The Brewers Association (US) offers the following style parameters:

 

Berliner-Style Weisse (Wheat)

“This is very pale in color and the lightest of all the German wheat beers. The unique combination of yeast and lactic acid bacteria fermentation yields a beer that is acidic, highly attenuated, and very light bodied. The carbonation of a Berliner Weisse is high, and hop rates are very low. Hop character should not be perceived. Fruity esters will be evident. No diacetyl should be perceived.”

Original Gravity (ºPlato): 1.028-1.032 (7-8 ºPlato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): 1.004-1.006 (1-1.5 ºPlato)

Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.2-2.7% (2.8-3.4%)

Bitterness (IBU): 3-6

Color SRM (EBC): 2-4 (4-8 EBC)

 

South German-Style Hefeweizen/Hefeweissbier

“The aroma and flavor of a Weissbier with yeast is decidedly fruity and phenolic… often described as clove- or nutmeg like and can be smoky or even vanilla like. Banana like esters are often present.”

“These beers are made with at least 50 percent malted wheat, and hop rates are quite low. Hop flavor and aroma are absent.”

“The color is very pale to pale amber. Because yeast is present, the beer will have yeast flavor and a characteristically fuller mouthfeel and may be appropriately very cloudy.”

Original Gravity (ºPlato): 1.047-1.056 (11.8-14 ºPlato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): 1.008-1.016 (2-4 ºPlato)

Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.9-4.4% (4.9-5.5%)

Bitterness (IBU): 10-15

Color SRM (EBC): 3-9 (6-18 EBC)

 

South German-Style Kristal Weizen/Kristal Weissbier

“The aroma and flavor of a Weissbier without yeast is very similar to Weissbier with yeast (Hefeweizen/Hefeweissbier) with the caveat that fruity and phenolic characters are not combined with the yeasty flavor and fuller-bodied mouthfeel of yeast.”

“The color is very pale to deep golden. Because the beer has been filtered, yeast is not present. The beer will have no flavor of yeast and a cleaner, drier mouthfeel. The beer should be clear with no chill haze present. No diacetyl should be perceived.”

Original Gravity (ºPlato): 1.047-1.056 (11.8-14 ºPlato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): 1.008-1.016 (2-4 ºPlato)

Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.9-4.4% (4.9-5.5%)

Bitterness (IBU): 10-15

Color SRM (EBC): 3-9 (6-18 EBC)

Click here for more information

 

The BJCP offers the following style parameters:

 

15. GERMAN WHEAT AND RYE BEER

15A. Weizen/Weissbier

Aroma: “Moderate to strong 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 and fairly prominent.  Noble hop character ranges from low to none.  …  Optional, but acceptable, aromatics can include a light, citrusy tartness, a light to moderate vanilla character, and/or a low bubblegum aroma.  None of these optional characteristics should be high or dominant, but often can add to the complexity and balance.”

Appearance: “Pale straw to very dark gold in color.  A very thick, moussy, long-lasting white head is characteristic.  … A beer “mit hefe” is also cloudy from suspended yeast sediment (which should be roused before drinking).  The filtered Krystal version has no yeast and is brilliantly clear.”

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.”

Mouthfeel: “Medium-light to medium body; never heavy.  Suspended yeast may increase the perception of body.  The texture of wheat imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness that may progress to a light, spritzy finish aided by high carbonation.  Always effervescent.”

Overall Impression: “A pale, spicy, fruity, refreshing wheat-based ale.”

History: “A traditional wheat-based ale originating in Southern Germany that is a specialty for summer consumption, but generally produced year-round.”

Ingredients: “By German law, at least 50% of the grist must be malted wheat, although some versions use up to 70%; the remainder is Pilsner malt.”

Vital Statistics:

OG:  1.044 – 1.052

IBUs:  8 – 15

FG:  1.010 – 1.014

SRM:  2 – 8

ABV:  4.3 – 5.6%

 

Commercial Examples:

Schneider Weisse

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen

Hacker-Pschorr Weisse

Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse

Penn Weizen

Capitol Kloster Weizen

Sudwerk Hefeweizen

Brooklyner Weisse

Barrelhouse Hocking Hills HefeWeizen

Sprecher Hefeweizen

15B. Dunkelweizen

Aroma: “Moderate to strong phenols (usually clove) and fruity esters (usually banana).  … Any malt character is supportive and does not overpower the yeast character.  No diacetyl or DMS.  A light tartness is optional but acceptable.”

Appearance: “Light copper to mahogany brown in color.  A very thick, moussy, long-lasting off-white head is characteristic.”

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. … A tart, citrusy character from yeast and high carbonation is sometimes present, but typically muted.  Well rounded, flavorful, often somewhat sweet palate with a relatively dry finish.  No diacetyl or DMS.”

Mouthfeel: “Medium-light to medium-full body.  … Effervescent.”

Overall Impression: “A moderately dark, spicy, fruity, malty, refreshing wheat-based ale.  Reflecting the best yeast and wheat character of a hefe-weizen blended with the malty richness of a Munich dunkel.”

History: “Old-fashioned Bavarian wheat beer was often dark.  In the 1950s and 1960s, wheat beers did not have a youthful image, since most older people drank them for their health-giving qualities.  Today, the lighter hefe-weizen is more common.”

 

Ingredients: “By German law, at least 50% of the grist must be malted wheat, although some versions use up to 70%; the remainder is usually Munich and/or Vienna malt.  A traditional decoction mash gives the appropriate body without cloying sweetness.  Weizen ale yeasts produce the typical spicy and fruity character, although extreme fermentation temperatures can affect the balance and produce off-flavors.  A small amount of noble hops are used only for bitterness.”

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:

Franziskaner Dunkel Hefe-Weisse

Hacker-Pschorr Weisse Dark

Tucher Dunkles Hefe Weizen

Ayinger Ur-Weisse

Brooklyner Dunkel-Weisse

Click here for more information