Brew World-Class White Beer at Home!

Are you looking to explore the world of white beer styles in a simple and flavorful way? Homebrewing is the perfect way to experience a new style and develop your beer-making skills! With just a few key ingredient swaps, our universal white beer base recipe can be used to create any style of white beer. So, join us as we discover the delicious, versatile world of white beer styles right in your own home.

Homebrewing White Beer with a Universal Base Recipe

White beers, such as Belgian wits and German weissbiers, are among the oldest and most beloved styles of beer. For beginning homebrewers, it’s often the style of choice when learning to make beer for the first time. But more experienced brewers may want to experiment with different styles of white beer. The process of creating different styles can be somewhat daunting, with the knowledge and ingredients to create a variety of distinct flavors. Fortunately, homebrewers can easily utilize a “universal” base recipe to make a variety of different styles. By tweaking just a few ingredients, you can turn the same beer into a traditional wit, a hefeweizen, or even a Berliner weisse.

Starting with a universal white beer recipe as a base allows homebrewers to travel the world of beer styles by swapping out just a few key ingredients. Each style of beer has distinct characteristics, so maintaining the same base recipe while simply switching out a few key ingredients allows the brewer to have greater control and easier results. This tutorial will focus on the base recipe itself, and then dive into the unique ingredients that make up each type of white beer.

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Creating the Base Recipe for Your White Beer

Creating your own white beer with a universal base recipe is relatively easy. The ingredients for each recipe may vary, but the following items will be base essentials for each style:

  • 7 lbs of pale ale or Pilsner malt
  • 1 lb of wheat malt
  • 1 lb of flaked wheat, barley or oat
  • ½ lb of dextrose or table sugar
  • 1 oz of hops (any variety)
  • 1 package of dry Ale yeast (or liquid yeast, such as California Ale)

These ingredients, when mashed together and boiled according to the normal homebrewing process, will create a universal white beer upon fermentation. The beer should remain pale in color and have a crisp, dry finish. Depending on the yeast you use, the beer could be classified as an ale, although you could turn it into a lager by using a lager yeast.

Tweaking the Recipe for Different Styles of Beer

Assuming the standard base recipe, you can craft many different styles of beer just by adding or substituting a few ingredients. Here are a few of the most popular types of white beer:

Belgian Wit

The Belgian Wit is one of the most popular and recognizable styles of white beer. It’s light and flavorful, with an orange-y aroma. To craft a Belgian wit, you will need:

  • ¼ lb of bitter orange peel
  • ¼ lb of sweet orange peel
  • 1.5 oz of hopping bittering agent (e.g. Coriander, cardamom, grains of paradise, nutmeg, etc.)
  • Optionally, for more flavor, add some form of juice such as grapefruit, apple, or lime
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Add the bitter orange and sweet orange peel to the recipe, as well as the other spices or ingredients. This will give the homebrew its signature aroma and flavor. For a slightly tangier taste, the addition of citrus fruit juices can also add a pleasant edge.


The Hefeweizen is a classic German beer, and it’s one of the most drinkable styles of beer. It is light and refreshing, with a “bready” taste. To craft a Hefeweizen, you will need:

  • ½ lb of German wheat malt
  • ½ lb of Carapils malt
  • White Labs Hefeweizen yeast or a German Ale yeast

In the beer-making process, the wheat malt and Carapils malt should be added in place of the wheat malt and flaked wheat from the base recipe. This will give the beer its characteristic wheat and bread characteristics. The yeast should also be switched out, as the Hefeweizen requires a specific strain of yeast to deliver the correct flavor.


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