From the HBD Archive
From: hplabs!polstra!jdp (John Polstra)
Subject: Re: Weiss Beer, culture yeast
Date: 1990-05-30 16:22:06 GMT

In HBD #428, (Toufic Boubez) asks:

> What makes a weiss beer what it is?

Two things: (1) wheat malt (duh), and (2) the yeast.

My personal experience is with Bavarian weiss beers (I travel to Munich
once in a while on business). I don't know much about the other

Anyway, the typical Bavarian weiss beer has around 60% wheat malt. Even
more important to the character of the beer, in my opinion, is the yeast
that is used. It gives the beer a distinct spicy aroma -- to me, it
smells just like cloves. Luckily, Wyeast sells such a yeast: #3056
Bavarian Weizen, they call it. I used it once, and it worked great.

If you can't get the Wyeast, you might try using Vierka lager yeast (a
dry yeast). It produces that same clove-like aroma. (But, use the Wyeast
if at all possible.)

For more information about wheat beers, check out the Spring 1989 issue
of Zymurgy (Vol. 12, No. 1).

Now, I can't resist some editorial comment / flaming / whining: If you
make a good *authentic* weiss beer, don't expect it to fare well in a US
contest. Many beer judges have never tasted the real thing. When they
do, they don't like it. They make ignorant criticisms such as, "a little
hazy," and then take off points for appearance. (Authentic Bavarian weiss
beers are served very young and are usually way too *cloudy* to possibly
detect any "haze".) Also, many inexperienced judges dislike the spicy
aroma of weiss beer and think something is wrong with it.

Flame off. I feel better now.

- John Polstra jdp@polstra.uucp
Polstra & Co., Inc. practic!polstra!
Seattle, Washington USA ...{uunet,sun,pyramid}!practic!polstra!jdp
(206) 932-6482

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