Lichtenhainer

Recipes:
78
BJCP 2021:
27A
Era:
Historical
Origin:
🇩🇪 Germany
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Pale
Strength:
Normal

Profile

Lichtenhainer is a historical German beer style that originates from the Lichtenhain village in Thuringia, known for its unique blend of smokiness and sourness. This almost forgotten style has experienced a revival among craft brewers who are eager to explore both traditional and obscure beer profiles.

Visually, Lichtenhainer presents a straw to amber hue with variable clarity depending on the extent of wheat used in the grain bill. The head is usually white to off-white, puffing up at first due to high carbonation but may not be long-lasting. It's common for this style to have a somewhat hazy appearance owing to the unfiltered nature of traditional brewing processes.

When it comes to flavor and aroma, Lichtenhainer offers a delicate balance between smoky phenols and lactic acidity. The smoke character typically evokes wood-fired sensations without becoming overpowering or meaty, as in some heavily smoked beers. Tartness ranges from subtle to pronounced, enhancing the refreshing qualities of this light-bodied ale or lager. Underneath these two dominant features lie hints of grainy or doughy malt sweetness that support but never overshadow the interplay of smoke and sour. Hop bitterness is low, allowing the smoke-sour combo to shine through uninterrupted.

Lichtenhainer bears some resemblance to other regional German sour styles such as Gose (which can include coriander and salt) and Berliner Weisse (a purely sour wheat beer), but stands out due to its characteristic smokiness. It serves as an interesting historical bridge between sour beers like those mentioned above and Rauchbier, which exemplifies Germanic smoked beers without the influence of lactobacillus-driven tartness.

Indeed, exploring Lichtenhainer is like uncovering a time capsule – it’s a gateway into ancestral brewing methods where smoke from malting processes often made its way into beer flavor profiles by necessity rather than choice, while spontaneous fermentation introduced wild yeast and bacteria leading naturally towards tartness.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
3.5 – 4.7 %

In Database
3.3 < 4.2 < 5.0 %

Bitterness

Specification
5 – 12 IBU

In Database
4 < 9 < 14 IBU

Color

Specification
6 – 12 EBC
3 – 6 SRM

In Database
5 < 7 < 11 EBC
3 < 3 < 6 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
8.0 – 10.0 °P
1.032 – 1.040 OG

In Database
8.0 < 9.7 < 12.3 °P
1.032 < 1.039 < 1.050 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
1.0 – 2.1 °P
1.004 – 1.008 FG

In Database
0.2 < 1.9 < 3.8 °P
1.001 < 1.008 < 1.015 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Trending Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Trending Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes