Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No-Boil Berliner Weisse

I love Berliner Weisses, however the irony is that I have not had many of them. Locally I have loved Nodding Heads Berliner Weisse. It is beautiful, crisp and tart as can be. 1809 is the classic example and it is an amazing beer to use as a comparison against any. When I come to think about I have primarily enjoyed and had only locally brewed examples: Earth Bread and Brewery, Tired Hands, Round Guys and Dock St. Dogfish Head's "Neo" Berliner, Festina Peche is probably the most accessible.

So my Berliner was a shot in the dark. I went for the no boil method and single decoction. This was my first time decocting and I hit my target temp nicely upon return. However, no boil or not, this Philadelphia summer heat is killing me and cooling down with 10 pounds of ice isn't any easier. Getting below 90 degrees is the issue without an extra 20 mins of the hose/ice bath method. I do look forward to attempting a sour mash next time, but it has to be in the Fall or Spring. Berliners aren't just a Summer treat for me. 

I racked after 11 days. I used the White Labs Berliner Weisse blend. I eased into this batch. I read about a lacto starter and dry yeast in conjunction for those who have brewed before and didn't get the tartness that they were expecting. I am in no hurry, so with a few months at a nice basement temp, I have my fingers crossed. I threw in 8ozs of Acid Malt too. It was my first time using it and after noshing on the grains before cracking them, I am hoping that time will really take hold of it.

That Old Tart Spring Again
Rae Desmond Jones

Offering your usual false promises,
You have arrived early this year like a blousy aunt
In a voluptuous taxi of light,

Draped in those bright loose fashions -
Far too tight at your age,
Flashing your heels as you trudge the backyard,
flirting outrageously
As you sway indelicately between the stones.

Despite your long record of hypocrisy & corruption,
& still uninvited, yet you are welcome,

So croon your perfumed defiance into the bitter winds,
Flirt with the exhausted winter flowers
As they rise in rows from the dark trenched earth.

Despite ourselves we are cheered by your cheap rhetoric,
Anaesthetized yet again by your charm & certain of betrayal. 

Berliner Weisse
Pils, Wheat, Acid Malt
Tettang Hops
WLP 630 Berliner Weisee Blend

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