Monday, October 18, 2010

Sour Leipziger Gose Recipe

Coriander, salt, and hops.While the BJCP recognizes 74 beer styles (not including the catch-all categories) there are many more that could be given the full homebrew competition treatment.  Some of these are still evolving, such as Black IPAs (aka Cascadian Dark Ales) and American Wild Ales.  In these cases craft brewers and homebrewers are producing many examples of the styles, but there is too much within style variation to consider them cohesive styles in the same way that Bohemian Pilsner or Belgian Tripels are.  There are other styles (Rye IPA, Kellerbier) that haven't made the cut because while they don't have too much variation they simply aren't popular enough to warrant separate categories (like Southern English Brown Ale...).  As a result these styles languish in the Specialty Beer and Belgian Specialty Ale categories (when the simple act of creating categories for them would cause more people to brew and enter them).

Gose is another example of a beer style that is largely ignored brewers.  It is one of those grand historic beers that was popular in its day (~1900), but these days doesn't receive as much attention as its close cousins.  A tart, salt and coriander laced wheat beer is something you'd expect to taste from Belgium, not Germany (which I suspect is part of the reason it hasn't benefited from the same boost other sour beers have gotten).  As the Gose style stands today it falls roughly between Berliner Weisse and Belgian Wit, but with a salinity that adds to its unique character and quaffability on a warm day.

Gose production ceased for a couple decades after the end of WWII, but has since been revived in its adopted hometown of Leipzig, as well as more recently in the USA (Hollister Brewing's Tiny Bubbles just took silver at the 2010 GABF in German Style Sour Ales, and several other brewpubs mostly in Colorado and Oregon brew versions as well).  Leipziger Gose from Bahnhof, the lone German example I've seen imported to America, is fine but never has enough acidity to really grab my attention (much like the majority of German Berliner Weisses). 

Audrey looks like she is enjoying adding the hops just a bit too much.
Audrey and I stopped by Raccoon Lodge (Cascade Brewing) and tried their version of the style during our trip to Portland.  The brewers there make four different variants each year, one for each season.  We got to try both the summer (with the standard combo of coriander, salt), and the winter (with cranberry, hibiscus, and orange peel).  Each was excellent, with a clean, but potent lactic acidity that complemented their unique flavors.

While Audrey was visiting DC over Columbus Day weekend we decided to brew something along the lines of Cascade's Summer Gose.  The grain bill was comprised mostly of malted wheat with the remainder being pils, melanoidin (for added bready/malt flavor), and a couple ounces of acid malt to hold the pH of the mash down. The restrained bitterness was provided by a small addition of Saaz hops near the start of the boil.

For the spice I bought a bag of coriander from Patel Brothers (an Indian grocery store chain that I wasn't aware was a chain until I just went looking for their website).  The oblong Indian variety of coriander has a fruitier less citrus/vegetal aroma than the stuff you get at the supermarket (plus at only $2.99 for 14 oz it is really cheap).  We pulsed .5 oz of the seeds in a coffee grinder and added them near the end of the boil.  To replicate the naturally saline water of Leipzig we added .5 oz of sea salt to the boil, I'm planning on adding more to taste at bottling (better to err on the low end to start).

That fermentation is just from the Lacto, ~12 hours after pitching.My friend Matt gave me a culture of Lactobacillus which I had grown up at ~100 F in a weak DME solution for four days before brewing.  We racked the wort into the fermenter and pitched the Lacto once the immersion chiller got it down to 90 F.  The next morning there was visible activity so I aerated the wort and and pitched one pack of US-05 that I had rehydrated in 95 F water for 5 minutes (I don't normally rehydrate dry yeast, but with the acidity I wanted to make sure the yeast didn't stumble out of the gate.)

Hopefully with our first attempt at the style we'll end up with a beer that fits our tastes.  If you want to read more about Gose I'd highly recommend picking up a copy of Stan Hieronymus's Brewing with Wheat (you could also read this article he wrote: First of all, it’s pronounced goes-a).

What Gose Round

Recipe Specifics
-----------------
Batch Size (Gal): 5.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.41
Anticipated OG: 1.053
Anticipated SRM: 4.6
Anticipated IBU: 10.3
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain
------
63.8% - 6.00 lbs. Wheat Malt
31.9% - 3.00 lbs. German Pilsener
2.7% - 0.25 lbs. Melanoidin Malt
1.7% - 0.16 lbs. Sauer(acid) Malt

Hops
------
0.75 oz. Czech Saaz (Pellet, 3.50% AA) @ 60 min.

Extras
------
14.00 g Indian Coriander @ 5 min.
14.00 g Sea Salt @ 5 min.

Yeast
-----
Safale US-05
Lactobacillus

Water Profile
-------------
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
----------------
Sacch Rest 90 min @ 149

Notes
-----
10/5/10 Pint starter made from DME, cooled to ~90 then pitched Lacto culture from Matt, used heating pad to keep it close to 100 F.

Brewed 10/9/10 with Audrey

Batch Sparged, collected 7 gallons of 1.040 wort. Slight boil-over.

Indian Coriander, coarse grind in a rotary coffee grinder.

Trader Joe's French sea salt.

Chilled to 90, racked to fermenter and pitched 1 pint of lactic acid starter. Left at ambient basement temp ~70 F.

Good activity after 16 hours, shook to aerate and pitched 1 pack of rehydrated US-05.  Strong CO2 production within a couple hours.

10/15/10 Fermentation appears to be about complete.

1/05/11 Bottled 4.25 gallons with 3 5/8 oz of table sugar.

2/16/11 Turned out pretty well, but not as sour as we wanted.  If you want it sour cut the hop addition in half to reduce the IBUs to about 5.  If you want to taste the salt I would probably double the addition, but remember you can always add more.

21 comments:

Andrew said...

Hollister Brewing is right by me! It's the definite go-to beer place in this area. I never got a chance to try Tiny Bubbles, and I have no good excuse. He is a fan of rotated beers so it will probably make a come back next summer. Hollister does a few IPAs very well, really any beer there has been quite good.

KC Wort Hog said...

Fabulous! My husband & I just got back yesterday from a 10-day trip to Prague & central Germany. Leipzig was one of our trips & included Wollnitz as well (for the smoked sour wheat, which wasn't as smoky as we expected). Tried the Bayerischer Bahnhof gose and it was tasty, but if you ever get a chance to try Dollnitz gose, DO IT. It's impressively sour, citrusy, and one of the best non-Lambic sours I've ever had. Good luck with yours; the recipe looks promising!

Matthew said...

Tiny Bubbles is fantastic.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

The Appellation Beer article has this info on Tiny Bubbles:

"The recipe includes about 60 percent malted wheat and 40 percent pilsner malt, with a tiny amount of acidulated malt. The only hops were Saaz flowers added to with the mash. Rose used one pound of salt and four tablespoons of coriander in the 8.5-barrel (about 260 gallons) batch, adding them with 15 minutes remaining in the boil.

The beer, about 4.5 percent alcohol by volume, started at 11.5 °P and finished at 2.8 °P."

That isn't much salt or coriander, could you taste either?

Simon said...

I'm interested in this American Wild Ale idea.. got any good recipes hiding on the site or elsewhere as a place to start with this?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Simon, early on in the blog I posted a couple recipes for beers fermented with 100% Brett, those would certainly fall under American Wild Ale. My Russian River Temptation and Lost Abbey Cable Car clones would certainly be there as well. I also think my "Flanders Reds" are really more like American Wilds, since they lack the pasteurization preserved sweetness and the vinegar character of the Belgian examples.

I’m about to brew a sour tripel aged on calvados soak oak that certainly is closer to a beers brewed in Quebec than anything brewed in Belgium (if you want to use America in the more general sense).

Seanywonton said...

Oh yeah, that looks tasty. I tried Cascade's fall Gose, on tap now at their new barrel room in Se Portland, and man it is freakin good! Last year I thought it had too much phenol and a funky bitter caramel flavor. This year is is just right!

American Wild ale..I don't think there needs to be a BJCP category. They should just have an open category sour/wild ale, grouped in with the other sours, just as they have an open category for both Belgians and "experimental" beers. I don't think they should be grouped in with category 16 Belgian/French/specialty ales.

Jeffrey Crane said...

Thanks for this post. Talking about the seasonal goses that Cascade makes has inspired me. I think I'll make a one gallon, stovetop, brew in a bag batch every season. This will let me experiment with different flavors in sour beers and with this type of beer I can have some immediate results.
I think I'll use your quick souring method of just tossing in some base malt for a few days at elevated temps. Then I'll reboil and pitch whatever yeast I have from a current batch.
Having a few of these quick sour batches should help me be more patient with my other aging sours.

Adrian Avgerinos said...

RE: Tiny Bubbles

"That isn't much salt or coriander, could you taste either?"

Maybe? It didn't taste like salty coriander juice if that's what your asking. I thought it was vaguely salty (like Gatorade) and it had a hint of herbal spice to it.

A VERY nice beer. Had it when I drove up to visit college buddies this past summer.

Kevin LaVoy said...

How long are you going to leave it in the carboy before bottling with that Lacto culture in it? Are you concerned about bottle bombs? I'm guessing not, since you clearly have some experience with the sour stuff.

Which I guess, leads me to another question: how do you decide with the sour stuff when to bottle it?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Just like any other beer I wait for the gravity to stabilize and the flavor to be about where I want it (it just takes a bit longer). For this one I'll proably give it 2-3 weeks in primary and then give it a couple months in secondary. Without Pedio/Brett this one should be much quicker than most other sours.

Anonymous said...

Very cool idea. I am thinking of using some Sorachi Ace I just picked up to make a dry-hopped sour. The salt might be a good addition, though I think I'll leave the spice out since I'll be dry-hopping.

Where do you get your lacto culture (originally)? Do you buy the liquid cultures?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I keep a culture of White Labs Lacto going, but this culture was from my Bio-nerd friend Matt's lab. Not sure where he originally got the strain from though.

I added a Sorachi Ace hop tea (with some lime peel) to a few bottles of my Cherry Flanders, sounded like a good idea but not enough of the hop aroma came through to be noticeable.

Good luck.

Andrew said...

Did you not give the wort any oxygen? I didn't see it in the recipe.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I did leave that step out. I shook the carboy to aerate right before pitching the ale yeast. I recently racked to secondary and still doesn't have much sourness, hopefully it develops in the next month or two because I'd like to drink this relatively fresh.

Iron Krausen said...

How was the coriander and salt levels when you tasted it? My sour mash will be ready to boil tomorrow and I haven't settled on amounts for either.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Haven't taken a taste in a few weeks, still waiting for it to sour... but the levels on both the salt and the coriander were pretty close. If anything the coriander might be a little on the heavy side and the salt may be a bit light (for my tastes). The coriander should fade with time and I’ll probably add ~.25-.5 oz of salt at bottling. Good luck on your batch.

Andrew said...

Revisiting your lacto techniques and I saw you asked a question about tiny bubbles. I didn't get much coriander. Good tartness, but to my palate overwhelming salt. A friend agrees with me on this one. Much like cooking, everyone's salt level is different; it would of been better to err on the side of caution I think. Still a good beer though.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Thanks. Before sending this one into NHC Audrey and I played with the salt level in some samples. Scaling up to the amount suggested in Brewing with Wheat (.5 oz per gallon) was way too much for my palate. We ended up adding an extra 1/8 tsp to the bottle to make the salt a bit more noticeable (without being briny).

Jim Lemire said...

I know I'm digging through an old post here, but I'm got a notion to brew up a Gose with my own spin (of course). I was looking through Brewing with Wheat and the Gose recipe says to use 12.4 grams of salt PER GALLON. This is about 5 times as much as you used in yours.

What do you think? Way too much?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Yep, way too much salt for my taste (and I love salt). I would start low, you can always add more if you want at bottling.

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