The Gozerian

One thing about this blistering hot summer that I am grateful for is my new found love/appreciation for German, wheat-based, sour beers. I’m looking at you Berliner Weisse and Gose. I feel like these styles of sour beers are more approachable for novice sour beer drinkers, but also have a rich history that gets my goat pretty good.

I will soon have a post regarding Berliner Weisse, but for right now, that is none of your business, for today….

Gose (Goes-uh), a style of sour, wheat-based, top-fermented ale from Germany. The sour character of Gose was very similar to that of Berliner Weisse, a tart lactic sourness from lactic acid producing bacteria. The thing(s) that set Gose apart from Berliner Weisse are the additions of coriander and salt. Originally, the salty notes in the beer were likely a symptom of the brewing water used. Now, usually when I tell folks that it has a salty note to it, I can see their minds going straight to a salt lick or something. Rest assured, the saltiness is much more subdued, and plays nicely with a bit of coriander, and the lactic acidity.

When I started running ideas in my head for brewing a Gose, I wanted something that was both sour (with that slight saltiness), but also with hints of some sharper fruits. I finally landed Brettanomyces Brux Trois as a co-fermenter, as I hear this strain of brett can give some unique fruit character to a beer, and it also does well as a primary fermenter (foreshadowing…oooooh!).

My plan for this beer is a little bit of an old-school style of souring a low alcohol wheat based beer. I would brew a total of 7 gals, split it up into two 3-gallon fermenters, and one 1-gallon fermenter. In one 3-gallon caboy, Lactobacillus brevis. In the other, Brett Brux Trois. Finally, with the extra gallon of wort I am pitching a vial of Brett calussenii I have had lying around. My plan is to let each of the microbes do their thing for 1-2 months before blending all three together in secondary to age for a long ass time.

One additional note: I am, for the first time ever, performing a decoction mash because “authentic shit.”

 

Also, the coriander was taken from my garden. The salt was not.

 

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------

Batch Size (fermenter): 7.00 gal  
Estimated OG: 1.027 SG
Estimated Color: 1.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 4.3 IBUs


Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
4 lbs 12.8 oz         Pilsen Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.0 SRM)     Grain         1        60.0 %        
3 lbs 3.2 oz          White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         2        40.0 %        
1.00 oz               Crystal [4.20 %] - Boil 10.0 min         Hop           3        4.3 IBUs      
0.50 oz               Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 mins)           Spice         4        -             
0.75 oz               Salt (Boil 5.0 mins)                     Water Agent   5        -             
1.0 pkg               Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois (White  Yeast         6        -             
1.0 pkg               Lactobacillus Brevis [50.28 ml]          Yeast         7        -             
1.0 pkg               Brettanomyces Claussenii (White Labs #WL Yeast         8        -             


Mash Schedule: Decoction Mash, Single
Total Grain Weight: 8 lbs
----------------------------
Name              Description                                Step Temperat Step Time     
Protein Rest      Add 13.00 qt of water at 126.7 F           122.0 F       35 min        
Saccharification  Decoct 3.44 qt of mash and boil it         142.0 F       15 min        
Mash Step         Add 2.00 qt of water at 207.8 F            150.0 F       45 min        

Sparge: Batch sparge with 3 steps (Drain mash tun , 3.41gal, 3.14gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
------
Split batch three ways. 


3 Gals get Lacto Brevis
3 Gals get Brett Trois
1 Gals get Brett Claussenii


Aug 14, 2014:

Brew day! For being my first decoction, things went okay. With that being said, I did undershoot my second rest temp, and had to compensate with a couple quarts of boiling water. Michael Dawson of Brewing TV would be very disappointed with me.
Boiled for only 15 minutes, and cooled wort to ~90F. Pitched a 1L Starter of Lacto brevis into one fermenter.  1 Vial of Brett Brux Trois into the second fermenter, and a vial of Brett Claussenii into the thrid.

O.G. – 1.030

 

 

Aug 15,  2014:

All three were very active the next morning, approx 18 hours after brew day. Even the two fermenters with Brett, which did not utilize starters. Ambient temperature is approx 80F.

 

 

Sept 13, 2014:

Blended the Lactobacillus brevis and Brettanomyces trois portions together into a 5 gallon carboy. Guess I overestimated my volumes a bit, as there was no room to add the Brett claussenii portion. I will have to think of something I can do with one gallon of claussenii beer. Maybe I’ll dry hop it and bottle as is.

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