Monday, February 11, 2013

Ambrosia Lucky Charm (Batch 3): Recipe

This is my third time brewing Lucky Charm, my Berliner Weissbier series, the name of which comes from the fact that my wife, Amy, loves woodruff syrup in Berliners and thinks it tastes like the marshmallows from Lucky Charms.  I can't say that I disagree.

For this batch, I decided to do a sour "mash" for the first time.  Mine isn't traditional in that it's not really the mash that's being soured.  Instead, I plan to sour the runnings.  The procedure is to mash as normal, run off from the mash run into my pot, chill to ~100 F, and then fill two CO2-purged corny kegs.  From there, I put a grain bag filled with a quarter pound of pilsner malt in each keg.  Those are placed in a chest freezer using FermWrap to keep the kegs at 85 F for about a day, at which point I then remove the grain bags and pitch starters of White Labs Berliner Blend.  This "mash" is done to allow the lactobacillus that naturally resides on the raw grain to start to acidify the beer.  From there, the Berliner Blend goes to work.

Base Recipe

Batch Number: 56
Brew Date: January 21, 2013
Bottle Date:

Batch Size: 10 gallons

OG: 1.029 (est.)
FG: 1.004 (est.)
IBU: 0
ABV: 3.6% (est.)
SRM: 2.6
Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 150 F.
Boil: None


5lb 8oz French Pilsner
5lb 8oz White Wheat Malt




Lactobacillus (present on raw grain)
Berliner Blend


01.21.2013 - Brewday.  After mashing, transferred straight into two corny kegs, and also into a single gallon jug.  All three vessels were placed in a chest freezer with dual stage temperature control, which was set between 85 and 90 F.  The cornies each got a bag with 4 ounces of pilsner malt to soak overnight as a sour mash.

01.22.2013 - After 16 hours, each of the corny kegs had a layer of white film when opened.  I removed the grain bag from each, pitched from a starter of White Labs Berliner Blend, and lowered the temperature range to 68 - 72 F, which is White Labs' recommended range for the blend.  At the 28 hour mark, both kegs and the jug were showing plenty of fermentation activity.

02.16.2013 - Added the juice of 18oz of blueberries (~500mL) plus the juice of one lemon (~50mL) to the jug, along with 1/2 Tbsp of lemon zest.

02.24.2013 - Added fruit to one of the kegs, which contains approximately 4.5 gallons.  I added the juice of 72 ounces of raspberries plus the juice of three limes.  I also added 3 Tbsp. of lime zest.

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