A while back I made a post about bottling the Berliner Weisse brewed on April 10, 2011 and split into plain and raspberry infused portions. Those of you who have been following me for a while would know that it’s this beer that really started this blog and several initial posts were about the sediment and pellicle observed during its fermentation. Of particular interest to me was looking at Saccharomyces sporulation – a sign of sexual reproduction in nutrient poor environment which may give rise to “new” and “mutant” strains with varying characteristics and flavor profiles. This topic comes up every now and again in the homebrewing community and gives rise to arguments about yeast reproduction. Just recently I was a part of a discussion where some claimed yeast only reproduce by budding while others said sexual reproduction occurs. In any case, let us be clear that brewer yeast can reproduce by means other than budding.
On a dark and windy evening, sitting in anticipation of the super storm to hit New York, I decided to go ahead and finally do an official tasting of the plain portion in hopes of bringing a few bright summer memories. I have tasted it two or three times before and even brought it to a homebrewer meetup once, but never felt like it was really all that interesting. However now, after over a year and a half since it’s creation, I feel it is finally ready to be tasted properly.
My colleague Sam of eurekabrewing, a fellow scientist and a homebrewer who lives on the other side of the Atlantic also made a similar beer and posted a rather nice writeup on it here (seriously, read it, it’s very educational) followed by tasting notes. As I tasted my Berliner I went back and read over his observations and was surprised at how different our beers turned out. It just goes to show that there are more than one way to make and interpret a given style.
Plain Berliner Tasting:
Appearance: Very pale, straw colored. Lots of bubbles at first and then calms down. Clear with a little haze. Head lasts about 5 seconds and then dissipates completely.
Smell: Champagne. The smell of champagne permeates the air as soon as you open the bottle. Can’t really describe it any other way. Just champagne. Some minor funk and lemon.
Taste: Light lactic sourness up front, giving way to malt with a hint of sweetness and breadiness. Tastes like champagne otherwise. White wine, bright, a hint of funk, some pear, white apples. Long dry, tart, mouthwatering finish with more white apples appearing at the very end. Want to take another sip again and again.
Mouthfeel: Very light. Medium carbonation.
Overall: Very impressive. Perfect summer beer. Unmatched refreshing quality. Amazing how much it improved since the summer. Low sourness makes it perfect for my tastes as I’m not a fan of “so sour you can feel your tongue dissolving” beers. I’m impressed! Even my mother liked it, which has only ever happened with a Dubbel before. Looks like I’ll pull out my 15 Gal fermentor out of the cellar and make another batch in the upcoming months.
Stay tuned for an official tasting of the raspberry infused portion…