Monday, August 20, 2012

Jelly Doughnut (My first 'wild'/sour beer!)

     After trying 4 Hands Brewing Company's Prussia Berlinerweisse on tap at 44 Stone Public House, I became fascinated with the style.  4 Hands' offering is not as sharply sour as some examples supposedly are, but it shows a beautiful balance of flavors: crackery pils malt, tart fruit, and a bit of earthy funk.  It's immensely refreshing and only 3.5% abv!  The perfect summer beer if ever there was one.  It's also one of those 'increasingly hard to find' styles, so when Wyeast released their 'Berlinerweisse blend' (Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces from a now-defunct German brewery, and Lactobacillus) I figured it was a sign. 

Supposedly a potentially problematic strain...hoping for luck!
     Fast foward to today.  It's been a long time since I've ordered a pre-packaged kit from either Northern Brewer or Midwest Supplies.  If anything, usually I'll look at their recipe, and tweak it a bit to use DME instead of LME and make other changes here or there.  But since I knew very little about Berlinerweisse in terms of recipe formation, and they were offering a limited-edition 'Kinderweisse' kit, I jumped on it.  I even went for the all-extract kit, knowing I'd be in school soon, and needing to save time.  It couldn't have been simpler, but I renamed it 'Jelly Doughnut'.  Kudos if you get the reference!

Jelly Doughnut (Ich bin ein Berliner!)

(5 gallons)

     -3.15 lbs wheat LME (65% wheat, 35% barley)
     -1 lb. Briess wheat DME (65% wheat, 35% barley)

     -1 oz Hersbrucker (2.8% AA) for 20 minutes

     -1 package Wyeast Berlinerweisse blend #3191

     Even though one of my kitties seems to have gnawed into the bag of DME, he/she must not have gotten much of it, because after 20 minutes (I extended the recommended boil by 5 minutes to make sure my wort chiller was sanitized) my OG hit 1.031 on the nose. 

I'm betting Quentin was the culprit, but who knows?
Now, we wait, and hope and pray that Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces don't decide to run amok in my brewhouse! 

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