Good wheat beer needs time to rest
When it comes to fine wines and exquisite cheeses, everyone knows that such specialities need time to mature and become truly special. Few know that the same applies to brewing wheat beer. When it comes to quality though, time plays a decisive role. The motto for finely matured wheat beer is therefore: flavour comes with time.
Bavarian double maturity method, or “Bayerische Edelreifung” – the pinnacle of brewing skills
Hops and malt, God save them! Brewing a perfect wheat beer is an art. It takes numerous steps and observation of strict guidelines to turn hops, malt, water and yeast into something truly special. The standard process takes about four to six days, after which the main fermentation process is completed. Up to this point there is no difference between a “normal” wheat beer and a beer made with the “Bayerische Edelreifung”. But then the wheat is separated from the chaff: standard wheat beers are flash-pasteurised, filled into bottles or barrels and immediately offered for sale. By contrast, double matured wheat beers receive their finishing touch with the addition of fresh yeast. Only then are they packaged and allowed to mature a second time in the bottle or barrel – without pasteurisation. This wheat beer refinement process takes up to three weeks.
Why be satisfied so soon when it tastes better later?
Extra yeast, extra rest, extra gentle treatment – you can taste the difference. Wheat beers made with the “Bayerische Edelreifung” develop particularly complex aromas and delicately sparkling carbonic acid for a deliciously smooth drinking experience. And since there is no pasteurisation, the valuable ingredients are also preserved. The carbonic acid forms a fine foam when poured and the fresh yeast spreads evenly throughout the glass without clumping. This is Bavarian wheat beer quality, exactly as it should be.
How can you recognise a beer made with the “Bayerische Edelreifung”?
In Bavaria, the cradle of wheat beer, there is a special quality icon for the Bavarian double maturity method, or “Bayerische Edelreifung”. The blue and white icon stands for the traditional brewing process that makes the difference between a standard wheat beer and a double matured wheat beer. It adorns the bottles of all wheat beer breweries that have joined the initiative “Bayerische Edelreifung – zweifach kultiviert” and thus committed themselves to the quality promise of Bavarian brewing craftsmanship.