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Old 01-14-2009, 06:58 PM   #1
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Default Wheat ale vs wheat lager

Had a Sam Adams Winter lager which is a "dark wheat lager". Like several of their beers their dark flavor (for me it's burned) i didn't care for much, but it got me thinking. As I do not have enough experience thought I'd ask before going off and brewing 2 half batches of American wheat with everything the same except the yeast and temps. I was thinking I will brew an American wheat similar to a Harpoon UFO or an SA Summer Ale (without the lemon zest and Grains of Paradise) to try to learn the difference between wheat ale and lager. Also plan an American lager with lager and Ale yeasts to try an learn the differences but want to start trying to understand before hand.

Can anyone with experience educate me as to what the differences may be between the two beers? Also was wondering why this is the only Wheat Lager I've seen vs many Wheat ales on the market.

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Old 01-14-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
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BPD,
I haven't had it so am just guessing here but it could be a dark version of...
'"Weissbierpils", Germany's youngest beer style, created by Brewmaster Hubert Brandl in 2005 and first brought to market by the Adler Bräu of Amerdingen and the Fürst Wallerstein Brauhaus AG in Wallertstein, both in Bavaria. This "white beer pilsner," or WeiPi for short, is a hybrid brew made by blending Germany's most popular beer, Pils, a barley-based lager which holds about 61% of the German and 20% of the Bavarian market with Germany's third-most popular beer, Weissbier, a wheat-based ale which holds about 8.5% of the German and 35% of the Bavarian market. The blending occurs in the cellar during fermentation at a ratio of 53% Weissbier and 47% Pils. The resulting beer has about 5.2% alcohol by volume and combines what some believe is the best of both possible worlds, namely the Weissbier's fruity-spicy notes and the Pils' clean-tasting, assertive up-front bitterness. As of February 2006, eleven German breweries were making WeiPi under Herr Brandl's license'.

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Old 01-14-2009, 07:46 PM   #3
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BPD,
I got that info from German Beer Styles a great site for German beer definitions.
mark
Beer Diary...

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:26 AM   #4
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Just be sure to let us know how the split batch experiment turns out!

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPD View Post
Had a Sam Adams Winter lager which is a "dark wheat lager". Like several of their beers their dark flavor (for me it's burned) i didn't care for much, but it got me thinking. As I do not have enough experience thought I'd ask before going off and brewing 2 half batches of American wheat with everything the same except the yeast and temps. I was thinking I will brew an American wheat similar to a Harpoon UFO or an SA Summer Ale (without the lemon zest and Grains of Paradise) to try to learn the difference between wheat ale and lager. Also plan an American lager with lager and Ale yeasts to try an learn the differences but want to start trying to understand before hand.

Can anyone with experience educate me as to what the differences may be between the two beers? Also was wondering why this is the only Wheat Lager I've seen vs many Wheat ales on the market.
UFO is an American-style Hefeweizen. This means that it closely follows the Bavarian Hefeweizen style rather than the Belgian Wit style with one noticeable difference. That is that the American Hefeweizen uses yeast strains that aren't as heavy on the estery, phenolic (bananna clove flavors/aromas) leading to a lighter, fruity character with almost a light, near-citrusy sweetness. This style doesn't use spices, fruit, etc like its belgian cousin. The Belgian Wit/Wheat style uses that distinctive clove/peppery phenolic finish as well as using spices/fruit. Sam Adams Summer Ale is a classic Belgian Wit style.

These are both ales that predominantly need the "punchiness" of flavor and aroma that only an ale yeast can provide. Lager yeasts provide a much cleaner, mellower flavor profile so you won't get a lot of those esters and phenols like from the ale yeasts.

I hope this info makes things a little clearer!
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GloHoppa View Post
These are both ales that predominantly need the "punchiness" of flavor and aroma that only an ale yeast can provide. Lager yeasts provide a much cleaner, mellower flavor profile so you won't get a lot of those esters and phenols like from the ale yeasts.

I hope this info makes things a little clearer!
It does Thanks. So a wheat lager would be crisper and milder and the flavors of any additives would be sharper?
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:58 AM   #7
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It does Thanks. So a wheat lager would be crisper and milder and the flavors of any additives would be sharper?
Basically, yeah...if you're looking to recreate a beer like UFO or SA Summer, you need to use an ale yeast.

If you wanted to do a wheat lager, you should probably think about varying your malt bill and using regular wheat malt, dark wheat malt, cara wheat, etc
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:48 PM   #8
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not looking to recreate but looking to brew something good with each type of yeast everything else being the same. just for the learning experience and to see why there are wheat ales but not many wheat lagers. was thinking a UFO or SA like beer since this is what I can drink and my wife likes also. thanks for the info and any addition future help, will ask once I get it going.
Ben

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Old 01-15-2009, 11:21 PM   #9
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a wheat lager is basically just a wheat beer that uses lager yeast. you don't get the same characteristics as you would with a traditional wiesse-bier, because all the clove/banana notes come from the yeast.

i'd stick with a traditional hefeweizen recipe, something like:

60/40 wheat/pilsner

and add a small amount of carafa for color and then use a nice clean lager yeast.

wheat ales are what you see in the bjcp guidelines:

German Wheat Ales

American Wheat

The american wheat can actually be made with a lager yeast, although your color will be off for the style if you're going darker.

i've tried an american wheat made with the cream ale blend, and it was most excellent.

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Old 01-16-2009, 11:50 AM   #10
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If you want to do a beer that shows the versatility of wheat, look no further than this puppy

"Latin for "wheat," Triticus is a strong and dark wheat wine-style ale that boasts 14.3% alcohol-by-volume. The blend of 50% wheat malts, including caramel and chocolate, provides color and depth of flavor. Complex hopping and dry-hopping lends a delicate spiciness and just enough balance to complement its strength. Once brewed, the Triticus was transferred to 50-gallon bourbon barrels and aged at the brewery for over 2 months"

dark wheat wines!

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