We're over 105* (middle of May as I'm writing this), so it's officially Summer in Phoenix. Time to say goodbye to 90* temperatures, I'll see you again sometime in late October. I'm definitely in mood for something nice and citrusy for the hot weather. I absolutely love Lagunitas - A Little Sumpin' Sumpin', but the 7.5% ABV sneaks up on you. So I want to make something along those lines, but with less booze.

Using Sumpin' Sumpin' as my inspiration, I'm brewing a hoppy American wheat. The grain bill is pretty simple on this one: even split of 2-row/wheat malt, and a little C20. Initially, I planned on brewing this with only Citra hops, but at the last minute I decided to toss a little Amarillo in the mix. I'm also going to use Hop Extract for the bittering charge. I've yet to use hop extract, but I'm going to be brewing a Pliny the Younger clone very soon, and I'd rather get the trial run out of the way with a batch that isn't so expensive.

The target gravity was 1.058, which I missed by quite a bit (1.052). I'm not exactly sure what the reason was, but I'm thinking the crush on the wheat wasn't quite tight enough. On a beer like this, I really don't care though, it'll be tasty either way. The hop extract was interesting to use. When we added it to the kettle, it definitely smells like hops, and it turns the wort a little green just like pellets. Pretty cool stuff; I'm going to continue to experiment with it.

P.S. Whatever you do, don't taste taste the hop extract. I put about a pinhead-sized amount on my finger, and all I could taste for an hour was bitter. 

Brewed: 05-19-12
Dry Hopped: 05-28-12
Kegged: 06-03-12
ABV: 5.6%
IBU: ~38
6 Gallons

5.5lbs 2-Row
5.5lbs American Wheat
8oz Crystal 20
Mash @ 151*
3.5ml Hop Extract @ 60
1oz Citra/Amarillo blend @ 15
2oz Citra/Amarillo blend @ 0
Dry hop 1oz Citra - Days 1-8
Dry hop 1oz Amarillo - Days 5-8
15 grams US-05 @ 62*

For some reason, this beer over attenuated. I've never had US05 take a beer under 1.010 that didn't have some simple sugars in it. I make pale ales around this gravity and mash temp all the time, so I'm a little confused. The funny part is, this beer is really refreshing being as dry as it is; it wasn't what I had planned, but it works really well. It has an almost saison-like quality due to the dryness, and the fruitiness from the hops.

The aroma smells like Amarillo and Citra; they are very distinct together. It has a very bright, tropical/citrus aroma. There's also some breadiness from the wheat. The flavor is similar. This beer is balanced toward the hops, but it isn't bitter. There's just enough bitterness in there to balance the malt, but you wouldn't take a sip and think it's bitter. Similarly, Amarillo and Citra give an almost sweet quality to the beer which is really refreshing.

I suppose the only problem would be the repeatability of this batch. I'd wonder if I brewed it again if it would finish higher and taste like a completely different beer. I'll worry about that later though, and go back to enjoying this fantastic summertime wheat.


  1. Thanks for the writeup on this. I used it this weekend as the inspiration for my own brew. I used a bit less grain to keep ABV a bit lower and used Citra as the bittering addition @ 60. Also just used 50% 2-Row & 50% Wheat Malt as the grain bill. On impulse, I dropped .25oz bitter orange peel @ 5 minutes to give it a hint of orange and pitched 007. I'm excited to see how it comes out.

    1. Awesome. I hope it turns out well. I think the orange peel will work really nice in this beer. I'm nursing the last few drops of my keg.

  2. If it's really good, I'll send you a bottle. I'm in NJ now, but used to live in Gilbert. I really like your blog and have it in my feed. Keep it up!

  3. Hello,

    I'm looking to brew something very similar for my next batch...I'd like to make something closer to 4.6% abv than 5.6% abv. Would simply scaling all the grains down to meet my desired OG (and scale IBU down to meet the same BU:GU ratio) yield a similar beer? Anything else I should consider?

    Thanks man! Love your blog as always!

    1. I would think so. You might mash 1-2* warmer to keep the body from getting too thin, but otherwise it should turn out great.

    2. Awesome thanks man!

  4. I want to make this for the spring/summer. It sounds awesome. Did you just use a 50/50 blend of the citra/amarillo in the blend? Loving your blog, I brewed the american amber 2.0 a couple of weeks ago but haven't been able to free up any space in the kegs to get it packaged.

    1. Yup, 50/50 blend. Hope it turns out well for you!

  5. Hey Scott, been following the blog for some time now and really appreciate all the valuable info you share for each brew!
    I am looking to make something similar to this. As someone else mentioned I am thinking of adding sweet tangerine peel to add that little something. Unfortunately I can't get my hands on any Amarillo at the moment.
    Care to suggest a substitute for it (or more since I am not sure I will be able to get your first pick either)?
    Also I am going to be using whatever combo comes with Citra for bittering, instead of extract.

    Thanks and keep up the awesome work

    1. That sounds really good with the tangerine peel. You could sub Cascade or Centennial for Amarillo. It would be a little different, but still make an excellent beer.

      I would suggest again using Citra for bittering, as I haven't liked the results the few times I've done it. You can use anything clean like Warrior, Magnum, Apollo, Nugget, or whatever for the bittering addition. Just match up the AAUs

    2. I couldn't find Citra either actually and improvised with two hops that i rather enjoy and haven't used together in a way like this: motueka and summit. hopefully the result wont be completely off.
      I can use magnum for bittering since I have some stock of it and its my main bittering hop in general.
      Will let you know how it pans out!

    3. btw cascade and centennial are out of the question too.
      I come from Greece and usually order American varieties from Belgium, but since I would like to brew this soon I am going to try and make it work with what I can find locally

  6. Just brewed a batch of this replacing the hop extract with 15g Amarillo @ 60min, turned out just right imo. Cheers for the recipe!!


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