Saturday, June 27, 2015


This turned out really well, and will definitely be a regular summer brew for me now!

I've decided it's time, and I am now a brewer of sour beers. This is thanks in part to another homebrewer who's wanted to get a berliner weisse going for a while. We went off to the LHBS to pick up ingredients, and I threw a Brettanomyces bruxellensis culture into my cart. So, anyway, interesting things to come, but for now, a split-batch experiment.

Batch #91
Berliner Weisse

6 lbs German Pilsner malt
6 lbs White Wheat malt
5 oz Melanoidin malt

Water: RO with various salts to get a decent profile for slightly bitter, light color beers. (I lost my notes, but ~50ppm calcium, and ~50ppm each chloride and sulfate from a mix of gypsum, epsom, salt, chalk, and calcium chloride)

Mash in with 10qts and acid rest at ~100F until next infusion is ready.
Drink beer instead of checking notes, adding too much hot water, thereby skipping right past a protein rest to hit a good saccharification rest at about 156F. Remember to look at a clock.

Later, batch sparge. Top up with cold water to 10 gallons, mix well, and split into two 5 gallon containers. Refractometer reading was 9 Brix. Here's the fun part.

My 5 gallons of wort went back into the now empty insulated mash tun with about 4 oz of the original unmashed grist. I intend to check on it over the next couple days and boil when the wort is sufficiently soured from naturally occurring lactobacilli. I plan on about 5 IBU coming from a tiny addition of saaz. Maybe use up the rest of the citra from the last batch as an aroma component. [Update: ~75min boil, no citra, 5 gallons in the carboy after pitching my share of the yeast starter. The two days of "kettle" souring in the mash tun gave a moderate tartness that I suspect will be much more pronounced after the sugars are consumed.]

My co-brewer took his portion home, and will pitch a lactobacillus culture, and probably also not keep notes on what he did. We'll get together in about a month to compare results.

Primary fermentation is slated to use the White Labs Saison II yeast blend.

OG: 1.036
FG: 1.006
ABV: 3.9%
IBU: ~5

Bottled 7/5/15