Over the past weekend I fired up the kettles and I brewed two brews. First was my Ordinary Bitter recipe. I modified it a bit with some extra crystal malts and a single ounce of chocolate malt, just for more color and complexity. The OG came out to 1.037 and that Safale-04 yeast tore right through it. I’ll let it ride a couple more days to clean up. I hope to use some of the cake to brew up a Brown Porter in the coming weeks.
The second brew was a Berliner Weisse; my first step into brewing some sour beer at home. It was a simple 60/40 mix of pilsner to wheat malt, and a shot of Hallertau hops for bitterness. The interesting thing about this beer was that I only used a 20 minute boil. Despite my reservations, it sure made for a quick brew session. Before you get all over me for a 20 minute boil and all that pilsner malt, I suggest you check out the latest BYO magazine or “Brewing Classic Styles”. Jamil Zainasheff outlines the success he used for this beer with just a boil short enough to kill off unwanted critters. I used European Ale yeast and the Lactobacillus culture (WLP677) in tandem. The OG for this beer was 1.035. I forgot to aerate that wort a bit before it hit the fermentor, but after a couple days of waiting it has a decent krausen on it now.
Both beers are fermenting away at 66F in my temp regulated chest freezer. I’ll let the Berliner Weisse go a little longer than the bitter to hopefully encourage the souring along. I may remove it from the freezer after the main ferment goes by and store it in the cool basement to continue to sour, but make room for the brown porter and maybe a Sweet Potato Amber I have in mind….
I hope as we start to close out Summer, you are all getting ready to start brewing up again soon. I’ll be planning out my Oktoberfest Lager in another couple days.