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Sour Mash Berliner Weisse with Peaches

Posted on November 8th, 2013 by in "Award Winning Beer Recipes, Just Plain Good Drinkin' Beers"

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I started working on this Sour Mash Berliner Weisse with Peaches recipe after having picked up a case of Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche from a local beer distributor. I was blown away by this beer and decided that I had to come up with something at least in the ballpark to enjoy all year long.

Sour mashing in a 5 gallon cooler.

Sour mashing in a 5 gallon cooler.

The first step of this process was to figure out how to brew a decent Berliner Weisse and which method I wanted to use. I’m a pretty avid brewer of sour beers, but I really didn’t want to have to convert another carboy to “sour only”. So adding lactobacillus to the primary wasn’t something I really wanted to get in to. After some research, I decided to go with a sour mash. The concept is to start your mash off as normal and allow starch to sugar conversion to happen, then allow it to cool to about 120F and add either unmilled grain – which is covered in lactobacillus, or pitch a culture. I always prefer to have maximum control over my brewing processes, so adding the cultured¬†lactobacillus was the way I went. I go in to more detail about the mash process below.

I’ve entered this recipe in 2 different competitions so far. It scored a 33 as a specialty beer in the first round of NHC 2013 and a 40 as a fruit beer at the Cincinnati Malt Infusers Oktobersbest 2013 competition and took home a 3rd place medal. It’s a beer that I really enjoy drinking and like to keep around.

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
5 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 41.7 %
4 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 33.3 %
0.10 oz Magnum [14.00 %] – Boil 40.0 min Hop 3 4.6 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) [50.28 ml] Yeast 4 -
6 lbs Fruit – Peach (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 5

Mash Process

  1. I use a 5 gallon round cooler as my mash tun when doing a sour mash. I’ve found that it’s able to stay above 90F for 3+ days even in a 70F room in the basement.
  2. Doughed in with 12 quarts H2O @ 152F
  3. Move tun to location where temp is relatively consistent
  4. Allow to cool to about 110-120F and toss in a handful of unmilled grain – or, for better consistency, use pre-cultured lactobacillus from White Labs.
  5. Cover top of mash with saran wrap – saran wrap should be in direct contact with the mash. Try to lightly push out air bubbles. Purge with co2 if available. I also cover the very top of my mash tun with saran wrap to keep the smell down.
  6. If available, test mash every 12 hours with a pH meter. After 3 days my mash was around 3.5, so I decided it was ready to go.
  7. Drain tun and sparge as normal to collect full boil volume. Please note that this will most likely smell like vomit and death. This is normal.
  8. Boil for 30-40 mins to help drive off this smell.

Fermentation Process
I use a slurry from a previous batch that used US-05. I’d probably pitch 2 packets or make a starter if I was doing it from scratch since the pH is pretty low.

I ferment US-05 at 62F for 3 days, then 3 days at 65F and then let it free rise to 70F for the next 4-8 days – until I get to my final gravity.

At this point I dumped my 6 pounds of peaches in to a secondary carboy and racked on to it. I used fresh peaches that I cored and froze with the skins on. I used 3lbs of yellow peaches and 3lbs of white peaches, but all yellow is fine.

I let this sit at 65F for another week or so, then cold crash it down to 33F and add gelatin to drop the fruit and yeast.
Since I keg, at this point I racked to the keg and force carbed to about 2.8 volumes.

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One thought on “Sour Mash Berliner Weisse with Peaches

  1. Jim says:

    This is from a local nano brewery in Poughkeepsie, NY. Like Festina Pecce on steroids.
    http://www.halftimebeverage.com/browse.cfm/sloop-brewing-the-sauer-peach-22oz/4,4149.html

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