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

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

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

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

Safale US-05

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest 90 min @ 149

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.


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!

Unknown 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?

Unknown 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.

Unknown said...

How did this brew turn out, other than too much salt?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Wasn't too salty (I think you may have misread the comments). Click the link in the recipe notes at the bottom of the post for the full tasting results.

Unknown said...

I followed your recipe and brewed this yesterday. Chilled to 90 and pitched Wyeast 5335 starter. Put in fermentation chamber at 74 and 15 hours later there is no sign of any activity. Should I raise the temp and let it sit another 12 hours?
Thanks for your help.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Was the stater active when you pitched it? I'd give it another 12 hours. I wouldn't heat it at this point or the beer will be too warm for the brewer's yeast to ferment cleanly. Good luck!

Unknown said...

I did my starter Tuesday and kept it at about 90 with no stir plate. Pitched Saturday and never saw any really activity in the starter at all.

Thanks for your help.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Sounds like the Lacto was dead, or at least not in great shape. Half the point of a starter is to ensure the microbes are alive. If you don't see anything after four days, it's probably time for plan B.

kurineru said...

I had a very nice gose yesterday at Steel String, a local craft brewer here in North Carolina. Excellent summery flavor. I'm going to put this on my "must brew" list for next spring.

Unknown said...

Do you think L. brevis (more sour) or delbrueckii (less sour) would be more suitable for this style?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

The few remaining German examples of gose are not particularly sour. I like the more acidic American versions. Comes down to personal tastes.

PMI said...

I am about to brew your recipe this weekend sans acid malt. I picked up a pouch of Giga Yeast fast souring lacto. Hoping that will kick the acid levels up. Cut the IBU like you said too. I will report on my results. Im using Fermentis K-97 German ale for full ferment.

RunDadRun said...

I just brewed this yesterday with a couple mods. I did not quite have enough wheat on hand, so I added a bit of 2 row to make up the difference. I also upped the salt and coriander by 50%. Besides that, it was essentially the same.

I used the White Labs Lacto (677) and built a starter over 4 days prior and had pretty good activity. I was excited that it smelled quite sour. I pitched at 90 degrees and, much to my surprise, was greeted with STRONG airlock activity after only 3 hrs.

Should I adjust when I plan to pitch the primary yeast strain to go earlier due to this quick action? Or, do you recommend waiting even longer (a couple days) to pitch to allow for added souring by the lacto before they get competition?

I guess what it comes down to it possible to wait too long before pitching the US-04?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

The concern with starting with just Lacto is that if the pH drops too low the brewer's yeast can have problems. My experience with 677 is that despite rapid activity and attenuation, it won't produce much acidity. Monitoring pH and gravity are the best ways to determine when to pitch yeast.

Chad said...

How do you keep the starter at 100 degrees? Other than waiting until TX summer rolls around and leaving it outside.

RunDadRun said...

I wrapped my starter in a heating pad (the sore back/drug store kind). I was pleasantly surprised that it kept it right around 100 consistently. The only issue is that mine would automatically turn off after a couple hours so I had to keep turning it back on.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

A heating pad is a great option. I've got an old one that doesn't shut off. A warm water bath can work too. Most Lacto strains still grow well even at 80F, so don't be too worried if you can't hold 100F exactly!

Unknown said...

Mike - just made a gose myself. Used a slightly different method:

0.5 Make up a culture of lacto from acidulated malt put into apple juice. Couple of days on heating mat (with a wooly hat on to keep it around 45C.
1. Mash in a Braumeister
2. Drop the temp to 45C. Maintain using the temp controller in the boiler. Adjust acidity to 4.5 with lactic acid - cheating I know but it inhibits clostridium and that other nasty one. Purged the 02 with some C02.
3. Pitch in the lacto culture
4. Wait for pH to drop to 3.5
5. Boil with whatever IBU you want as it doesn't matter now the lacto has done it's work.
6. Pitch in yeast as per usual. (I used a blend of S-05 and cider yeast)

This seems to be an easier way to get more consistent acidity - and easier IBU control.

Was wondering - how do you maintain your culture of lacto?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Certainly an option, but wild Lacto is still going to be inherently variable. Acid malt is kilned, so per Weyermann there is no Lactobacillus on it from their processing (likely similar wild Lacto to Pils malt would be present).

Totally agree with your process as far as sour worting goes. But I've had very good luck since this is Lactobacillus brevis using the same process (giving the Lacto a 12-24 hour head start).

Unknown said...

That's probably why it took so long. I seem to remember reading that it was recommended to add acidulated malt + crystal but only used the former for the starter. Nothing really happened after a couple of days and after a couple of days in the BM not much was going on so I chucked in some crystal. Will use a pure culture next time though.

4evrplanning said...

Straight out of curiosity, have you tirw the Modern Times Fruitlands? If I was to try and replicate that yeast what would you suggest I try? -vcbeeroness 20150906

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I haven't tried it (and didn't have anything to do with the recipe). As far as I'm aware it was going to be kettle soured.

kurineru said...

Last summer, I had a chance to try Mikkeler/Surly's Blakk Out gose. It substitutes Danish licorice for coriander. Very nice--the licorice and the saltiness of the gose work well together, with little residual sweetness. I'm thinking of using this as an opportunity to try Omega's lacto. Any thoughts on that? Also, have you experimented with any other sacc?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I friend loves Swedish salted licorice, not my pint of beer! Omega Lacto Blend is a great option for quick acidity, it might be too quick if you just want subtle acidity though. 3711 is a great option for gose, but maybe not if you want some sweetness left!

Mikey J said...

Dear Mike,

First of all, thanks for your blog! I'm here after finding your archived session on the Sour Hour and am ready to turn my garage into a blendery. While I'm waiting for some of my long term projects to finish up I figured I'd try this recipe. My question is this: most of the materials I've read about successful "kettle souring" techniques include the usage of CO2 in some capacity to create that anaerobic environment that helps the lacto become potent. I have an oxygen stone which I normally use for simple aeration of clean beers post cold break. Do they sell CO2 cartridges that I could use to help create an anaerobic environment? DO you have any other tips or tricks that might help me create this anaerobic environment? Thanks again. Love the book and will be back soon.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Lacto doesn't have any problem with oxygen, it is the other microbes that come along with it if you are sourcing from grain that can cause off-flavors. If you are pitching a pure culture, I wouldn't worry about purging! At worst you could top off with a small bottle of seltzer to purge the head space!

olafphyscs said...

I'm planning a similar Gose but plan on using straight Lactic Acid instead of the more variable lactic yeasts or acid malt (of various varieties). Any idea when I should add the lactic?
My ideas: to mash as I normally do and add at mash out? Add into the kettle one the way to boiling? Add to completely fermented in a secondary or at bottling?
I am going to ferment with WLP029 - German Ale. I am able to calculate the amount of lactic from the pH change caused by the acid malt additions (assuming 2% or 3%). Thanks!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I'd add it early to allow the fermentation to soften the character. Go on the low end, and then you can always dose in more at packaging.

I have a test batch going for BYO where I'm testing three strains (001, 007, 566) at standard knock-out pH (5.1), and dosed with lactic acid to 3.5 and 3.0. Interested to see how the strains perform!