1 gallon wheat beer recipe

This 1 gallon wheat beer recipe is perfect for those looking for a beverage low in alcohol and easy to prepare inexpensively at home.

All the ingredients are readily available. For this recipe all thanks to the old-timer who taught me how to make wheat beer; he's been doing it for decades using sugar.

1 gallon wheat beer.Wheat beer made with sugar.

That incidentally is all-hive mead in the adjacent bottle; stunningly good but you do have to wait several months before you can enjoy it. It's much stronger than the wheat beer; another natural probiotic.

Wheat beer made with honeyWheat beer made with natural honey.

Interestingly the raisins all rise to the surface in the wheat beer made with honey, but not when using sugar. I wonder why?


  1. Wheat berries
  2. Raisins
  3. 2 knobs of ginger
  4. Natural honey[1]
  5. Wine yeast (optional)

5 litres

  • 2 cups
  • Large handful
  • 2 knobs
  • 200 g
  • 1/2 tsp

3 litres

  • 1.2 cups
  • Handful
  • 1.2 knobs
  • 120 g (5 TBSP)
  • 1/4 tsp

I find the 3 litre measures rather better.

Go for it

  • Sift the wheat to get out any dust from the field.
  • Pour into a 5 litre demijohn.
  • Add the honey, raisins and ginger.
  • Fill half-way with unchlorinated water, and then shake vigorously for a minute or two; aerating the ferment.
  • Add 1/2 tsp of wine or bread yeast; hydrate them first in warm water for 20 mins.
  • Shake vigorously again; fill leaving a 50mm gap.
  • Fit the bubbler and set the demijohn in a warm place to ferment, ideally close to 28oC.
  • It will probably take about 5 to 7 days to ferment to completion; less if you add yeast.
  • Pour off and strain the liquid into a second demijohn; allow to settle for a few days and then bottle. An automatic syphen[5] is a useful but not essential tool.
  • Add more honey, raisins and ginger to the first demijohn; again fill with unchlorinated water and repeat the process.
  • The second and even a third ferment[6] are likely to take a shorter time. Then you have to start again.

It is very important not to bottle too soon; before fermentation has ceased. Test each day that serious pressure is not building up. Use less honey if you want a weaker beer.

A beer hydrometer is extremely useful; then precise specific gravity readings can be taken.

There is some merit in using 2-litre coke bottles instead though I try to avoid plastic; it may spoil the taste of your beer recipe.

If you have the patience it is worth waiting a couple weeks even though you have used a 1 gallon wheat beer recipe. Given time the taste will improve.

You can make your wheat beer recipe stronger by using more honey. For us this is a light drink; even children could have a small glass. 

You could use sugar but we have made the decision to cut out as much as possible; it just makes us get sick.

Absolutely do not use powdered ginger; it's awful.

Using wine or baker's yeast is optional. However, not providing it attracts the risk of vinegar forming from an infection by Acetobacter; it may be good on your salad but not as a tipple before dinner.

The bran of wheat has naturally-occurring yeast; that is the principle that sourdough bread works on.

The cost

The cost of this 1 gallon wheat recipe is determined by the price of your honey. Work on about R40 per brew or a measly seven rand for each litre.

Becoming resilient in this changing world is part of our philosophy. During lock-down no alcohol whatsoever was on sale for several months. Brewing companies literally poured their beer down the drain.

Since we are also bakers using only 100% flour, having wheat berries on hand was not a problem; direct from the farmer, they are very cheap. At the store you will obviously pay more.

For very little extra trouble you could now consider baking your own loaf; then you'll have wheat beer to go with the best bread in the world, all at a very low price. Actually the real saving by preparing your own food and drink from scratch is far fewer consultations with the doctor and visits to the pharmacy; a lot less pain and misery too. Neither the good wife or I, in our eighth decade take any medication whatsoever.


The yeast begins as an aerobic fermentation, hence shaking the bottle vigorously at the start.

Then when the oxygen has been used up it turns to anaerobic.

50kg bags of wheat.

Wheat in this quantity is only for those who love their bread and beer and are determined to make their own; just R6 per loaf with 100% flour.

Bread machine loaf.

1 gallon wheat beer recipe

1 gallon wheat beer recipe is easy to fix in your own kitchen. Quite soon we will be lifting our turmeric, ginger's first cousin. It is more cold-resistant and easier to grow.

Homebrews such as your 1 gallon wheat beer recipe that have not been pasteurised also provide many beneficial bugs to the microbiome[2].

The microbiome

Approximately 1014 bacteria and archaea of more than 1,000 species dwell in a vibrant human gastrointestinal tract; together, these are known as the gut microbiota[3]. Interesting research shows that drinking 1 can of beer per day increases the number of 20 different beneficial bugs without gain of weight[4].

This is partly due to polyphenols that you would find in your 1 gallon wheat beer recipe, improving the environment in the alimentary canal for bacteria and yeasts to flourish. Unpasteurised home-brews would contribute further to both the diversity and number of the normal flora.

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