Perfecting 6 ~ American Wheat

Today I am getting the starters ready for the American Wheat.  This will be the first brew of 2015 as well as the first time the brew room is in operation  other than being used for something storage related.


I’ll be brewing 12 gallons instead of the normal 6 because my friend Ted Saxe will be joining me.  I figured it was easier to break it into two 1 liter starters.


I’ll post notes in the comments of this blog post to document the steps for comparison with the next brewing session of the American Wheat!


Perfecting 6…

A few posts back I was planning on brewing all 80 recipes from JZ’s book Brewing Classic Styles. However, I couldn’t figure out where to start let alone how many fermenters I would need or how I was going to consume all that beer. Then the boys at were talking about getting back to the basics and picking 5 beers and perfecting them. After a couple days of reading JZ’s book I found 6 recipes that I wanted to brew but couldn’t slim it down to the final 5 so I decided to leave it at 6.  Those 6 are Blonde Ale, American Wheat, American Pilsner, Irish Ale, Bier De Garde, and a Dry Stout.

I’ll post as I brew them and then add brewing notes to the comments.  This Saturday I will be brewing with Ted Saxe.  We’ll be brewing the American Wheat.

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout -
Recipe: American Wheat
Brewer: Jeff Mitchell
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Wheat or Rye Beer
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 13.79 gal
Post Boil Volume: 12.74 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 11.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 3.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 19.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 83.5 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 50.0 %
10 lbs Wheat - Red Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM) Grain 2 50.0 %
2.00 oz Willamette [5.60 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 3 16.5 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [11.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 4 3.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Willamette [5.60 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 5 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg American Wheat Ale (Wyeast Labs #1010) [ Yeast 6 -

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 20 lbs
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 25.00 qt of water at 159.1 F 148.0 F 75 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (3.05gal, 6.90gal) of 168.0 F water

Water Profiles

As anyone in the brewing world will tell you, your water profile is a major key and ingredient for getting the beers you want to taste as they should. In March of 2011 I sent water samples out to Ward Labs in Kearney, Nebraska to get my water tested. It didn’t take that long for the results and wasn’t all that expensive either, I think I paid about $20 for the test in 2011. Once I received the B-and-E water profile I was able to put it into Beersmith but really didn’t know what to do with it. So it just sat idle and I continued to brew beer without any adjustment to my water.

The ‘Water Profile’ conversation was recently resurrected at my online watering hole HomeBrewChatter which got me to thinking about it all over again. I dug out the water analysis and along with this EZ Water Calculator was able to figure out what I needed to modify my mash profile to hopefully make better beer.

The question that comes up though is how much can a water profile change in 3.5 years. If your water is like mine and is piped in from the City of Milwaukee it could change a lot or not at all. One would hope that it doesn’t change at all. Well, we are going to find out. I’ll post the results of the test here once I get them. I also think I am going to do a test with and without modifying the water profile just to see how important the water profile really is.

If you would like to order a Homebrew water test use this link. All you really need is the W-6 Household test.

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