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Berliner-Style Weisse

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Location: German
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 23A - Berliner Weisse

Style Description

This is the description of how the Berliner-Style Weisse style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the Berliner-Style Weisse beer style.

Carbonation is high. Traditionally, some Berliners were brewed or served with fruit, spices or syrups. Some more contemporary versions have been brewed with other ingredients such as darker malts. Any such versions will take on corresponding hues, and may exhibit flavor and aroma attributes typical of such ingredients. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on the addition of fruit, spice or specialty malt, or other ingredients or processes. Fruited or flavored entries would be accompanied by a very brief description of the fruit/flavor used by the brewer.

  • Body: Very low
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Malt sweetness is absent
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Not present
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters are low to medium. Diacetyl should not be present. Brettanomyces character may be absent or present at low to medium levels, and if present may be expressed as horsey, goaty, leathery, phenolic, fruity and/or acidic aromas and flavors. The unique combination of yeast and lactic acid bacteria fermentation yields a beer that is acidic and highly attenuated.
  • Common Ingredients: Wheat malt content is typically 50% of the grist (as is tradition with all German wheat beers) with the remainder typically being Pilsner malt. A symbiotic fermentation with top-fermenting yeast and Lactobacillus (various strains) provides the sharp sourness, which may be enhanced by blending of beers of different ages during fermentation and by extended cool aging. Hop bitterness is non-existent. Decoction mashing with mash hopping is traditional. German brewing scientists believe that Brettanomyces is essential to get the correct flavor profile, but this character is never strong.
  • Commercial Examples: Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Style Weisse, Berliner Kindl Weisse, Nodding Head Berliner Weisse, The Bruery Hottenroth

Brewing Properties of Berliner-Style Weisse

The functional properties of brewing Berliner-Style Weisse beers as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, historical significance, authenticity or a high profile in the current commercial beer market.

ABV
The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
2.8 - 5.0%
Bitterness
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
3 - 6 IBUs
SRM
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
2 - 4 SRM
(4 - 8 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.028 - 1.044
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.004 - 1.006

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.

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