RECIPE FOR 5 GALLONS:
- 3 lbs Pilsner; German
- 3 lbs Wheat Malt, Pale
- 0.50 oz Willamette [5.50 %] – Boil 15.0 min
- 1.0 pkg German Ale (Wyeast Labs #1007)
- 1.0 pkg Lactobacillus Blend (Omega #OYL-605)
- 4 lbs Puree; Blackberry [Primary] – Primary
Okay, so here’s the deal. Today, I’m going to brew a Berliner Weisse.
I’m going to kettle sour it, and then, when the beer’s in the fermenter, I’m going to add blackberry puree. And, because I want to share this beer with a friend out of state, I’m going to package it using my new canning device. I cannot wait to try this one.
Stage one, pretty simple, going to mash this very modest amount of grains in some water. And, let’s see, it is going to be 150 Fahrenheit, which is 66 Celsius.
Now, half of this grist is wheat malt, which means we don’t have a whole lot of husks in here, but I’m not really worried. There’s not very much of anything in here, to be honest. And, brewing in the bag systems like this typically don’t have any sort of problems with stock mashes. If you’re using a system, maybe it does have that sort of issue, then you could add some rice stock to this, as well.
Now, I do find oftentimes that these lower gravity beers do convert a bit quicker. So, you may not need a full hour for your mash for this, but let’s get this one started. And, while that’s mashing, well, I’ve been dying to try something.
Now, a Berliner Weisse is a sour wheat beer, originating from Northern Germany. And, it’s quite low alcohol, by which I mean, my original gravity is pretty low, 1.036. So, that’s going to be sub 4% beer. And, the ingredients for this one couldn’t be simpler. 50% German Pilsner and 50% pale wheat malt.
And, while the style of Berliner Weisse does not require it, I am going to add in a fruit extract. I am using blackberry puree from Olive Nation. I’ve had pretty good luck with Olive Nation’s extracts, and have a good collection of those, so I’m thinking this’ll be a good addition.
And, I’m going to be packaging this in this can seamer, the benchmark from October. This is a really simple but clever design, I think. You just use a regular drill, you attach it to the bit at the top, put your can in here, and raises up. And then, I pull forwards, I pull backwards, and your can is seamed.
And, actually, a couple of weeks ago, I did can some seltzer water in this, and I am dying to know, did it retain its carbonation? Did I do this right? Let’s see. Still fizzy.
I removed the grains at the end of the mash, and then brought the wert up to boil for 10 minutes. Then, I chilled the wert down to 95 Fahrenheit, or 35 Celsius. And, here it is, ready for the lactobacillus.
Now, for this lacto to really do its thing, we need two things. One, this wert has got to stay warm. I want to keep it at 95 Fahrenheit for, well, the next few days. And, to do that, I’m just using my temperature controller. I’ve got it set to 95, and it will just fire up the heating element on and off, every now and again, to keep the wert at that temperature.
And, I’ve cracked open the jacket for my Clawhammer system, as well, which will help to keep the temperature in there, keep it warm. The second thing that the lacto needs to stay healthy, is the absolute absence of hops.
So, no hops to go in yet. Any sort of IBU is going to cause problems, so there will be hops headed in this beer, but not until after the souring is complete.
Now, I did adjust the pH of this wert, so I took a pH reading, and then I added three milliliters of lactic acid. That brought the pH down to around 5.0. I want it to come down pretty much a full point further than that, and that’s what the lactose should do over the next few days. So, I’m just going to keep monitoring that.
And now, I want to keep this as an airtight container as the lacto does its business. I’m going to use the Clawhammer lid from the starter system, because this actually doesn’t have a port at the top for recirculation. So, this will be a closed system. And, I’m going to leave this here at 95 Fahrenheit for a couple of days.
It’s two days later. And well, the lacto, it’s been busy, it’s done its thing. I ended up lowering my temperature to 91 Fahrenheit. I was just concerned that 95, that I was really at the very top end, and that should I overshoot, then I might end up stalling this. But stall it, I did not.
I’ve taken a pH reading and my pH is 3.2. Now, at this point, I need to kill off that lacto and add some hops.
So, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to reboil this now for 15 minutes, and while it’s boiling, I’ll be adding in my hop addition, which is Willamette. Just half of this bag for a robust IBU of just six.
Well, I got most of the wert in the fermenter. Now, it’s time to take this wert and actually make it to beer. So, bring on the yeast. I’m using Wyeast 1007, this is German ale.
You typically ferment this relatively low for an ale. I’m going to ferment at 66 Fahrenheit, that’s around 19 Celsius.
And, at those sort of higher temperatures in that range, you will sometimes get a little bit of a fruity-est degenerated. I don’t know how apparent that’s going to be, given the large amount of fruit I’m adding into this later, but it can’t hurt.
So, I’m going to let this wort ferment out as the primary fermentation, and then when fermentation activity has come to an end, that’s when I’m going to introduce the fruit puree.
Olive of nation have started selling these puree kits on their website. A two kilo one, which is what this is, would really be perfect for a five gallon batch. I’ve only brewed three gallons, but I’m going to throw this all in, anyway.
All right, yeast, get a load of that.
Canning time. So, let’s talk about the setup that I’ve got here. I’ve got some cans, I’ve just sanitized those with Star San. Got my keg down there full of the finished and carbonated beer.
To move the beer into the cans, I’m going to use a tap cooler. It’s really designed for filling bottles, but it’ll work. Then I’ve got my benchmark all ready to go for 12 ounce cans, and then I’ve got my electric drill.
That worked pretty well. I did screw up the first two cans, and that was because my drill wasn’t running fast enough. I was using the one setting on here, and it just wasn’t able to spin it fast enough.
So, putting it on two, fix the problem, and I can feel these cans now. They’re really holding pressure. I really like this. Once you’ve got the hang of it’s really pretty easy to can stuff. Okay, I’m going to get these packaged up and send them to Mackenzie.
So, Mackenzie, did you receive anything in the mail recently?
Yes, as you can see, I haven’t exactly got the professional labeling down yet, but it’s a start. And, does it feel like it’s got some pressure if you squeeze it?
Yeah, it does. A lot of pressure.
Well, speaking of a lot of pressure, I feel this is a lot of pressure, but could you try opening that can.
Oh. See the bubbles?
Awesome. Just the visual appeal to this. I have never, ever brewed a beer that looked anything like this before.
Your beer’s usually yellow.
Or dark. You like the dark beers. Ruby grapefruit.
That’s what it is.
There we go. I’m hoping you’re going to get some fruity aromas. I can’t see how you wouldn’t.
All the fruit. Yeah. So, it’s blackberry. Blackberry is the fruit that we went with, and definitely getting a berry aroma to this.
It reminds me almost of a grapefruit smell. You can smell the sourness, anticipating the sourness, for sure.
One of the things I was a little bit worried about is when you’re shipping beer, if there’s any sugar still in the beer, which clearly there are in a beer that’s this fruity, they potentially can referment if the beer gets warm, and then there can be explosions. So, I’m really pleased that your beer has made it.
Thank God for shipping them in February to upstate New York, right?
Let’s give it a try now. And, I’m curious to know, can you taste more sweetness from the fruit, or is it more tart from the sourness?
No, it’s not overwhelmingly sweet, but the sour is pretty intense when you first sip.
Yeah, there’s a little sour bite to this, isn’t there, when you drink it? You’ve added the fruit, which is a bit sour, and then this was kettle sour as well, just to really generate some lactic acid in it.
It’s like when you have something really sour, and in the back of your jaw, when you take a sip, it starts to sting almost, just from the sourness.
That pucker, right, that you get from this? So, why don’t we just try that other beer that I sent, as well. That’s the centennial blonde. It’s a completely different beer. There we go. Yeah. Yeah. It’s going to look very different, smell very different, tastes very different.
Oh, and I’m spilling a little bit. Oh, it smells good.
It’s quite a hop forward beer. So, this is a blond ale.
It’s really good.
But, isn’t it just the polar opposite? There’s no bite on the back end, no pucker. I can see through it.
Yeah. This one’s like a good summer day out by the pool.
I’m really pleased I just didn’t send you this really wet dripping box of empty beer cans.
I’m pleased too, and I bet the mail carrier is as well.
Seriously. Mackenzie, thank you very much for tasting these beers, and especially giving this one a try. The Blackberry Berliner Weisse.
Got to name it; Blackberry Bliss.
I like it. And, recipes in the description if you want to try making this yourself. And, Mackenzie, cheers.
Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy. I’ve been homebrewing for +20 yrs, an aspiring pro-brewer and micro brewery owner!