Bavarian Weissbier (with a fruit beer option)

by Karl | Updated: October 22, 2014

Weissbier RecipeHow could the cabbie not know Weihenstephan?!

He thought it was a milk factory. A milk factory!!

We were at the Munich airport for only a few short hours on a trip home from Italy. Munich proper is too far from the airport but Freising, the home of Weihenstephan brewery, is only a 15 minute cab ride. If the driver knows where he’s going…

We eventually found a beer-drinking cabbie who knew the spot and were on our way. Past the green fields and through the quiet Feising roads. Up the steep hill to brewery’s bräustüberl. It was too early for food but not for beer. I knew my order without even touching the menu.

“Weissbier, bitte.”

Drinking Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier at its source – check. It’s hard to imagine the beer (one of my favorites) being any better than how it tastes in the States but remarkably it’s taken to another level at its birthplace. Totally worth the 5,000 mile trip.

I hesitate to call this recipe a Weihenstephan clone because there is no cloning this beer. Not gonna happen. It’s a Bavarian Weissbier that resembles Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. It’s a less sophisticated cousin of it. When I drink it I’m reminded of that day in Freising up on the hill in the biergarten. What more can you ask for?

My homebrew club had a fruit beer month so I brewed a batch and split it to make an apricot weissbier. No shocker here – this recipe makes an excellent base beer for fruit.

Brew it traditional or make it your next fruit beer. Totally not reinheitsgebot, but who cares – it’s absolutely delicious. Or do what I did and split the batch to get the best of both.

Bavarian Weissbier Recipe

Original Gravity: 1.052
Est Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV: 5.3%
IBU: 16
Efficiency: 75%
Batch Size: 6 gal
Boil length: 90 minutes

6 lbs 9.2 oz German Wheat Malt (60%)
4 lbs 6.2 oz German Pilsner Malt (40%)

1.25 oz Hallertau (3.6 % AA) – 60 min

Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan

Mash at 152°F for 60 minutes. Use rice hulls to help with lautering given all the wheat. Pitch yeast and ferment at 64°F. Keg/bottle with high carbonation.

Play around with the fermentation temperature on this one. That’s the main variable to tweak. Ferment warmer and you’ll get less clove and more banana flavors. The cooler temps will make it more clean. If you want to get really hardcore try a decoction mash. That’s my plan for the next round of this recipe.

Fruit option
Use Vitnter’s Harvest Apricot Puree for the fruit. Once primary fermentation has ended, add the puree to a secondary and rack the beer on top of it. Use 2 cans (98 oz.) for every 5 gallons of beer. Let it sit for 7 days then keg/bottle.

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