Style Details

Name
Dunk­les Weiss­bier
Cate­go­ry
Ger­man Wheat Beer
BJCP Style Code
10 B
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. Sus­pen­ded yeast sedi­ment can con­tri­bu­te to clou­di­ness.
Aro­ma
Mode­ra­te 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. Optio­nal­ly, a low to mode­ra­te vanil­la cha­rac­ter and/or faint bub­ble­gum notes may be pre­sent, but should not domi­na­te. Hop aro­ma ran­ges from low to none, and may be light­ly flo­ral, spi­cy, or her­bal. A light to mode­ra­te wheat aro­ma (which might be per­cei­ved as brea­dy, doughy or grai­ny) may be pre­sent and is often accom­pa­nied by a cara­mel, bread crust, or richer malt aro­ma. The malt aro­ma may mode­ra­te the phe­nols and esters some­what.
Fla­vour
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 faint bub­ble­gum notes can accen­tua­te the bana­na fla­vor, sweet­ness and round­ness; neit­her should be domi­nant if pre­sent. The soft, some­what brea­dy, doughy, or grai­ny fla­vor of wheat is com­ple­men­ta­ry, as is a richer cara­mel, toast, or bread crust fla­vor. The mal­ty rich­ness can be low to medi­um-high, and sup­ports the yeast cha­rac­ter. A roas­ted malt cha­rac­ter is inap­pro­pria­te. A spi­cy, her­bal, or flo­ral hop fla­vor is very low to none, and hop bit­ter­ness is very low to low. Well-roun­ded, fla­vor­ful, often some­what mal­ty pala­te with a rela­tively dry finish.
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. Efferve­scent.
Over­all Impres­si­on
A moder­ate­ly dark Ger­man wheat beer with a dis­tinc­ti­ve bana­na-and-clove yeast cha­rac­ter, sup­por­ted by a toas­ted bread or cara­mel malt fla­vor. High­ly car­bo­na­ted and refres­hing, with a crea­my, fluffy tex­tu­re and light finish that encou­ra­ges drin­king.
Typi­cal Ingre­dients
By Ger­man brewing tra­di­ti­on, at least 50% of the grist must be mal­ted wheat, alt­hough some ver­si­ons use up to 70%; the rema­in­der is usual­ly Munich, Vien­na, or dark or cara­mel wheat mal­ts, or Pils­ner malt with color malt. A deco­c­tion mash is tra­di­tio­nal, but infre­quent­ly used today. Wei­zen ale yeasts pro­du­ce the typi­cal spi­cy and frui­ty cha­rac­ter, alt­hough extre­me fer­men­ta­ti­on tem­pe­ra­tures can affect the balan­ce and pro­du­ce off-fla­vors.
Histo­ry
Bava­ria has a wheat beer brewing tra­di­tio­nal hund­reds of years old, but the brewing right was reser­ved for Bava­ri­an royal­ty until the late 1700s. Old-fashio­ned Bava­ri­an wheat beer was often dark, as were most beer of the day. Pale weiss­bier star­ted to beco­me popu­lar in the 1960s, but tra­di­tio­nal dark wheat beer remai­ned some­what of an old person’s drink.
Comments
The pre­sence of Munich and/or Vien­na-type bar­ley mal­ts gives this style a deep, rich bar­ley malt cha­rac­ter not found in a weiss­bier. Often known as dun­kel­wei­zen, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in the United Sta­tes.
Com­mer­cial Examp­les
Ayin­ger Ur-Weis­se, Etta­ler Weiss­bier Dun­kel, Fran­zis­ka­ner Hefe-Weis­se Dun­kel, Hacker-Pschorr Weis­se Dark, Tucher Dunk­les Hefe Wei­zen, Wei­hen­ste­pha­ner Hefe­weiss­bier Dun­kel
Ori­gi­nal Gra­vi­ty
1.044 - 1.056 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.010 - 1.014 SG
Color
14 - 23 SRM
Alco­hol
4.0 - 5.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
10 - 18 IBU