What is Maisel`s Weisse - and how is it brewed?
Wheat beer is brewed top-fermented, meaning that the brewing temperature is higher than that of the bottom-fermented brewing process (i.e. used to produce Pilsner style beer). Top-fermented yeast will gather on the beer liquids surface during the brewing process, and does not require costly cooling.
For brewing wheat beer, barley and wheat malt is used. The original gravity is usually within a range around 12.5 %, resulting in an alcohol content of 5 - 6 % for the beer. Of course, this only applies to ordinary German wheat beer types, for there are other ones with a considerably higher amount of original gravity and thus alcohol content. Bottle fermentation is used during the brewing process, meaning that there will eventually be quite some residue in the beer bottles.
Wheat beer is normally of a cloudy color with residue on the bottom of the bottle. This yeast is responsible for the heavy foaming which occurs when wheat beer is poured into a glass. Therefore, a special glass for German wheat beer was developed in order to keep the overflowing beer crest as small as possible, and to allow the carbon dioxide to keep the wheat beer fresh on its journey from the glass' bottom to the top.
By, the way, non alcoholic wheat beer is getting very popular in Germany. It is isotonic and actually healthy as a fitness drink according to several studies.