Tuesday, 29 September 2009


I come across some weird beers in my time. Some really weird ones. And this is right up there with the oddest. Yoghurtbier. Yes, it really was a cross between yoghurt and beer.

"Yoghurtbier, brewed in many areas of North and Central Germany, is not dissimilar in taste to Berliner Weissbier; it is made by souring the wort (of barley malt and wheat malt) with a pure culture of bacillus bulgaricus and fermenting the soured wort with a highly-attenuating top-fermenting yeast and contains living bacillus bulgaricus. As there is no requirement for it to appear clear, in fact on the contrary the cloudy look caused by the presence of large quatities of bacillus bulgaricus is desired, Yoghurtbier is ready for consumption a few days after being filled into bottles. as soon as there is sufficient CO2."
"Encyklopädisches Handbuch der technischen Chemie, Volume 4, Part 1", 1915, page 5. (My translation.)

Maybe some of you brewers could make a guess as to how this beer would taste. Sour, I suppose.


Adrian said...

Awesome. I may have to try and brew something like that some time soon. I'd guess a low starting gravity, low hopping, high attenuation, and high carbonation would be a good starting point.

Searching around I came across this stamp and thought you might find it amusing:

Ron Pattinson said...

Adrian, now that is really cool.

Gary Gillman said...

This drink was probably a survival from very old Saxon times, when fermented milk itself may well have been consumed as alcohol. Mare's milk is still fermented to make a kind of beer in some remote parts of Asia. The drink may have been known elsewhere and a memory of it may have been retained as late as the early 1900's in the form of barley beers dosed with cultures from yoghurt and similar preparations.

Maybe milk stout (in its own way) is a similar idea..


Brian said...

I may be wrong but alot of the souring organisms that you would use to sour a Berliner Weiss are in yogurt cultures (and raw grain as well). Perhaps this yogurt beer is some type of Berliner Weiss.

I recently brewed up a batch of Berliner Weiss that I pitched a culture that I grew up from from Greek Style yogurt. It has only been a couple days but it smells pretty sour already. Yeast will be added shortly and then I will let the bacteria work its magic further for a couple months.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting one. Bacillus Bulgaricus is known these days as "Lactobacillus Delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus". What Wyeast is trying to sell you for making Berliner Weisse is "Lactobacillus Delbrueckii".

What Prof. Methner found in his analysis of Berliner Weisse was mostly "Lactobacillus Brevis" (found in sourdough bread and sauerkraut), and in some instances "Lactobacillus Coryniformis".

So when you go out and follow the usual homebrew recipes for Berliner Weisse, you will end up with something closer to a Yoghurt beer.