Aroma: Blend of smoke and malt, with a varying balance and intensity. The beechwood smoke character can range from subtle to fairly strong, and can seem smoky, woody, or bacon-like. The malt character can be low to moderate, and be somewhat rich, toasty, or malty-sweet. The malt and smoke components are often inversely proportional (i.e., when smoke increases, malt decreases, and vice versa). Hop aroma may be very low to none. Clean lager fermentation character.

Appearance: This should be a very clear beer, with a large, creamy, rich, tan- to cream-colored head. Medium amber/light copper to dark brown color.

Flavor: Generally follows the aroma profile, with a blend of smoke and malt in varying balance and intensity, yet always complementary. Märzen-like qualities should be noticeable, particularly a malty, toasty richness, but the beechwood smoke flavor can be low to high. At higher levels, the smoke can take on a bacon-like character, which is acceptable as long as it doesn’t veer into the greasy range. The palate can be somewhat malty-rich-sweet, yet the finish tends to be medium-dry to dry with the smoke character sometimes enhancing the dryness of the finish. The aftertaste can reflect both malt richness and smoke flavors, with a balanced presentation desirable. Moderate, balanced, hop bitterness. Moderate to none hop flavor with spicy, floral, or herbal notes. Clean lager fermentation character. Harsh, bitter, burnt, charred, rubbery, sulfury or phenolic smoky characteristics are inappropriate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Medium to medium-high carbonation. Smooth lager character. Significant astringent, phenolic harshness is inappropriate.

Overall Impression: Comments: Literally “smoke beer” in German. The intensity of smoke character can vary widely; not all examples are highly smoked. Allow for variation in the style when judging. Other examples of smoked beers are available in Germany based on styles such as Dunkles Bock, Weissbier, Dunkel, Schwarzbier, and Helles, including examples such as Spezial Lager; these should be entered in the Classic Style Smoked Beer category.

History: A historical specialty of the city of Bamberg, in the Franconian region of Bavaria in Germany. Beechwood-smoked malt is used to make a Märzen-style amber lager. The smoke character of the malt varies by maltster; some breweries produce their own smoked malt (rauchmalz).

Characteristic Ingredients: German Rauchmalz (beechwood-smoked Vienna-type malt) typically makes up 20-100% of the grain bill, with the remainder being German malts typically used in a Märzen. Some breweries adjust the color slightly with a bit of roasted malt. German lager yeast. German or Czech hops.

Style Comparison: Like a Märzen with but with a balanced, sweet, smoky aroma and flavor and a somewhat darker color.

Vital Statistics:

OG: 1.050 – 1.057

IBUs: 20 – 30

FG: 1.012 – 1.016

SRM: 12 – 22

ABV: 4.8 – 6%

Commercial Examples: Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen, Kaiserdom Rauchbier, Eisenbahn Defumada, Spezial Rauchbier Märzen, Victory Scarlet Fire Rauchbier

Aroma: Moderate phenols (usually clove) and fruity esters (usually banana). The balance and intensity of the phenol and ester components can vary but the best examples are reasonably balanced. Optionally, a low to moderate vanilla character and/or faint bubblegum notes may be present, but should not dominate. Hop aroma ranges from low to none, and may be lightly floral, spicy, or herbal. A light to moderate wheat aroma (which might be perceived as bready, doughy or grainy) may be present and is often accompanied by a caramel, bread crust, or richer malt aroma. The malt aroma may moderate the phenols and esters somewhat.

Appearance: Light copper to mahogany brown in color. A very thick, moussy, long-lasting off-white head is characteristic. The high protein content of wheat impairs clarity in this traditionally unfiltered style, although the level of haze is somewhat variable. Suspended yeast sediment can contribute to cloudiness.

Flavor: Low to moderately strong banana and clove flavor. The balance and intensity of the phenol and ester components can vary but the best examples are reasonably balanced and fairly prominent. Optionally, a very light to moderate vanilla character and/or faint bubblegum notes can accentuate the banana flavor, sweetness and roundness; neither should be dominant if present. The soft, somewhat bready, doughy, or grainy flavor of wheat is complementary, as is a richer caramel, toast, or bread crust flavor. The malty richness can be low to medium-high, and supports the yeast character. A roasted malt character is inappropriate. A spicy, herbal, or floral hop flavor is very low to none, and hop bitterness is very low to low. Well-rounded, flavorful, often somewhat malty palate with a relatively dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium-full body. The texture of wheat as well as yeast in suspension imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness that may progress to a lighter finish, aided by moderate to high carbonation. Effervescent.

Overall Impression: A moderately dark German wheat beer with a distinctive banana-and-clove yeast character, supported by a toasted bread or caramel malt flavor. Highly carbonated and refreshing, with a creamy, fluffy texture and light finish that encourages drinking.

Comments: The presence of Munich and/or Vienna-type barley malts gives this style a deep, rich barley malt character not found in a weissbier. Often known as dunkelweizen, particularly in the United States.

History: Bavaria has a wheat beer brewing traditional hundreds of years old, but the brewing right was reserved for Bavarian royalty until the late 1700s. Old-fashioned Bavarian wheat beer was often dark, as were most beer of the day. Pale weissbier started to become popular in the 1960s, but traditional dark wheat beer remained somewhat of an old person’s drink.

Characteristic Ingredients: By German brewing tradition, at least 50% of the grist must be malted wheat, although some versions use up to 70%; the remainder is usually Munich, Vienna, or dark or caramel wheat malts, or Pilsner malt with color malt. A decoction mash is traditional, but infrequently used today. Weizen ale yeasts produce the typical spicy and fruity character, although extreme fermentation temperatures can affect the balance and produce off-flavors.

Style Comparison: Reflecting the best yeast and wheat character of a weissbier blended with the malty richness of a Munich dunkel. The banana and clove character is often less apparent than in a weissbier due to the increased maltiness.

Vital Statistics:

OG: 1.044 – 1.056

IBUs: 10 – 18

FG: 1.010 – 1.014

SRM: 14 – 23

ABV: 4.3 – 5.6%

Commercial Examples: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel, Ayinger Ur-Weisse, Franziskaner Dunkel Hefe-Weisse, Ettaler Weissbier Dunkel, Hacker-Pschorr Weisse Dark, Tucher Dunkles Hefe Weizen

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Monty Brewing Co. - Range View Hotel Opening Winter 2020
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