Weizenbock – A Beer Between the styles?

What’s up Cheers Charlotte listeners? – (or should I say readers in my case) This week the fellas (download episode 79 HERE) talk about a German ale style known as Weizenbock. While most beer styles from Germany are lagers (pilsners, bock, doppelbock, Oktoberfest etc. fermented at colder temps); it is actually an ale because of the warmer fermentation temps. However, it merges bock (a dark German lager with unique plum-like, melanoidin flavors); and a Weissbier (a wheat based German ale with clove, bubble gum, and banana overtones) – and sort of turns it into a hybrid style.  Think of the best qualities of a bockbier and combine it with a typical weizen yeast and voila!

The Weizenbock is a style often overlooked by enthusiasts and brewers alike, as it is quite an uncommon one.  It can be compared to a giant sized dunkelweizen as it is much darker than the normal hefeweizen yet offers much more malt forward flavors with that old familiar Weissbier accent.  The style typically has a higher alcohol content as well. It has all of the clove- like spiciness of a typical weissbier ; but should also deliver the familiar bock melanoidin and bready flavors from the use of Munich malt. Often traditionalists will use decoction mash methods to encourage more of the melanoidin character of the malt to come out – of course that is if you want to be as close to style as possible.

Profile – the bottom line

The Weizenbock is a typically a pretty big beer but should not have to take months to really mellow out. I personally would drink it sooner than later as with most Weissbier. It usually is very light on the hops in order for the big malty flavors to take some limelight and of course to let some weizen yeast character through too –  so stay light with the noble hops…hop heads! The key for sure is to use the correct German ale yeast or it won’t really fit the profile of a Weizenbock. I suggest WLP 300 from White Labs or Wyeast 3333 to really get the correct yeast spiciness; just make sure to control those temps and keep them below 70 degrees if possible! For malt, you must use at least 50% wheat malt, and for the remaining 50%: a mixture of pilsner, Munich, and Vienna malt. I prefer to use a majority of Munich to achieve the usual bready, crust-like flavors of the bock style and a little pilsner malt to help the beer dry out some more. This is a style that can be easily under attenuated as the original gravity is usually between 1.064 – 1.080+ which yields alcohol content in the 6.5 – 8.0%+ range –  so mash low and long if you plan on using a single infusion mash to get that final gravity down.

Recipe 

A traditional Weizenbock recipe may look like this:

All Grain

Batch Size: 5.00 gal

Estimated OG: 1.081 SG

Estimated Color: 17.4 SRM

Estimated IBU: 19.0 IBU

Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %

Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:

7 lbs      Wheat Malt, Dark (Weyermann) (7.0 SRM)      49.12 %

5 lbs       Munich II (Weyermann) (8.5 SRM)                    35.09 %

2 lbs       Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM)                         14.04 %

4.0 oz        Carafa I (337.0 SRM)                                                  1.75 %

1.25 oz    Hallertauer [4.80 %]  (90 min)                            19.0 IBU

1 Pkgs        Hefeweizen Ale (White Labs #WLP300)

Single Mash Infusion: 150F degrees for 75 mins

**Follow the Hochkurz mash schedule for traditional German mashing techniques**

Extract

Batch Size: 5.00 gal

Estimated OG: 1.082 SG

Estimated Color: 16.8 SRM

Estimated IBU: 18.7 IBU

Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %

Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:

 

7 lbs               Wheat Dry Extract (8.0 SRM)                    65.12 %

3 lbs 8.0 oz    Munich II (Weyermann) (8.5 SRM)          32.56 %

4.0 oz              Carafa I (337.0 SRM)                                   2.33 %

1.25 oz            Hallertauer [4.80 %]  (90 min)                 18.7 IBU

1 Pkgs              Hefeweizen Ale (White Labs #WLP300)

Hopefully this will get you started should you decide to brew a traditional style Weizenbock. You can usually find a prepackaged Weizenbock extract kit at your local homebrew store if you want to take the guess work out of the equation. Either way – try this style; you won’t be disappointed!

Please check out or sponsor Salud Beer Shop and tell em you want to try a Weizenbock! Until next time:  keep brewing….and drinking good brews (I know you will!!!) Cheers Charlotte!!!

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