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The Mans Cave was a concept originated long before my time. The men in my family have always had their place of solitude where men could be men and there was no questioning. I now live the city life which means the man cave has been greatly reduced in size. That brought me to create an internet based man cave where all men can join in. Whether geek, gamer, jock, fitness, brewer, BBQ-er, or just looking for a place to read about manly news, you will find a home in the Man Cave

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Exploring the Styles: Weizen/Weissbier

Now that summer is in full swing, the styles of beer that are best suited for summer really come into the spotlight.  The banana and spicy clove flavors that German Weissbiers are known for keeps the beer refreshing during the hot summer months.

History:  Although Weissbiers have been brewed since the 16th Century, like most ales in Germany, it is only in more recent times that they have become popular.  Weissbiers originally were named as such since they were much lighter in color than the more predominant darker ales of the time.  However, the name now only applies to beers brewed with a large proportion of wheat.  There are other common styles that have developed directly from Weissbier, such as Hefeweizen, which requires that the beer be unfiltered, and as a result the beer is hazy and cloudy.  Other offshoots also include Dunkelweizen and Krystalweizen as well as a few others. 

What to Expect:  No matter what type of Weissbier or Weizen you try, the flavor profiles should share some similarities.  The wheat adds some breadiness to the beer, but mostly the yeast is where the main flavors are found.  The yeasts used in making these beers results in a beer that smells and tastes both spicy and fruity, mostly cloves and bananas.  My favorite aspect of these beers is when you pour them into a weissbier glass.  The tall glass really shows off the color, and allows the head to really be displayed prominently.  There is little hop flavor and bitterness, and it should be pretty dry to help refresh your mouth.

Great Commercial Examples:
Erdinger Weissbier- The traditional weissbier, with more of the clove flavor coming through that some of the other examples.
Ayinger Brau Weisse- A solid example that is more readily available than some of the others.
Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier- The one which all are compared against.  Subtly balanced, but great complexity without complicating the style.
Brauerei Pinkus Mueller Organic Hefe-Weizen- Great classic example of balancing the banana and clove flavors to produce a clean, dry finish and a very refreshing beer.

Brewing Your Own:
My take on the weissbier leads the way of a Hefeweizen and really plays off of the banana flavors that come through in this style with slightly warmer fermentation temperatures.
Mash at 152 (4 gallon batch)
4 lb Pilsner Malt
4 lb Wheat Malt
1 lb Flaked Wheat
1/2 lb Crushed Pecans

60 min boil
Add .5 oz Liberty Hops at 60 minutes and .5 oz Liberty Hops at 30 minutes.
Cool Wort and pitch Wyeast 3068 into wort.
ABV- 6.0%

Cheers and Happy Brewing!


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