Monday 27 June 2022

Brewing Berliner Weisse between the wars

The Berliner Weisse book is coming along nicely. I just need to finish off the recipes and write the section on the current situation

I've learnt quite a bit. Enough to change my opinions on some topics. Or at least have a more nuanced approach. The level of sourness being a big one. You'll need to buy the book if you want to learn all the details.

In the meantime, here's  a description of the brewing process at one Berlin brewery between the was.

In the kettle, the malt was doughed in with water at 30º C. The temperature was slowly raised to 53º-54º C where it was held for 30 minutes for a protein rest.

The temperature was raised to 75º C by which time saccharification should have occurred.

A third of the wort was transferred to the lauter tun and the remainder of the wort in the kettle brought to the boil. 

After boiling for 30 minutes, it was mixed with the other third of the wort in the lauter tun, making sure the temperature didn’t exceed 76º C. The mixture was left to stand for 40 minutes before running off.

The clear wort was returned to the kettle and brought to 95º C for 15 to 20 minutes. Then immediately cooled to 18º C.

The wort was pitched at 16º C and after four days the temperature rose to 20º C. When it had dropped back down to 16º C, primary fermentation was done. 

1º to 1.25º Plato gravity needed to be left for bottle conditioning. If not, Frischbier needed to be added to raise the gravity to the required level.
"Die Herstellung obergärige Biere und die Malzbierbrauerei Groterjan A.G. in Berlin" by A. Dörfel, 1947 pages 12 - 14.



Matt said...

Looking forward to reading it, Ron, especially the DDR period.

Rob Sterowski said...

I’ve come to the position that Weisse was made in so many different ways that there isn’t really a single “authentic” way to make it. Some were made with a regime that we would now call “kettle souring”, a lot contained no Brettanomyces, some of it contained no wheat at all. You can only say which you think is the best.

Dan Klingman said...

What would have been the reason for splitting the wort, boiling only part of it, then mixing the boiled wort back in with the other part? Were the hops in the boiled part? Or were they splitting the mash, doing a decoction?

Ron Pattinson said...

Dan Klingman,

the hops were added to the mashing water and were present during the whole brewing process.

Ron Pattinson said...

Rob Sterowski,

kettle souring seems to have been pretty short lived.

I totally agree about there being many different ways of brewing it. Some of the sources I've been using specifically say how varied the methods of Berlin brewers were. As my book will reveal.