Briny Melon Gose HUGE Success

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bruhaha

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I have long admired Anderson Valley's Briny Melon Gose albeit an expensive beer here in SC...maybe transport costs? I bought a case recently and paid $52 for 24 cans, 12 oz each. $11.99 six pak plus tax.


What the heck...I am going to brew my own:

50/50 wheat/2 row base. Low IBU of around 8 using Saaz. Kettle soured wort with lacto from Omega Labs, then boiled after hitting a ph of 3.25 in 18 hours. Coriander and salt at end of boil. Fermented with big starter WLP029 at 64F, cooled to 34F, racked to keg fined with gelatin. Next day dry hopped (24 hours) with 1 oz hibiscus (color) and added 16 oz watermelon concentrate. Concentrate: freeze 1/2 G fresh watermelon juice in milk jug, frozen juice upside down lid off on mason jar. Let melt and collect 32 oz concentrate. Ice block melts last allowing concentrate to drip out first. Freeze this concentrate again and repeat collecting 16 oz.

In a blind taste test, 2 family members picked MY Gose over the commercial brand. I like it better too but I am biased of course. My 5G keg cost me a total of $30 since the melon, lacto pak and fresh yeast added up. In the end, my beer was 56 cents for a 12 ounce pour and the AV Gose was $2.12 for the same size serving.
 
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bruhaha

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well done!
Thanks! My success reminds me of an older thread from an excited novice brewer after his first success.

OP: I made my first AG beer and it is just as good as the ones I have been buying!

Respondent: I'm sure you were disappointed it wasn't better.
 
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bruhaha

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Thats pronounced 'YUGE'... Yuuuuggggeeee!!

Sounds like fun but I have yet to meet a gose that I liked.

LOL like Huger Street in Columbia....(u GEE). Who'da pronounced it like that w/o help!

I honestly don't think there is a lot of middle ground in the Gose taste range. Either people love em or dislike em. I took my first taste of a Westbook Gose and said I'll be a fan of this beer. Summery light and easy drinking. BUT, probably more folks say NOT for me. I respect those opinions. I am more of a German style drinker with Helles Lagers, Pils, Goses etc so this is in my taste range. Have you ever been to Wicked Weed's Funkatorium in Asheville? They make some nice beers there.
 

arnobg

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Could you go into a little more detail. I may possibly make this. How much see salt and coriander and for how long?

Also what kind of wheat and is that it, just wheat and two row?
 
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bruhaha

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Could you go into a little more detail. I may possibly make this. How much see salt and coriander and for how long?

Also what kind of wheat and is that it, just wheat and two row?
arnobg here is a recap for a 5.5G batch. If you want details I'll offer more.

I made a lacto sour starter with Omega OYL-605 and 1 liter standard starter...what ever starter you typically make. No stir plate, pitch lacto pak in starter and let sour in a warm area (oven with light on, maybe outside shed summer for example) for 48 hours. 72F-90F is fine. Stopper or airlock in flask.

Mash 50/50 light (red is ok but nothing dark) wheat malt and 2 row. I did 150F single infusion 60 min. Cool to 90F pitch lacto starter. I hit the wort with 5 mL lactic to bring ph down to 4.5 to discourage unwanted bacteria from invading the wort. This entire souring process took less than 24 hours in my outdoor brew cave right in my boil kettle with the lid on. Again, 72F-90F is fine for this particular strain of lacto.

Next morn my ph was 3.20 and I began the boil. Added 1/2 oz of Saaz or Hallertau for less than 10 IBU. 60 min boil, hop full boil, add 1 ounce sea salt and one ounce lightly cracked (not crushed) coriander in hop bag at 10 min to go. I used WLP029 but WLP001 or anything similar will work. I do recommend a healthy pitch from a starter, but I did a double step for insurance against the salinity and ph obstacles. I don't think it is necessary to double, but at least a single starter is best.

Normal ferment in the mid to upper 60F's for 10-12 days. The "magic" is the watermelon addition. I froze 1/2G fresh melon juice in a milk jug. Turn jug upside down over a quart mason jar and let it melt. The concentrate drains first. collect 32 oz. Freeze that 32 oz and do the melt/drip trick again and collect 16 oz essence. This is your pitch when you rack to keg for conditioning.

You can dry hop an oz of dried hibiscus petals in a muslin bag for a few hours for a beautiful coloration if you want.

This is some awesome stuff and we have put it on the ration system. ONE pint per day ONLY cause this stuff is sooo good it won't last long. I got another lacto pack on deck for another Gose next weekend. A bit involved BUT worth every tasty sip.
 

arnobg

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arnobg here is a recap for a 5.5G batch. If you want details I'll offer more.

I made a lacto sour starter with Omega OYL-605 and 1 liter standard starter...what ever starter you typically make. No stir plate, pitch lacto pak in starter and let sour in a warm area (oven with light on, maybe outside shed summer for example) for 48 hours. 72F-90F is fine. Stopper or airlock in flask.

Mash 50/50 light (red is ok but nothing dark) wheat malt and 2 row. I did 150F single infusion 60 min. Cool to 90F pitch lacto starter. I hit the wort with 5 mL lactic to bring ph down to 4.5 to discourage unwanted bacteria from invading the wort. This entire souring process took less than 24 hours in my outdoor brew cave right in my boil kettle with the lid on. Again, 72F-90F is fine for this particular strain of lacto.

Next morn my ph was 3.20 and I began the boil. Added 1/2 oz of Saaz or Hallertau for less than 10 IBU. 60 min boil, hop full boil, add 1 ounce sea salt and one ounce lightly cracked (not crushed) coriander in hop bag at 10 min to go. I used WLP029 but WLP001 or anything similar will work. I do recommend a healthy pitch from a starter, but I did a double step for insurance against the salinity and ph obstacles. I don't think it is necessary to double, but at least a single starter is best.

Normal ferment in the mid to upper 60F's for 10-12 days. The "magic" is the watermelon addition. I froze 1/2G fresh melon juice in a milk jug. Turn jug upside down over a quart mason jar and let it melt. The concentrate drains first. collect 32 oz. Freeze that 32 oz and do the melt/drip trick again and collect 16 oz essence. This is your pitch when you rack to keg for conditioning.

You can dry hop an oz of dried hibiscus petals in a muslin bag for a few hours for a beautiful coloration if you want.

This is some awesome stuff and we have put it on the ration system. ONE pint per day ONLY cause this stuff is sooo good it won't last long. I got another lacto pack on deck for another Gose next weekend. A bit involved BUT worth every tasty sip.

Thanks for the details! I've been wanting to do a Gose for a while and have never dealt with Lacto or kettle souring yet, so I have been reading about that.

How would you describe the souring of this particular recipe, is it just slightly tart? I really like Sierra Nevada's Gose so that's the most readily available thing I could ask to compare to.

I do not have a ph meter yet but use bru'n water for my water chemistry. Should I be safe just shooting for the 24 hours in the kettle, is this something you can taste test before boiling or is that not safe?
 
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bruhaha

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Thanks for the details! I've been wanting to do a Gose for a while and have never dealt with Lacto or kettle souring yet, so I have been reading about that.

How would you describe the souring of this particular recipe, is it just slightly tart? I really like Sierra Nevada's Gose so that's the most readily available thing I could ask to compare to.

I do not have a ph meter yet but use bru'n water for my water chemistry. Should I be safe just shooting for the 24 hours in the kettle, is this something you can taste test before boiling or is that not safe?
Yes it is safe to sample since this is a controlled strain of lab grade lacto and not something "wild" you would need to beware of.

Tasting the unfermented souring wort can be a bit tricky since you'll be tasting the sugars in the unfermented wort as well as the lacto souring. In cases I have seen, the lacto is not changing, at least not an appreciable amount, the SG of your wort as it does its souring. Lacto is not fermenting or consuming sugars like yeast does. So, w/o a meter, taste is the best you can do. And ph strips are not helpful (to my knowledge) at this low ph range.

So, yes, time is about your only real measuring stick besides the tricky taste test. I typically sour to my satisfaction (checking with a ph meter) in a 24 hour period with the kettle souring method with OYL-605 in my garage which is in the 80's this time of year. In the winter, I wrap with a ferm blanket to maintain 80ish. I mention OYL-605 since I have settled on this strain of lacto due to failures with other methods and products. Some folks use lacto tablet supplements, probiotic shots...etc. I resigned myself to trusting Omega to handle this for me.

When you make your lacto starter in a stoppered flask, you'll not have any krausen or apparent attenuation you may be looking for. No air, no stir, keep in the 80's and give it 48 hours. You may see a layer of lacto forming near the bottom of your flask, but no foaming as such.

SN has a mild sour called Otra Vez which I'd take a guess to be somewhere around 3.6 ph. This is an excellent example of a modest sour that could please lots of folks. If you sour 24 hours in your wort, I feel you'll be at the Otra Vez level. More advanced taste buds (when you get your sour groove going on) head for Anderson Valley or Westbrook Gose's where the ph is down in the lower 3's or right at 3. If you get interested in sours, as it seems you are, sour beers are rated by their ph level and not their IBU level. 3.2 is a really nice, well soured beer, but I think you're safe to try 24 hours and see how that goes. I feel you will have an Otra Vez level of beer this way. Cheers!:mug:
 
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bruhaha

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This sounds fairly awesome.
Thanks for saying that. I took a sample to a professional brewer that has a retail sales base plus a small tap room. He tried the Gose and said he was genuinely impressed. A man and wife overhead our conversation and asked what a Gose is. Bryan (brewer) answered it is a sour style but is not in every beer drinkers taste range. The couple both tried it, said wow, and asked if they could buy some. LOL, my first request for retail. I am making another 5.5G this coming weekend. The process is a bit more involved than normal beers for sure, but the effort is well worth it!
 

arnobg

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I appreciate you taking the time to write all that detail. That helped quite a bit.

I'm actually in the market for a new kettle and ph meter as my next purchases. Maybe I'll go ahead and go for the ph meter since my kettle does just fine for my BIAB now I just usually have to sparge a gallon.
 
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bruhaha

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I appreciate you taking the time to write all that detail. That helped quite a bit.

I'm actually in the market for a new kettle and ph meter as my next purchases. Maybe I'll go ahead and go for the ph meter since my kettle does just fine for my BIAB now I just usually have to sparge a gallon.
Not sure, but hoping your current kettle is SS since you plan to kettle sour. Aluminum may present a reactivity risk, not sure. After you do a 1 G sparge, you'll hit your pre-boil volume which is what you'll sour.

My ph meter is a Hach Pocket Pro+ and I am very pleased with it. Milwaukee is another meter I considered, both in fairly similar price ranges.

If you are upping your equipment, a full volume strike kettle and a decent ph meter would be nice to have for sure!! I have 3 Blichmanns: 10G, 15G and 20G for about any occasion that arises. I think I am kettle crazy, but I watch Craigslist and snag a deal when I see one.

You're very welcome and please post your efforts. I am concentrating some watermelon juice as we speak. Starting lacto sour next. I ended up with two Erlenmeyer flasks since the lacto goes in one and yeast in another, so ends up they are going at the same time since I double step my yeast out of habit. I got by with one flask for quite some time until I decided to make life easier with two.
 

arnobg

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Yeah I'm looking at those to ph meters actually.

I plan on buying a 15g Spike kettle next.
 
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bruhaha

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I think you'll be safe with 5335. I used WLP672 once and the wort fermented out on me as I soured. Disaster and I learned their lacto was contaminated with yeast. I switched to Omega oyl-605 and haven't looked back.

I think your starter with 5335 needs to be at 90F, while 605 is more inclined to be at room temps. Small differences exist, but I am looking for the L Plantarum strain which is the star of the lacto show in my opinion. If you look at Milk the Funk, they have a guide that shows all lacto strains and the temp best suited for that particular strain. I simply go for the one that is easiest to use (room temps w/o heaters) and gives me consistent results. I wouldn't hesitate to use 5335 personally.

Watermelon looks great!! Told my wife last night we need to juice several melons and freeze the concentrate for Gose beers when the melons go out of season.
 

arnobg

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I think you'll be safe with 5335. I used WLP672 once and the wort fermented out on me as I soured. Disaster and I learned their lacto was contaminated with yeast. I switched to Omega oyl-605 and haven't looked back.

I think your starter with 5335 needs to be at 90F, while 605 is more inclined to be at room temps. Small differences exist, but I am looking for the L Plantarum strain which is the star of the lacto show in my opinion. If you look at Milk the Funk, they have a guide that shows all lacto strains and the temp best suited for that particular strain. I simply go for the one that is easiest to use (room temps w/o heaters) and gives me consistent results. I wouldn't hesitate to use 5335 personally.

Watermelon looks great!! Told my wife last night we need to juice several melons and freeze the concentrate for Gose beers when the melons go out of season.
That's a great idea on the melon juice. I am just doing this melon as a test run. I'm going do the math and put enough concentrate in a 12oz light beer to see how the flavor comes through. I'll then see if I want to stick with the 16 oz or adjust for the Gose depending on flavor.

I actually emailed Sierra Nevada yesterday to see what their kettle pH target is prior to and after adding Lacto. I got a reply saying they were forwarding it to the brewers. This will help me target something I am familiar with and like in tartness. I also purchase the Milwaukee 102 finally which I have been wanting to do for a while. Going to be an epic brew day in a couple weeks!
 
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bruhaha

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That's a great idea on the melon juice. I am just doing this melon as a test run. I'm going do the math and put enough concentrate in a 12oz light beer to see how the flavor comes through. I'll then see if I want to stick with the 16 oz or adjust for the Gose depending on flavor.

I actually emailed Sierra Nevada yesterday to see what their kettle pH target is prior to and after adding Lacto. I got a reply saying they were forwarding it to the brewers. This will help me target something I am familiar with and like in tartness. I also purchase the Milwaukee 102 finally which I have been wanting to do for a while. Going to be an epic brew day in a couple weeks!
I took a couple of my favored Gose's and took a ph reading on the canned product after leaving sit to room temp and allowing the carbonation to come out of suspension. You have a good plan.
 

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I'm interested in the freeze concentrate you did with the watermelon. Can you taste more watermelon flavor in the concentrate?
 

arnobg

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I'm interested in the freeze concentrate you did with the watermelon. Can you taste more watermelon flavor in the concentrate?

Yes, it's concentrated. Think of anything flavored that is watered down. Remove some water and you have a more concentrated, sweeter, more flavored liquid.

I'm half way done with mine, melted and froze 32 ounces this morning. It already tasted a lot sweeter than the half gallon. About all that was left in the jug was clear ice with not much sugar/juice from the melon left behind.
 

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Yes, it's concentrated. Think of anything flavored that is watered down. Remove some water and you have a more concentrated, sweeter, more flavored liquid.

I'm half way done with mine, melted and froze 32 ounces this morning. It already tasted a lot sweeter than the half gallon. About all that was left in the jug was clear ice with not much sugar/juice from the melon left behind.

Same deal as applejack.

Most compounds don't freeze as well as water so they melt sooner
 
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bruhaha

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Yes, it's concentrated. Think of anything flavored that is watered down. Remove some water and you have a more concentrated, sweeter, more flavored liquid.

I'm half way done with mine, melted and froze 32 ounces this morning. It already tasted a lot sweeter than the half gallon. About all that was left in the jug was clear ice with not much sugar/juice from the melon left behind.
Excellent!! You'll be surprised when you taste the second generation concentrate. You are going to be happy with your Gose!!
 

arnobg

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As long as I can overcome the hurdle of kettle souring without getting the off flavors that can happen and nailing my target tartness, I feel this is going to be a fantastic beer. This post has really got me pumped and inspired to do a Gose.
 
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bruhaha

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Same deal as applejack.

Most compounds don't freeze as well as water so they melt sooner
Well stated! Getting rid of all the flavorless water in the concentrate prevents adulterating your beer.
 
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bruhaha

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As long as I can overcome the hurdle of kettle souring without getting the off flavors that can happen and nailing my target tartness, I feel this is going to be a fantastic beer. This post has really got me pumped and inspired to do a Gose.
You'll be just fine using a cultured lab lacto designed to work for short term kettle souring. It is generally longer term souring and wild cultures that are a crap shoot. I'll bet you are going to be proud as a peacock of your Gose in a few short weeks.
 
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bruhaha

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What water profile do you use?

I have to admit, this thread got me pumped about Gose's. Been trying a bunch, picked this one up in Asheville today at the Wicked Weed Bottle Shop, pretty good.

View attachment 365790
I'll admit that Wicked Weed's Funkatorium in Asheville is a very cool place! Their soured beers are barrel aged for months (or longer) which drives the price up to that of a nice bottle of wine. Another beer I like is the Kreik sour that is available at the New Belgium Liquid Center in Asheville. NB doesn't have their new brewery open to the public just yet, but their Liquid Center taproom is open to the public. Awesome!

For my Gose's, I base my water chemistry (Bru'n Water) around the Munich Boiled profile since my source water is darn near identical to that profile which makes my additions very light. I adjust my ph to 5.45 and add a small amount of CaCl, Gypsum and Espom salts to modify the chemistry. But I'm only adding like 1.8gram each. The best I can suggest is to target a light SRM profile under 6 SRM. My mash-in ph is 5.45, and after conversion, I add more lactic getting to 4.5 as I prepare to pitch my lacto starter in the kettle. 4.5 gives the lacto a head start, plus it makes it a hostile environment for unwanted bacteria who don't like the acidity. I have never had (knock on wood) an infection going about kettle souring in this fashion. I just put a Gose in the fermenter this past weekend and all is happy in the sour world!
 

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Here's another safety net you can use! Once the lacto has been pitched, hit the kettle with a splash of unflavored seltzer. This gives you a slight CO2 blanket and keeps the aerobic bacteria at bay.

Found that on sourbeerblog.com great resource for fast sours as well as regular sours.
 
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bruhaha

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Here's another safety net you can use! Once the lacto has been pitched, hit the kettle with a splash of unflavored seltzer. This gives you a slight CO2 blanket and keeps the aerobic bacteria at bay.

Found that on sourbeerblog.com great resource for fast sours as well as regular sours.
Did they say how much seltzer to add in a 5.5G batch?
 
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To update this post for those that read or are considering making this....I brewed this with advice from the OP but I shot for a pH of 3.70 to make it more conservative to my BMC friends. This beer was a a huge hit and it's probably the best beer I've ever brewed! I added hibiscus tea for color.

View attachment 369639
Now that's one fine looking briny melon Gose if I ever saw one! Beautiful job!!

I talked with Lance (Omega owner) to find exactly how low he suggests the ph will go given unlimited time with his OYL-605. He said if all buffering conditions are right, possibly as low as 3.15. Well, I have been hitting 3.20 or 3.19, so I am at the bottom of the ph range. I must be a true "sour head"!
 

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I made my starters last night. I'm wondering why 48 hours is needed for the lacto starter while only 24 hours is needed in order to bring an entire 5 gallons down to about 3 ph.

I'm hoping about 24 hours will be ok for the lacto starter.
 

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When you suggest 50/50 light wheat and 2-row malts, what is a good amount (lb-wise) to use? I'd like to brew this as my first gose, and am putting the recipe into Beersmith. Thanks so much!
 

arnobg

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When you suggest 50/50 light wheat and 2-row malts, what is a good amount (lb-wise) to use? I'd like to brew this as my first gose, and am putting the recipe into Beersmith. Thanks so much!

I shoot for 4 - 4.5 % ABV, but for the grain amount it depends on your system. I'd say start with 4 lbs of each as a starting point for a 5 gallon batch and dial it in to your system's efficiency.
 

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Thanks. I tend to run around 70-75% efficient, so I'll start with the 4 lbs of each!
 

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Oh, one more quick question. Is there anything I need to do to make sure the juice is sanitized before I add it to the keg?
 
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