What We Do Week #7: Our Wheat Beer

While our focus is lager beer, we can’t help but embrace the complex process and characteristics of an authentic German-style wheat beer.  In contrast to our lagers, fermentation, and maturation of our wheat beers is a two-vessel process using a traditional German wheat yeast.  This yeast has the unique capability of transforming compounds in the wort into an intense banana, bubble gum, stone fruit, and clove flavors which comprise the majority of aroma and taste in our wheat beers.  Fermentation takes place in an open tank and the beer is transferred to a closed vessel for maturation.  This traditional two-vessel process is labor intensive and rarely practiced today, but we believe it produces an uncommon depth of flavor that cannot be replicated using a single fermenter.  Interestingly, the relative shallow design and openness of the fermenter influences yeast activity and promotes the transformation of flavors that are the hallmark of our wheat beers.   

Once fermentation is complete, our wheat beer is transferred to a closed vessel for maturation.  The purpose of the transfer is to separate the beer from yeast that has settled to the bottom of the fermenter and to ensure the beer is not exposed to oxygen during maturation.  This step minimizes the risk of off-flavors which would result in a beer that does not meet our quality standards. 

Once in the closed vessel we condition wheat beer for approximately two weeks until the green beer flavors are removed and the beer has clarified to its appropriate turbidity.  

Next Week’s Topic:  Natural Carbonation!