It's all in the Yeast

Hefeweizen is a simple, refreshing German style of beer whose main characteristics are determined by very low flocculating yeasts that produce a cloudy end product ('hefe' in German means yeast.) Hefeweizen specific yeast strains also produce characteristic phenol and ester compounds among others that remind tasters of bannana, clove, bubblegum.

The other major flavor comes from a grain bill of about half wheat - giving this beer a nice, full mouth feel and that crackery and subtly bready wheat flavor. The other half of the grain bill is generally Continental Pilsner malt.
Hopping, like many German styles, is fairly low and authentic results come from a Noble hop like Hallertau or an American offshoot like Liberty.


The yeast is the star of the show here. A good Hefeweizen cannot be made without the right yeast. Plain and simply, do not bother to try. The three yeasts I would recommend are special Weizen strains from White Labs or Wyeast or the dry Fermentis WB-06 wheat yeast. Reports are that a restrained fermentation temperature (62-64F) will produce a clean fermentation with the desired ester and phenol characteristics.

On your grain bill, resist the urge to throw any adjuncts or other such in here ... save that for other styles. Hefeweizen is a clean, straight-forward, simple style that is meant to let the yeast do the talking.

Yeast Choices

White Labs Hefeweizen Ale Yeast WLP300 Basic Hefeweizen yeast, moderate phenol and ester
White Labs Hefeweizen IV Yeast WLP380 More Clove and phenol, less banana than WLP300. Higher attenuation, less flocculant. Citrus & Apricot notes.
Wyeast German Wheat WY3333 Subtle weizen characteristics.
Wyeast Bavarian Wheat WY3638 Good amount of balanced banana/clove flavors with bubble gum, apple, plum.
Wyeast Weihenstephan Weizen WY3068 Full flavored, classic strain used widely by many producers in Germany.
Fermentis Wheat Yeast WB-06 Dry yeast alternative to the liquid cultures.

Style Facts

OG: 1.044 - 1.052 FG: 1.010 - 1.014 IBU: 8 - 15 SRM: 2 - 8 ABV: 4.3% - 5.6%

All Grain Recipe - Hefeweizen ::: 1.052/1.012 (6.25 Gal)

Grain Bill (Assumes 70% Efficiency)

6 lbs. - Pilsner Malt
6 lb. - Wheat Malt

Hop Schedule (12 IBU)

1 oz - Hallertau (60 Min.)
** OR Use Liberty (1oz) instead **


Wyeast Weihenstephan Weizen (3068) - 800 ml starter


Mash at about 152 F. Sparge as usual
Boil for 60 minutes
Cool and ferment at about 64F

< Brew365 Home  :::   Article List  :::   Recipe List  :::   Links  :::   Contact Brew365 :::   Brew365 RSS