The Beer Chronicles

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Types of wheat Beer

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The most important difference between regular (barley) beer brewing and wheat beer brewing is the yeast. The unique aroma and flavor profile that represents wheat beer comes only partly from the use of wheat malt.

In my last post I discussed about wheat Beer. Today I am doing to discuss about the different types of wheat Beer.

Wheat Beer can be classified mainly in 3 following categories:

A. German wheat Beer
B. Belgian wheat Beer
C. Other wheat Beer

wheat beer types

A. German wheat Beer can be further divided into following 4 categories based on the proportion of wheat, hops and yeast used.

1. Weizen or Weissbier wheat Beer– Weizen (wheat), also called Weissbier (white beer), is the flavored wheat beer of southern Germany. This kind of wheat Beer is golden yellow in color and so much lighter than the typically dark German ales that it came to be called “white beer.” Weissbier contain around 5% of
alcohol by volume, and lightly hopped.

2. Dunkelweizen wheat Beer– Dunkels (dark) Weissbier or Dunkelweizen is a dark version of weizen. Dunkleweizen is similar to regular weizen as to body, bitterness, and alcohol levels but is brewed with darker malts to produce a richer, maltier aroma and flavor.

3. Weizenbock wheat Beer – Bock is a style of German lager that is traditionally malty, somewhat sweet, strongly alcoholic, with little or no hop flavor or aroma. Weizenbock combines the characteristics of the two styles. It is the heartiest of the wheat beers. It can be either dark or light in color, with alcohol vary from 7% to over 9% by volume.

4. Berliner Weisse wheat Beer – Berliner Weisse is very light in body, pale in color. Contains alcohol as low as 3% by volume), with almost no hop bitterness. Like the Belgian lambic beer family, Berliner Weisse is a lactic beer. It is fermented with both yeast and lactic bacteria, resulting in a sharply sour Beer. It is something of an acquired taste, and challenging to microbreweres consistently because of the dual fermentation.

B.Beligian wheat Beer Belgium enjoys a huge reputation for its high-quality ales, but when it comes to wheat beers, there’s really only one style which is Wit beer.

5. Wit wheat Beer – Wit is a wonderful springtime beer. It is light and refreshing, with a bit of cloudiness to it. It is a slightly tart acidic and some light spiciness from coriander and curacao orange. The Beer is made using equal proportion of blend of pale malted barley and unmalted wheat.

C. Other wheat Beer:

6. American wheat Beer – Around 10 years ago when the brewpub and microbrewery craze took hold in the USA, many small breweries started making light wheat ales that were much different from European variety of wheat Beer. They used less wheat and they used standard beer (ale) yeasts. This light, drinkable beer also served as an ideal base for creating fruit flavored beers, and lots of craft breweries start making flavored wheat beers.

7. Flavoured wheat Beer –  Experimenting in Beer making is not a new idea. Lot of people like the refreshing flavors of fruit and honey and light spices that different brewers use to attract new consumers to the Beer marketplace. These styles offer a lot of space for creativity and innovation, and this Beers often appeal to younger consumers.

I hope I have managed to give you a little bit of idea about what to expect when you are trying to figure out which wheat Beers to buy.

Enjoy Beer!

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2 Responses

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  1. Great article! One interesting point to note is that Berliner Weisse always has syrup added to it, either raspberry syrup or “Waldmeister” (some green, herbal syrup I never really pinned down). When you order it, they ask which syrup you’d like, and to drink Berliner Weisse without the syrup would raise quite a few eyebrows in Germany!


    May 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    • Hey Sean, thanks for dropping by, i am sure you would be aware that the flavored syrup added is done to counteract the sourness of the beer. it is served “mit schuss”.. look forward to more such interesting nuggets from you 🙂


      May 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm

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