Goal: Berliner Weisse – though well balanced and not overly tart
I tend to make bigger beers, or summer drinking beers. My partner likes a different sort, and while I’ve tried making lagers to suit, have thus far not hit it out of the park. Add to that the fact that lagers take a long time to be ready to drink, and something different was in order. Accordingly, I’m trying for a beer that will hold up to those like the Festina Peche from Dogfish Head brewery. Not overly sour, and well balanced. Since I had a lot of grapes on hand, I decided to utilize them for some of the fruity flavors and results. Recipe below – time will tell if I hit the mark.
- 6# 2-row
- 2# white wheat
- 1# 40L
- .25# Honey Malt
- .5# Wyerman Acidulated specialty malt (1.7028 Lovibond)
- 4# Concord grapes. Half reduced to juice and with seeds and skins strained off, half with seeds and skins remaining.
- 1oz Czech Saas hops (whole, not pelletized) 2.4% alpha, 3.4% beta
- 100 ml. Brettanomyces lambicus
- Wyeast 1007 – German ale yeast
Added 24 hours after start of fermentation
- Lactobacillus Brevis (added 24 hours after start of fermentation)
- 1 oz. Apple cider vinegar
- 1 oz. Red wine vinegar
Grains were soaked for an hour starting at 180 deg. Fahrenheit and ending at 155, with occasional stirring of the mesh bag. The bag was removed and allowed to drip, with the drippings added to the boil. Grapes and juice added after mashing at the start of the 1-hour boil. Hops were added in approximately equal portions at the 0, 30 and 60 minute marks (flame out).
Original gravity (OG) 1.049 / 12.1 Brix, which suggests this may be as high as a 6.4% ABV beer.
The result is much tarter to the taste than is common for a beer going into primary fermentation, and tastes strongly of grape. From what I hear, most of the grape contribution will ferment out, hopefully leaving a nice fruitiness and complexity.