Pale Wheat vs White Wheat in a Hefe

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Pale Wheat vs White Wheat in a Hefe

Postby PhilG » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:37 pm

I'm making my first Hefe, and I have both Pale Wheat and White Wheat. My recipe is 50% Pilsner and 50% Wheat.

Is there any difference between the two wheats? Is one better than the other for a Hefe?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Re: Pale Wheat vs White Wheat in a Hefe

Postby seymour » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:00 am

Either would work fine, and both would be considered 100% authentic. Indeed, they're likely the same thing, and really only a semantic difference.

I would assume both are pale-coloured malted white wheat. Your "Pale Wheat" refers to the depth of colour derived during the drying stage of the malt process. See, Pale Wheat Malt as opposed to Crystal Wheat Malt, Chocolate Wheat Malt, Midnight Wheat, Roasted Wheat, etc. Your "White Wheat" refers to the specific grain cultivar which was malted, most likely to differentiate it from Red Wheat.

From Wikipedia, "There are six wheat classifications: 1) hard red winter, 2) hard red spring, 3) soft red winter, 4) durum (hard), 5) hard white, and 6) soft white wheat. The hard wheats have the most amount of gluten and are used for making bread, rolls and all-purpose flour. The soft wheats are used for making flat bread, cakes, pastries, crackers, muffins, and biscuits..."

If a maltster/brewer simply says Wheat Malt, you can safely assume it's made from white wheat. From what I gather, Red Wheat is less common, but these excellent breweries go out of their way to specify Red Wheat Malt: Blackstone, The Civil Life, FiftyFifty, Lagunitas, Maine Beer, Millstream, New Glarus, Red Eye, Union Craft. In several of those cases, the red wheat was unmalted.

I've used both and personally prefer red wheat. I find red wheat a bit more grainy, husky, bready, with better head retention and fuller mouthfeel. By comparison, white wheat is more soft and neutral, like white bread. It all depends on what you're going for...and your mileage may vary.
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Re: Pale Wheat vs White Wheat in a Hefe

Postby PhilG » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:12 pm

Good feedback, I appreciate it.
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