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vonwiesenstein berliner weisse

January 24, 2012

Hersbrucker hop pellets, crushed white wheat and pilsen malts.

Talked about it.  Did it.  Named it after a good friend.  Actually good friends ..plural.  Anywho.

This is one I’ve been thinking about making for quite a while.  Berliner Weisse is an older german wheat style, that isn’t all that common these days.  I find the flavor profile really interesting because it’s very light, but has a tartness from lactobacillus delbrueckii that sours some of the residual sugar.

Goodies and recipes after the jump.

VonWiesenstein Berliner Weisse:

Batch Size: 6.15 gal
Efficiency: 70%
Attenuation: 85.0%
Est Original Gravity: 1.033 (1.028 – 1.032)
Est Terminal Gravity: 1.005 (1.003 – 1.006)

Color: 2.5 (2.0 – 3.0)
Alcohol: 3.79% (2.8% – 3.8%)
Bitterness: 5.5 (3.0 – 8.0)


  • 5 lb Superior Pilsen Malt
  • 4 lb Wheat Malt
  • 1.0 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker (4.5%) – added during mash
  • White Labs WLP630 – Berliner Weisse Yeast Blend (Sacch., lacto.)


  • Mash-In – Liquor: 3.0 gal; Strike: 161.51 °F; Target: 150 °F
  • Batch Sparge: 4.0 gal sparge @ 168.0 °F, 15 m
  • Total Wort Collected: 6.07 gal


  • Portugal. The Man. – “In the Mountain, In the Cloud” and “Censored Colors”

The brew went very well – although I did do most of it inside, because it was cooold out (see unnecessary photographic proof below).  

One surprise, was that in about 5 years of brewing (not all of it all-grain), my efficiency has been very steady at 70-72%.  While I’d love to improve that, I never went nuts trying to get better results – it was good enough.  This time around, I hit what I’ve calculated to be around 80% efficiency.  This is great, but it takes this beer out of style, as it now has an OG of 1.043, rather than the 1.033 than I had planned on.  This translates to roughly +1% ABV.  I’m toying with the idea of “watering down”, but I’ve never done that before and am quite hesitant.

The biggest change was that I used a new, calibrated thermometer for my strike water and mash.  Could that really be it?

As you can see, even the first runnings (concentrated) are very light in color.  It will even lighten up a bit from this point over the next few months.  Also, I need to clean my floor.

~16 hours after pitching yeast/lacto mix.  Smelled good for a while, but then started to smell very sulfuric (like a rotten egg fart).  Oh well, I’ve brewed hefe’s that ferment smelling like something died in there, but taste wonderful.  I’m not concerned.

This won’t be ready until summer – which is great, because this is a great hot day beer.  Over in the fatherland, they traditionally add fruit or “woodruff” syrup to this style to smooth the sourness.  I like it straight up, but once it warms up a bit, my plan is to pick up some fresh fruits at the farmer’s market and make some fruit syrups for friends to add to theirs.  Thinking blackberry and peach.  

Miguel from Channel Ocho, signing off.


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