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Good commericial Weizenbocks to try

I’m thinking about brewing a weizenbock but was wondering if there were any commercially available this time of year. The only one I know I’ve had was Glockenspiel by GLBC but they don’t currently have that on tap and I don’t remember the season they have that. Just looking for some inspiration for my brew day.

Vitus by Weihenstephaner and Ayingers wbock are two excellent examples you should be able to find in a decent grocery/beer store. Its funny, because most of the homebrew recipes out there (including Jamil’s and are much darker and have more caramel malts than these two.

Haven’t you ever had Aventinus, from Schneider and Sonn brewers in Germany? That’s really the original world classic that most beer geeks consider the one to measure all others by. It should be available pretty much any time of the year, I think. They even offer an “ice” version periodically, although I haven’t seen that one in quite a while. There are other German beers on the market in that style, but it’s the one that’s generally considered by beer critics to be the best, and I agree. There are others out there that are quite good, too, but American brewers haven’t really gravitated to that style in great numbers as far as I’m aware. In fact, I don’t think even Samuel Adams has ever produced a beer in that style, which I find surprising, considering their German heritage and expansive stylistic range. Now that you mention it, I’ve been meaning to brew a weizenbock myself for years now, and never have. I guess the one thing that kind of intimidates me about brewing this style is getting the hopping rate just right. Statistical analyses of Aventinus, and clone recipes for it, always quote a ridiculously low IBU level for the gravity, something like 18 IBUs to it’s 1.080 OG. I’m afraid of making a beer that’s cloyingly sweet and destined to a short shelf life. If you do decide to make one, I’d greatly appreciate it if you would post your recipe and your appraisal of it after you’ve given it some time in the bottle.

[quote=“deliusism1”]

Haven’t you ever had Aventinus, from Schneider and Sonn brewers in Germany? That’s really the original world classic that most beer geeks consider the one to measure all others by. It should be available pretty much any time of the year, I think. They even offer an “ice” version periodically, although I haven’t seen that one in quite a while. There are other German beers on the market in that style, but it’s the one that’s generally considered by beer critics to be the best, and I agree. There are others out there that are quite good, too, but American brewers haven’t really gravitated to that style in great numbers as far as I’m aware. In fact, I don’t think even Samuel Adams has ever produced a beer in that style, which I find surprising, considering their German heritage and expansive stylistic range. Now that you mention it, I’ve been meaning to brew a weizenbock myself for years now, and never have. I guess the one thing that kind of intimidates me about brewing this style is getting the hopping rate just right. Statistical analyses of Aventinus, and clone recipes for it, always quote a ridiculously low IBU level for the gravity, something like 18 IBUs to it’s 1.080 OG. I’m afraid of making a beer that’s cloyingly sweet and destined to a short shelf life. If you do decide to make one, I’d greatly appreciate it if you would post your recipe and your appraisal of it after you’ve given it some time in the bottle.[/quote]

I don’t think he’s had any Weizenbocks which is why he asked the question.

In any event, don’t be intimidated about brewing these. They are relatively straightforward if you follow a good recipe. We used Rodney’s (winner of Sam Adams Longshot) and it is a great beer young, but I am anxious to see how it ages.

To your point, ours came out at 15 IBU (Magnum @ 60 minutes), but is not cloyingly sweet. I honestly don’t know of any styles, including the typical malt bombs (80/-, strong scottish, doppel) that are sweet (if they are brewed well that is). They are malty.

Mashing relatively high will create a more dextrinous beer, but good fermentation management will yield a beer with a big upfront malt character and a subtle but present dryness that is what most want. We started ours with a big slug of WLP 300, started at 61*, then ramped up to 66 after 6 days, then after 4 days there, ramped up to 70* for another week.

My brewing partner brewed another with WLP 380 and got a little more of a vanilla phenol out of it, so I think I actually might prefer that yeast, but I really like Rodney’s malt bill.

:cheers:

Haven’t you ever had Aventinus, from Schneider and Sonn brewers in Germany? That’s really the original world classic that most beer geeks consider the one to measure all others by. [/quote]

I actually swung by one of the craft brew joints on my way home on Friday to see if I could find a good example. The only one I found was from the brewery you mentioned above but was not the Aventinus. I believe this one the one I had

.

I must say, this was a very tasty beer. It was lighter than I expected and had a lot of the clove/banana you’d expect but it also had a very clean fruity flavor to it. Almost reminded me of a champagne. Incredibly complex beer. As you said, this one would be intimidating to try to make.

I did end up brewing the recipe Trick or Treat Bock from Brewing Classic Styles. He says to keep the fermentation under 62*. I pitched WLP300 at around 58* in my swamp cooler in my basement yesterday and just under 24 hours later it has about 1" krausen and it was holding steady at 60*. Hoping it doesn’t climb up too high while I’m at work when the fermentation starts to take off.

The target FG is 1.021 so it’s expected to be pretty sweet. Since I brewed the extract version of the recipe and I’m keeping the temp so low I will be very happy with that FG but I won’t hold my breath. I may end up having to raise the temp on this to help it finish.

Definitely let the temp raise as fermentation progresses. 65* in a few more days for another 3, 70* for the remainder would be my recommendation.

You are starting out in the right range though.

Haven’t you ever had Aventinus, from Schneider and Sonn brewers in Germany? That’s really the original world classic that most beer geeks consider the one to measure all others by. [/quote]

I actually swung by one of the craft brew joints on my way home on Friday to see if I could find a good example. The only one I found was from the brewery you mentioned above but was not the Aventinus. I believe this one the one I had

.

I must say, this was a very tasty beer. It was lighter than I expected and had a lot of the clove/banana you’d expect but it also had a very clean fruity flavor to it. Almost reminded me of a champagne. Incredibly complex beer. As you said, this one would be intimidating to try to make.

I did end up brewing the recipe Trick or Treat Bock from Brewing Classic Styles. He says to keep the fermentation under 62*. I pitched WLP300 at around 58* in my swamp cooler in my basement yesterday and just under 24 hours later it has about 1" krausen and it was holding steady at 60*. Hoping it doesn’t climb up too high while I’m at work when the fermentation starts to take off.

The target FG is 1.021 so it’s expected to be pretty sweet. Since I brewed the extract version of the recipe and I’m keeping the temp so low I will be very happy with that FG but I won’t hold my breath. I may end up having to raise the temp on this to help it finish.[/quote]

Wow, that looks like a very interesting beer. I wasn’t aware that the old classic German breweries were experimenting with new generation hops, such as the Nelson Sauvin variety specified on the label. A hoppy weissbier is another style I’d be hesitant to attempt, but I’m sure the one you got was probably great. Now you’ve got me contemplating another style to try!

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“deliusism1”]

Haven’t you ever had Aventinus, from Schneider and Sonn brewers in Germany? That’s really the original world classic that most beer geeks consider the one to measure all others by. It should be available pretty much any time of the year, I think. They even offer an “ice” version periodically, although I haven’t seen that one in quite a while. There are other German beers on the market in that style, but it’s the one that’s generally considered by beer critics to be the best, and I agree. There are others out there that are quite good, too, but American brewers haven’t really gravitated to that style in great numbers as far as I’m aware. In fact, I don’t think even Samuel Adams has ever produced a beer in that style, which I find surprising, considering their German heritage and expansive stylistic range. Now that you mention it, I’ve been meaning to brew a weizenbock myself for years now, and never have. I guess the one thing that kind of intimidates me about brewing this style is getting the hopping rate just right. Statistical analyses of Aventinus, and clone recipes for it, always quote a ridiculously low IBU level for the gravity, something like 18 IBUs to it’s 1.080 OG. I’m afraid of making a beer that’s cloyingly sweet and destined to a short shelf life. If you do decide to make one, I’d greatly appreciate it if you would post your recipe and your appraisal of it after you’ve given it some time in the bottle.[/quote]

I don’t think he’s had any Weizenbocks which is why he asked the question.

In any event, don’t be intimidated about brewing these. They are relatively straightforward if you follow a good recipe. We used Rodney’s (winner of Sam Adams Longshot) and it is a great beer young, but I am anxious to see how it ages.

To your point, ours came out at 15 IBU (Magnum @ 60 minutes), but is not cloyingly sweet. I honestly don’t know of any styles, including the typical malt bombs (80/-, strong scottish, doppel) that are sweet (if they are brewed well that is). They are malty.

Mashing relatively high will create a more dextrinous beer, but good fermentation management will yield a beer with a big upfront malt character and a subtle but present dryness that is what most want. We started ours with a big slug of WLP 300, started at 61*, then ramped up to 66 after 6 days, then after 4 days there, ramped up to 70* for another week.

My brewing partner brewed another with WLP 380 and got a little more of a vanilla phenol out of it, so I think I actually might prefer that yeast, but I really like Rodney’s malt bill.

:cheers: [/quote]

I’ll have to look up that recipe you mentioned, if for no other reason than to see how it compares to the candidate recipes I’ve formulated on paper. My problem with this style is that I don’t have the equipment to tightly regulate my fermentation temps, and wheat beer yeasts in general are probably more sensitive to ambient temps- at least in terms of the flavors they produce, not necessarily in how thoroughly they attenuate- than any other types, from what I’ve read. Even the finished product is highly temperature sensitive, in my experience. Aventinus, in particular, is like a chameleon beer, in my experience. When I first start drinking it, the most prominent flavors are the classic phenol-driven ones such as clove, banana, vanilla, etc. But as the beer warms while I’m slowly savoring it over the course of an hour or so, it starts to take on more of the classic ale-like characteristics associated with top-fermentation- the fruitiness and breadiness and so on. Man, now I want to run and buy one, and I’m in for the evening because it’s so cold where I’m at! I guess I know what beer I’m buying the next time I go on a beer run. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had one of those, and it’s high time I paid it a return visit.

I would definitely agree with this. 61* to start, no more. Otherwise you will have banana bread with sulfur in a glass.

If I had to pick one style of beer I could do without, it would probably be hefeweizen.

Now that being said, I do like weizenbocks and roggenbiers (both of which I now have on hand as I used the latter to grow up yeast for the former). I think as you mention, the intense maltiness balances out the phenols, where with a straight hefe all you get is clove and the banana BS.

How do you like Vitus compared to Aventinus? The first time I had a weizenbock of any sort was Vitus right before my BJCP exam, and it was one of my most memorable beer epiphanies ever! As you say, great vanilla and melanoidin. It is funny though, both of those examples are WAY lighter in color than most homebrew weizenbock recipes.

I would definitely agree with this. 61* to start, no more. Otherwise you will have banana bread with sulfur in a glass.

If I had to pick one style of beer I could do without, it would probably be hefeweizen.

Now that being said, I do like weizenbocks and roggenbiers (both of which I now have on hand as I used the latter to grow up yeast for the former). I think as you mention, the intense maltiness balances out the phenols, where with a straight hefe all you get is clove and the banana BS.

How do you like Vitus compared to Aventinus? The first time I had a weizenbock of any sort was Vitus right before my BJCP exam, and it was one of my most memorable beer epiphanies ever! As you say, great vanilla and melanoidin. It is funny though, both of those examples are WAY lighter in color than most homebrew weizenbock recipes.[/quote]

I only ever saw Vitus for the first time in the store in my area within the last year or two. I’ve only had it once, I think, and that was quite a while ago, so I can’t really give a very good review of it. I just remember thinking that I liked it, but that I still liked Aventinus better. I’ll try it again some time. There’s only one store in the town I live in that I know for sure carries it, and I only make it there every so often because it’s a little overpriced and it’s further away from my regular stop.

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