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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Apricot Berliner Weisse

Ten days ago I brewed a double IPA. The first runnings came in at 1.067, they were bolstered with some simple sugar and then hopped generously with Centennial and Simcoe. The second runnings gave me four litres of sweet wort at 1.025.

The recipe looked something like this: 77% Pale Malt, 9% Munich, 5% Carapils, 4% Pale Crystal, 5% sugar. An original gravity of 1.073 and 75 IBUs from 8.9 grams per litre of Centennial and Simcoe.

Batch 003 of my sour beer career therefore becomes a 1.025 wort fermented with a half pint donation from batch 002.

The Cantillon-dreg-weisse-yeast-mix from batch 002 ripped through the bulk of those 25 gravity points in about 3 days. Since then I’ve been allowing the Brett and bacteria to clean up what’s left whilst I grow up a lacto starter from some fresh wort and a handful of grain (in exactly the same way as here).

I’d planned to flavour batch 002 with apricots but I’ve changed my mind. I found some awesome raspberries at the market over the weekend and I’m now planning to eventually use those instead. So batch 003 takes the apricots and the big lacto-kick. I’m hoping that by adding a large, actively fermenting bacteria culture alongside easily fermentable sugar, I’ll suppress the weisse yeast and get some decent lactic acid production.

I’ve chosen to use dried apricots because fresh aren’t in season. I’ll puree these down, loosened with a little boiling water, before heating to pasteurise. The puree will then be cooled and pitched straight into the beer alongside the lacto starter.

Who knows how long it will take? I’m sure the beer will let me know when it’s ready.

My sour beer lineup now looks something like this:

(From left to right):

Batch 001: Rhubarb Sour. Primary fermentation with an ale yeast, soured with a lacto starter and dregs from Cantillon and Boon. Aged on rhubarb. Approximately one year in glass.

Batch 002: Sour Oat Weisse. Primary fermentation with a German weisse yeast, soured with dregs from Cantillon.

Batch 003: Apricot Berliner Weisse. Primary fermentation with a pitch of beer from batch 002, further soured with a lacto starter. Aged on apricots.