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batch splitting – vonwiesenstein berliner weisse

March 29, 2012

Back in January, I brewed my first Berliner Weisse, which I named after my friends, the vonWiesensteins (half true).  The batch was nearly 7 gallons, which I did on purpose, so that I could do a bit of experimenting.

First – I bottled off a bit less that 2.5 gallons.  We’ll call this one Willie vonWiesenstein – the original.

Next – as I posted previously with the idea of – I opted to do 2.5 gallons with Dragon Fruit and Passion Fruit.  We’ll call this one Mikey vonWiesenstein, who lives in a tropical(ish) climate.  

I can’t take credit for the flavor idea.  I read wonderful things about Cigar City’s Pilot Series and couldn’t resist.  Unfortunately, I got White (Vietnam) Dragon Fruit (only one available at Wegmans) rather than Red (Costa Rica) Dragon Fruit, so I won’t have the supernatural color that others have alluded to.  Thought about using food coloring, but remembered that that’s bullshit.

This is the first time I have picked up a Dragon Fruit, which was expensive, cool and surprisingly easy to work with.  Unfortunately, while the flavor is very pleasant, it is weak – much like a watermelon.  Passion Fruit is comparatively cheap and pretty gross looking – much like boogers on the inside.  Passion Fruit aroma and flavor are much more aggressive.

I am the owner of a very sharp knife.  Also – these things are weird.  Taste and consistency not unlike watermelon.  If I use them again, I want to try and source the Costa Rican Red Dragon Fruit (the inside is bright pink, rather than white).

I broke the Dragon Fruit down into strips, squeezed the boogers out of the Passion Fruit and simmered on the lowest heat possible for about 15 minutes.  My intent was to use the heat to break down some of the fibrous, spongy structure of the Dragon Fruit and release as much sugar and flavor as possible.  The Passion Fruit, in its luscious booger-like form, is conveniently broken down for you already.  

I kept a close eye on the saucepan and the heat low, as I didn’t want to “cook off” or alter any flavors.  I want as much of the real fruit flavor as possible.  This also pasteurizes the fruit, in the event that there’s something dangerous in there.  Doubtful, but why not?  This beer will be nothing but Wheat, Pilsen, Dragon Fruit, Passion Fruit, Hops and Yeast.  And Lactobacillus.

Crammed the pseudo-puree of both fruits down the neck of the carboy and started racking over the 3.5 month old Berliner Weisse.  The yeast and lacto should have no problem going to town on the fruit sugars.  If this looks pale to you, wait til you see it in a glass.  Probably the palest style out there, methinks.

We’ll see what this does over the next several weeks, but I’d like to get it in bottles by the end of May for summer enjoyment.  If its tasty, I’ll hang onto a few for competitions, but I bet this will become a yearly brew.

Finally – the last third of the initial batch.  I decided this one is going to be a Loganberry-infused Berliner Weisse.  For the uninitiated, Loganberry is a sweet, non-carbonated soft drink that is a Buffalo treat.  This one, naturally, will be Jay vonWiesenstein.


From → brewday

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