Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quick Sour Beer: Spring Gose with Cranberries

This was supposed to be my Winter Seasonal Gose, but turned more into a Spring Gose. The aim for this beer was to play off of traditional cranberry sauce served at Holiday meals. I follow a blog called Indirect Heat and his recipe for Holiday Cranberry sauce sounded perfect. I like the combination of different citrus zest and I think it will go very well with the tartness in this beer. The other thing with cranberries is that they will provide their own tartness, so keep this in mind when you are deciding how to sour this beer.

I decided to try a new souring method that I read about in Zymurgy March/April 2011 issue. It is a very simple process and I totally agree with the logic behind it. It is similar to how I did my first Gose, but it involves making a smaller portion of wort and waiting for the bad organisms to be killed by the lowering pH and alcohol.

As suggested in the article, I used honey for my starter. I did a 12 oz starter (~.1 gal) so I added 1.5 oz (~.1 lb) of honey (40pts/1lb/gal) to get a 1.040 starter. I try to keep my math as simple as possible and for a starter the gravity does not need to be perfect. I boiled the 12 oz of water for a few minutes, poured into the glass container, added the honey and swirled the bottle. I covered the starter with foil and let it cool down to 100F  or body temperature. I then pitched in a "handfull" of grain. I purged the jar with CO2 (lacto does not need O2 so to limit growth of other organisms it is good to have a anaerobic environment) and then placed it in the Crockpot on the "Warm" setting (~115F). The article says about 3 days, I was right around there. Basically, you just want to make sure that by the time you use the sour starter that Lactobacillus is the dominant organism and most of the Enterobacteria, and Acetobacter have been destroyed by the low pH.

Recipe: Gose with Cranberries
O.G.-1.040  F.G.-1.008   IBU-7
SRM-5  ABV-~4%   Batch Size - 2 gals

Grain Bill (75% Efficiency):
28 oz White Wheat Malt (56%)
20 oz Belgian Pilsner (40%)
2 oz Acid Malt (4%)
8 oz (2 cups) frozen cranberries (Boil)
1 tsp lemon zest (Flame-out)
1.5 tsp orange zest (Flame-out)
6 g Indian Sea Salt (added at bottling)

.1 oz US Goldings, 4.9%, pellet, 60 min 7 IBU

1/2 packet of dry Nottingham Yeast (pitched Day 2)

Brew Day:
Brewed: 3/25/10
Bottled: 4/28/10

San Diego (Alvarado) Filtered Water

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.33 qt/lb
Mash Volume: 1 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 149F @ 60min
Strike Temp: 160F
Batch Sparge Volume: 2.5 gal

Sour Mash Details:
O.G.: 1.040
Sour Mash Temp: 115-120F (keep warm setting on Crock-Pot)
Length: 4 days
Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 3 gal
Boil Time: 60min
Post Boil Volume: ~2 gal

Ferment Details:
O.G.: 1.040
Ferment Temp: 70-75F
Length: 10 days in primary
F.G.: 1.008

I decided to measure the pH of the starter. It actually looks like its under 3 which would be very low. These strips are not really the right ones to use, but they are what I had on hand. The wort from the main batch looks to be in the 4 range. This seems low but it does have a .5 lb of acidic cranberries already added. I was surprised that the color wasn't more pink. We'll see what it looks like after fermentation and carbonation.

I bottled this with 2.2 oz of corn sugar for the 2 gal. shooting for just under 3 volumes. Since this was boiled and uses Sacc. yeast I am not concerned with bottle bombs.

Tasting to Follow...


  1. Sounds like a great beer! We have a very similar beer that we are brewing. Gose turns out tasty and refreshing especially come summer time!



  2. Is this your American Petite Sour?
    Can't wait to try some of your beers, they sound fantastic. I'm sure it will be a while before you distribute to So Cal, huh? Looks like I need to take a Colorado beer trip soon.
    Keep living the dream, it's fun to follow along.


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