Brew Day – Berliner Weisse

Berliner Weisse.  Sour, refreshing, called by Napoleon’s soldiers the Champagne of the North.  Commonly served with raspberry or woodruff syrup, it’s a complex, light beer.  At 3% – 4% ABV, it’s very light, perfect for hot summer days in the capitol.  And it’s nearly extinct, replaced by German pilsners that ever more resemble a Coors.  Brew day today.

Mash went  well, 90 minutes at around 150 degrees.  I tempered the mash three times to get 75% conversion efficency.  Boil time was 15 minutes with 8 IBUs of Perle hops.  Result was a 1.032 wort, very light.

I then chilled the wort to 105 degrees and pitched my lacto.  Not the normal lactobacillus Delbruckii, but lactobacillus brevis, the lacto found in Berlin.


Pitch was at 105 degrees and to let the lacto get a hold on the wort, I ran errands for a few hours as the wort cooled naturally.  When I got back, I forced the wort down to 68 degrees, then pitched my European Ale yeast.  It’s now in a water bath to hold it at 66 degrees through fermentation.

Don’t know where I’m going to get Woodruff syrup here in the States but World Market may be a place to try.  That’s my former bottling bucket you see – time to replace it so I’ll use it for open fermentations of soured ales from now on.

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