How To Brew Gose Beer | Homebrew Challenge

by Steve Thanos | Updated: July 2, 2021

Gose originated in Goslar, a small town in Eastern Germany. It is unknown if the beer style is named after the town or the Gose River that flows through town. The town was named after the river, so somehow all three are related. 

The town of Golar was founded in the 10th century. Silver deposits were found close by along with other minerals such as copper, zinc, lead, and salt.

With such minerals prevalent around town, it is inevitable that the groundwater would contain salt. 

The beer style under the name Gose first appeared in the late 15th century. It was not recognized until the early 18th century. Many articles allude to Gose being around for at least 1000 years.

Although the sources are scarce, it is possible the style was known by another name.

Gose began as a beer style in Goslar, however, it grew up in the town called Leipzig some 100 miles away. In 1738, the style was so big in Leipzig, that brewers there began making their own.

During World War I, the popularity of Gose was declining. By the end of the second World War, the one last Gose brewery closed its doors for good.

The style did go through a revival stage on a smaller scale in 1949, but sadly that died too in 1966.

Style Profile for Gose

Appearance

Gose are medium yellow to a deep gold in color. It is unfiltered and contains good carbonation. The head is long lasting, with small tightly packed bubbles and can be  pretty large in size.

Aroma

The aroma consists of malt with a yeasty dough quality, similar to sourdough bread. The fruit aroma (apples, pears, quince) is ligh to medium and brings a light sourness. Coriander can have a lemon-like character. The salt should be hardly noticeable. 

Flavor

The sourness should be noticeable, but never sharp. Fruit character (pome, lemon, grapefruit, and stone fruit) is light to moderate. Malt flavor will be light to moderate and will be bready/doughy.

Salt should be noticeable, but never overwhelming. Hops should be non-existent. No signs of flavor and low bitterness.The acidity may be noted on the beer’s finish and is said to be thirst quenching. 

Mouthfeel

The body is light to low-medium with good carbonation. It will be crisp, clean, and refreshing.

Tips for Brewing your own Gose

Sourness

Traditionally, Goses were spontaneously fermented, meaning the wort was exposed to the environment and inoculated with wild yeast and lactobacillus.

Homebrewers have the four different options to sour their beers: add lactic acid, use acidulated malt, pitch lactobacillus, or conduct a sour mash.

Grain

This grist for a Gose is usually Pilsner malt and wheat with a 40-60 ratio. The Pilsner malt will lend itself to a desirable crispness in the beer. The wheat will lend to the beer to become cloudy and some fruitiness.

Since using wheat and getting a stuck sparge is never something a brewer wishes for, using rice hulls is never a bad idea. 

Hops

Since the hop profile for this style is pretty small, one addition at the beginning of the boil is all you really need. Noble hops such as Tettnanger, Halleertauer, or Spalt would be pretty authentic. 

Yeast

There is a wide selection of yeast to choose from for this style. They include the following:

  • White Labs: German Ale/Kolsch  (WLP029), Belgian Ale (WLP550), or Abbey IV Ale (WLP540).
  • Wyeast: Wyeast German Ale (1007), Kolsch (2595).
  • Dry Yeast: SafBrew WB-06 and Safale US-05.

Adjuncts

Goses usually consist of additions of salt and coriander. A half an ounce to an ounce of each is usually a good starting point. Coriander should be fresh and ground just before using it.

Treat both additions like a hop addition with 15 minutes remaining in the boil. 

Gose By the Numbers

  • Color Range: 3 – 4 SRM
  • Original Gravity: 1.036 – 1.056 OG
  • Final Gravity: 1.006 – 1.01 FG
  • IBU Range: 5 – 12
  • ABV Range: 4.2 – 4.8% 

Martin Keen’s Gose Recipe

Grain

  • 60%           5 lbs     Wheat Malt
  • 40%           4 lb       Pilsner Malt

Hops

  • 1 oz         Hallertauer Hersbrucker – Boil – 60 min
  • .5 oz        Coriander Seed – 15 min
  • .5 oz        Sea Salt – 15 min

Yeast

  • 1.0 pkg   German Ale Yeast Wyeast #1007

Directions:

  1. Mash at 152°F (66°C) for 60 mins
  2. Boil for 60 mins  

Alternative Gose Variations:

Transcript: Today on the Homebrew Challenge, I have reached the last of my beer styles; It’s historical beers, and I’m starting off with a good one – It Gose.

My name is Martin Keen taking the Homebrew challenge to brew 99 beers in 99 weeks. And yeah I’m in category 27. That is historical beers.

There’s some quite odd ones in here, but also some fantastic favorites as well, including today’s fruity zesty beer Gose, which is always an interesting beer to drink.

But it’s also an interesting beer to brew.

Now a Gose is a sour beer and I brewed a few sour beers recently, but I’m going to try a slightly different kettle souring method for this one.

So first of all, let’s get the grains in. I’m going to be mashing this one at 152 Fahrenheit. That’s 67 Celsius.

Forgoet my whisk? Here you go. oh thanks!

I’m going to start off with a regular old mash of about 60 minutes. Uh, but one thing that we do need to keep an eye on here is the pH. So I bought ready, added in here my usual mixture of gypsum, calcium chloride and Epsom salt, and a little bit of lactic acid.

How much you will need will really depend on your own water chemistry. But the key is we want to get this at 5.2 pH. So I’m going to check that now. And I’m right on the money there at 5.2. So now this is ready to mash.

So in terms of recipe design, this beer is going to have an original gravity of 1.047. That will give a final ABV around 4 – 5%. Now what went into that grist?

Well, the primary ingredient is pale wheat malt at 40%. And then in addition to that, at 30%, I added German Pilsner malt. Now, even my math knows that we’re still nowhere near a hundred percent and that’s because this is actually going to be a fruit Gose.

I have here passion fruit, and this is going to make up the remaining 30% of my fermentable sugars, but we’ve got a few things to do before we get to this.

Okay. So with the mash complete, what I need to do next is pasteurize this wort. So I’m going to pull out the grain basket and then just heat this wort up to 180 Fahrenheit or about 82 Celsius and just hold it there for about 10 minutes.

Then I’m going to bring the temperature down a bit.

With the wort pasteurized, and then brought back down to 95 Fahrenheit or 35 Celsius through my plate chiller. It’s now time to form a kettle souring.

Now we need to add lactobacillus into this and then keep it at 95 Fahrenheit or 35 Celsius for a couple of days. Now you can just go to the home brew store and buy lactobacillus. That is wyeast 5335, but this time for my kettle souring, I am going to use good belly probiotic shots and put these in.

There’s a bunch of these at the grocery store, I picked the one that was kind of berry flavor. And before I add anything in, I want to take note of my pH and we’re at 5.5 right now.

And what I want to do is to get this down to about 3.5. And that is where the good belly should help. So, uh, let’s put a couple of these in, I bought a four-pack of these little shots. I’m going to put two in, you got a little happy faces.

As I give this a stir, I see my temperature creeping up. It’s up to 99 now, but once this all settles down, just leaving the controller set to 95, should do a nice job of maintaining this.

Now I’m going to cover the top care and leave this for probably two days. I will just check periodically how this is doing and I’m going to wait until this gets down to 3.5 pH before moving on to the next step.

We’ll do all these things actually tastes like?

So given that we’re in the historical beer category, I intend to take a quick look into the history behind some of these beers.

Now Gose and yeah, it’s pronounced “Goes Uh”, is a German beer style made up of wheat and barley. It’s origins relate to a town in Eastern Germany called gazala where it conveniently flows the Gose River.

Goslin was founded in the 10th century, primarily as a silver mining town. Other minerals were discovered to including salt deposits and it’s those salt deposits that make their way into the groundwater and explain why you’ll find salt added to the beer style today.

And it’s a beer style like many of these historical beer styles that were once popular, particularly before the first world war then had a bit of a decline, but unlike some of the other beer styles, I’m going to brew later on in this series, this one has never been more popular than it is today.

It’s a day and a half later now. And the pH has dropped all the way to 3.3. So that didn’t take very long. Uh, what I’m going to do now is bring this to a boil and while that’s heating up, let’s talk about what’s going to go into the boil.

In terms of hops, a Gose really is very, very lightly hopped. If there are really any hops at all. So I am using one of the lowest alpha acid hops that I could find hersbrucker. And I am putting this in not until 30 minutes from the end, rather than at the start of the boil. And even then, I’m only putting in half of the bag.

In addition to that, I have got some coriander seed, which I have ground up, and I’ve also got sea salt. I have a half an ounce of both of these, and these are going to go into the boil with 15 minutes to go.

I have here wyeast 1007. This is German ale. I’m going to ferment this one at 68 Fahrenheit or 20 Celsius. I’m just going to keep an eye on it. And when the bubbling is slowing down and almost come to a stop, that’s when I’ll move on to the next stage.

I think fermentation is done. Now it’s been almost a week. So now I’m going to add in my passionate fruit puree, which will restart fermentation. Again.

I don’t need to do anything to treat the fruit it’s already sanitized and ready to go in. So all I’m going to do is just add this bag into a little bit of starsan, and then I’m going to pour this into the fermentor.

Well, I hope you like this beer, I’ve put a lot of effort into it. I already gave it a goesa…. Hashtag dad joke. Uh, okay. Just have a look. What we think of this? It is looking beautifully golden.

I was wondering if the fruit juice that added into this would affect the color It hasn’t really turned it pink or anything. No. It’s as a gorgeous, like yellowy golden color, it looks very enticing and very summery.

Now, it was just bleeding off the keg, like literally putting the ring pole and just to let the gas out and it smelled like passion fruit. Okay. So let’s see if a beer does too. Oh yeah. Oh man. That smells so delicious.

Oh, that pucker. It is pukka. Oh my goodness. There’s a lot going on here. So yeah. Sourness, is it sour? Puckery sour, right? Uh, sweet. Fruity. Yup. Yup.

Picking my mouth is salivating so much, uh, picking passion fruit was really good because that’s already have a kind of sourey fruit, but it has that sweet zing to it. If you’ve ever had actual, like fresh passion fruit, and then with the salt and stuff. Oh my God. This beer is so good.

Picking passion fruit was a really good idea. Says the person who picked the passion for it. It’s so good. I’ve been very excited about this beer, uh, sours and all that has been my favorite recently. I’ve moved on from IPA’s to sours and this is my keg. Nobody else’s.

Well on that note, uh, thank you so much for it. Taking my beer into consideration when you brewed this, uh, if you want to make this yourself, everything’s down below in the description. Don’t forget. We have these awesome t-shirts and sweaters now. Um, and until next time, we’ll see you later.

Cheers!

Add: How to pronouce ‘Gose’ – popular variations (lots of YT thumbnails on this) – check PAA

I am the former President of my homebrew club, Plainfield Ale and Lager Enthusiasts (PALE) in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL. I brew on my BIAB system with my incredibly patient and understanding wife, adorable 9 year old daughter, and 12 year old brew dog.