Tasting Notes: Jay Thinks He’s Weizen

Jay Thinks He’s Weizen was a slightly modified version of Jamil Zainasheff’s Harold is Weizen recipe from Brewing Classic Styles. I brewed the beer to bring to the North Shore Brewers June meeting. The meeting was a style meeting where members would try and discuss different homebrew and commercial German Wheat beers. I kegged about half the batch in a Party Pig to bring to the meeting, and bottled the rest.

The beer pours a hazy dark-gold color. The head is creamy with above average thickness and retention. Un-ripened banana permeates the aroma along with notes reminiscent of Cream of Wheat. Given more than half of the grist was wheat, this is appropriate.

The beer is medium-bodied. The medium-high carbonation is pleasantly puckering. The flavor is soft and elegant. It reminds me a bit of Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, one of the classic commercial examples of the style. The bubble gum and banana esters from the yeast, blend perfectly with the wheat. Balance is provided by the medium-high carbonation and very subtle phenols. As the beer warms the clove flavor from the phenols become more prominent. The beer finishes a little sweet. I think the beer would have benefited from more hop-bitterness.

The beer has no major flaws. Everyone from the club who tried it enjoyed it. Chris Lohring, owner and brewer of Notch Brewing who was at the meeting tried some and didn’t spit it out. I would give it a grade of a B or B-plus.


My previous hefeweizens had much more pronounced phenols; a clove like spiciness. This is probably due to the fact I used a swamp cooler to keep my fermentation temperatures low. I definitely prefer the smoother flavor of this beer. When I brew another German Weizen/Weissbier I will be sure to increase the International Bitterness Units (IBUs) by about 25 percent, and maybe employ a small late-hop addition like I did with the Walk-off White.

Last night I drank a Sierra Nevada Kellerweis and a bottle of Jay Thinks He’s Weizen back-to-back. The Kellerweis had a certain crispness that my beer lacked. Sierra Nevada is most know for their Pale Ale and IPAs, but they make excellent German-style beers. Their Kölsch and Vienna Lager are both outstanding. The Kölsch definitely pushes the traditional envelope in terms of hop-flavor. For my next hefeweizen I think I will do the same.

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