Style Details

Dunk­les Weissbier
Ger­man Wheat Beer
BJCP Style Code
10 B
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.
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.
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.
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. 
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.
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
14 - 23 SRM
4.0 - 5.0 %vol
10 - 18 IBU