German wheat beers are not on the top of my style preference list. For the most part, I avoid them. However, the chosen style for monthly competition for C.A.S.K (the club I belong to), is German wheat beers so you have to do what you have to do.
Seeing the category isn’t my favorite I haven’t brewed many. My wife enjoys hefewiezens and I brewed a successful version awhile back for her. She has a few beers on tap currently that she enjoys so it’s a good time to brew a small batch of something I haven’t tried before, a Dunkles Weissbier.
You may have noticed from the pint photo that the beer turned out quite clear. The photo was taken less than a month out from having been brewed, which made it’s level of clarity a little odd. Dunkelweizens, tend to be hat due to both the amount of wheat malt used and the yeast remaining in suspension. Neither of those two factors seem to be affecting this beer, which is possibly why I have enjoyed it so much.
For this recipe I started with the one offered in Jamil’s Brewing Classic Styles and grew mine out of it. I find for first time attempts at styles its always a good idea to go with something proven. I’ll often tweak a recipe to fit what I have on hand or to add a characteristic. Also being a new recipe and a style i wasn’t sure about I brewed it using my stovetop two gallon BIAB setup.
For the brew day I did my standard stovetop method with a ferric acid rest to accentuate the clove character and mini decoction just for fun.
O.G. 1.050 F.G 1.013
IBU (Tinseth) 19
2 Gallons into Fermenter
Mash Schedule 10m Ferulic Rest @ 109° – 113° 60m Saccharification Rest @ 153°
Decoction for 15 minutes at end of mash, 10m Mash Out 165°
60.8% Wheat Malt (2.06lb / 935g)
20.3% Munich I (.69lb / 312g)
10.1% Vienna (.34lb / 156g)
5.1% Caramunich II (.17lb / 78g)
2.3% Special B (.08lb / 35g)
1.5% Black Prinz (.05lb / 23g) *Added during mash out just for color*
60m (.42oz / 11.8g) Liberty 4.8% A.A *didn’t have Hallertau*
Yeast / Fermentation
WLP300 – 2 Vials one fresh one not so fresh. No starter.
Pitched at 60° Set controller to 62° raise 2° per day starting day 3 to 68°
I have entered this beer in a couple of competitions that I will post the results of when they arrive. This keg went quickly and I really enjoyed the beer. That being said, when it comes to scores, I believe it is likely a mid 30’s beer in that 33 – 35 range.
Many of the proper characteristics of the style are there it’s just that they are all on the lower end of the scale except the malt which is spot on. When judged side by side with a beer that just shouts banana or cloves my beer will likely get overshadowed and rightfully so I think. I assume most of this is due to the beer being so clear, so quickly which I’m still at a loss to explain as I used no fining agents.
I would certainly brew this beer again exactly the same to drink. As for winning a gold, I think I would have to get some more yeast character into the beer.
This recipe earned a 35 in competition recently which is right around where I would slot it as I mentioned above. A national bjcp judge said “it was very drinkable and enjoyable. however, it is fairly light on the overall yeast character”.