Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rhubarb Berliner Weiss

So my first attempt to brew this beer ended in disaster. I was feeling a bit uninspired on Tuesday so I came home a bit early to brew up a small beer. I had a bit of grain left over from my last batch and I was planning to brew up a berliner anyway, so it was set. Everything went smoothly through the boil, except because of the size (3gal) I did it in the kitchen. Well this is when the problems started.

I cooled, or tried to cool the wort in the sink, as my wort chiller would not fit in the pot I was using. So with visions of cracked carboys, I decided to dump the still very hot wort into my glass carboy. I set the funnel in the neck, and apparently it sat in there a bit too tight, and as I poured it started burping hot wort at me. Well as a reflex I pulled back quickly, and managed to splash really really hot wort all over my right forearm. Not wanting to waste the beer by dropping it, I struggled through the pain, then it happened. Crrrraaaaack! The carboy cracked in a perfect circle about 2" from the bottom, and all that hot wort now burned my feet!

Well I had about 2gal left in the pot so I topped up a lambic currently fermenting and used the other gallon to brew up a 1gal batch of a simcoe PA. So not all was lost, but as I sit here typing the skin on my arm is oozing and sliding off the huge burn. Thankfully this is the only time Ive had anything like this happen, maybe its time to move to better bottles? Nah, I like glass because its sooo easy to clean, but now I have to shill out another 50$ on a carboy, I guess I better start watching craiglist.....

Now back to the actual beer. Recently one on beer board or another someone was asking for interesting vegetable beers to do for a competition. I happened to mention rhubarb, yes it is a vegetable. And thinking about it a rhubarb berliner weiss sounded like a great fit. The tartness of rhubarb blending with the lactic sourness of a berliner, topped off by some strawberry syrup. So I set out to brew up a great berliner.

Now my last berliner, while a good beer, lacked the mouthpuckering sourness I was really hoping for. Well I just happened to recently be lucky enough to receive a berliner blend from Al B on the Burgundian Babble Belt. Al was kind enough to send me a vial of 3 lacto strains and a German ale yeast. From what I hear on the bug/yeast combos Al has provided to other homebrewers I have very high hopes for this beer.

Rhubarb Berliner Weiss

Malt Bill
All GrainExtract Equiv
Amt (lbs)TypeAmt (lbs)Type
2.5Pilsner2.75Wheat DME
1.5Wheat Malt2.0Rhubarb
Amt (oz)TypeBoil TimeAmt (oz)TypeBoil Time
0.5Nugget 13%Mash Hop0.25Nugget 13%15min
Mash Schedule
169F3.75qt/lbMashout/Batch Sparge---
3galOG: 1041FG:3galOG:1044FG:
76% EffIBU: 85min Boil-IBU: 1115min Boil
Yeast - Al B's Berliner Blend (3 Lacto Strains + a German Ale Yeast)
Since the expected OG was so low on this one I added all the sparge water for mash out, then did a quick 10min vorlauf and let it fly. Run off was very smooth and extremely clear, and I got a bit better efficiency that I was expecting. Rhubarb will be added after primary fermentation dies down. I went with mash hops to limit the IBU's in the beer, strangely enough Beersmith says that you still get IBU's from mash hopping, guess I'll have to read up on that one.

First Tasting - 5/2/2010


Chad Y. said...

Sounds tasty, should be a good beer!

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