Thursday, September 5, 2013

Recipe #45: Not So Quick & Easy Extract + Yogurt Berlinerweisse

Inspired by some recent discussions over on BeerAdvocate in the homebrew forum, I decided on a whim to do an easy and quick Berlinerweisse for later this Summer.  There were actually a few things that converged on this idea.  The BA talk was around how White Labs Lacto strain refuses to sour beers no matter how long it is left to work it's magic (even when used alone like the Mad Fermentationist did).  Wyeast seems to be better, but I am not wanting to wait until next Summer for this beer.  I had some success culturing Lacto from Greek yogurt in the past, and I had mentioned this in the BA thread about the WL Lacto fails to a fellow brewer who was going to be doing a few experiments with 20+ gallons of Berlinerweisse.  I have also been working on getting some soda syrups made that can be added to carbonated water (keep my kegs free from the syrupy residue), and I thought, you know, a Key Lime Ginger syrup would go great with a Berliner instead of bubbly water.  Add to this that I am still a few weeks out from an open Saturday after the move to the new house and I am left with an easy and quick extract batch.  The plan is to go back to the roots of beginning homebrewers.  Stove top batch at one gallon, dry malt extract, small addition of hops, chill the pot in the sink, transfer through a strainer, top off with cool water, pitch yeast packet (yogurt), put it in the garage, and let it ferment at ambient temps (had 1 gallon starter that was high on sugar content turn into nail polish at 95*F so I am avoiding super high temps).


5.5 gallons
OG 1.030
Est FG 1.003
Est ABV 3.5%
IBUs 6

4.0# Wheat DME

Boil (15 mins):
15 1.0oz Liberty 5.4% (pellet)

Kettle Additions:
Nutrient - 2 taps pre-boil

Chilled and topped off with water to 72*F
Pitched 7oz container of Fage Low Fat yogurt
Garage ambient temp for duration

06/04 Brewed by myself.  Mixed the DME and water in a blender to incorporate fully, easily, quickly.  Brought to a boil on the stove top.  Added hop pellets, moved off heat slightly to keep from boil over.  Boiled 15 minutes.  Placed lid on for final minute to sanitize.  Placed in sink with cold water for an hour, switched out water once.  Poured contents (with some break material and hop debris) into 6 gallon Better Bottle containing 3.75 gallons of cold tap water and the 7oz of yogurt.  Topped off with more cold water to 5.5 gallons.  Refractometer measured at 7.8* plato (1.030).  Placed in garage at 72*F.  68*F in morning.

20 hours - no tartness yet, tastes like slightly bitter liquid mini wheats.

44 hours - still no tartness, but a new flavor... canned corn!  DMS formed.

4 days - Progressively getting tarter with each day (though not aggressively so), DMS is still evident, but seems a little lighter than at first.  Sample shows drop to 1.022.

2 weeks - tartness is evident, but not puckering, still a more than noticeable level of DMS evident that I will need to scrub out with CO2 after transferring to the bottling bucket.  Down to 1.009 (2.8% ABV), sitting at 73*F.  Other than the DMS this method seems to be producing a quick and easy Berlinerwiesse.

3 weeks - background tartness, DMS is fading, light fruitiness, grainy.  

4 weeks - down to 1.005, hot spell has garage over 90*F, beer measures @ 80*F.

5 weeks - down to 1.003, DMS has cleared up a lot, somewhat fruity and grainy, tartness is evident, but lower than I would like.

6 weeks - wondering if it is worth it to bottle since the tartness is fairly low, tastes like a dry, lightly tart, wheat lager w/ DMS.  Thinking it may need Brett and fruit for a few months, then bottle.

2 months - added 3oz slurry of Brett L from Oud Bruin.

10 weeks - added 2 oz slurry of Elysian Mortis Brett fresh from Release the Panic.

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