Wheat Beer Styles: Weiss vs Wit
You might be asking yourself what are the differences between weissbier, witbeir, hefeweizen, wheat, white beers? Here is an article that I hope will solve all of the confusion.
Their are two major styles of wheat beers, weissbier (German) and witbier (Belgian). Wheat beers are usually top fermented ales, that consistent mostly of wheat followed by a pale malted barley. Since wheat contains much more protein than barley it produces a thicker head along with a hazy appearance. Most wheat beers are light both in body and flavor making them a great summer beer.
The most common type of weissbeir, as it is called in German, is the Hefeweizen. Directly translated in German “Hefe” means yeast and “Weizen” means wheat. Hefeweizen is a unfiltered, top fermented, bottle conditioned German wheat beer with noticeable yeast sediment and a hazy appearance. Weissbier that has been filtered, which removes suspended yeast and wheat protein, are usually called Kristallweizen (crystal wheat), or Kristall Weissbier (crystal white beer). Dark weiss styles are also available and are known as dunkelweizen (dark wheat), or Weizenbock (strong wheat beer), these usually have higher alcohol content.
White beer, witbier, as it is called in Belgium is a unfiltered, top fermented, bottle conditioned wheat beer. It gets its name from the suspended yeast and wheat proteins, which make the beer look white when cold. This style originated without the use of any hops, instead fruits and spices were used. Today the style tends to use orange peel and coriander along with a light bit of hops for aroma and flavoring. Check out our Belgian Witbier Recipe it is an amazing brew, loved by many of my friends. The article brewing with coriander goes into more details on how to use coriander when brewing.
|Aroma||Moderate to strong phenols (usually clove) and fruity esters (usually banana).||Moderate sweetness with light, grainy, spicy wheat aromatics, often with a bit of tartness.|
|Appearance||Cloudy, Pale straw to very dark gold in color.||Cloudy, Pale straw to very light gold in color.|
|Flavor||Low to moderately strong banana and clove flavor.||Pleasant sweetness and a zesty, orange-citrusy fruitiness.|
|OG||1.044 – 1.052||1.044 – 1.052|
|FG||1.010 – 1.014||1.008 – 1.012|
|Commercial Examples||Paulaner, Franziskaner||Hoegaarden, Lost Coast Brewery Great White, Blue Moon Belgian White|
Feel free to comment on any thoughts regarding wheat beers below.