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Wheat beer. What's your favorite?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Justinvs, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Proof that marketing works, I've been hearing adds for Sam Adams Summer Ale for the last few weeks and it sounded really good. Picked up a six pack yesterday, and it lived up to expectations. I've never drank a Sam Adams brew that wasn't decent, although this one was nothing spectacular. Good balance, which can be tough with some wheat beers. All in all, it's worth trying.

    I used to drink a lot of Millstream wheat, a really good craft beer from Amana, Iowa, but it's hard to find out here.. Belgian White is probably the one I find most often in the stores around here.


    Anybody else like wheat beer? What's your favorite?
     
  2. Jamie Black

    Jamie Black Friend of Leo's

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    Back in the 90's Sam Adams had wheat beer on the market every summer. It wasn't called summer ale, I think it was just Samual Adams Wheat. That's the last time I distinctly remember drinking wheat beer. I have to say, one would taste pretty good right about now. Must be the power of suggestion.
     
  3. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Norway has some of the best beer in the world, and our oldest brewery, Aass (it's pronounced awes, not ass;)), produce my favorite wheat beer.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. 0018g

    0018g Tele-Meister

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    Boulevard has a wheat beer that I enjoy from time to time.
     
  5. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    For a wheat beer, Blue Moon or Hoegartten. Not exotic, but both are great. Yes, I fruit the Blue Moon.... ;)
     
  6. neatone

    neatone Tele-Holic

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    one of the best ever, came out of austin texas in the mid 90's!…celis white…by piere celis..won tons of awards…michael jackson (the reviewer!) gave it perfect four stars

    unfortunately was sold off to one of the big conglomerates and was never the same …before ultimately being discontinued

    but if you had an original back in the 90's it was something to remember

    [​IMG]

    cheers
     
  7. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Agreed, I like that one too.

    Colorado Springs has a local brewery (Bristol) that makes a nice honeywheat ("Beehive"). Locally, it's usually served with an orange or tangerine wedge.
     
  8. neckbeard_mafia

    neckbeard_mafia TDPRI Member

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    Widmere Brothers hefeweizen is a staple here in the NW.
     
  9. Stefanovich

    Stefanovich Tele-Holic

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    Another vote for Hoegarden. Not exotic but tasty...
     
  10. busman

    busman Tele-Meister

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    Murrays Whale Ale

    Brewed in Port Stephens, NSW. I usually hate wheat beer, but this stuff is fantastic.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. stankepanck

    stankepanck Tele-Holic

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    Troegs Dreamweaver. Fantastic!
     
  12. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    There are 3 main Wheat Beers. Two are quite similar (being ester and phenolic-based) and the other is drastically different - the American Wheat.

    The Belgian (white) Wit (Hoegaarden is the architype) is (like all of them) about half wheat, half barley but it's the Belgian yeast used that gives the signature spiciness along with the corriander and orange peel. Wit's are usually spiced and often use a lot of raw wheat (not malted).

    German Hefeweizens (yeastwheats) are similar to Belgian Wits. They can also be called Weissebier as they are white too. They also use a phenolic/ester producing yeast that generates the signature banana and cloves and bubblegum flavours. No spices though.

    American Wheatbeers are sometimes mis-named "hefes" when they are really just an American Pale Ale with a large proportion of wheat in the grist.
     
  13. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Interesting!

    I've heard of wheat beers having banana overtones but never found it myself. Not sure it's something i want to try. :lol:
     
  14. simonc

    simonc Friend of Leo's

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    As far as wheat beers go, if you want banana, you can't go past weihenstephaner! I prefer their dunkelweizen, recommend you pick up both.

    http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/252/808/

    Here's some reviews of their dunkel, turns out I'm not the only one who digs it!
    I tried weihenstephaner years ago at an Oktoberfest function at the Rhein Donau club...seriously you'll be thinking that any other wheat beer is a waste of time after this stuff, or at leat...that's what I reckon.
     

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  15. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Weihenstephen's beer labels never fail to impress me when you read the "since" date - almost a three figure year!

    But I prefer Schofferhoffer for that (ironically) Weihenstephen's yeast (Wyeast's 3068) flavour.

    [beer nerd content]

    The balance of banana esters and clove phenols is tipped by changing the amount of yeast pitched into the beer and the temperature it's fermented at. Underpitching emphasises banana, as does warm fermenting; clove is favoured with cooler temps and higher pitch rates.

    I often use Chimay's yeast for really banana hefe's.

    With American wheats, you deliberately use a very neutral yeast - Sierra Nevada and Anchor's ale strains are usually used.

    [/beer nerd content]

    My favourite of any wheat beers is Schneider's Weisse, but I'll never go past a good Belgian Wit.

    More beer nerd content follows:

    15A. Weizen/Weissbier

    Aroma: Moderate to strong 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 and fairly prominent. Noble hop character ranges from low to none. A light to moderate wheat aroma (which might be perceived as bready or grainy) may be present but other malt characteristics should not. No diacetyl or DMS. Optional, but acceptable, aromatics can include a light, citrusy tartness, a light to moderate vanilla character, and/or a low bubblegum aroma. None of these optional characteristics should be high or dominant, but often can add to the complexity and balance.

    Appearance: Pale straw to very dark gold in color. A very thick, moussy, long-lasting white head is characteristic. The high protein content of wheat impairs clarity in an unfiltered beer, although the level of haze is somewhat variable. A beer “mit hefe” is also cloudy from suspended yeast sediment (which should be roused before drinking). The filtered Krystal version has no yeast and is brilliantly clear.

    Flavor: 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 low bubblegum notes can accentuate the banana flavor, sweetness and roundness; neither should be dominant if present. The soft, somewhat bready or grainy flavor of wheat is complementary, as is a slightly sweet Pils malt character. Hop flavor is very low to none, and hop bitterness is very low to moderately low. A tart, citrusy character from yeast and high carbonation is often present. Well rounded, flavorful palate with a relatively dry finish. No diacetyl or DMS.

    Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body; never heavy. Suspended yeast may increase the perception of body. The texture of wheat imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness that may progress to a light, spritzy finish aided by high carbonation. Always effervescent.

    Overall Impression: A pale, spicy, fruity, refreshing wheat-based ale.

    Comments: These are refreshing, fast-maturing beers that are lightly hopped and show a unique banana-and-clove yeast character. These beers often don’t age well and are best enjoyed while young and fresh. The version “mit hefe” is served with yeast sediment stirred in; the krystal version is filtered for excellent clarity. Bottles with yeast are traditionally swirled or gently rolled prior to serving. The character of a krystal weizen is generally fruitier and less phenolic than that of the hefe-weizen.

    History: A traditional wheat-based ale originating in Southern Germany that is a specialty for summer consumption, but generally produced year-round.

    Ingredients: By German law, at least 50% of the grist must be malted wheat, although some versions use up to 70%; the remainder is Pilsner malt. A traditional decoction mash gives the appropriate body without cloying sweetness. Weizen ale yeasts produce the typical spicy and fruity character, although extreme fermentation temperatures can affect the balance and produce off-flavors. A small amount of noble hops are used only for bitterness.

    16A. Witbier

    Aroma: Moderate sweetness (often with light notes of honey and/or vanilla) with light, grainy, spicy wheat aromatics, often with a bit of tartness. Moderate perfumy coriander, often with a complex herbal, spicy, or peppery note in the background. Moderate zesty, citrusy orangey fruitiness. A low spicy-herbal hop aroma is optional, but should never overpower the other characteristics. No diacetyl. Vegetal, celery-like, or ham-like aromas are inappropriate. Spices should blend in with fruity, floral and sweet aromas and should not be overly strong.

    Appearance: Very pale straw to very light gold in color. The beer will be very cloudy from starch haze and/or yeast, which gives it a milky, whitish-yellow appearance. Dense, white, moussy head. Head retention should be quite good.

    Flavor: Pleasant sweetness (often with a honey and/or vanilla character) and a zesty, orange-citrusy fruitiness. Refreshingly crisp with a dry, often tart, finish. Can have a low wheat flavor. Optionally has a very light lactic-tasting sourness. Herbal-spicy flavors, which may include coriander and other spices, are common should be subtle and balanced, not overpowering. A spicy-earthy hop flavor is low to none, and if noticeable, never gets in the way of the spices. Hop bitterness is low to medium-low (as with a Hefeweizen), and doesn’t interfere with refreshing flavors of fruit and spice, nor does it persist into the finish. Bitterness from orange pith should not be present. Vegetal, celery-like, ham-like, or soapy flavors are inappropriate. No diacetyl.

    Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, often having a smoothness and light creaminess from unmalted wheat and the occasional oats. Despite body and creaminess, finishes dry and often a bit tart. Effervescent character from high carbonation. Refreshing, from carbonation, light acidity, and lack of bitterness in finish. No harshness or astringency from orange pith. Should not be overly dry and thin, nor should it be thick and heavy.

    Overall Impression: A refreshing, elegant, tasty, moderate-strength wheat-based ale.

    Comments: The presence, character and degree of spicing and lactic sourness varies. Overly spiced and/or sour beers are not good examples of the style. Coriander of certain origins might give an inappropriate ham or celery character. The beer tends to be fragile and does not age well, so younger, fresher, properly handled examples are most desirable. Most examples seem to be approximately 5% ABV.

    History: A 400-year-old beer style that died out in the 1950s; it was later revived by Pierre Celis at Hoegaarden, and has grown steadily in popularity over time.

    Ingredients: About 50% unmalted wheat (traditionally soft white winter wheat) and 50% pale barley malt (usually Pils malt) constitute the grist. In some versions, up to 5-10% raw oats may be used. Spices of freshly-ground coriander and Curaçao or sometimes sweet orange peel complement the sweet aroma and are quite characteristic. Other spices (e.g., chamomile, cumin, cinnamon, Grains of Paradise) may be used for complexity but are much less prominent. Ale yeast prone to the production of mild, spicy flavors is very characteristic. In some instances a very limited lactic fermentation, or the actual addition of lactic acid, is done.

    6D. American Wheat or Rye Beer

    Aroma: Low to moderate grainy wheat or rye character. Some malty sweetness is acceptable. Esters can be moderate to none, although should reflect American yeast strains. The clove and banana aromas common to German hefeweizens are inappropriate. Hop aroma may be low to moderate, and can have either a citrusy American or a spicy or floral noble hop character. Slight crisp sharpness is optional. No diacetyl.

    Appearance: Usually pale yellow to gold. Clarity may range from brilliant to hazy with yeast approximating the German hefeweizen style of beer. Big, long-lasting white head.

    Flavor: Light to moderately strong grainy wheat or rye flavor, which can linger into the finish. Rye versions are richer and spicier than wheat. May have a moderate malty sweetness or finish quite dry. Low to moderate hop bitterness, which sometimes lasts into the finish. Low to moderate hop flavor (citrusy American or spicy/floral noble). Esters can be moderate to none, but should not take on a German Weizen character (banana). No clove phenols, although a light spiciness from wheat or rye is acceptable. May have a slightly crisp or sharp finish. No diacetyl.

    Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Medium-high to high carbonation. May have a light alcohol warmth in stronger examples.

    Overall Impression: Refreshing wheat or rye beers that can display more hop character and less yeast character than their German cousins.

    Comments: Different variations exist, from an easy-drinking fairly sweet beer to a dry, aggressively hopped beer with a strong wheat or rye flavor. Dark versions approximating dunkelweizens (with darker, richer malt flavors in addition to the color) should be entered in the Specialty Beer category. THE BREWER SHOULD SPECIFY IF RYE IS USED; IF NO DOMINANT GRAIN IS SPECIFIED, WHEAT WILL BE ASSUMED.

    Ingredients: Clean American ale yeast, but also can be made as a lager. Large proportion of wheat malt (often 50% or more, but this isn’t a legal requirement as in Germany). American or noble hops. American Rye Beers can follow the same general guidelines, substituting rye for some or all of the wheat. Other base styles (e.g., IPA, stout) with a noticeable rye character should be entered in the Specialty Beer category (23).
     
  16. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    My favorite is Desert Eagle Dunkelweizen, it is a dark smooth wheat beer.



    http://deserteaglebrewing.com/
     
  17. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool stuff. I'm not a true beer nerd, but I find brewing endlessly fascinating. I'm curious: can wheat malt be toasted to produce darker varieties as with barely malt?
     
  18. Dustin_J

    Dustin_J Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, Celis white! It was brewed for quite a while by Michigan Brewing Company, a micro just outside of Lansing, MI. I drank a lot of it (along with the Celis Grand Cru, which they also bought the rights/recipes to) when I was in grad school there from 2002-2008. Very, very good stuff, but sadly MCB went belly up and had to sell off everything a few years back.
     
  19. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yup. Usually dunkels will have a fair bit of caramel wheat or even some choc wheat. But also the colour and maltiness of a dunkel can come from caramel/crystal barley.

    Check out the wheat malts at the bottom of this page:

    https://www.craftbrewer.com.au/shop...ageNo=2&SortBy=POrder&sortDir=ASC&rsPageSize=
     
  20. mojo2001

    mojo2001 Tele-Holic

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    Try a Franziskaner. This is the classic Bavarian Weiss, brewed by Franciscan monks.

    Over in Munich, the bottle you're drinking is likely to be two weeks old at most. It shows up in the States and is still good, if not as fresh and organic.

    Every one tastes a little different, which I take to be a good thing and once in a while I get a bottle with a citrusey apple cider overtone or other fruity vibe that will just blow me away.

    To me, the classic Weissbeir.
     
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