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Old 08-03-2011, 01:59 PM   #1
Oct 2009
Boston, MA
Posts: 298

Sorry to overload the Lambic forum with my questions.

Have any of you tried the New Belgium Imperial Berliner Weisse? I managed to snag two bottles a few months ago. It was on the shelves for all of 48 hours I think, and I've never seen it again.

Anyway it's damn good, and I want to brew one and I'm wondering what the recipe might have been. To me it was quaffably light despite the 7% ABV, and with a hint of malty (or perhaps wheaty) sweetness. It wasn't nearly as dry as the berlin weisse I brewed using the Jamil show recipe. It was a nice transparent golden color, perhaps a tad darker than your average tripel. Here's a pic.

According to NB it has a "dash of Brettanomyces" as well, although I don't remember anything at all 'funky' about it, and I may leave Brett. out of mine entirely. I figured I could start with

7 lb. American 2-row
7 lb. Malted Red Wheat

and an ounce of Hallertau for a 15 minute boil. So far this is just JZ's Berliner Weisse with the red wheat swapped in for the white, and increased quantities bringing it to an O.G. of 1.061. Here's a link to the hopville page.

I'm also going to do this using a decoction mash, although I haven't decided on the number of stages. Will this be enough to get a little bit of sweetness and body, or should I use some other grains? What would you guys suggest, Crystal 40? 60? or Munich malt?

Would mashing at a higher temperature achieve the 'body' I'm looking for, or will the Lacto slowly chew it's way through it?

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Old 08-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
weremichael's Avatar
Feb 2006
Posts: 261
Liked 17 Times on 12 Posts

I love New Belgium's IBW. I still have two bottles that are aging in the cellar. It was even better on tap at the brewery. I think that it does have a brett character, Brett B possibly? Regardless, you should pitch the lacto first (starter made in apple juice) and keep it warm. Use the chico strain of sacc. and pitch a touch of brett with the sacc. The great thing is you can make a starter of brett. and only pitch a small amount and save the rest for some other beer.

I don't think they use red wheat, but I like your idea of using it. I personally would add some acid malt and avoid the crystals and munich.

I can't comment on your proposed mashing schedule since I always mash my BW at 65C.

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