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Old 12-11-2009, 03:23 PM   #1
mrkeeg
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Default What flavour does malted wheat contribute?

I'm curious.

I see wheat often used:
-for head size/retention (Small amounts)
-for cloudy appearance (small amounts)
-in combination with special yeasts or flavourings that result in very distinct beers (larger amounts)

So... what does wheat malt itself bring as a flavour to beer? If you brewed a straight-forward lager with 30-40% wheat, what would be the taste difference between that and a standard all-barley malt lager?

Thoughts?
Thanks!

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Old 12-11-2009, 03:29 PM   #2
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this is a great question. I think a blind taste test would be revealing. I think wheat makes for a different mouthfeel and some describe it as adding "chewiness" to the beer. I bet I would struggle to tell a difference in the taste test. Depending on the yeast used you might get some noticable differences though.

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Old 12-11-2009, 03:51 PM   #3
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Big Rock in Calgary makes a very clean, crisp, clear wheatbeer (called "Grasshopper") They say it is an ale... I might have to re-taste-test it tonight.

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Old 12-12-2009, 10:27 AM   #4
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Best way to sample the flavor for yourself is to buy a wheat beer that uses a neutral yeast rather than a yeast with a lot of character. For me here, that'd be Erdinger. Widmer also uses (I think) just Wyeast 1007 German Ale in their wheat beer, so it's not all banana and cloves. If you drink one of those, you get more of the wheat character showing through so you can judge for yourself...

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Old 12-12-2009, 02:45 PM   #5
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Makes it 'fluffier'...I've never been able to distinguish a specific taste though

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Old 12-12-2009, 02:46 PM   #6
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German Hefe Weizens are ales...

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Old 12-14-2009, 01:37 AM   #7
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Cool well thanks for the thoughts. Made a straightforward, clean ale today with:

5 lb pale 2-row
3 lb malted wheat
1.5 lb vienna
.5 light crystal

Set it up with S-05 and a cool ferment... We'll see how it comes!

(Bittered with centennial, but finished with some saaz I've been dying to use... weird I know.. but we'll see?) ("Cream of wheat" Ale?)

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Old 12-14-2009, 07:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmansfield View Post
this is a great question. I think a blind taste test would be revealing. I think wheat makes for a different mouthfeel and some describe it as adding "chewiness" to the beer. I bet I would struggle to tell a difference in the taste test. Depending on the yeast used you might get some noticable differences though.
+1 on this. I like a little bit of wheat in my ales fo help round out the body. In higher percentages, you might also get a slight sour tinge
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:28 AM   #9
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Reporting back on the experiment (... a term I use loosely... a proper experiment would have involved a parallel recipe with extra 2row in place of the wheat, and everything else the same...)

My hope was that the fairly basic recipe would let the character of the wheat shine through, and I think it worked, to a degree.

I'm not sure this will help anyone else at all, but it gave me a bit of a sense of what the wheat would contribute. To my underdeveloped palate, there is a certain 'zing' in both aroma and taste that I haven't tasted in my other beers. There is a bit of extra 'fullness' of mouth-feel. I guess I could agree with the "chewiness" comment, even in this light beer.

I wish I had better words to describe taste and aroma. There is an aroma I recognize from fruit-wheat beers, which I had always associated with the fruit, but I guess I was wrong.

Anyone else trying this recipe 'for educational purposes' may wish to use more malted wheat (trade 1:1 for the 2row), to really see where it took the taste. I think you could get away with another pound at least, especially if you used rice hulls in the mash.

On a side note... I love hops, but other taste-testers have told me the finish is too bitter, so maybe I would tone that down in a subsequent "pale wheat" (1oz of 11.5% centennial at 60, 0.5oz saaz at 15 and flamout) Overall, the beer is enjoyable but a bit hollow in the center (nice aroma, then a tasty finish with a bit of bitter aftertaste... but not much in between. Also, did not clear very well, even with irish moss in the boil and gelatin in the secondary (I probably could have cold crashed for longer than a day, though....)

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Old 01-03-2010, 04:14 AM   #10
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Gosh, it is hard to describe the flavor of wheat in a beer now that you mention it. I think slight tart/creamy/bready flavors are what I associate with wheat.

Find and Oberon and drink it. There is some other stuff going on there, but its a good example of a wheat beer that doesn't use real hefeweizen yeast.

Here's a tasty & simple recipe via Jamil:
4 lb 2-Row
4 lb Malted Wheat
1.50 oz Willamette @ 60min
0.50 oz Willamette @ 1
0.33 oz Centennial @1
US-05 dry yeast

I've made it before and it was enjoyed by the BMC crowd for sure. Friend of mine did it with some ginger & lemon zest and it was a close clone to Sam Adam's Summer Ale.

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