What is Wheat Beer

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Wheat beer shares some of the basic ingredients with other types of beer, but there are a few unique differences that set this brew apart.

What is Wheat Beer?

Quite simply, wheat beer is a beer made with wheat! More specifically, it is a beer that is made with more wheat than barley. All beers start with fermenting grain and most of them use barley as the dominant grain. However, the use of more malted wheat creates a pleasantly sweet and tangy taste. Lager and ale are the 2 types of yeast used by brewers, and wheat beers are made with ale yeast. Many pounds of wheat go into each batch, and a liter of beer can contain anywhere from 10-40 milligrams of gluten, so wheat beer is definitely not gluten-free for those with an intolerance or allergy.

Nutrition Facts

Wheat beer is rich in calories and carbohydrates. It does not contain significant amounts of fats, vitamins, or any minerals.

Glasses of wheat beer and wheat ears on a wooden table

Types of Wheat Beer

The different types of wheat beer include Hefeweizen, Witbier or white beer, Berliner Weisse, and many more.

  • Weissbier or Hefeweizen: It is a traditional German beer from the state of Bavaria.
  • Witbier: Also known as white beer, this kind of beer is native to Belgium and the Netherlands. It is named for its hazy color, which is usually quite pale.
  • Berliner Weisse: It is a less common sour wheat beer, but also very popular in Europe.
  • Lambic: It is strong, funky beer and often brewed with ripe fruits for a distinctive taste
  • Gose beers: They are flavored with coriander and salt and are perhaps the most divisive of all wheat beers.

How to Make Wheat Beer

The ratio of grains and the type of yeast you use will yield wildly different results. Once you have a home-brew kit, follow these basic steps:

  • Step 1: Boil malted wheat and barley in a large mesh bag in a covered kettle.
  • Step 2: Remove the grain bag and add hops in their own mesh bags.
  • Step 3: Cool the liquid and transfer to a fermenting container.
  • Step 4: Add your desired yeast, seal, and ferment for 1-2 weeks.
  • Step 5: Bottle, chill and enjoy!

Make sure you drink in moderation!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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