Thursday, 1 May 2008

Berliner Weissbier the long version (part 8)

I haven't forgotten about Berliner Weisse. No chance of that. Not with Mike looking over my shoulder. At least we've now got fermentation out of the way. This is what happens at the end of primary fermentation.

Handling Beer after fermentation

At the end of primary fermentation, the beer is transferred to a mixing tun (Sammelbottich) and mixed with fresh beer or young beer from another mixing tun in the proportion 2:1, 3:1 or 4:1. The beer is packaged and sent directly to publicans or bottled (Ausgelitert) in the brewery.

According to the customers' wishes, 10-35% water is added to the mixture of finished and young beer. The mixture is filled into bottles for secondary conditioning.

It's ready to drink after 2-3 weeks, or sometimes sooner.

Adding water is by no means essential to make a good Weiße.

On the contrary, adding water reduces the quality of the beer by making it thinner and reducing its natural protection against infection through alcohol and hop resin.

Improving beer quality would be in the interests of the breweries themselves as they often lose considerable amounts of money through complaints of bad beer in the summer.

Adding too much water stops bottled beer becoming clear, partly because it the fining qualities of the yeast and partly because it encourages infection which can also cause cloudiness.

If little or no water is added, the proportion of fresh beer added must be reduced to 1/6 or 1/7, otherwise the bottle fermentation is too "wild". With little water added the beer will become clear in the bottle.

Customer should demand clear Weissbier and not be content with the milky-white version often provided by landlords.

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