Erfolgserfahrung, the German word for experiencing a feeling of success or accomplishment. Google translate gives the literal translation as “success experience”. Hopefully this will be an appropriate name for a our Berliner Weisse. This is our first venture into sour beer, second if you count Synesthesia American (our Brett saison) which we bottled this weekend.
For Erfolgserfahrung we went with a recipe of 57% white wheat and 43% pilsner malt. For souring we used the Omega OYL-605 blend, containing lactobacillus brevis and plantarum. One of the benefits that Omega’s strain has is that it performs well at lower temperatures (65-100F) than many other strains that need to be kept around 100F to sour successfully. We prepared the lacto in a 1L starter for a few days and it reached a pH of 3.36 prior to pitching into 8 gallons of wort. Fortunately (for the beer, not so much for me) it’s been in the mid 90s in Georgia recently so I was able to sour this by leaving it in my garage where it hovered around 88F most of the time. I kettle soured for 68 hours and was very pleased to find the wort had no off-putting aroma or flavors, it smelled like a glass of tea with lemon and the flavor was very clean and lemony. I did make sure to leave very little airspace and sealed the kettle with plastic wrap and a lid. The pH dropped to 3.00 over the 68 hours.
After souring I did a 60 minute boil with a 1/2 oz addition of Hallertau at 15 minutes. Due to the vessel size I didn’t have room to use my immersion chiller on this one so I cooled the wort to 100F by blowing a fan on the kettle (this took about 30 minutes) then transferred to a carboy and placed in the fermentation chamber at 67F. The next morning it was down to temp so I oxygenated and pitched Wyeast 1007 German Ale Yeast to complete fermentation. Within about 8 hours it was showing signs of activity and by the next morning it had a heavy krausen.
In my limited experience and knowledge this has gone very well so far. I’ve tried other kettle soured beers that were very cheesy and “feety” after souring and this was super clean. I hope to get this kegged the weekend of July 11th. We were originally going to make this with raspberries but instead decided we’re going to make some syrups so we can try this mit schuss. Once this is ready I’ll update with some tasting notes.