From the HBD Archive
From: (Tony Babinec)
Subject: brewing bavarian wheat beer
Date: 1992-07-15 14:11:33 GMT

Wheat malt has a higher protein content than does barley malt. You
might employ wheat malt and barley malt in roughly equal amounts. You
are looking for the enzymes in the barley malt to help degrade the
proteins in the wheat malt. For this reason, when mashing, an initial
protein rest is advised. If the usual protein rest is roughly 30 minutes,
you might conduct a protein rest for 45 minutes at 122 degrees F before
boosting the mash to a starch conversion temperature of 153/5 degrees F.

Wheat malt is also huskless, while barley malt has husks. When properly
cracked, the barley malt husks form the grain bed for lautering.

Recipes advise using 6-row U.S. barley because of its higher enzymatic
content, but I'd bet 2-row would do fine.

The Wyeast "Bavarian wheat" is--to my knowledge--the only commercial source
for saccromyces delbruckii, the signature yeast for bavarian wheat beers, and
even then, it is blended with an ale yeast. This yeast works fine, so use
it. Some homebrewers use dry ale yeasts that are known to be phenolic, but
why risk your batch of beer? The Bavarian wheat yeast produces the wheat
beer flavor. There have been threads on HBD talking about the presence or
absence of a phenolic/clove flavor in the beer when this yeast is used.
Byron Burch's article in the Yeast Zymurgy said that the clove character
might emerge with age, say, 4 months in the bottle. As a homebrewer, one
other way you might influence the flavor character of the beer is by
manipulating the fermentation temperature, so instead of fermenting at
cellar temperature, you might ferment in the low 70s. This should promote
esters, which will give certain "fruit" flavors to the beer, such as

As for a recipe, try this:

4.5 pounds pale barley malt
4.5 pounds wheat malt
0.5 pounds cara-pils malt

4 AAUs Hallertauer or other German hop for bittering
optionally, lightly hop with finishing hop, such as 1/4-1/2 ounce
Cascades in last 10 minutes of boil

Wyeast Bavarian Wheat yeast

Target starting gravity is in the range of 1.050-1.055, so adjust the above
grain bill. For a dunkelweizen, substitute a couple pounds of Munich malt
for some of the pale malt, and substitute crystal malt for the cara-pils.

Cracking the wheat malt correctly takes some practice. I set the Corona
mill more finely than for barley malt. The idea is not to pulverize the
wheat malt, but to crack it well.

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