a dry crisp light beer in the hot summer daze. I would never suggest adding table sugar to an all grain beer though. Its not about what’s cheaper or easier. The whole point of brewing your own is to cut out the highly processed ingredients, getting back to the bones of beer, and knowing exactly what you are drinking. Honey is natures own sugar and it goes well with fresh cracked malted barley and home grown hops. Besides honey can be free too if you just look or trade. Wheat beer has a hint of a citrus taste naturally but, If you want to add fruit to your beer use the best fruit that you can. Rebuiltcellars has a lot of good suggestions. Support your local producer. Plant flowers for the bees.

Thank you for all of these ideas. To be honest, I have yet to incorporate fruit into any beer that I’ve made. I’m not a huge fruit lover but do enjoy lemon or lime. I’m not sure either would be great with this beer. I typically only use a primary as well so racking to a secondary would be a new technique to try. Adding a pound of honey does intrigue me and I definitely can buy some locally. Other than fruit, any additions that anyone can recommend?

I actually just read a review where someone added 1 pound of honey and the zest/juice of 4 lemons. That sounds intriguing. One of my favorite Wheat Beers is actually Red Hook’s summer seasonal which uses Ginger. I would love to attempt that, but for some reason, the ginger scares me. I feel like there is a lot of room to mess up the whole batch with using ginger.

I’ve added honey, honey malt, and cherry flavoring.

I like to add more than just a pound of honey, and often compliment it with small amounts honey malts too.

I’ve had a rye wit from the local brewpub, which is what turned me on to rye beers. Very good beer, but I’ve not brewed one yet.

A friend of mine made a really nice apricot wheat.

I’m finally about to start this American Wheat. I’m actually considering adding honey and wondered if NB’s Orange Blossom Honey might be nice. Here is the link:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/cali ... honey.html

Secondly, I wanted to split this into two fermenters in order to add peach to only one of them. Would NB’s Peach Puree be a good choice? Here is the link:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/oreg ... puree.html

I’m finally about to start this American Wheat. I’m actually considering adding honey and wondered if NB’s Orange Blossom Honey might be nice. Here is the link:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/cali ... honey.html

Secondly, I wanted to split this into two fermenters in order to add peach to only one of them. Would NB’s Peach Puree be a good choice? Here is the link:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/oreg ... puree.html

I’m finally about to start this American Wheat. I’m actually considering adding honey and wondered if NB’s Orange Blossom Honey might be nice. Here is the link:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/cali ... honey.html

Secondly, I wanted to split this into two fermenters in order to add peach to only one of them. Would NB’s Peach Puree be a good choice? Here is the link:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/oreg ... puree.html

[quote=“SlickRick”]I’m finally about to start this American Wheat. I’m actually considering adding honey and wondered if NB’s Orange Blossom Honey might be nice. Here is the link:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/cali ... honey.html

Secondly, I wanted to split this into two fermenters in order to add peach to only one of them. Would NB’s Peach Puree be a good choice? Here is the link:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/oreg ... puree.html[/quote]

I can’t speak to the peach puree, but I think you have a good idea, splitting the batch. That way you’ll have a basis of comparison so you can tell what additions do to your brew compared to the basic wheat ale as it comes out of the kit.

The honey size is 3lbs but I’m assuming I only need to add 1.5-2lbs of honey. Anyone care to plug that in to QBrew or Beersmith for me? How would that affect the American Wheat Ale’s ABV? Similarly, I’m not sure how much of the peach puree I should use if I’m only adding that to 2.5 gal instead of the full 5 gal. Any advice from brewers who have used fruit? I fear overpowering the beer if I split it in two and add all of that fruit flavor.

I get an OG of 1.042 on Brewtoad and 35 IBU’s with Willamette having 6 AA’s, and Cascade having 7 AA’s. With US-05 is gives an ABV of 4.4%.

Adding 2 lbs of honey, which would be about as much as you might want to use, boosts the OG to 1.059 and gives it 6.2% ABV. I’ve noticed that when using honey or sugar I often get a lower FG reading than what the calculator figures.

1.5 lbs of honey gives it an OG of 1.055 and ABV of 5.7%.

1 lb of honey gives it an OG of 1.050 and ABV of 5.3%.

Add the honey at flameout.

rodwha, thank you so much for that info! That definitely helps me on the honey. Any idea of how much of that fruit puree should be added in the primary fermentation phase if I were to split this into two, 2.5 gallon batches? I have never used fruit before.

I’ve not used fruit either. I’ve only used a cherry extract, though I have made a nice jalapeño cream ale.

Are there no suggestions for its use? Maybe email NB and ask for a recommendation?

I have seen a nice strawberry blonde recipe that I’ll make one day.

Did you use an extract similar to this? I just saw this on the NB site. Either way, I’m not sure how much of the puree or extract I should use for flavoring.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/peac ... tract.html

Not sure you know this but a honey beer generally takes longer to ferment, so don’t hurry it. A zest means you take a potato peeler to a grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime and peel just the outer layer
[ not the white stuff ] and add it to the beer final or primary or that sort of thing. Do it fresh.

I did use that brand, and used all of it in a 4.8 gal batch.

It’s typically a good idea to use about 2/3 of a bottle of extract, stir, and taste to ensure it’s not overdone. The hazelnut extract I used (different brand) was way too much for a 5 gal batch as my friend found out.

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