Inspired by rlemkin's recent posts, I thought I'd have a go at a Berliner Weisse. The concept of sour beers was an anathema to me a year or two ago, until I tried Buxton's Far Skyline and Red Raspberry Rye. Now I can't get enough of Berliner Weisse and Gose, really enjoying some To Ol versions from a recent order.
I thought that sours were something that I wouldn't really be able to brew at home until reading of probiotic pills. Ordered some Swanson's Lactobacillus Plantarum tablets from rlemkin's source (subsequently, I now get emails trying to sell me stuff for IBS...).
Was initially going for a 5L trial batch, but went for 11L with the intention of splitting the batch. Substituted wheat malt for pale rye, as it is all I had in.
900 g pilsner
500 g pale rye
Water treated with half a campden tablet. Alkalinity dropped to ~15 using 2M HCl. Added a bit of gypsum to get SO42-:Cl- to 1:1, Ca2+ at ~ 100 ppm.
Mashed at 65C (3 hours by the time I got back to it) and gave a quick 15 min boil, just in case.
11L of 1.031 into the fv.
A pinch and twist of the capsules is all that it needed to open them. Sprinkled the contents of 6 of them into fv and a few hours later a packet of rehydrated US-05.
A very quick and easy brewday, heating and cooling much quicker on smaller volume, short boil etc.
Fermenting away by the next morning.
1 day pH ~4.0 using pH strips.
3 days pH between 3.0 and 3.5 but closer to 3.0 colouring on strips.
It's been a week, so I'll check gravity and souring tonight.
I'm planning on transferring 4L or so into a demi-john containing some fruit. In the freezer I have blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants and raspberries from last years crop. I'm tempted by the blackcurrants as I have a lot to use up, but expect to to be very sour with these; however, recently really enjoyed a Dugges Blackcurrant Nordic Sour.
The rest will be dry-hopped with the remnants of packs of amarillo (20g) and citra (40g) - thinking more Siren Calypso style.
I have a selection of thicker Belgian bottles, so will go big on the carbonation when the time comes.
The troubles of our proud and angry dust
Are from eternity, and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must.
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.
A. E. Housman
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