Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: Safale American
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.035
Final Gravity: 1.006
Boiling Time (Minutes): 15
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 3 days @ 68F
Tasting Notes: Light, sour and clean. Now I just have to find the syrup!
A while ago I was looking for a fast easy way to make a Berliner Weisse. I posted on the forums for advice and got no response so I threw this together myself and it turned out great.
The sourness is obviously not as complex as an all-grain naturally sour Berliner but it only took me 2 hours to make and was the perfect drinking sour beer for a hot summer on the boat.
The best part - you don't have to wait MONTHS for sourness to develop, or worry about contamination. (my buddy had a bad case of baby-vomit bacteria in his few trials with natural souring and spent a lot of cash on lactic bacteria that after months on end did nothing for his beer)
The only thing I would change - increase the sourness SLIGHTLY to mimic the level of sourness in an authentic Berliner. This beer is sour, but I didn't want to scare my beer-ignorant friends away.
Quick and Dirty Berliner
4 ibs. Briess Wheat Dry Extract (80% grist)
1 ibs. Briess Pilsen Dry Extract (20% grist)
1oz Tettnang (3.5%AA) (15min) (7ibu)
Boil for 15min - I do a full volume boil, you could add the extract after boiling if you are concerned about color but I wasn't.
1pkg Safale American (DCL Yeast #US-05)
Re-hydrated in sanitized (boiled) water and NO SUGAR 10 min before pitching. No starter.
Fermented for about 3 days, moved to 4C once finished and let settle for 1 day. Moved to keg and soured.
The best guidance I could find on souring lead me to believe the ideal concentration for lactic acid on average Berliners should be .38% (that's 71.92grams lactic acid in 5 gallons) I reduced mine to .34% (64.24grams in 5 gallons) and was happy with it. I've seen estimates as high as .45% but I didn't want to overdo it on the first run.
So what I did because I couldn't get lactic acid in powder form was use 73ml of 88% Lactic acid from my LHBS.
Now for the math:
This gave me (73ml*.88)=64.24g lactic acid
in 5 gallons +73ml H2O. (18927ml + 73ml) = 19000ml
64.24g/19000ml=.338% lactic acid. rounded = .34%
A teacher once told me you don't understand anything until you can explain it with numbers so there you have it. Again that's .338% NOT 33.8%, it doesn't sound like much but it is.
Additionally I should mention why I chose the malt proportions the way I did. First off this will give you a beer with .003 more gravity than the style, but I didn't want to finely measure the extract, again this is supposed to be quick and dirty! Second, the Briess Wheat extract actually contains 35% barley malt and 65% wheat malt. If you change brands the final balance should be close to 50% wheat and 50% barley. Feel free to experiment with a higher proportion of wheat, but I wouldn't add less. The color and body will be too heavy.