Berliner Weisse #1: No Sparge, Almost No Boil, No Couple’s Shower! (WLP677 Lactobacillus delbrueckii & WLP036 Düsseldorf Alt)

I have always been, and probably always will be, a fan of high gravity beers. After learning to brew, I only wanted to brew the next great dark lord or sucaba. A lot of homebrewers probably go through the same progression as me: learn to brew beer, decide they will brew the biggest most badass beer ever, compromise that their beer was just ok. After a few home brews on a work night while cooking dinner on an empty stomach, I realized I should embrace the delicacy and art of brewing low ABV session beers. I figured that I didn’t need something on tap which is meant for once a week consumption at most. Being able to drink a full pint of something and not start slurring is always a plus!

I’m not really sure how this brew day came about, my wife and I were supposed to be going to a “couple’s shower,” the shower turned into a women only shower as we arrived. Lucky for me the location of the shower was very close to my LHBS, and I was more than happy to waste two hours browsing their selection while enjoying a glass of Bligh’s Barleywine (side note: this year’s Bligh’s is fantastic). Letting me walk around a homebrew store for two hours was probably always going to end with me making beer. Knowing that I wanted to make a beer, a whole brew day was probably out of the question (wife family things), and building my keezer meant I wasn’t setup for another experiment just yet; I settled on a no-boil Berliner Weisse, a style I had no experience making. By chance, the night before, I had read the chapter on historical beers in Stan Hieronymus’s wonderful book Brewing with Wheat: The ‘Wit’ and “Weizen’ of World Wheat Beer Styles  and decided a no-boil, no sparge, Berliner of five gallons could probably be accomplished in about 2.5 hours start to finish. What better session beer than something smaller than most starters? I pulled out my phone and designed a quick recipe for a Berliner that would start at around 1.036, have <5 IBUs, and be fermented first by lactobacillus and then alongside a neutral German yeast. After doing a few searches online regarding no boil I got scared and decided to do a very short boil instead.

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Keezer Build: Simple How to with Pictures

When I started brewing I bottled all of my beer like nearly everyone else, I absolutely hated bottling. Not only is bottling time consuming and annoying, the ending product is highly variable. I switched to kegs fairly quickly and was content to use picnic faucets for quite a while. Recently, I decided that using a freezer for a fermentation chamber was not ideal. Freezers don’t contain a condensation method and I’ve read that this can cause the lines to rust over time. I decided to make the switch to using a fridge to ferment and a freezer to dispense beer. My freezer fits four kegs and using picnic faucets was fine, however, I wanted to add a little flare to my homebrewing. I’ve always been very jealous of the keezer builds people have done online, I think there is something damn cool about having your beer come out of real taps. Here is a quick how to on building a keezer like mine. Note: the design for this was shamelessly taken from the, thanks for all of your great videos!

This keezer is designed to have an inner collar that sits on the freezer with an outer facade that hangs down over the freezer. The shanks will go directly through the collar, no freezers were harmed in the making of this how to! A huge thanks to my neighbor Phil who helped me make this in exchange for beer, and my wife for putting up with my beer crap.

Continue reading “Keezer Build: Simple How to with Pictures”