Style Details

His­to­ri­cal Beer
BJCP Style Code
27 A3
Tall off-white head, rocky and per­sis­tent. Deep yel­low to light gold color. Fair cla­ri­ty, may be some­what hazy.
Modera­te­ly strong fresh smo­ky aro­ma, light hints of sourness, medi­um-low frui­ty esters, pos­si­bly app­les or lemons, mode­ra­te brea­dy-grai­ny malt. The smo­ke cha­rac­ter is stron­ger than the brea­dy notes, and the smo­ke has a ‘dry’ cha­rac­ter, like the rem­nants of an old fire, not a ‘greasy’ smoke. 
Modera­te­ly strong frui­ty fla­vor, pos­si­bly lemons or app­les. Mode­ra­te inten­si­ty, clean lac­tic tartness (no funk). Simi­lar smo­ky cha­rac­ter as aro­ma (dry wood fire), medi­um strength. Dry finish, with aci­di­ty and smo­ke in the after­tas­te. Low bit­ter­ness; the aci­di­ty is pro­vi­ding the balan­ce, not hops. Fresh, clean pala­te and slight­ly puckery after­tas­te. The wheat cha­rac­ter is on the low side; the smo­ke and aci­di­ty are more pro­mi­nent in the balan­ce. The lem­o­ny-tar­t/­green apple fla­vor is stron­gest in the finish, with smo­ke a clo­se second. Complex.
Tingly aci­di­ty. High car­bo­na­ti­on. Medi­um to medi­um-light body.
Over­all Impression
A sour, smo­ked, lower-gra­vi­ty his­to­ri­cal Ger­man wheat beer. Com­plex yet refres­hing cha­rac­ter due to high atte­nua­ti­on and car­bo­na­ti­on, along with low bit­ter­ness and mode­ra­te sourness. 
Typi­cal Ingredients
Smo­ked bar­ley malt, wheat malt, lac­to­ba­cil­lus, top-fer­men­ting yeast. Grists vary, but the wheat would typi­cal­ly be 30-50%.
Ori­gi­na­ting in Lich­ten­hain, in Thü­rin­gen (cen­tral Ger­ma­ny). Height of popu­la­ri­ty was towards the end of the 1800s, and was wide­ly available throug­hout Thü­rin­gen. Like a pre-1840 Ber­li­ner Weisse.
Ser­ved young. Smo­ke and sour is an unu­su­al com­bi­na­ti­on that is not for everyone.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.032 - 1.040 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.004 - 1.008 SG
3 - 6 SRM
3.0 - 4.0 %vol
5 - 12 IBU