Brew #5 – Blue Moon(ish) Belgian Wheat

So, I was calling this a ‘Blue Moon Partial-Mash Clone’, but the reality of it is — it’s Blue Moon(ish). It’s certainly not Blue Moon, but it’s quite delicious!

About a month ago I found a long thread on HomeBrewTalk that was all about cloning Blue Moon. A group of dedicated Blue Moon fans have devoted trial after trial to perfecting the Blue Moon recipe on a homebrew scale. One of these fans, who goes by the username of ‘Nilo’, has done 8 trials and has a recipe that looked to be very close to the real thing. I then took his recipe and converted it for a partial-mash.

The problem being wheat extract ends up being much darker than mashed wheat malt. I’m sure you can see that for yourself in the photo below.

Comparison of Blue Moon to my homebrew.

As you can see, not even close…

Anyway, here’s the recipe I used:

Blue Moon Partial-Mash Clone (Modified from Nilo’s #8)

Grain (Mashed at 152°F for 60min, then sparged with a ladle)

  • 1lb. White Wheat malt
  • 1lb. 2-Row malt
  • 10oz. Munich 10L malt
  • 10oz. Crystal 10L malt
  • 8oz. Dextrine/Cara-pils malt

Extract (Added at mash-out)

  • 3.3lbs. Wheat LME (substitute for White Wheat)
  • 3.3lbs. Pilsen LME (substitute for 2-row)

Hops, Flavorings, and Additions

  • 1.2oz. Domestic Hallertauer (30 min.)
  • 1.5oz. Sweet orange peel (10 min.)
  • 0.375oz. Crushed corrandier (10 min.)
  • 2 TBSP Corn starch (10 min.)
  • 0.5oz. Domestic Hallertauer (Flame out — this was my touch to the recipe)

Taste Notes

The beer had a stronger malt sweetness than the commercial Blue Moon, likely from the relatively high final gravity in comparison to Nilo’s #8. In addition, the beer had a significantly stronger hop presence, both in aroma and bitterness. This is likely due to the additional 0.5oz of US Hallertauer hops I used at flameout. Overall, the beer was pretty great.

Brew Stats

Brew Name Blue Moon Partial Mash Clone
Brew Number #5
Anticipated O.G. 1.053
Actual O.G. 1.057 (Adjusted)
Anticipated F.G.  1.006
Actual F.G.  1.017 (Adjusted)
Alcohol by Volume (%)  5.31%
Rating  3.8 of 5
General reaction from others People seemed to be very happy with this beer. Some did not like it due to the additional hop bitterness and aroma, but many found this to be appealing.
How to make it better? For the next trial I would like to try the following: (1) use all grain rather than the LME to adjust the final color, (2) use a yeast starter to ensure full fermentation, (3) use oats in the mash, rather than a corn starch addition, and (4) tone down the amount of hops used to reduce bitterness and aroma. Perhaps 1.4oz or 1.5oz in total?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *