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HAZE

Profiles in Barley… Heave a Hefe!

May 18, 2010

Hefeweissen, or Weiss bier, is a delicious, easy to brew beer that is excellent for the warm days of summer. A style which came very close to being extinct, it was revived in the early 19th century by Georg Schneider and now accounts for 22 percent of all of the beer produced in Bavaria.

Hefeweissen, or Weiss bier, is a delicious, easy to brew beer that is excellent for the warm days of summer. A style which came very close to being extinct, it was revived in the early 19th century by Georg Schneider and now accounts for 22 percent of all of the beer produced in Bavaria. There are several advantages to brewing a hefeweissen, including a quick turnaround and no need to filter. If you keg, it is quite possible to brew a hefe one weekend drink it the next. Hefeweissen has several unique facets to it. First, it is one of the few German ales (most German beers are lagers), it benefits from an underpitch of yeast (this is helpful to achieve the delightful banana esters and clove phenols), and it benefits from a single decoction, not because the malt is under modified, but because the decoction provides the rich breadiness that helps to make the beer so delightful. Hefe can be made either with extracts or all grain. It requires a traditional German wheat yeast and should be carbonated to 2.5 to 3 volumes to yield the desired effervescence.

Hefevweissen Recipe

Here are what Germans actually say about Weissbier:

“Weissbier with a bit of yeast is simply chic, healthy and easy to digest.”

“Up until a few years ago, we bowlers drank pils or normal keg beer almost exclusively; now most drink Weissbier. The consumption level of beer has become less and the number of schnapses has been reduced considerably.”

“If we drink 2 pints of Export in the morning, we’re tired; with Weissbier in the same quantity, this isn’t so.”

“The nicest thing about Weissbier are the burps, which also bring the bad air out of the stomach.”

True testimonials, to be sure!!

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