Recommendation: Use two or three late hop additions for 15 to 60% of the total IBUs.
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American wheat beers often have a grist that is similar to a hefeweizen: 30 to 70% wheat and the rest being American two-row malt. There is no need for crystal or aromatic malts. The wheat can come in several forms, such as malted wheat, flaked wheat, or torrified wheat. Zainasheff suggests that part of the base malt, about 25% of the total grain bill, could be pilsner malt or American pale ale malt. A single stage mash of 150F (66C) to 152F (67C) works well. Rice hulls are a good idea for preventing a stuck sparge.
A variation is to use rye malt or flaked rye for part of the grist. This can add a spicy character. Zainasheff prefers replacing "about half of the wheat with rye", which would probably be around 25% rye. The rye proportion can go up to 50% for a more assertive rye character.
American wheat beers should use American hops: Cascade, Columbus, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe, and Willamette are good choices. The recipes in the sources use two or three late hop additions for hop flavor and aroma. One strategy is to use a C-hop for bittering and then use a more aromatic variety like Mosaic or Galaxy as a finishing hop. Use some restraint. Christensen (2016) feels that too much hop character can overwhelm the more subtle wheat flavors.
American ale yeast is the standard yeast. Wyeast and White Labs also have specialized American wheat beer strains.
Christensen, E. (2016; July-August). Three ways to wheat. BYO, 56-65.
Zainasheff, J. (2010; July-August). American wheat/rye: Refreshing and easy drinking. BYO, 19-22.
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