Recipe: Quick (Kettle) Soured Berliner Weisse January 10, 2016 15:24

Like most of you, we're homebrewers too! We've decided to start a series that documents the recipes and process for some of the beers that we brew. We've decided to start with one that has received great feedback from our local beer community - it's a quick soured Berliner Weisse.

Many people who haven't brewed a sour beer are intimidated by the thought.  A "Kettle Soured" Berliner Weisse eliminates most of the "intimidating" aspects of brewing a sour beer:

  • A kettle soured Berliner Weisse eliminates the "wild yeast" aspect.
    • You boil the beer after it's been soured, so your kegged/bottled beer is no different than the Stout, Porter, IPA, etc., that you currently brew. The boil kills off the souring bacteria eliminating its presence post-boil, but leaves the sour bite behind!
  • A kettle soured Berliner Weisse can soured in as little as 24 hours.
    • A lot of "sour beers" take 1+ years before they are "ready". Following the recipe/process below, your beer will generally be soured in 24 hours, and ready to drink in about the same time as your standard ale.

Recipe Stats:

  • Original Gravity:1.031
  • 4.5 IBU
  • 2.8% ABV

Water Profile:

  • We generally use reverse osmosis water when brewing, so we build the water from scratch. The following profile was used for this recipe:
    • Ca: 52.5 ppm
    • Mg: 9.9 ppm
    • Na: 13.3 ppm
    • SO4: 66.9 ppm
    • Cl: 84.8 ppm
    • HCO3: 14.4 ppm

Ingredients::

  • 56.8% Pilsen Malt
  • 40.3% Wheat Malt
  • 2.9% Acid Malt

Mash Profile:

  • Mash @ 150°F for 60 minutes
  • Chill wort to ~110-115°F and begin souring process

Souring Process:

  • During the souring process, you want to hold your wort in the 110-115°F range. We have an electric brewing setup, and use the heating element in the kettle to accomplish this.
    • If using a carboy, you can use a FermWrap plugged into a temperature controller. We've also heard of people using household heating blankets to maintain the temperature.
  • Add unmilled malt to wort. We use a ratio of .5lb Acid Malt & .5lb 2 Row per 5 gallons of wort. You can bag this in a mesh bag, or let it float loose if you have a way to filter it out before the boil.
  • Run CO2 through wort to purge O2 from wort & vessel. You want to eliminate as much O2 during the souring phase as possible.
  • Hold the wort with the unmilled malt at 110-115°F until desired pH/sourness has been reached. Most information you read will suggest something in the range of pH 3.2-3.6; the lower you go, the more sour it will be and the more stressful for the yeast.
    • Expect to hold at this temperature for 24 hours or more to reach the desired pH. If you do not have a pH meter, we'd suggest starting the boil after 24 hours.
      • We use a pH meter from Omega - it's linked at the bottom of this post.
      • We normally boil when a pH of 3.2-3.3 has been reached.

    Boil:

    • Once you've reached your desired pH, remove and discard the grain, then boil the wort for 15 minutes.
    • Add 4.5 IBU of Spalt Select @ 10 minutes.
    • Chill wort to 68°F and add yeast.

    Fermentation:

    • Ferment with US-05 @ 68°F for 7 days.

    Links: