When we started playing with brew in a bag we wanted to use the technique to do some side by side experimentation. Our first experiment was to compare red vs. white wheat. Those beers are ready and we review our tasting notes in this weeks video!
Both of us felt that the red wheat was somewhat more robust. It had a slightly stronger grain character. It seemed more grainy, but not by much. The white wheat was slightly crisper maybe more softer on the edges of the palate range. The white wheat malt beer was slightly cloudier and seemed to retain its head a little better.
Both beers had a slight apple like note to it. Not a green apple acetaldehyde character, more of an apple juice or cider like quality. Some people reference a “tartness” when using wheat, perhaps this is where that idea comes from. John chalked this flavor profile up to being that thirst quenching character most people expect out of wheat based beers (albeit not at 100% wheat levels).
Both beers had a crisp mouthfeel. Mashed at 154F its interesting to note that the beers seemed very light almost as if they wort was produced at a lower mash temp range.
I think I was expecting more head. Really thick foam. Many brewers believe that adding a pound or two to a 5 gallon batch will help with head retention. These two beers seemed to have no more head than a standard barley malt beer. Further research into that I think is needed. Perhaps another round of wheat beers ranging in wheat percentage would be interesting. Say 100%, 75%, 50%, 25% and 10% wheat complimented by 2 row barley.
What’s the final take home here… I am not really sure. Red vs. White Wheat might get lost in a more complex beer like a dunkelwiesse. It might even get lost in a German or Belgian Style Wheat beers as the yeast character is the prominent feature. If I was trying to pick between the two for an American wheat summer beer I’d be hard pressed to maybe not use both split evenly. Taking the red wheat for its slightly more robust wheat like presence and using some white for its cleanliness and crisp character. Hard to say without more research.
And I guess that means its time for more brew in the bag sessions on our end.