Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

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Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 00:19

After a fair bit of research this is the first Berliner Weisse I have brewed. I had no interest in sour beers until I accidentally stumbled across a Berliner Weisse by Buxton Brewery in a mixed case and was very pleasantly surprised. Once I'd got over the initial surprise I was happy.

This recipe looks like a fairly traditional example, albeit with the addition of a little bit of lemon zest which should compliment the style. Buxton's was dry hopped to blazes, but I don't think it's necessary, although it can make the aroma initially more appealing for hop heads.

Light, tart and refreshing this should be a good 'summer' beer, although it's likely to come out more like lemonade then a traditional ale! A super-quick brew day for quite an interesting beer.

===
O.G - 1.032
F.G - ~ 1.004
IBU - 3
ABV - ~ 3.5%

Fermentables

61% Pilsner
32% Wheat Malt
7% Acidulated Malt

Mash @ 63c

Hops: 0,5g/l noble hops in the mash (optional - IBUs should be <5).

Boil : 0 minutes (bring to boil and cool).

Yeast: 1) Two Lactobacillus Plantarum tablets (http://www.healthmonthly.co.uk/swanson_ ... n_capsules) or other source of Lactobacillus.

2) 48 hours later : US-05 or other clean ale yeast. A good sized pitch is needed as the low pH can inhibit yeast growth.

Optional Extras: Zest of 1 lemon per 7 litres 24 hours before bottling. I'm also hoping to experiment with other fruits.

Carbonation: As high as your bottles can cope with up to ~3.2 vol. CO2. I'll probably not go higher than 2.75 in regular bottles and that might be pushing it.

---
I adapted this recipe from the Mad Fermentationist (http://www.themadfermentationist.com/20 ... ecipe.html) and the Milk The Funk Wiki (http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Berline ... rmentables). The acidulated malt is in there to bring my mash pH down to improve head retention and can be acheived by other means.
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby matt666 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 09:31

Sounds interesting, and not too difficult?

I've had that Buxton one, it's very nice.
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Sun Jan 31, 2016 17:02

matt666 wrote:Sounds interesting, and not too difficult?

I've had that Buxton one, it's very nice.


Ridiculous easy brew day with this today. All wrapped up in about two hours and tucked away in the FV. I only cooled to about 35c as Lactobacillus is happier around that temp.

Now I mustn't forget to pitch the US-05 in a couple of days...
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby Rolfster » Mon Feb 01, 2016 17:12

Sounds very interesting!
How long did you mash for?
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby matt666 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 21:27

I will watch this thread with interest. The only downside of those sours is how much they cost, so being able to make my own would be perfect.
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 22:16

Rolfster wrote:Sounds very interesting!
How long did you mash for?


60 minutes. I don't normally go higher, although I've gone down to 30 minutes before. Day 1 over.. tomorrow is the pH check, sample and US-05 time :)
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Tue Feb 02, 2016 22:47

No noticeable drop in pH by this time yesterday, but down 0.7 now and dropping.

This is probably why a starter is recommended, just to wake the lacto up. Seems like a ~24 hour lag period, which is another day in which the wort is prime for infection.
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby robwalker » Tue Feb 02, 2016 23:32

Ive experimented with fruit peel a lot as we brew an orange peel ipa, and i found flame out is probably the best trade off between effective/sanitised/lots of aroma. This looks lovely and may be the base for my summer sour beer! Cheers!
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby Strongarm » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:31

How's this going?

I have a couple of food blogs

Cooking The Books

Wong Kei, London
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Thu Sep 22, 2016 15:25

Supping on the third version of this (second with grapefruit) and there's nothing much I would change. pH at 3.3 after a month. I'm ridiculously happy with this beer. It's a shame summer never happened..

I might start adding oak, brett and fruit next year, but as a simple and quick Berliner goes this is great.

Only thing is to be extremely careful with the IBUs or it will not sour. Which is sadly what happened to the first batch


Image

Berliner (Berliner Weisse)

Original Gravity (OG): 1.037 (°P): 9.3
Final Gravity (FG): 1.006 (°P): 1.5
Alcohol (ABV): 4.02 %
Colour (SRM): 2.8 (EBC): 5.5
Bitterness (IBU): 1.5 (Tinseth)

59% Pilsner
35% Wheat Malt
6.% Acidulated Malt

0.3 g/L First Gold (7.9% Alpha) @ 90 Minutes (Mash)

1/4 of Grapefruit's Zest per Gallon @ 3 Days (Secondary)

Single step Infusion at 63°C for 90 Minutes. Boil for 0 Minutes

Fermented at 18°C with L.Plantarum and US-05

Notes: Mash Hops and remove

Bring to 85 c, hold for 20 minutes and then cool to 35c
Pitch Lacto and 24hrs later a clean yeast.


3 days grapefruit
8/14/2016 2:38:46 PM : 1.006

3 vol. co2.
8/15/2016 4:19:01 PM :

NOTES -
Push carbonation to 3.5 volumes in future
Drop OG back to ~1.030

Recipe Generated with BrewMate
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby Bad 'Ed » Thu Sep 22, 2016 23:10

Is it a clear beer? It looks clear in the photos. I would have thought with a decent amount of wheat in and no boiling it would have a fair haze to it.

Never enough time....
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby Bad 'Ed » Thu Sep 22, 2016 23:15

Also, does it change quite quickly in the bottle? Will you have a fairly different beer after 1 month of aging when compared with 2?

Never enough time....
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:37

Bad 'Ed wrote:Is it a clear beer? It looks clear in the photos. I would have thought with a decent amount of wheat in and no boiling it would have a fair haze to it.


It is actually surprisingly clear, at least you can see throught to the other side, but not crystal clear by any length. The yeast and lacto doesn't settle very well, but I racked straight out of the fermenter and didn't cool, so there's definitely room for improvement

On that note : http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2015/09/double-lemon-berliner-weisse-tasting.html

Here's a fantastic looking one from The Mad Fermenationist (although plenty of his other batches have looked cloudy)
Image

Bad 'Ed wrote:Also, does it change quite quickly in the bottle? Will you have a fairly different beer after 1 month of aging when compared with 2?


The last bottle of my first successful no-boil berliner was polished off the other day and was almost 10 months old. Described as fresh, citrusy, pine-apple, tangfastics and they seemed quite happy! Also went down well last month at a homebrew club. So anecdotally I would say that the no-boil method seems relatively stable. It was not refrigerated for most of that time and has moved house with us.

Traditionally there would be some Brett in their too which would help it keep well. Although this batch was simply US-05 and L.Plantarum capsules.
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Sun Sep 25, 2016 20:38

Well this beer got torn apart at a brew club.. sour beer is divisive! Top marks to the people complaining it wasn't 'golden enough' and 'not like beer' :doh:
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Sat Feb 04, 2017 22:56

I brewed the next iteration of this today. A bigger batch for me (11L) and I'll ageing some of it on fruit.

Unlike previous versions I added the lactic acid bacteria at the same time as the US-05 and pitched TYB's Beersel Brettanomyces for the first time. Historically this is more accurate and Berliner Weisse should have Brett.
This blend combines Brettanomyces strains isolated from a lambic produced in the Beersel area in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. All of the strains in this blend provide a balanced profile of fruitiness and funkiness. This blend tends to be a quick starter and forms a nice pellicle. The resulting beer is balanced with a bright and crisp finish.


I also decided to forgo hops, I'll be interested to see if the pH drops lower than before, competition with the yeast should help keep the acidity from getting out of hand.

A drop of carapils to help balance any extra acidity from when it's aged on fruit; a token gesture perhaps as the brett will eat everything.

New Berliner

Original Gravity (OG): 1.037 (°P): 9.3
Final Gravity (FG): 1.005 (°P): 1.3
Alcohol (ABV): 4.22 %
Colour (SRM): 2.9 (EBC): 5.7
Bitterness (IBU): 0.0 (Average)

65% Lager Malt
32.5% Wheat Malt
2.5% Carapils

Pre-acidify wort to between 4.0 - 4.4 with lactic acid

Single step Infusion at 66.5°C for 60 Minutes. Pasteurise at 82c for 15 Minutes

Fermented at 18°C with US-04, TYB Beersel Brettanomyces, Swanson's L. Plantarum

Age for between 4-12 weeks until gravity stable for two weeks.

Carbonate to 3 vol. co2.
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:10

I took a sample of the fermenting wort yesterday to leave in a covered glass next to the fermenter. That way I can check the pH without having to open up and draw a sample. Down to 3.75 as of this morning, so the Plantarum is coping just fine with the US-05 and Brett.

Another benefit of this is that if the pH starts to get too low (no hops in this after all) then I can dry hop it should stop the bacteria dead in its tracks.
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby StevieDS » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:28

Sounds great, I like the idea of adding brett. I was pretty happy with my first attempt which was soured with dregs from my first lambic. I'll be bottling my second batch of lambic soon so I might do a second weisse soon with the dregs from that.

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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby xCamel xSlayer » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:39

Are these reasonably simple to brew?
I am a big fan of a Berliner Weisse, and I'd love to have a crack at one some time.
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby pittsy » Tue Feb 07, 2017 17:13

xCamel xSlayer wrote:Are these reasonably simple to brew?
I am a big fan of a Berliner Weisse, and I'd love to have a crack at one some time.

This beer style is simple at a glance but involves more work than regular beers , you can do a poor mans effort ( although probably more pricey) by making a wheat beer ( 50% wheat malt , 50% pilsner malt ) with a neutral yeast and using acid malt or lactic acid to get the soured effect but this just isn't the same .
You can again brew a wheat beer with neutral yeast and add a bret either at the same time or after a couple of days fermenting , this will produce different sourness in taste and strength .
The more traditional way is to sour the mash by after mashing as normal you allow the mash to drop and hold at 42c ( i think or close to it ) for a few hours ( again can't remember how long it may be 24 hours) and then a short boil of approx 15 mins with old hops and very low ibu around 5 ibu ish .
And of course you run the risk of ruining it by not controlling the temperature when mashing .Not tried this method myself but read up on it .
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby xCamel xSlayer » Tue Feb 07, 2017 17:20

So I take it that it is the "no boil" aspect that then causes some form of bacteria build up over that 24 hour period?
How does one go about holding that kind of temperature for such a long time? Is it safe to do in the brew fridge?
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby pittsy » Tue Feb 07, 2017 17:37

An automated herms is the easy way , I'd of thought you'd struggle to maintain that hot a temp in the fridge . I'm sure a few here have done it , maybe mark1964 .
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby StevieDS » Tue Feb 07, 2017 18:08

xCamel xSlayer wrote:So I take it that it is the "no boil" aspect that then causes some form of bacteria build up over that 24 hour period?
How does one go about holding that kind of temperature for such a long time? Is it safe to do in the brew fridge?

Lacto bacteria is generally added to it in the form of plantarum tablets, by adding a handful of malt, or using an actual bacteria culture from white labs. These can be added to the mash after cooling to 40° or you can sparge as normal, cool and then add the bacteria. After a day or so it will be nicely tangy from the lactic acid. You can then boil for a few mins or just raise it to pasteurisation temperature to kill off the lacto.
I used my fermentation fridge to maintain the 40° and it worked great, and that is with a 100w light bulb as a heater.

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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby rlemkin » Tue Feb 07, 2017 23:07

xCamel xSlayer wrote:Are these reasonably simple to brew?
I am a big fan of a Berliner Weisse, and I'd love to have a crack at one some time.


Very simple. The way I do it involves adding these tablets - https://www.healthmonthly.co.uk/swanson ... n_capsules - and luckily this strain is absolutely fine at ambient temps. You don't even need temp control. This is flat out the easiest beer I brew. In fact this time I added all the yeast & bacteria at once. Standard brew day, minus boil & hops, and then straight into FV.

StevieDS wrote:Sounds great, I like the idea of adding brett. I was pretty happy with my first attempt which was soured with dregs from my first lambic. I'll be bottling my second batch of lambic soon so I might do a second weisse soon with the dregs from that.


Glad it worked out. I'm not brave enough to add dregs from lamic to it, I don't want any pediococcus for fear of it getting temporarily sick.
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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 09:09

I'd have thought that, in the absence of temperature control, this would be a beer to make in the height of summer. I got a steady 24C in my kitchen for much of last summer, so adding in a water bath and pond heater isn't that big of an investment to keep the wort at 40C.

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Re: Berlin Lemonade (Berliner Weisse)

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 09:10

Putting the FV on top of a slow cooker might also add enough heat to work - just a thought and something to try out.

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