Schrödinger’s Weissbier Recipe

Brew a Weissbier complete with all the banana esters or clove phenols your palate desires for the perfect mid-summer beer.

| July 2019

 weissbier-ingredients
Getty Images/demarco-media

Targets

  • OG: 1.050
  • IBU: 12–15
  • SRM: 4.2
  • ABV: 5.0%

“The best songs will never gets sung/The best life never leaves your lungs.”

Wilco was right: Everything exists in a quantum state of perfection as long as it remains only pure potential. A glimmer in the eye. An unfermented maltose molecule. It’s only after we choose a fork in the road—an observable, fermentable one—that it collapses into A or B, this or that, banana or clove.

Traditional weissbier (aka hefeweizen) is a pale-ish, cloudy ale made from at least 50% malted wheat. The remainder of the grain is malted barley with most of that being pale, light Pils malt. Add some German hops, shoot for 5 percent ABV—pretty standard fare so far.



But it’s the yeast that truly makes a weissbier. I’m calling for the most widely used strain in its native Bavaria, available at your LHBS as Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan. Besides being uber-traditional, this weissbier is also an exploration of the mutability of beer yeast.

During fermentation, this strain produces the classic “clove” phenol (4-vinyl guaicol, or 4VG if you’re nasty) and “banana” ester (isoamyl acetate) requisite of true weissbier. The amount and proportion of each is a chance for you get all Dr. Moreau with your yeast, tweaking and dialing the sensory profile to your exacting specifications.






Umansky

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