More on Grätzer

How did we survive before the internets? Before electricity I can understand--whales kept things dimly lit. But before the internet we must have wandered the desert, hoping to stumble by chance upon nuggets of wisdom, like gold. Yesterday, two great comments appeared on my grätzer post from men more educated than I.

First, from Alan Taylor, the Widmer Brothers' resident Germany expert, who has such a precise and scholarly sense of things that he corrected the quote I included (via Pattinson) from Bierbrauerei. Taylor notes:
By the way: A Zentner is actually 50 kg or 100 Pfund, so the ratio of hops to malt is higher than in the quotation you had.
Well, obviously. How silly of me to confuse my kilos and Pfunds.

Next we have Kristen England, the homebrewer I quoted (via Hieronymus), who is one of the vanishingly small Americans to have actually brewed a grätzer. It's quite useful for the homebrewer interested in brewing their own grätzer, a number who include me:
The problem with the beer isn't, surprisingly, the 100% wheat. It's getting the level of smoke you want without mucking up the malt. Meaning making sure it can still convert itself.

I've done many different types of wood and oak really does work best. Rauchmalt is too smooth and hammy. The oak tannins really dry the beer out and with the hops dries the beer out completely. The cherrywood smoke made it taste like an ashtray.

The BU's are around 40 or so. 2/3 first wort and then 1/3 the last 15min works very well. All low [alpha] % noble which adds a ton of tannin because of all the hop matter that goes into it. You'll be surprised at how clear this beer ends up.

I find that OG+10 = BU works great. I like mine about 1.028 and then 38 BU. Finishes around 1.009. Bone dry.
Thanks, Kristen. this is most useful.