I remember the first time I tried a Berliner Weisse very well. It was at the Swedish National Homebrew Competition in Stockholm 2015, my first visit to a HomebrewCon and I asked for advice on what types of beer to try and someone said Scottish ale and Berliner Weisse since they were not readily available on the market at the time. The Scottish Ale that I tried actually won the whole shebang and I emediately brewed one as soon as I got home, a beer that I still lager in my fridge (Batch 42 from May 2015).
The Berliner Weisse was another story though. There were two examples at the show and I tried them both. And they were rather terrible given the very fine examples I’ve tried since. I had nothing to compare with at the time so I simply concluded that the style was awful-tasting. But in hindsight they were really bad examples of the style.
Now I want to try one on my own. I depart from Mike Tonsmeire’s No-Boil Berliner Weisse from his fine book American Sour Beer. I tweek it slightly though for a dry hopped version.
Style – Berliner Weisse
OG 32/FG 06
ABV 3,1 %
Vol 21 L
2,14 kg (66,7 %) Pilsner malt
1,07 kg (33,3 %) Wheat malt
Mash for 15 min @ 52 degrees C. Pull a decoction big enough to raise the temperature to 63 degrees C and hold for 45 minutes. (Beersmith works great for calculating decoction mashing!)
Mash out at 68 degrees.
Bring the wort to the boiling point and turn off the heat. Add:
9 g/3,3 IBU Citra
and rest for 10 minutes. Chill to 18 degrees C (Mike adds the hops to the mash at the decoction stage but I want a hop forward beer som I steep my Citra).
Pitch US-05 or any other Cal Ale yeast. Ferment at 18 degrees until almost finished.
Add Wyeast 5335 Lactobacillus and hold for another week.
(I’m actually quite unsure about this fermentation regime so I have emailed Mike to ask when to add theh lacto and how long to ferment it)
Packaging & Carbonation
Carbonate high, perhaps around 3 volumes of CO2, i.e. 7,9 g of table sugar per liter.
Just got an answer from Mr Tonsmeire who adviced me to add the lactobacillus right at the start while there’s still simple sugars available. Well, too late, but I’ll immediately run out to the shed and add the critters to the slowly fermenting wort.