The wheat industry rejects grain with unacceptably high α-amylase enzyme levels due to the risk of poor endproduct quality. There are two main causes of elevated grain α-amylase: (1) preharvest sprouting in response to rain before harvest and (2) late maturity α-amylase (LMA) induction in response to a cool temperature shock during late grain development. LMA induction was detected in a panel of 24 Northwestern US spring wheat lines. Thus, this problem previously described in Australian and U.K. varieties also exists in U.S. varieties. Because LMA induction results were highly variable using published methods, a characterization of LMA-inducing conditions was conducted in an LMA-susceptible soft white spring wheat line, WA8124. Problems with elevated α-amylase in untreated controls were reduced by raising the temperature, 25°C day/18°C night versus 20°C day/10°C night. LMA induction was not improved by colder temperatures (15°C day/4°C night) versus moderately cold temperatures (18°C day/7.5°C night or 10°C day/10°C night). While previous studies observed LMA induction by heat stress, it failed to induce LMA in WA8124. Thus, not all LMA-susceptible cultivars respond to heat. The timing of LMA susceptibility varied between two cultivars and within a single cultivar grown at slightly different temperatures. Thus, variability in LMA induction likely results from variability in the timing of the grain developmental stage during which cold shock induces LMA. Thus, it was concluded that the visual inspection of grain is needed to correctly identify LMA-sensitive spikes at the soft dough stage of grain development (Zadok's stage 85).