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Old 09-15-2011, 08:12 PM   #1
rivertranced
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Default Berliner Weisse

Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: Wyeast 1338 Euro Ale
Yeast Starter: No
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: Wyeast 5335 Lacto
Batch Size (Gallons): 4
Original Gravity: 1.031
Final Gravity: 1.011
IBU: 6
Boiling Time (Minutes): 15
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 19 days @ 72*
Additional Fermentation: Bottle conditioning
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): N/A
Tasting Notes: Delightfully sour! Low alcohol, perfect for a warm summer afternoon!

Recipe:
2 lb Pilsner LME
2.375 lb Wheat LME
.5 oz Hallertau 4%AA hops (15 min)

I originally posted this in the general forums, but thought it deserved to be moved to the recipe section for anyone looking to brew a Berliner Weisse. This is probably the best beer I have ever brewed, and I'm extra excited to have it as you can't find commercial berliner weisses in the state of Colorado at the moment.

This was my first attempt at a sour. After researching various methods, I decided to try the souring method outlined in the March issue of Zymurgy ("Funk with Less Fuss"). For ease, control over sourness, and avoidance of cross-contamination this method is genius!

I first created the wort and pitched the lacto bacteria. I then let it sit keeping the temp as high as possible (it was hard to keep it above 90 as Denver hasn't been that hot) by keeping it in a cooler in the sun during the day and my warm garage at night.

I tasted it every 12 hours or so until I got to the desired level of sourness, then brought the wort back to a boil to kill the lacto and add the hops. Only 15 min boil time!

Left in the primary for about 3 weeks, then went straight into bottles. I decided to skip the secondary as I thought some cloudiness would be OK with the style. This was my first bottling in a few years, and now I remember why I stopped! But I wanted to be able to sample every now and again over a longer period of time to see how it ages so bottles were the way to go.

This beer tastes wonderful! It is the perfect amount of sourness for everyday drinking: enough to know it's there but not so puckering that it isn't easy to drink on a hot day. You could easily get more sourness by extending the time on the Lacto before you boil. it's matured a bit since bottling, though I think I may be getting close to peak as I've heard that BWs don't age that well (especially compared to other sours).

I will definitely look into this method for souring the next time I decide to brew up a sour!
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Last edited by rivertranced; 01-26-2014 at 12:06 AM. Reason: Added Recipe
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:04 PM   #2
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Try going more sour next time and add essence of woodruff or raspberry for a traditional Berliner Weisse. I haven't tried, but I believe that's how the Germans do it.

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Old 09-16-2011, 03:05 PM   #3
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To clarify, raspberry syrup. And, add to the glass when pouring.

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Old 09-16-2011, 06:54 PM   #4
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Good call. I've heard that...I'll give it a whirl next time. Thanks!

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Old 11-05-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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What was your recipe for brew? I've really been wanting to brew a sour, but am only set up for extract right now as I just moved and am in a small apartment.

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Old 11-06-2011, 02:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zandrsn View Post
What was your recipe for brew? I've really been wanting to brew a sour, but am only set up for extract right now as I just moved and am in a small apartment.
Sorry about that, I thought I had posted it. Here's what I used for 4G:
2 lb Pilsner LME
2.375 lb Wheat LME
.5 oz Hallertau 4%AA hops (15 min)

The rest of the details above are accurate. If I were to brew this again, I'd do two things: let it sour longer and shoot for a slightly bigger body. I'd use more wheat extract to get there.

A BW finally came available in Colorado via Crabtree Brewing in Greeley. I tasted 4 different BWs at GABF this fall, and Crabtree's was far and away better than the rest (and much better than mine; it won Gold at the fest). I thought mine was in line with the other 3, so not too shabby in my opinion!
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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I am really wanting to try this after having a couple different commercial versions. I don't get Crabtree out here, but I have had Hottenroth from The Bruery and Professor Fritz Briem's 1809 Berliner Weisse.

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Old 02-12-2012, 11:29 PM   #8
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Do it! I wish that I had let mine sour a little longer, as this beer, unlike many sours, tends to mellow over time (probably much in part to the shortcut souring method). Go big! That 1809 is one of the best around, I think much better than the Bruery's and probably better than the Crabtree. It's tough to get here in CO though.

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Old 02-12-2012, 11:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivertranced View Post
Do it! I wish that I had let mine sour a little longer, as this beer, unlike many sours, tends to mellow over time (probably much in part to the shortcut souring method). Go big! That 1809 is one of the best around, I think much better than the Bruery's and probably better than the Crabtree. It's tough to get here in CO though.
1809 is 5% and probably out of style. I've had it, it's alright, but not that sour and really not a BW.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn

1809 is 5% and probably out of style. I've had it, it's alright, but not that sour and really not a BW.
In fairness to 1809 "not really being a BW," the BJCP classifies it as a top example of the style.
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