Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lucky Charm (Batch 04) & Bauernhof: Recipe

Since I don't do any sort of boil for my Berliner Weisse, I figured this time I could probably stretch 15 gallons out of a single brew session, and luckily it ended up working.  Since I had this much, I'd do a bit of an experiment to change up my traditional Berliner.  I still did 10 gallons of the standard Lucky Charm Berliner Weisse, but for the remaining 5 gallons, I decided to do a saison/berliner hybrid.  For this portion, I thought that name "Bauernhof," the German word for farmhouse, would be appropriate.

I've detailed my "sour mash" process in the past, but in sort, I mash out right into the boil kettle, though from there I do not go to a burner, and don't raise the temperature at all.  Instead, I chill to 80*-100*F, depending on which heat sources I have available and how long I'll be souring for.  I then add this to a CO2-purged keg with a muslin sack of 1/4 lb. of pilsner malt.  This time I did things a bit differently.  For the Lucky Charm portion, I had a vial each of White Labs Berliner Blend (WLP630), although in my experience this doesn't get the beer tart enough.  Since I've had such great experience with Jolly Pumpkin dregs in the past (they sour cleanly and quickly), I decided to use dregs from Calabaza Blanca here in lieu of the muslin sack with pilsner malt.

Given that I wasn't using the lacto that lives on the outside of the uncrushed malt, I didn't do a total CO2 flush this time; in fact, I even oxygenated this time.  (Normally when doing a sour mash you want to avoid any oxygen getting in contact with that mash, as that will encourage the growth of all sorts of nasty critters that will make it smell like vomit.)  So, each 5 gallons of the Lucky Charm portion got a vial of the WLP630 as well as the dregs from a relatively-fresh (December 2013) 375mL bottle of Calabaza Blanca.  The dregs were added the day after the White Labs, as I only had one bottle the day I brewed, and I added that to the Bauernhof portion, along with a starter of Ambrosia Blend 002, which is a mixture of ECY08, Brett C, and Brett Trois.

Here are the full details on the batch:

Batch Number: 87 & 88
Brew Date: June 1, 2014
Bottle Date:
Batch Size: 15 Gallon
OG: 1.029
FG: 1.002 (est.)
Fermentation Temperature: 70-76* F
IBU: 0.0
ABV: 3.5&% (est.)
SRM: 2.7

Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 150* F
Boil: None


8.25 lb. Pilsner
4.5 lb. Torrified Wheat
3.75 lb. Flaked Wheat

Normally I just go 50/50 Pilsner and White Wheat Malt, though I was completely out of the latter this time, even though I thought I had a bucket full of it.  Hopefully this works just as well.

Salts & Water

5.0g Calcium Chloride (into the mash)
12mL Lactic Acid (into the mash)

Resulting water profile is as follows:

Mash pH (est.): 5.42
Calcium: 52
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 7
Chloride: 47
Sulfate: 27

7.5mL lactic acid added to the sparge water to get it to a pH around 5.5.




3.0 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient before chilling

Lucky Charm:

White Labs Berliner Blend plus Calabaza Blanca dregs


Ambrosia Blend 002 (2nd generation) plus Calabaza Blanca dregs


06.01.2014: Brewday.  20 seconds of pure oxygen to each of the 5-gallon portions.  The two portions that got the Berliner Blends were put in a water bath with an aquarium heater set at 68*F (in my experience this overshoots a bit, so probably ends up at 70*-72*F).  The water bath on the portion of the wort with the saison blend was placed in a separate water batch at 70*F.  This portion also started out with the dregs of a 375mL bottle of Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca.  I'm trying this here in lieu of using the lacto from raw grain this time.

06.02.2014: The portion with the saison blend was at 74*F this morning after a very warm evening last night.  Basement even got quite warm.  This evening, changed it was back down to 72*F, and altered the controller to keep it here.  The two 5-gallon straight Berliner portions in the other water bath are still set at 68*F, and I added the dregs from a December 2013 batch of Calabaza Blanca to each one, again instead of using the lacto from grain here.  

06.03.2014: Saison portion -- Bauernhof -- was at 76*F this morning.  The temperature probe had slipped out of the Ziploc bag that I have submersed in the water to measure that temperature.  Thankfully it didn't get too warm.  Re-adjusted and it's back down to around 72*F.

07.27.2014: Ready to get the Lucky Charm portions onto fruit.  Both are sitting at a pH of 2.9.  Using the BrewCipher refractometer conversion, gravity is currently at 1.011 before the fruit additions.

For the raspberry-lime, started by adding 10 pounds of raspberries and then transferring.  Looking back, this is double what I used last time with Batch 03, so should be fairly intense.  I'm keeping the lime a little more in check with what I had last time.

Raspberries for the raspberry-lime portion.

For the pineapple-coconut, starting with 5 pounds of fresh pineapple, 22 ounces of fresh coconut meat, and one quart of fresh coconut water.

Pineapple-coconut portion.

Bauernhof received passion fruit puree.  Added two 2.2 lb tubs plus two 14oz packages.

07.29.2014: Forgot to add the lime to the raspberry version on Monday night.  In Batch 03,  I used the juice of three limes and 3 Tbsp. of zest.  I'm looking to add just a bit more here given the additional raspberries, but will take more precise measurements this time.

07.30.2014: This morning, added the zest of 4 limes, which was roughly 3.5 Tbsp. (10 grams) along with the juice of those limes (100mL).  Checked the fermenters and the raspberry version didn't seem to be doing much when I added the lime juice and zest, though there was a decent amount of carbonation coming up when I added the weighted muslin bag with the zest.  There were apparent signs of fermentation on top of the pineapple-coconut version, and Bauernhof (passion fruit) had a nice pellicle.  Will leave all of these undisturbed for a month or so and then check the gravities.

Finally adding the limes.

08.04.2014: Went to check on all of these after a nice camping trip in Michigan.  The raspberry-lime portion is fermenting quite well.  To make sure that I achieve maximum color and sugar extraction, and also to keep out unwanted oxygen exposure, I punched down the raspberries, utilizing a technique often described by Jester King.

"Punching down" raspberries with a sanitized stainless steel spoon.

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