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Grape-Infused Berliner Weiss

23 Aug

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.

Ingredients

Fermentables

  • 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.

Hops

  • 1oz Czech Saas hops (whole, not pelletized) 2.4% alpha, 3.4% beta

Yeast

  • 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

Brewing Process

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.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 23, 2014 in Brewing

 

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2 Responses to Grape-Infused Berliner Weiss

  1. Scott Swanson

    August 31, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Tasted and tested the beer from primary last nice. Taste is fruity with a tendency towards the tart. Beer is very cloudy in appearance, and quite pink in color from all the grapes.

    Brix is 7.9 for an ABV of 2.4% so far – or about halfway fermented. Given that, I expect it to dry out and lose a lot of the grape sugars in a week or so. Spanish moss may be added to help clarify the beer as well.

     
  2. Scott Swanson

    September 4, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I opened the beer to add an additional shipment of concord grapes to the mash. Started with 1 pound 6.5 ounces and cooked that down into a grape slurry. This should add additional fermentable sugars as well as more fruit flavor.

    The Brix is down to 7.6. Clarity is greatly improved, and the taste is now trending as I’d wanted – tart with less of the musty scent observed at last tasting. At this point in the fermentation I’m wondering if I should have put some non-fermentables in, but I wouldn’t want to make that decision until the beer has had more time to age.

     

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