“Cerveceros y Cocineros” Berliner Weisse

La Niña Fresa

So my inspiration behind this recipe was based off the flavors of a “big stick” popsicle stick. Strawberry, pineapple and cherry I’ve work with both strawberry and pineapple but not cherry, so not really knowing what kind of final product I would get I rolled the dice.

The socal cerveceros event was a couple weeks out we already had 30 gallons of beer on deck but I wanted to bring something different. When I goto festivals I always seek out the low abv beers and work my way up the abv ladder as the festival goes on.

We already had an imperial stout at 9.5% a hoppy pils at 6.2% a blonde at 4.7% so naturally I thought a 3% berliner weisse was a perfect addition to our tap list for the day.

The plan was to do a short and shoddy BIAB hit with a big ol slurry of lacto the let it ferment on some pineapple and strawberry then dose it with some sweet cherries just before kegging.

All grain 5 gallons
OG 1.042 FG 1.011
Ibu 0 SRM doesn’t matter

3# White Wheat Malt
3# Pilsner Malt
1.5# Honey Malt
8oz Acidulated Malt

Slurry from Gose recipe
Mix of Lacto Brevis and German Ale WY1007

8 gallons of Crystal Geyser water into the kettle raised temp to around 145*
3g gypsum
4g calcium chloride

Oct 7
Added grains and raised temp again to around 152* I let it rest 10mins them started the recirc for 30mins
Raised the temp again to 165* and pulled the bag out squeezed it to get as much sugar as possible.

Boiled hard for 30mins to get volume down to 6.5 gallons.

No hop additions
15min yeast nutrients
15min Irish moss

Chilled down to 100*
Collected 5.5g into fermenter, no oxygen at this point
Pitched the big lacto slurry wrapped the fermenter with the heating element and programmed the ink bird to 92*

Our gravity sample measured 1.035 of a projected 1.042 yikes... but a ph check showed we were sitting at 5.0pH which could of effected my efficiency. In any case I wasn’t all that concerned with good attenuation I will still be in the 3% abv range and I was ok with that.

When I ferment quick sours I place the fermenter in an old stand up fridge and leave the door cracked open to let any gases escape. Luckily overnight temps didn’t fluctuate all that much so every morning when I checked the beer the heating element was on and temp was holding 92*.
It took about 18hrs for me to start smelling the lacto and about 24hrs for some strong activity to occur.

After about 72hrs not much was going on in the fermenter so I pulled a sample pH was reading 3.3 and gravity was at 1.016. Perfect time to rack it onto some fruit, there wasn’t much going on as far as flavor at the moment but it was nice and tart. Knowing I was going to add some decent acidity from the pineapple the perceived level of sourness would increase and I was ok with that.

I tossed 24oz of organic frozen strawberries and a little over 1lbs of a fresh pineapple in my secondary. I racked the beer onto the fruit making sure to pick up some of the yeast cake at the bottom of the primary. No heating element of temp control this time, I would continue to use the thermowell just to keep an eye on things.

The next morning I could see tiny bubbles coming to the surface indicating fermentation has restarted on the remaining sugars and the added fruit. Temp was slightly elevated 72* but at this point I just wanted the yeast to finish strong and eat up as much sugar as possible

Exactly one week from serving day and I still needed to add the cherries and get this beer carb’d up. So I decided to add the dark sweet cherries and live with whatever the FG would end up being. 24oz of pitted sweet cherries went in

Put to cold crash

10/18 10pm (it was a long work day)
Most of the pineapple and strawberries have fallen to the bottom along with the remaining yeast. The yeast cake is also stained a pink color resembling something close to a fruit smoothie.
I pulled a small sample for ph and gravity check, 3.3pH and 1.011 we are good to go!
I bagged up the auto siphon and transferred the beer to a keg. Serving this beer in a few days so quick and hard on the gas.

Day of the festival
The sour was a bit hit with the crowd. Lots of great feedback and watching people’s first impressions was a lot of fun. Had to switch out my ball lock a couple times, I kept getting tiny bits of strawberry pulp stuck and it really slowed down how quickly I could pour it.

Overall the final product from the short and shoddy sour was pretty good. It was tart and refreshing the fruit came through well and didn’t seem to clash. Body and mouthfeel was light I would of liked a bit more of both. Color is spot on a bright red almost pink.

Flavor wise the cherry/strawberry worked well to cut the acidity of the pineapple and lacto. Quick sours are normally one dimensional when it comes to flavor but the sweet cherry really helped create a few enjoyable layers of sweet and sour.

Changes for next time...
Nothing... I will start over using this as the base for something with more body and a touch more sweetness. Cheers everyone!


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