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Beer Styles
German Wheat and Rye Beer
Weizen/Weissbier
Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.044 – 1.052       IBUs: 8 – 15       FG: 1.010 – 1.014       SRM: 2 – 8        ABV: 4.3 – 5.6%
Ingredients:
By German law, at least 50% of the grist must be malted wheat, although some versions use up to 70%; the remainder is Pilsner malt.  A traditional decoction mash gives the appropriate body without cloying sweetness.  Weizen ale yeasts produce the typical spicy and fruity character, although extreme fermentation temperatures can affect the balance and produce off-flavors.  A small amount of noble hops are used only for bitterness.
Aroma:
Moderate to strong phenols (usually clove) and fruity esters (usually banana).  The balance and intensity of the phenol and ester components can vary but the best examples are reasonably balanced and fairly prominent.  Noble hop character ranges from low to none.  A light to moderate wheat aroma (which might be perceived as bready or grainy) may be present but other malt characteristics should not.  No diacetyl or DMS.  Optional, but acceptable, aromatics can include a light, citrusy tartness, a light to moderate vanilla character, and/or a low bubblegum aroma.  None of these optional characteristics should be high or dominant, but often can add to the complexity and balance.
Appearance:
Pale straw to very dark gold in color.  A very thick, moussy, long-lasting white head is characteristic.  The high protein content of wheat impairs clarity in an unfiltered beer, although the level of haze is somewhat variable.  A beer “mit hefe” is also cloudy from suspended yeast sediment (which should be roused before drinking).  The filtered Krystal version has no yeast and is brilliantly clear.
Flavor:
Low to moderately strong banana and clove flavor.  The balance and intensity of the phenol and ester components can vary but the best examples are reasonably balanced and fairly prominent.  Optionally, a very light to moderate vanilla character and/or low bubblegum notes can accentuate the banana flavor, sweetness and roundness; neither should be dominant if present.  The soft, somewhat bready or grainy flavor of wheat is complementary, as is a slightly sweet Pils malt character.  Hop flavor is very low to none, and hop bitterness is very low to moderately low.  A tart, citrusy character from yeast and high carbonation is often present.  Well rounded, flavorful palate with a relatively dry finish.  No diacetyl or DMS.
Mouthfeel:
Medium-light to medium body; never heavy.  Suspended yeast may increase the perception of body.  The texture of wheat imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness that may progress to a light, spritzy finish aided by high carbonation.  Always effervescent.
Overall Impression:
A pale, spicy, fruity, refreshing wheat-based ale.
History:
A traditional wheat-based ale originating in Southern Germany that is a specialty for summer consumption, but generally produced year-round.
Comments:
These are refreshing, fast-maturing beers that are lightly hopped and show a unique banana-and-clove yeast character. These beers often don’t age well and are best enjoyed while young and fresh.  The version “mit hefe” is served with yeast sediment stirred in; the krystal version is filtered for excellent clarity.  Bottles with yeast are traditionally swirled or gently rolled prior to serving.  The character of a krystal weizen is generally fruitier and less phenolic than that of the hefe-weizen.
Dunkelweizen
Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.044 – 1.056        IBUs: 10 – 18     FG: 1.010 – 1.014        SRM: 14 – 23     ABV: 4.3 – 5.6%
Ingredients:
By German law, at least 50% of the grist must be malted wheat, although some versions use up to 70%; the remainder is usually Munich and/or Vienna malt.  A traditional decoction mash gives the appropriate body without cloying sweetness.  Weizen ale yeasts produce the typical spicy and fruity character, although extreme fermentation temperatures can affect the balance and produce off-flavors.  A small amount of noble hops are used only for bitterness.
Aroma:
Moderate to strong phenols (usually clove) and fruity esters (usually banana).  The balance and intensity of the phenol and ester components can vary but the best examples are reasonably balanced and fairly prominent.  Optionally, a low to moderate vanilla character and/or low bubblegum notes may be present, but should not dominate.  Noble hop character ranges from low to none.  A light to moderate wheat aroma (which might be perceived as bready or grainy) may be present and is often accompanied by a caramel, bread crust, or richer malt aroma (e.g., from Vienna and/or Munich malt).  Any malt character is supportive and does not overpower the yeast character.  No diacetyl or DMS.  A light tartness is optional but acceptable.
Appearance:
Light copper to mahogany brown in color.  A very thick, moussy, long-lasting off-white head is characteristic.  The high protein content of wheat impairs clarity in this traditionally unfiltered style, although the level of haze is somewhat variable.  The suspended yeast sediment (which should be roused before drinking) also contributes to the cloudiness.
Flavor:
Low to moderately strong banana and clove flavor.  The balance and intensity of the phenol and ester components can vary but the best examples are reasonably balanced and fairly prominent.    Optionally, a very light to moderate vanilla character and/or low bubblegum notes can accentuate the banana flavor, sweetness and roundness; neither should be dominant if present. The soft, somewhat bready or grainy flavor of wheat is complementary, as is a richer caramel and/or melanoidin character from Munich and/or Vienna malt.  The malty richness can be low to medium-high, but shouldn’t overpower the yeast character.  A roasted malt character is inappropriate.  Hop flavor is very low to none, and hop bitterness is very low to low.  A tart, citrusy character from yeast and high carbonation is sometimes present, but typically muted.  Well rounded, flavorful, often somewhat sweet palate with a relatively dry finish.  No diacetyl or DMS.
Mouthfeel:
Medium-light to medium-full body.  The texture of wheat as well as yeast in suspension imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness that may progress to a lighter finish, aided by moderate to high carbonation.  The presence of Munich and/or Vienna malts also provide an additional sense of richness and fullness.  Effervescent.
Overall Impression:
A moderately dark, spicy, fruity, malty, refreshing wheat-based ale.  Reflecting the best yeast and wheat character of a hefe-weizen blended with the malty richness of a Munich dunkel.
History:
Old-fashioned Bavarian wheat beer was often dark.  In the 1950s and 1960s, wheat beers did not have a youthful image, since most older people drank them for their health-giving qualities.  Today, the lighter hefe-weizen is more common.
Comments:
The presence of Munich and/or Vienna-type barley malts gives this style a deep, rich barley malt character not found in a hefe-weizen.  Bottles with yeast are traditionally swirled or gently rolled prior to serving.
Weizenbock

Vital Statistics
OG: 1.064 – 1.080+      IBUs: 15 – 30     FG: 1.015 – 1.022        SRM: 12 – 25     ABV: 6.5 – 8.0%+
Ingredients:
A high percentage of malted wheat is used (by German law must be at least 50%, although it may contain up to 70%), with the remainder being Munich- and/or Vienna-type barley malts.  A traditional decoction mash gives the appropriate body without cloying sweetness.  Weizen ale yeasts produce the typical spicy and fruity character.  Too warm or too cold fermentation will cause the phenols and esters to be out of balance and may create off-flavors.  A small amount of noble hops are used only for bitterness
Aroma:
Rich, bock-like melanoidins and bready malt combined with a powerful aroma of dark fruit (plums, prunes, raisins or grapes).  Moderate to strong phenols (most commonly vanilla and/or clove) add complexity, and some banana esters may also be present.  A moderate aroma of alcohol is common, although never solventy.  No hop aroma, diacetyl or DMS.
Appearance:
Dark amber to dark, ruby brown in color.  A very thick, moussy, long-lasting light tan head is characteristic.  The high protein content of wheat impairs clarity in this traditionally unfiltered style, although the level of haze is somewhat variable.  The suspended yeast sediment (which should be roused before drinking) also contributes to the cloudiness.
Flavor:
A complex marriage of rich, bock-like melanoidins, dark fruit, spicy clove-like phenols, light banana and/or vanilla, and a moderate wheat flavor.  The malty, bready flavor of wheat is further enhanced by the copious use of Munich and/or Vienna malts.  May have a slightly sweet palate, and a light chocolate character is sometimes found (although a roasted character is inappropriate).  A faintly tart character may optionally be present.  Hop flavor is absent, and hop bitterness is low.  The wheat, malt, and yeast character dominate the palate, and the alcohol helps balance the finish. Well-aged examples may show some sherry-like oxidation as a point of complexity.  No diacetyl or DMS.
Mouthfeel:
Medium-full to full body.  A creamy sensation is typical, as is the warming sensation of substantial alcohol content.  The presence of Munich and/or Vienna malts also provide an additional sense of richness and fullness.  Moderate to high carbonation.  Never hot or solventy.
Overall Impression:
A strong, malty, fruity, wheat-based ale combining the best flavors of a dunkelweizen and the rich strength and body of a bock.
History:
Aventinus, the world’s oldest top-fermented wheat doppelbock, was created in 1907 at the Weisse Brauhaus in Munich using the ‘Méthode Champenoise’ with fresh yeast sediment on the bottom.  It was Schneider’s creative response to bottom-fermenting doppelbocks that developed a strong following during these times.
Comments:
A dunkel-weizen beer brewed to bock or doppelbock strength.  Now also made in the Eisbock style as a specialty beer.  Bottles may be gently rolled or swirled prior to serving to rouse the yeast.

Roggenbier (German Rye Beer)
Vital Statistics:
OG:1.046 – 1.056       IBUs: 10 – 20     FG: 1.010 – 1.014        SRM: 14 – 19     ABV: 4.5 – 6%
Ingredients:
Malted rye typically constitutes 50% or greater of the grist (some versions have 60-65% rye).  Remainder of grist can include pale malt, Munich malt, wheat malt, crystal malt and/or small amounts of debittered dark malts for color adjustment.  Weizen yeast provides distinctive banana esters and clove phenols.  Light usage of noble hops in bitterness, flavor and aroma.  Lower fermentation temperatures accentuate the clove character by suppressing ester formation.  Decoction mash commonly used (as with weizenbiers).
Aroma:
Light to moderate spicy rye aroma intermingled with light to moderate weizen yeast aromatics (spicy clove and fruity esters, either banana or citrus).  Light noble hops are acceptable.  Can have a somewhat acidic aroma from rye and yeast.  No diacetyl.
Appearance:
Light coppery-orange to very dark reddish or coppery-brown color.  Large creamy off-white to tan head, quite dense and persistent (often thick and rocky).  Cloudy, hazy appearance.
Flavor:
Grainy, moderately-low to moderately-strong spicy rye flavor, often having a hearty flavor reminiscent of rye or pumpernickel bread.  Medium to medium-low bitterness allows an initial malt sweetness (sometimes with a bit of caramel) to be tasted before yeast and rye character takes over.  Low to moderate weizen yeast character (banana, clove, and sometimes citrus), although the balance can vary.  Medium-dry, grainy finish with a tangy, lightly bitter (from rye) aftertaste.  Low to moderate noble hop flavor acceptable, and can persist into aftertaste.  No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel:
Medium to medium-full body.  High carbonation.  Light tartness optional.
Overall Impression:
A dunkelweizen made with rye rather than wheat, but with a greater body and light finishing hops.
History:
A specialty beer originally brewed in Regensburg, Bavaria as a more distinctive variant of a dunkelweizen using malted rye instead of malted wheat.
Comments:
American-style rye beers, or traditional beer styles with enough rye added to give a noticeable rye character should be entered in the specialty beer category instead.  Rye is a huskless grain and is difficult to mash, often resulting in a gummy mash texture that is prone to sticking.  Rye has been characterized as having the most assertive flavor of all cereal grains.  It is inappropriate to add caraway seeds to a roggenbier (as some American brewers do); the rye character is traditionally from the rye grain only.



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