Monday, 18 September 2017
How sour is Gose?
No, it’s not that we don’t have to buy him beer any more or wash his clothes. He brings his washing around and raids Alexei’s beer stash. Much more practical than that. It’s freed up his room.
I’m in the process of turning it into my office. I bought some massive bookshelves from a local bookshop that was closing down and moved some of the ones from the living room up there. Finally my books will all be easily accessible and in one place.
I’m only part way through the process, but I’ve already recovered a couple of book I hadn’t been able to find. It’s a miracle I could ever find any book, given there was no logic to how they were stored. I desperately need to find a couple of books for an article I’m writing.
One of those books is “Gose-Häppchen”, undoubtedly the best book written about Gose. It was so long since I’d seen it that I’d forgotten much of its contents. Including a reproduction of a very important document. And one that should settle an argument about how sour Gose was.
The document in question is an evaluation of the first test batch brewed for Lothar Goldhahn at Schultheiss in Berlin in 1986. This is the beer that was based on descriptions of Gose drinkers and which got their nod as matching the original. That seems pretty conclusive proof that this beer was authentic.
And do you know what’s great? The document lists the acidity: 3.1 pH. To put that into context, vinegar is 2.9 pH. Only the very sourest Lambics have a pH value that low.
It’s just like I’ve been telling everyone: Gose shouldn’t be “slightly tart”, it should be mouth-puckeringly sour.
Here’s the document, in case you don’t believe me: