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June 6, 2018

Quick Soured Berliner Weisse Homebrew Beer Recipe

Quick Sour Berliner Weisse Home Brew Beer

Sour beers were almost unheard of (by most people) 5 years ago. But today, styles like Gose (pronounced "go-zah") have made their way into mainstream markets. The Gose style, a sour wheat beer with added salt and corriander, originated in Gose, Germany, and is one of two popular German sour beer styles. What's the other, style, you ask? Why, it's the Berliner Weisse, and that's what we'll be brewing today.

The Berliner Weisse style originated in Berlin, Germany. It's essentially a Gose without the coriander and salt. It's speculated that the Berliner Weisse evolved from Broyhan beer, a pale, low ABV, and slightly sour beer that became the most popular style of beer in Northern Germany when it was first brewed in 1526. Over time, Broyhan became Berliner Weisse.

After our experience brewing an Oktoberfest style beer, we thought it was a good idea to try our luck with another German beer. So we decided to brew a 5 gallon batch of Berliner Weisse using our brew in a bag (BIAB) electric homebrewing system

This particular recipe is light, refreshing, and perfect for summer.

Berliner Weisse Style Guideline

  • Sharply sour and somewhat acidic.
  • A mild wheat flavor with light body.
  • Very little to no hop character (IBUs 3-8).
  • Low ABV (2.8% - 3.8%).
  • Og: 1.028-1.032.
  • Fg: 1.003-1.006.

Berliner Weisse Recipe Details

Full recipe details are below. However, we documented the entire brew day in our studio, so if you're lazy and just want to watch a video instead, here you go. But keep in mind, recipe specifics such as ingredient amounts are below.

Water

Beginning water volume: 6.7 gallons (25.4 liters). We're using Asheville, NC city water and did not adjust chemistry.

Malt and Hops

  • 2-row German Pilsner: 3lbs. (1.4 kg) (50%)
  • German Wheat Malt: 3lbs. (1.4 kg) (50%)
  • 1oz. (28.3g) Hallertau

pouring grain into mill

We finely crushed all of our malts in a mill before mashing

Mashing

We mashed at 133F (56.1C) for 60 minutes.

Kettle Sour

Once the mash was over we began the kettle souring process. We started with a quick 15 min. boil before cooling the mash down to 95F (35C). At this temp, we carefully added lactic acid until pH dropped to 4.56.

milwaukee ph meter at 4.56

At this point we added lactobacillus bacteria in the form of a Goodbelly probiotic drink, which we bought from an organic grocery store. It contains the same type of lactobacillus bacteria that is used for souring beer.

goodbelly probiotic drink

pouring goodbelly probiotic into wort

After adding the lacto we let the kettle sit for one day. During this time our wort dropped to a pH of 3.27. Oops, this one is going to be slightly more sour than we wanted it to be! We were hoping for something more

ph meter at 3.27

Boil

At this point we resumed the brew day and completed a quick 15 min boil and added .25 oz (7.1g) of Hallertau Hops.

adding hallertau hops

Adding Hallertau hops

Note, at one point in the video we indicate that we completed a 60 minute boil, but it was only 15.

Cooling and Fermentation

After the boil we cooled the word town to 70F (21.1C) and pitched Safale US-05 dry yeast.

pitching yeast

Pitching yeast

This beer was fermented at 67F (19.4C) for 10 days.

Benchmarks

  • Post-Mash pH - 4.6
  • Starting gravity - 1.032
  • Final Gravity - 1.010
  • Final keg volume: 5 gallons (18.9 liters)
  • ABV - 2.9%

Tasting / Review

This Berliner Weisse turned out great. It's a bit more sour than we wanted it to be, which makes the wheat character a bit less pronounced. But but otherwise, it's on point. It's very light and very refreshing! A great summer drinker.

Beyond the taste, it should be noted that this is a "super session," extremely low ABV, highly crushable beer. One of these beers contains less than half the amount of alcohol as your typical craft beer.

All said, we give this one an 8 of 10. It'd probably be a 10 if we hadn't let the souring process go as far as we did. If you're looking to make a summer sour, this recipe is for you and we highly recommend it.

Cheers!

  • I’m doing this recipe right now but mashing in at 150.5 instead of 133. Plus I’m gonna add 3lbs of Blueberry and 2oz of Lemon, like a Blueberry Chiffon. Cheers!

    Posted by Kevin on July 14, 2020
  • Awesome Video and descriptive bio. i was hoping to do the same except add a few pounds of Rasberries. at what point and for how long should i put them in there?

    Posted by WEsley on May 19, 2020
  • Did you mash at 133?

    Posted by Chris on November 28, 2019
  • How much of the good belly drink did you use? It doesn’t look like that you used all of it in the video but it also doesn’t specify anywhere

    Posted by Alex BRADFORD on August 12, 2019
  • I have a few questions about this recipe
    1) is that mash temperature correct? Surely you didnt mash at 133?

    2) How much lactic acid did you have to add to get the batch down to around 4.5

    3) How much of the goodbelly drink did you use? Was it flavoreD?

    Thank you.

    Posted by Chris on June 18, 2019
  • Hi,

    How to prevent DMS in the beer with such a low boil duration?

    Posted by Abilash on October 29, 2018

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