Too Casual Dunkelweizen

Source: Mark Stevens
Recipe added: 10/23/97

I brew a lot of dunkelweizens and this one is a take-off on an extract brew that I posted to HBD back in 1991. This version is meant to be closer to an authentic German-style dunkelweizen, as described in most of the "official" style guidelines, such as AHA or BJCP. Here is the "why" as to how everything is done: The NW extract is, I believe, a 60-40 blend of barley and wheat malts. It is suitable for use in a German-style wheat beer without being mixed with any regular malt extracts. The fairly low amount of chocolate malt is intended to provide some color and a low roasty flavor, but not to the point of creating a black beer. Real dunkelweizens are more "brown" than "black", so a restrained hand on the chocolate malt is called for. The Munich provides a bit of extra body and maltiness, but can be omitted if you wish. The hopping in a real dunkelweizen is restrained, used to balance the sweetness, but definitely not to dominate the flavor, and definitely not used for aroma---late hop additions are, I think, inappropriate in an authentic dunkelweizen recipe. Mt.Hood is a US-grown Hallertauer clone with a fairly good "noble" character, and it works well in styles that would typically use Hallertauer, Tettnanger, or similar German hops, which could, of course be used as well with good results. A good German wheat beer yeast is definitely called for. I think the Wyeast Bavarian wheat yeast strain is a good choice for dunkelweizen since it does provide some of the clove/banana character of a good wheat beer, but is more subdued in that department than many of the yeasts that I would normally prefer (like the old Yeast Labs W51---one of my all-time favorites for basic Weizens). A cooler temperature fermentation (65-68 F should be fine) will also help keep the phenols and iso-amyl acetate under control.


Recipe type: Extract
Batch Size: 5 gallons
Starting Gravity: ---
Finishing Gravity: ---
Time in Boil: 60 minutes
Primary Fermentation: 4-5 days at 65-68 degrees F.
Secondary Fermentation: 5-10 days at 65-68 degrees F.



Heat about 2 gallons of water to steaming, but not to boil (about 150 if you've got a thermometer). Place Munich and chocolate malt in a grain bag and soak for about 30 minutes, then remove from water, rinse with fresh hot water, and discard grain. Bring liquid to boil, adding extract. Add hops for full 60 minute boil. Force chill, or use cool-by-diluting-with-cold-water method. Top off to five gallons, and if temperature is suitable for pitching (around 65 to at most 75 F), add yeast. Ferment as indicated above.
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