It took me a bit longer than I had hoped to get this project (beer) going, but I finally got it brewed, and will be anxiously awaiting the results. But, before I get too ahead of myself, lets take a step back.
As in most cases, this idea sprung up after a conversation with one of the many interesting and imaginative customers we have come by the homebrew shop. This particular individual makes his own Sauerkraut and sells it at local farmer’s markets. Well, as it turns out, the same lactic acid producing bacteria (Lactobacillus) responsible for souring sauerkraut, is also used in the production of certain sour beers, particularly those of German tradition, like Gose and Berliner Weisse. Naturally, I encouraged him to bring any left over juice he might end up with after packaging his Sauerkraut, and he was nice enough to do so. I was given two jars of leftovers to play with. One jar of juice from some Red Cabbage/Ginger Sauerkraut and another jar with Caraway.
Seeing as I am a bit of purist when it comes to brewing, especially when it comes to these styles with rich historical backgrounds, I wanted to keep my Berline-Style Weisse (it’s not technically a Berliner Weisse unless its brewed in Berlin) as close to what is considered traditional as possible. The most memorable Berliner Weisse I have tasted was the 1809 Berliner Weisse, designed by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens Institute, so naturally I took my inspiration from this beer. 50% Pils malt, 50% Wheat malt. Mash hopped with aged hops, with a single decoction. The biggest difference in my version of the beer, is that I actually boiled the wort for 1-2 mins, while tradition calls for “no-boil.”
I guess that’s not the biggest difference … I am adding leftover juice from sauerkraut for fuck’s sake
Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Estimated OG: 1.032 SG Estimated Color: 2.3 SRM Estimated IBU: 0.9 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 % Boil Time: 1 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name Type # %/IBU 3 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsen Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.0 SRM) Grain 1 50.0 % 3 lbs 8.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 50.0 % 1.00 oz Revolution [3.60 %] - Mash 10.0 min Hop 3 0.9 IBUs 1.0 pkg Lactobacillus Bacteria Yeast 4 - Mash Schedule: Decoction Mash, Single Total Grain Weight: 7 lbs ---------------------------- Name Description Step Temperat Step Time Protein Rest Add 16.00 qt of water at 102.2 F 100.0 F 20 min Saccharification Decoct 8.12 qt of mash and boil it 150.0 F 45 min Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.45gal, 3.41gal) of 168.0 F water Notes: ------ Sept 20, 2014: Late night brew. Things went pretty smooth in that I hit my temps and volumes. Sparge runoff got a little sticky, and I didn't use any Rice hulls for filtering, as I usually don't use rice hulls. Six gallons total - OG-1.031 Collected into two 3 gallon fermenters. Did not aerate as Lactobacillus is a facultative anaerob, and I am certain there is some Acetobacter in the mix, so I want to limit its progression as much as possible.
Sept 21, 2014: Less than 24 hours after adding Sauerkraut dregs to each carboy, visable fermentation taking place. The Red Cabbage/Ginger portion took off a little quicker, but the Caraway was not far behind.