Berliner Weisse

Recipes:
2,032
BJCP 2021:
23A
Era:
Traditional
Origin:
🇩🇪 Germany
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Pale
Strength:
Low

Profile

Berliner Weisse is a refreshing, wheat-based, sour ale with a history that dates back to the 16th century in Northern Germany. The style was once extremely popular in Berlin, earning the region a reputation as one of the best producers of this tart beer type. Traditionally, it was known for its sharp lactic acidity produced by lactobacillus bacteria, which gives it a distinctive tartness complementing its light, grainy wheat character.

This pale, straw-colored beer is typically very cloudy due to the yeast and high wheat content. Its head is white and can range from moderate to high but often dissipates quickly due to the high levels of acidity and low protein content from wheat malt. When poured, it should be effervescent with carbonation enhancing its crispness. The flavor and aroma of Berliner Weisse presents a clean lactic sourness without any funk or strong bitterness. There may be an underlying fruity note reminiscent of lemon or green apple as well as a slight doughy or grainy wheat character. Hop presence is minimal both in flavor and aroma due to traditional low hopping rates. This beer style's profile is defined by its simplistic cleanliness focused on delivering a refreshing tartness that makes it especially sought after during warmer months. Despite its simplicity, creating an appropriately balanced Berliner Weisse demands skillful brewing techniques to achieve the correct level of acidity without overpowering sour or off-flavors.

Berliner Weisse often relates closely to other sour styles like the Lambics of Belgium but remains uniquely less complex and more quenching with its focus on lactic acid over funky wild-yeast characteristics. It's also sometimes served with syrups like raspberry (Himbeersirup) or woodruff (Waldmeistersirup) added post-fermentation to counterbalance the sourness; however pure examples of the style are widely appreciated for their straightforward tart character without such additions.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
2.8 – 3.8 %

In Database
2.7 < 3.5 < 4.1 %

Bitterness

Specification
3 – 8 IBU

In Database
1 < 6 < 10 IBU

Color

Specification
4 – 6 EBC
2 – 3 SRM

In Database
4 < 5 < 6 EBC
2 < 3 < 3 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
7.1 – 8.0 °P
1.028 – 1.032 OG

In Database
6.7 < 8.3 < 10.4 °P
1.027 < 1.033 < 1.042 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
0.8 – 1.5 °P
1.003 – 1.006 FG

In Database
0.7 < 1.8 < 3.3 °P
1.003 < 1.007 < 1.013 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes