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Old 05-22-2011, 09:57 AM   #1
dirty_martini
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Default Hoppy Wheat or Hoppy Wit?

Here in SoCal the weather is starting to warm up so I was thinking about doing up a wheat beer, but with a california flare. The thing is, I cant decide whether I should go hoppy wheat ala Gumballhead or Hop Sun, or whether I should make a true Belgian Style Witbier, only with a big late hop addition for flavor. The big difference being the yeast. I would use a traditional witbier yeast if I went that route or just something cleaner like s-04 if it was just a hoppy wheat. Also, with the witbier I would still use the coriander and orange peel as late additions, they would just be accompanied by a big hop flavor addition. Heres my two recipes to see the difference.

Hoppy Wheat
SG - 1.052
FG - 1.012
5.2%abv
33 IBUs

5lb 2-row
4lb Wheat
1lb Oats
.25oz Summit 60min
.25oz Summit 30min
2oz Citra KO
ferment with s-04

Hoppy Wit
SG - 1.052
FG - 1.012
5.2% alc
20 IBUs

5lb 2-row
4lb Wheat
1lb Oats
.25oz Summit 60min
.5oz Coriander 5min
.5oz Fresh Orange Peel 5min
2oz Citra KO
ferment with WLP400 Belgian Wit

The changes are subtle, but I imagine the 2 beers to be dramatically different. Just know Im not worried about "to style", Im just going back and forth between which style I feel I should brew. Just figured any input is good.

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Old 05-22-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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Try 'em both and compare .

If I had to choose, I would go with the hoppy wheat recipe. Just seems the hop flavors will blend better in that beer. Not sure how the spice of the Belgian would pair with the hop...

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Old 05-22-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfavors
Try 'em both and compare .

If I had to choose, I would go with the hoppy wheat recipe. Just seems the hop flavors will blend better in that beer. Not sure how the spice of the Belgian would pair with the hop...
I'm leaning the other way partially because we don't know. I think hops work well with the spice, it's generally the bitterness that I think clashes. By keeping the bitterness low, it's all about the flavors melding. Even with a big late hop addition, I don't think it will overpower since I'm not dry hopping. It's all a guess though.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:12 PM   #4
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I made an imperial american wheat two months ago which is conditioning right now. I did 1 oz of warrior at 60, zero aroma additions, and will be adding 2 oz of cascade and 2 oz citra as hop tea before it gets kegged for the freshest possible hop flavor. I can't say for certain that this is an awesome beer but I'm pretty sure it's going to be one of my best.

The next beer I am going to make is a sorachi ace wit. Sorachi is supposed to taste kind of lemony, so I figured it would be good for a wit.

Those are just two ideas.

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Old 05-22-2011, 09:22 PM   #5
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sorachis definitely have a lemony flavor. they could work in this type of beer. I think with the one Im planning, the coriander will already give off a lemony note, the orange flavor will be there from the zest, and the citra should add some tropical fruit, grapefruit, and pine to go along with the spicy, slightly tart character of the yeast. I think im leaning this direction as I want a little of the belgian character

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Old 05-23-2011, 04:12 PM   #6
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I'd move some of the summit late, it'll add to the orange/tangerine flavor. I recently just did an american wheat with citra/summit and it came out great. I don't think you could go wrong with either yeast, I went with S-05, but was considering switching to 400 next time.

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Old 05-23-2011, 05:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27
I'd move some of the summit late, it'll add to the orange/tangerine flavor. I recently just did an american wheat with citra/summit and it came out great. I don't think you could go wrong with either yeast, I went with S-05, but was considering switching to 400 next time.
In this case, I already have the orange flavor from the zest so it's just a bittering hop. However, I have an IPA planned with summits and citra as late additions. I'm glad to hear your beer turned out great. How much of each did you you use late?
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:40 PM   #8
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I used about 1.25oz of each between the last 5 mins and dry hopping (only used a small bittering add beyond that). It gave a pretty big, fruity nose full of guava & tangerine.

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Old 05-25-2011, 12:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
I used about 1.25oz of each between the last 5 mins and dry hopping (only used a small bittering add beyond that). It gave a pretty big, fruity nose full of guava & tangerine.
sounds exactly what I am going for...except I may throw a small touch of chinook in there to give a little Pine and aggression so it isnt too fruity and one note so to speak. so i guess not "exactly'

After going back and reading Brewing with Wheat, Ive found out that Dieu du Ciel make a witbier like the one I want to make called cascade blanche. apparently it has big late additions and dry hops of cascades on top of their witbier recipe. I dont want to dry hop because I dont want to overwhelm. Im wondering if 2oz at KO is too much for a beer with such a light malt profile. I want the coriander, orange peel, and yeast to come through with that tropical/citrus hoppy note as well.

Any thoughts if 2oz of a potent hop like citra at KO without a dry hop might be too much for a 5% light wheat beer? I want it to be there, but not overpower.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:05 AM   #10
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I shall now make a grand, sweeping pronouncement. You have been warned.

Late hops in Witbier = Blech. Hops are not part of the spice profile of Witbier. Period. Coriander, bitter orange peel, perhaps paradise seed; these are what I expect to find. Not hops. Dieu du Ciel only ever brewed the above-referenced beer once, in 2009. Let the tropical citrus come from where it's supposed to come from - bitter Curaçao orange peel.

If you must brew a hop bomb - and really? Why? Just brew a refreshing wheat beer to style and call it a day - carpet-bomb an American Wheat.

That's my two cents!

Bob

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