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Roggenbier

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Roggenbier (literally "Rye Beer") is a modern recreation of the traditional German rye beers brewed in the period before the Reinheitsgebot. Brewed with a combination of barley, wheat, and rye, it is usually a dark, grainy, lightly-hopped beer, and is often served unfiltered, with the yeast poured into the glass ("mit Hefe") in a manner similar to a Hefeweizen. Weizen ale yeast is often used, resulting in a beer with some of the flavors traditionally associated with a Weizen. For these reasons, modern Roggenbier is sometimes considered a subcategory of Weizen.

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[edit] History of Roggenbier

European brewers, including German brewers, brewed beer with rye for centuries, as well as with whatever other grain they could get their hands on. However, in the medieval period the leaders of some German states decided that rye should be reserved for bread making. With the extension of the Reinheitsgebot throughout modern Germany, rye brewing declined and, eventually, disappeared.

Five hundred years later, in 1988, German brewers began recreating these beers. The modern version is usually similar to a Dunkelweizen, but with about half of the wheat replaced with rye. It is not clear how similar these beers truly are to the medieval brewing tradition they claim to have revived.

[edit] Brewing Roggenbier

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[edit] Competition Styles

The BJCP recognizes a single style of Roggenbier "mit Hefe". The GABF category allows Roggenbiers either with or without yeast.

[edit] BJCP Style Guidelines

[edit] Roggenbier (German Rye Beer)

15D. Roggenbier (German Rye Beer) Vital Statistics
BJCP Style Guideline Definition (2004)
IBUs: 10-20 SRM: 14-19 OG: 1.046-1.056 FG: 1.010-1.014 ABV: 4.5-6
Aroma: Light to moderate spicy rye aroma intermingled with light to moderate weizen yeast aromatics (spicy clove and fruity esters, either banana or citrus). Light noble hops are acceptable. Can have a somewhat acidic aroma from rye and yeast. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Light coppery-orange to very dark reddish or coppery-brown color. Large creamy off-white to tan head, quite dense and persistent (often thick and rocky). Cloudy, hazy appearance.
Flavor: Light to moderate spicy rye aroma intermingled with light to moderate weizen yeast aromatics (spicy clove and fruity esters, either banana or citrus). Light noble hops are acceptable. Can have a somewhat acidic aroma from rye and yeast. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full body. High carbonation. Light tartness optional.
Overall Impression: Light to moderate spicy rye aroma intermingled with light to moderate weizen yeast aromatics (spicy clove and fruity esters, either banana or citrus). Light noble hops are acceptable. Can have a somewhat acidic aroma from rye and yeast. No diacetyl.
History: A specialty beer originally brewed in Regensburg, Bavaria as a more distinctive variant of a dunkelweizen using malted rye instead of malted wheat.
Comments: American-style rye beers, or traditional beer styles with enough rye added to give a noticeable rye character should be entered in the specialty beer category instead. Rye is a huskless grain and is difficult to mash, often resulting in a gummy mash texture that is prone to sticking. Rye has been characterized as having the most assertive flavor of all cereal grains. It is inappropriate to add caraway seeds to a roggenbier (as some American brewers do); the rye character is traditionally from the rye grain only.
Ingredients: Malted rye typically constitutes 50% or greater of the grist (some versions have 60-65% rye). Remainder of grist can include pale malt, Munich malt, wheat malt, crystal malt and/or small amounts of debittered dark malts for color adjustment. Weizen yeast provides distinctive banana esters and clove phenols. Light usage of noble hops in bitterness, flavor and aroma. Lower fermentation temperatures accentuate the clove character by suppressing ester formation. Decoction mash commonly used (as with weizenbiers).
Commercial Examples: Paulaner Roggen (formerly Thurn und Taxis, no longer imported into the US), Bu̹rgerbräu Wolznacher Roggenbier


[edit] GABF Style Listings

[edit] German-Style Rye Ale (Roggenbier) with or without Yeast

8B. German-Style Rye Ale (Roggenbier) with or without Yeast
GABF Style Listing (2007)
This beer can be made using phenol producing ale yeast. It should be brewed with at least 30 percent rye malt, and hop rates will be low. A banana-like fruity-estery aroma and flavor are typical but at low levels; phenolic, clove-like characteristics should also be perceived. Paler versions of this style are straw to dark amber, and the body should be light to medium in character. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Darker versions of this style will be dark amber to dark brown, and the body should be light to medium in character. Roasted malts are optionally evident in aroma and flavor with a low level of roast malt astringency acceptable when appropriately balanced with malt sweetness. Roast malts may be evident as a cocoa/chocolate or light caramel character. Aromatic toffee-like, caramel, or biscuit-like characters may be part of the overall flavor/aroma profile. As in the paler versions, diacetyl should not be perceived. If entries in this style are packaged and served without yeast, no yeast characters should be evident in mouthfeel, flavor, or aroma. If entries are intended to be served with yeast, the character should portray a full yeasty mouthfeel and appear hazy to very cloudy. Yeast flavor and aroma should be low to medium but not overpowering the balance and character of rye and barley malt and hops. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.
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): 4-12 (8-24 EBC)