It might not have the jolliest of attitudes, but we really love our Sourpuss. Each time we feed it a different fruit it gets more and more cranky, but hungrier at the same time.
After blackberries and raspberries, we chose another fruit of the season: blackcurrants. Let’s talk about this latest version a bit more.
Berliner Weisses aren’t just unfiltered wheat beers.
Although the name of the style might fool you, this isn’t a local take on the traditional German wheat ale. So settle your banana-inducing esters craving elsewhere.
As some might be surprised at first, Berliner Weisse is a type of sour ale. And one that’s been spoiled on purpose, through mixed fermentation. Granted, the malt bill is still similar to hefeweizens: we used half pilsener, half wheat malt.
Yogurt. Yep, that’s what some use to sour up the initial wort. Or, more traditionally, throwing in a handful of fresh malt, given the right conditions. We went the nerdy way and used straight up lactobacillus cultures, to be a bit more sure about the outcome. It’s the stuff that makes cheese and other fermented dairy products, so what could go wrong?!
In the first version we used the Helveticus strain, but Sourpuss: Blackberry had a stronger overly-lactic note that we didn’t love. We switched to Plantarum from Lallemand, which proved cleaner and more crisp.
We ran out of puns with “berry” for this header.
This is as hands on as it gets: we buy fresh produce from local farmers and ABUSE IT ENTIRELY. We blend, mash, squash, step on, punch and chew it up to a paste, throw it in zip-lock bags and freeze it.
It gets quite messy, but that’s how we’re gonna be sure every bit of that fruit will do it’s job infusing the beer. We also kill off any unwanted wild bacteria this way. Hopefully. Some fingers may be crossed during this whole process.
The soured wort goes through a final fermentation with the help of whatever yeast we have on deck at the time (this time it was Imperial Barbarian), and we start dropping in the fruit, too.
We do this quite a few times, because we can’t fit it all at once in the tank. So, 150 kilos of blackcurrant were crammed during 3 days. That amounts to 200 g/liter.
As soon as the yeast finished eating up all the sugars from the currants, we carbonated and down the canning line it went.
We think Sourpuss: Blackcurrant has the most vibrant flavours from the fruit, compared to the old ones. Extra sourness, some nice bramble notes too, tons of juiciness.
And don’t get us started on the colour!