Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Weisse and the Weinkeller
Back in January I attempted to a partial mash Berliner Weisse. I attempted a sour mash with only a couple pounds of grain left for two days in my oven set to warm (about 120 degrees). The grain was plenty stinky after those two days (like spoiled milk), so I knew I had some lacto-bacillus going on, but did I have enough? It turned out pretty decent, but I did cheat a bit and add some 88 percent lactic acid solution before bottling. I'm pretty happy with how the beer has turned out so far (it's certainly sour enough), so I decided to do what the Germans do and add some "Schuss" or raspberry syrup.
I tried the beer with syrup (pictured) for the first time tonight and it really takes me back...not to Berlin though; but to a brewpub in Westmont, Illinois, called the Weinkeller. The place used to have three wheat beers on tap at all times; a hefe-weizen, a kristal (filtered) and a Berliner. I used to drink the Berliner both ways, with and without syrup. On at least one occasion I was made fun of for ordering this beer; the server told me that mostly girls order the beer with syrup because it was fruity. Well, I didn't care, I liked my Berliner and kept on drinking it. Sure I would order the other Weinkeller beers; the Aberdeen Amber (really an altbier), the Dublin (dry) Stout and their IPA were consumed fairly often. However, I have yet to visit another brewpub with a Berliner Weisse on tap, which is partly why I've taken matters in my own hands and attempted the style myself...and I am content.