So, in my last post we talked about the Baltic Champagne/Beer find and we speculated that the slightly salty and sour flavor may have been an early style Gose beer (sour beer). Unfortunately we didn’t really go into detail. Gose became popular in Leipzig, Germany at the beginning of the 17th century but it’s origins comes from Goslar, Germany . The original story I was told was that they dug wells for water too close to the ocean and thus salt got into the local water supply. On further investigation, we find that both these towns are very inland. So the saltiness is probably due to large salt deposits underground in the region, much like the Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland. Large reserves of salt that taint the water ever so slightly and when being used for brewing cause an off flavor. To cure this problem, they “seasoned” the beer with coriander. This particular beer didn’t qualify for the Reinheitsgebot Laws because it was grandfathered in as a local beer.
To make Gose, it has to be atleast a 50% Wheat malt. Here’s the recipe we used:
- 5lbs Wheat Malt
- 3.25 lb German Pilsner malt
- 2 lb acidulated malt
- 1/2 lb rice hulls
- 2.8 oz Saaz Hops
- 1 oz Ground Coriander Seed
- .75 oz Sea Salt
- White Labs WLP 029 (German Ale/Kolsch Yeast). You could also use Wyeast 1007 (German ale)
Because of all the wheat, the rice hulls help eliminate a “stuck mash”. The acidulated malt is used to balance the high mineral (or in this case salt content) of the water being used.
People showed up to help grind grain, start the mash and drink beer (because you know, it takes beer to make beer)
We milled the grains and put all of them except the Acid Malt into the mash tun and put 4 gallons of hot water (149*F) and held it for 60 min. We’re doing a protein rest and then adding the Acid Malt and holding it another 45 min. We poured off the first runnings and then ran 170*F sparge water through it.
We pitched the yeast after it cooled and suffered through a rather exciting “High Krausen”
It fermented for a full week and then settled down and cleared quite nicely. The flavor is described as slightly sour with “barnyard” type aroma (haylike). It also tends to be hazy because of the wheat glutens in the beer. Unlike most sours, this beer usesnaturally occurring Lacto bacila for souring instead of Brettanomyces. Brett is used in Lambics.