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Puppy's Surprise Spiced Wheat Ale

Classification: wheat ale, spiced wheat, orange peel, all-grain

Source: Bryan Maloney,, r.c.b., 2/18/96

This is inspired by a commercial brew, "Blue Moon Ale", which claims to be "Belgian" but tasted more like a spiced Weizen. My wife liked it enough to want to try to do something similar, but with more clove aroma. Looking over the ingredient list on the bottle and doing a little reading led to the following.

Since the original claimed to be "Belgian" in inspiration, I'm planning to use "Belgian" malts. However, with all the wheat and the oats, will the pale malt have enough enzymatic activity? Should I switch to klages or even to 6-row.

I specified "sweet orange peel" for this recipe mostly from warnings I read against a "Sunkist taste" from ordinary orange peel. Is it really that big a difference? I've heard of sweet orange (mediterranean) peel in baking, so I'm not confused about what this ingredient is. I've never compared "eating" peel to "sweet" peel in cooking, so I don't have direct experience with how big a difference there really is.

I intend to pre-boil my water, dropping the calcium to around 55ppm and carbonate to 40ppm. While I don't do this for my dark ales, I think it will be necessary for this one.



Boil oats in 3 gallons (11l) water until gelatinized. Replace lost volume with cold water and adjust temperature to 125F (52C). Add malts. Stir slowly until grist is completely mixed into water. Measure pH and adjust to 5.3 with gypsum.

Heat to 130F (55C) if temperature has fallen too low and rest at this temperature 45 minutes, stirring every 15 and boosting temperature as needed.

Boost temperature to 150F (65C) and rest 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes and heating to 150F (65C) every 30 minutes.

Sparge with 4 gallons (15l) water, pH 5.7, 170F (75C).

Boil 30 minutes and add first hop aliquot. Boil another 30 minutes and add the second and add the first aliquot of orange peel (pre-soak peel in water if dried). Boil another 20 minutes and add second aliquot of orange peel. Add finishing spices at end of boil and sit 15 minutes on stove, flame off.

Chill to 50F (10C) and rack into secondary. Sit overnight and rack wort off trub in the morning. Wort pH should be between 5.0 and 5.3 at pitching. Pitch yeast.

Rack to carboy when primary fermentation is done and add isinglas. Settle 4-5 days.

Prime with sugar and bottle.