First Extract Brew - Wheat Beer

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CaptBrew8386

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So I got into the hobby about 3 yrs ago and I've made a handful of batches using the Mr. Beer kit. I've really enjoyed it! I've made some really crappy beer and some half decent stuff.

I've decided to make the jump to larger batches and started buying the equipment I need. With the Mr. Beer kits, I simply followed the instructions and for the most part I've made out okay. But I'd like to get into really putting the whole puzzle together.

I've never added hops to my beers or any kind of additional flavorings. I've always used the yeast that came with the kit/refills. I've also never followed a beer recipe, per se.

So I'm really looking forward to getting outside with all my new brewing equipment!

I want to make a wheat beer for the summer. I love how refreshing wheat beers are on a hot summer day! I've been looking at a lot of recipes on here and I've managed to pool together some things I think I'll like. But I'm not sure how good it will be so I'm hoping maybe some of you can offer me your opinions/critiques.

Here is what I'm looking to brew:

Steep
1lb Honey malt (20-30min steep in 3gal water)

Malt
3.3lbs Wheat LME (60 min)
3.3lbs Wheat LME (10 min)

Hops
1oz Hallertau (60 min)
.5oz Hallertau (5-10 min)

Yeast
WLP320 or WLP300

I'm most open to hops and yeast suggestions. Since I've never brewed with hops before, I'm kind of at a loss. Same goes for the yeast, I've always used the included packets. I took a brewing class at my LHBS and they used White Labs which they have a large selection of.

I don't like hoppy beers (I'll probably never brew an IPA) so I'm just looking for a touch of it.

I'm also considering adding some fruit. I was thinking of getting a second carboy and doing a secondary ferment with peaches or berries. Or going for a simple honey-orange combo.

Look forward to any help you guys can offer!
 

ChelisHubby

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I would cut the honey malt to 1/2 lb Is this for a 5 gallon batch?:)
 

chickypad

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I think the recipe looks good if you cut down the honey malt - I've not actually used it but it sounds like it can be a bit strong. The main decision is whether you want an American style that's pretty clean or a German hefe that will give the banana and clove, that will determine the yeast. Personally if you are going to add fruit I would say go American style with the WL320 or something like US-05.
 

brewprint

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Heck I would keep the full pound of the honey malt. I love honey malt. It brings a nice sweetness along with a little nuttiness (not much). Seems like there's a lot of folks on the forums that don't care for it.

I really think that the whole recipe looks good. Personally I would try it without the fruit. However; I made an extract wheat last summer and added a bottle of raspberry extract at bottling time and it was awesome. I've never added fruit or anything like that to a brew before.
 

ChelisHubby

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It depends on how much honey you want, if you want it subtle I would go with 6 ounces if you want it Bold go with a lb!
 
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CaptBrew8386

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I think I'll go with a pound and see what happens!

I've been doing some reading on hops. Thinking of switching the hops to Citra. Maybe the citrus will help balance the honey. Thoughts??
 

chickypad

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Did you decide on a yeast? Just my opinion but I would not use citra in a German style hefe. I've experimented with using strong American hops paired with big character yeasts (mostly Belgians but I would lump german hefes in there) and I keep coming back to using noble styles. For me there's often too much clash of flavors, though I know lots of folks like those combos. If you're going with an American style yeast citra would be fine if that's the direction you want to go. Sticking with the noble hops would be okay too - I often use them in my American wheats unless I'm going for more of a wheat IPA style. Comes down to personal preference and what you're after.
 
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CaptBrew8386

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I think I'm gonna go with the American yeast and see how that plays out.

I thought since I'm going with a pound of honey malt that a stronger citrus note would help balance it out.

Also, I just bought a giant kettle to do full boils. Would that change anything?
 

brewprint

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I think I'll go with a pound and see what happens!

I've been doing some reading on hops. Thinking of switching the hops to Citra. Maybe the citrus will help balance the honey. Thoughts??
I can't really say. Citra definitely gives a citra tone. If you use it I would go light because it's strong. I've only made IPAs with that hop.

I just brewed yesterday an American Wheat which is on this website and it called for centennial hops. Those are a fruity kind of hop but I also used Kolsch yeast. This beer was almost a 50/50 of 2 row and wheat. The extract version would be pilsen light and wheat LME or DME.
 
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CaptBrew8386

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Okay, so I'll go back to the original plan with Hallertau hops. I'll look into the Centennial as well, thanks!

I'll still go with the 1lb of honey malt, for science.

I plan on brewing this weekend so we'll see how it goes!
 

Kharnynb

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looks good, i personally make wheat beer with danstar munich and only hefe clones with wlp300.

I love honey and honey malt in my wheat beers, so if you got a good local source, add a pound of honey as well :D
 
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