First home brew review in quite a long time.

I brewed this berliner weisse back in early November, opting for a pretty straightforward grain bill of half pils and half wheat, an ounce of Tettnanger in the mash and a no-boil approach to minimize hop utilization (and thus hindering of bacteria development). I pitched lactobacillus delbrueckii up front, waited a day and pitched the brewer’s yeast. Primary went just fine, secondary was good, and I dosed with another shot of lactobacillus when I bottled several weeks later. Here’s the original recipe for anyone interested.  

So how’d my first attempt at a sour turn out?

Poured a very pale straw coloring, like weak lemonade. Copious carbonation and loads of spritz, like a champagne. Aroma is boldly lactic and sour, very nice and promising. Taste is immediately sour, but mildly so. Not as puckering as I would have hoped, which I attribute to lack of sugar in primary for the lactobacillus to consume (pitching the lacto 24 hours ahead of the yeast may not have been enough time, but I was concerned with pH levels). Soft wheat flavoring that leads to a smooth finish. The 2.5% ABV is obviously not a factor here. Mouthfeel is medium, with the sour and carb providing a nice prickly sensation.

Overall, not bad for my first attempt at the style (I know I did something right, because my wife who despises sour ales hates it), but not what I’d call a home run. Definitely very refreshing and I can see myself drinking lots of this on the patio this summer. I may experiment with a sour mash next time I brew this.

Rating: B

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