Thursday, August 27, 2009

Strawberry Short Weisse

Oh, the exciting and ever unpredictable world of sour beers! Bugs - they’re not just for fly fishing anymore. We’re a bit late entering into this aspect of the brewing world, but I like to believe that our pace of experimentation is mindful and deliberate. Or we may just be a bit slow. That being said, we’re about to send out our first sour beer: Strawberry Short Weisse. This started as an attempt to brew a Berliner Weisse for the 2008 Extreme Beer Fest in Boston. The beer didn’t quite make it in time - in fact it’s a year and a half late. However its tardiness is no indication of its tastiness (or something like that).

The original thought was to brew 25 barrels of an 8° Plato wheat beer. Separate off a third of it for souring and ferment the rest with a traditional hefe strain. The soured portion was pitched with a mixture of Chico and Lactobacillus. We hoped to blend the two portions, but after a few months it became clear that the sour part wasn’t going to be sour enough to make the whole batch interesting. We ended up dumping the wheat beer portion and focused on the remaining third. Over the last year we added several additions of first runnings to give the lacto a bit more food to consume. Once we finally reached the sourness we liked we decided to add 300 pounds of frozen strawberries, mostly just for the hell of it. Luckily, when Peter saw all those strawberries he kind of just walked on by with naught but a raised eyebrow. The berries kicked off a bit more lactic activity and added flavor and a real delicate and beautiful aroma. The final beer has a nice clean sour character and is extremely drinkable at 3% ABV. Hopefully you get a chance to try this unusual and rare offering.



Specific Gravity: 8° Plato
IBU: 5
ABV: 3%

Grain Bill:
Pale Malt
Wheat Malt

Hop Bill: