Three Floyds Gumballhead Wheat

A Hoppy American Wheat? Yep.

Are you a fan of hops? Do you like a refreshing, crisp, light wheat beer on a hot summer's day? Well, this is the beer for you if you answered YES to both of those questions. Gumballhead by Three Floyds brewing in Munster Indiana is sort of a bastardization of a typical, refreshing American Wheat style mixed with a citrusy, hop-forward West Coast style pale ale or IPA.

Gumballhead is your typical wheat color and retains the expected wheat haze. The Amarillo hops impart a citrus, floral, refreshing bitterness that makes this a great beer to brew for summertime.

The Recipe

The Gumballhead homebrew recipe presented here starts with a typical Wheat/2-Row malt blend standard in American Wheat style beers. A bit of CaraVienne malt is added for some interest, sweetness, and the tiniest bit of color.
The hoppiness, and most of the interest in this beer, comes from the use of Amarillo hops with the majority used to impart flavor and especially aroma characteristics.

This recipe is a good example of the 'HopBurst' technique that balances the hop additions in such a way that the majority of the total IBU contribution comes from additions that will impart more aroma than just hop bitterness. This recipe could have just used an ounce of Amarillo at 60 minutes and some at the end - but instead it is balanced toward the last 15 minutes.

First Wort Hopping is said to impart the same bitterness as a 20-minute addition to a recipe and retain the essential oils that impart flavor and aroma characteristics. This works because the alpha acids and compounds that would normally boil off during the entire 60 minutes of boiling are isomerized and stay with the wort for the most part throughout the boil.

All Grain Recipe - Gumball Head Wheat ::: 1.052/1.012 (6 Gal)

Grain Bill (70% Efficiency assumed)

6 lbs. - Wheat Malt
5 lbs. - 2-Row Pale Malt
1 lb. - Caravienne Malt

Hop Schedule (27 IBU)

1/4 oz. - Amarillo - First Wort Hop
1/4 oz. - Amarillo - 60 min.
1/2 oz. - Amarillo - 15 min.
1.25 oz. - Amarillo - 5 min.
1 oz. - Amarillo - 1 min.
1.5 oz. - Amarillo - Dry Hop


White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001) - 1800 ml starter


Mash at 153° for 60 min.
Sparge as usual
Cool and ferment at 68° to 70°


Several people have brewed this and reported good results.

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