Yesterday, at the same time and slightly after brewing Triple Valor, I also made another batch of Berliner Weisse. I have outlined this process before and I stuck fairly close to how I’ve done it in the past with one change for the mash.
I was mashing this batch while I boiled the Tripel. Last time I made this beer, I used the brew in a bag mash method. For that process, your mash takes place in the kettle. My kettle was otherwise occupied, so I had mash in my normal cooler mash tun. It was also an extended mash because I started it close the beginning of the Tripel’s boil and let it go until I finished boiling and chilling that beer and then cleaning the kettle.
Other than that, I didn’t do much different from last time. I’m following the same plan as both other batches of brewing about eight gallons and splitting it. Half will be a normal Berliner Weisse and the other half will have fruit added. I did raspberry the first time and mango the second. This time I’m adding cherries. I’m using semi-sour cherries, usually used for pie making as well as some tart cherry juice. Cherries have always been my favorite fruit to have in beer, from Kriek to dark ales to Summer wheat beers, there is no fruit beer I like better.
The beer is fermenting away in the kettle on my stove top. It is covered with aluminum foil to keep dust out but to allow it to breath. Last time I used plastic wrap after using aluminum foil the first time. I’ve been doing some reading about lactic fermentation and learned that there is more acetic acid produced when there is less oxygen in the environment. While the plastic wrap was definitely far from air tight, it was closer than the foil. The higher level of acetic in the second batch was my only issue with it, so I’m going back to the original plan.
I began culturing the lacto for this batch on Sunday. I’ve given them five days in the past but with the extra heat right now, I figured three would be enough and that has proven to be true. The fermentation is very active right now. I am going to have to watch this closely to keep it from getting too sour. I will probably be pasteurizing it this weekend, splitting it and adding the ale yeast and cherries. My recipe and basic process is below.
Style: 17A: Berliner Weisse
Brew Date: July 16, 2014
Serve Date: August, 2014
Expected FG: 1.006
Approximate ABV: 3.9
Fermentables (8 gallon batch):
50% 5 lb 2 Row Pale Malt
50% 5lb White Wheat
Home cultured Lactobacillus and White Labs 365: Belgian Saison II
8 gallons of water at 160º to achieve 150º mash temp.
Held for three hours (doesn’t need to be this long).
Run off into kettle.
Add more water to mash at about 180º, stir and run off until you have collected 8 gallons.
Chill to 100º and add lacto starter.
Monitor daily and pasteurize when proper sourness is achieved, then add ale yeast to finish fermentation.