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Wifey’s First Batch of Homebrew – Berliner Weiss

Today’s brew session has a little twist. Several weeks ago my wife decided she wanted to try her hand at all grain brewing. Not just helping me brew. She wanted to brew a batch all on her own. I guess this shouldn’t have surprised me as she is an awesome cook and brewing wouldn’t be a big leap. Hopefully, if all goes well, she can take over the brewing gig and I can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of her labors :-).

She will be brewing a Berliner Weiss. Partly because it’s one of her favorite beers and partly because it is a fairly simple beer to brew. As the name would suggest, this style beer comes from the northern regions of Germany. It is a great summer beer as it is very light and quite dry. It can be somewhat sour and have a fruity character depending on its age. According to the BJCP Style Guidelines, Napoleon’s troops referred to this style of beer as “the Champagne of the north” due to its crisp, dry effervescent character. It is fairly low in alcohol with an ABV generally between 2.8% and 3.8%. It is very refreshing and is great after (or during) a long day working in the yard. And having such a low alcohol content the likelihood of driving the John Deere through the flower garden is fairly low.

The day started out as many do this time of year …HOT! It’s was so hot the mash-tun didn’t even need to be preheated. She got things started by filling the the HLT and heating things to 164 degrees. The dough in went off without a hitch and then it was time to wait. Mash for 90 minutes, sparge and bring to a boil. A good rolling boil for 15 minutes, yes…15 minutes, is all that is needed. Cool to 68 degrees and pitch your yeast. After the yeast gets started then pitch your lacto.

I have read many opinions on how you are supposed to ferment this beer. However, I could find no clear consensus. Some say bottle it up and put it a way for 6 months to a year and others say to drink it young. Well, me being the impatient one that I am, drink it young. I let it go in the primary for about 21 days then bottled with 5.5 oz priming sugar. The one common denominator I read was that the magic happens in the bottles. Hence, the reason I bottled this instead of kegging. After a couple weeks in the bottle it was quite tasty and I expect this batch to be no different. I do plan to put a few bottles away just to see how it ages.

The recipe is all grain and as follows:
Batch Size 5.0 Gallon
Boil 15 minutes
OG – 1.040
Est. FG – 1.008
IBU’s 7.8
SRM 2.7
ABV 4.2%

4.2 lbs Weyerman Pilsner
3. lbs Wheat malt
1 oz Fuggles (15 min)

Safale US-05
White Labs WLP-677 Lactobacillus Bacteria

Mash at 149 for 90 minutes

That’s it. There’s really not much to it. It’s a simple recipe that makes for a shorter brew day than most. My wife came pretty close to hitting her gravity and this batch should turn out great. I can’t wait.



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2 Responses to Wifey’s First Batch of Homebrew – Berliner Weiss

  1. I just love Berliner Weisse – the best and most refreshing brew to drink on a hot Berlin summer night. And I am partial to the raspberry version.

    • It’s my wife’s favorite also. A saison is probably my favorite in the summertime. I’ll be posting a saison recipe soon so check back.


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