#31 Dunkelweizen

Eureka, today about a recipe I designed myself and brewed three times already. The recipe below is for a relatively straight forward Dunkelweizen (dark wheat beer, BJCP category 15B). I like dark beers in general and decided to create a darker version of a wheat beer. No further introduction, let’s go through the recipe:

Recipe: Dunkelweizen
Numbers: Volume [L] 20 (5.3 gal)
Original gravity 14°P (1.056)
Terminal gravity 5.4°P (1.021)
Color Around 30 EBC
ABV 4.7%
Grains: Munich malt (14.5 EBC) 1.0 kg
Wheat malt dark (16 EBC) 2.6 kg
Pilsner malt (4 EBC) 1.0 kg
Cara Wheat (115 EBC) 0.3 kg
Carafa Typ 1 (900 EBC) 0.06 kg
Acidified malt (4 EBC) 0.15 kg
Hops: Hallertauer (8% AA) 12 g and boil for 90 min
Yeast: Wyeast’s #3068 Weihenstephan
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 3.4 L (0.66 gal),
sparge: 20 L (5.3 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @47°C (117°F)
20 min @45°C (113°F)
add acidified malt, 15 min @53°C (127°F)
30 min @63°C (145°F)
40 min @72°C (162°F)
10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 90 min
Fermentation: Primary 7 days @20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter
Secondary None
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 3.5 with fresh wort
Maturation time 3-4 weeks

05/13/11: Brew day number 31. All went according to the protocol above. Crush all the grains as mentioned in the recipe but crush the acidified malt separately. Then mash in at 45°C (113°F) but not the acidified malt. This malt is added after the 20 min rest at 45°C (113°F). The reason for this is to prevent a lower mash pH during the ferulic acid rest at 45°C. For further information have a look at a previous post of mine #48 Dunkler Nachthimmel.

Fig 1: Dunkelweizen mash

Then do the next rests at the mentioned temperatures, then sparge and boil the wort for 90 min with the hop addition. This beer is not about hops and therefore only a small amount of hops is added.

Fig 2: Collecting the Dunkelweizen wort

After the boil fill 10% of the wort’s volume into clean, disinfected glass bottles. In my case 2 L (0.53 gal). This fresh wort is needed at bottling to get the right amount of carbonation. Store the fresh wort in a refrigerator. Cool down the rest of the wort to pitching temperature of about 20°C (68°F) and pitch healthy Wyeast’s #3068 Weihenstephan yeast or any other wheat yeast you want.

I bottled the beer directly after a primary fermentation of seven days. I used the fresh wort to get the right amount of carbonation (3.5 vol of carbon dioxide). And there are enough yeast cells in the fresh beer. So no need to add fresh yeast at bottling. Please check whether your bottles can handle such high carbonation levels! Otherwise, you will have a lot of bottle bombs…

I then leave the bottles at fermentation temperature for another week or two and then store the bottles in a refrigerator. The beer is ready to drink within three weeks after bottling.


Aroma: Lots of banana, some caramel notes and the typical wheat beer character. No sulphur. Very nice aroma. Makes you thirsty!

Appearance: Brown color, the yeast in suspension makes it cloudy. Three finger tan, frothy head with a lot of bubble rising to the top.

Flavor: Pretty much the same notes I could detect in the aroma. Banana in the front, some caramel character, hints of spicy, phenolic notes.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, lively carbonation. Finishes with a malty and fruity aftertaste. The light-medium body makes it a bit heavier than a normal, pale wheat beer. However, the higher body does not make it less enjoyable. It is still a very easy to drink beer.

Overall Impression: I really like this beer. It has all the characteristic aroma, flavor profile you would expect from a wheat beer. Plus some additional character from the darker malts such as caramel. I am pretty satisfied with this recipe and would not change anything.


2 thoughts on “#31 Dunkelweizen

  1. Very nice!
    I keep trying to get more banana from this yeast and always end up with lots of clove. What’s your secret? I’ve been told to try higher temperatures and I’m actually raising a culture to make a hefeweizen.
    Went to this beer place a few weeks ago and had a Dunkelweizen there and there was just so much clove that it was sickening 😦

    • Hi Dmitri, try to raise the temperature and underpitch. Common pitching rates for Hefeweizen are around 5E6 cells per mL. Another way to circumvent a higher amount of phenolic character would be to simply mash in at higher temperatures of about 65°C (149°F) to avoid the formation of ferulic acids.

      For me simply underpitching already does the job. And I am not a huge fan of phenolic compounds as well… Cheers, Samuel

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