Although Belgian wheat beer is not as common as old-time favorite hops and barley brews, it is worth the try. When wheat beer isn’t brewed right, it can be a bit cloudy and tart. Wheat beer actually tastes good if the proportions are right and the method is followed correctly. Common mistakes happen during the process, especially considering that brewing wheat is quite complicated, and the wheat itself is difficult to brew. Brewing Belgian wheat beer can be accomplished with a traditional beer mixture and recipe. A few changes are required, but the same equipment is used.
Before starting the process of brewing, the very first thing that the brewer should do is to prepare the equipment. Everything should be carefully cleaned with brewing approved cleansers and sanitized with safe solutions. It is equally important to check all the material for soap residue. Ignoring the cleaning and sanitation will most likely lead to a disaster. This is because soap residues have components that could interact with the ingredients. When this happens, fermentation will not be achieved, and the by-product is a waste. Properly clean and sanitize everything that may come in contact with the mixture, including the barrels and buckets.
The next step is to choose the primary blend of Belgian wheat and barley. If cloudiness is not a concern, the barley can be omitted. Otherwise, opt for three to one proportion. With this, brewers can ensure that the cloudiness will be reduced, making the beer more presentable.
When everything is all set, start boiling the necessary amount of water. Usually, people use three to six gallons. As it boils, add the malt extracts. Brewers can either use wheat dry malt extracts or the wheat liquid malt extracts. Allow the water to boil again and add in the hops. For Belgian wheat beer, an ounce of Styrian Golding Hop Pellets is used for bittering. For the flavor, an ounce of Saaz Hop Pellets is added to the mixture. It is possible to try other hops mixtures. For beginners, it is best to experiment using other kinds of hops. This is the basis for the final flavor of the product. Many brewers suggest adding coriander seed or dried orange peel for a more delightful and fruity taste. Other fruits and nuts can also be used if desired.
With this mixture added, allow it to boil for another hour. While this process goes on, prepare cold water in a large basin or sink. After one hour, remove it from the heat and cool it down using the prepared basin. Then, add the yeast to the mixture. Brewers may use Belgian Wit or the Wyeast. It should be placed on a sealed container for fermentation for about two weeks. The recommended fermentation temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
After two weeks, pour sugar into the mixture. This makes the yeast carbonate the beer. Proper sealing of the container is very important. Allow it to settle for another two weeks.
The waiting is over after four weeks of fermentation. The container can then be opened. Smell and taste the fruit of your labor. Pour the beer into clean and sanitized bottles, chill and serve it proudly. Remember, even the bottles used for transferring and serving the product can affect the taste of the beer. Make sure that they are properly cleaned, dried and a hundred percent free from soap residues and microorganisms.
Brewing Belgian wheat beer is very challenging, but truly rewarding. When planning the next batch, consider trying other flavors. Most importantly, never forget to clean up the equipment as soon as possible.