The Purity Law
In 1516 Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria issued the Purity Law, the oldest foodstuff regulation still in effect today. Beer can only be brewed from malt, hops and water. Franziskaner weiss beers are brewed in strict adherence to the Purity Law.
Take a look at the original Purity Law Decree, ready to download.
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The Raw Materials
Franziskaner weiss beers are prepared exclusively from select, top-quality raw materials.
Malt arises from the natural germination of barley or wheat. Franziskaner weiss beers are prepared with a particularly high proportion of wheat malt.
Hops are the 'soul' of beer, lending the beer its aroma and distinctive bitter flavour. Franziskaner's hops are grown in the largest hops-growing region of the world, the Hallertau district to the north of Munich.
Yeast supplies the fermentation that gives rise to alcohol and carbon dioxide and produces the typical weiss beer aroma. The special top-fermenting yeast used in Franziskaner weiss beers comes from our own purebred strain.
Water makes up 90 percent of beer and is thus its principal component. Water for Franziskaner weiss beers comes from our own wells over 200 m deep (650 feet). Filtered through layers of rock over many millennia, our water has a special purity and quality that lends Franziskaner weiss beers their particular freshness.
The Brewing Process
The characteristic feature of weiss beer is that it primarily makes use of wheat malt in addition to barley malt. The proportion of wheat malt in Franziskaner weiss beers is especially high, being more than two thirds.
First, the malt is ground and mixed with water to form the mash. Then the mash is heated in stages, transforming the granular starch into water-soluble malt sugar.
The insoluble components of the mash, the 'trub', are then separated from the liquid - known as the 'wort' - in the lauter tun.
The wort is put in the brew kettle and boiled together with the hops.
The remaining solids in the wort are separated in the whirlpool, after which the wort is chilled to fermentation temperature.
Now top-fermenting yeast is 'pitched' into the wort to produce the special weiss beer fermentation. The malt sugar turns into alcohol and carbon dioxide, producing the typical weiss beer aroma.
Finally, the yeast is extracted and the beer is left in a 'lager' or aging tank until it is fully mature. Prior to bottling, Franziskaner weiss beers are given a dash of young, active yeast to lend them their special flavour and ensure an evenly cloudy colour.