Crafting the Finest Ales & Lagers, 5 Gallons at a Time

  Project Norse God Microbrewery is a concept brewery in it’s planning stages to open up in the near future.  We strive to give the best beer possible to our customers by using innovative brewing and engineering techniques.  So come by the brewhouse and we’ll raise a glass with you.

We use only the freshest and highest quality malts and hops in our beers. Using innovative yeast propagation techniques and temperature controlled environments our beers are worthy of the title “Nectar of the Gods”.

Consistency is imperative to our beers; from our ingredient suppliers and water quality, to our brewing methods. This ensures the same product to be reproduced over and over for our beers.

Reinheitsgebot – Also known as the “German Purity Law” was implemented in 1516. All beers will be made with Malt, Hops, Water, and Yeast (later amendend). Although this law is no longer in effect, many brewers still abide by this purity law. We abide by this law only if the style requires us do to so.

Check us out and grab a pint of our Flagship brew Copperhead Ale! The brewhouse is always improving beer as we know it and trying to set the bar higher for beer drinkers around the world!

Interested in helping turn this concept brewery into a reality?  You can help by either attending a Tasting Party or Donating Here!

Brugge, The Great Beer Odyssey

Driving through the Eurotrain carts!

Driving through the Eurotrain carts!

Recently my wife and I decided to take a trip to Brugge, Belgium over Thanksgiving holiday.  So we packed our bags, left our humble home in England and caught a ride on the Chunnel and drove straight into the heart of Brugge!  We booked our hotel at Hotel de Medici, which is conveniently located near the Markt (Market Square).  Brugge had some amazing historic architectures, which most of them I found to have a Gothic theme to them.  I just couldn’t believe how well the Belgians maintained their historic infrastructures.  We got to enjoy some of Belgium’s finest beers available along with the finest chocolate from their Chocolatiers, and indulged on Belgian Waffles and Fries!


Belgian Waffles!!

Belgian Waffles!!

During our stay at Brugge, we visited the touristy areas at day for the most part and pub crawled at night.  We visited some of the best bars that Brugge has to offer and even found some of the most hard to find bars in the area.  At the end of every pub crawl, my wife and I always ended the night with some Belgian Waffles!  One thing I did notice about the Belgians, they know they have some of the best beer in the world and they’re damn proud of it.  I know I would be too if I was a Belgian.


So on to the best part about Brugge, the beer!  My original plan was to take notes on every beer I had the privilege to enjoy.  Well, I was so overwhelmed with Belgium’s finest beers I completely forgot to take notes, but I did remember to take pictures of every glass of beer I ordered.  I made sure I didn’t order the same thing twice, so on with the show!

Prearis Quadrupel

Prearis Quadrupel

Vichtenaar Flemish Ale

Vichtenaar Flemish Ale

Gueze Boon

Gueze Boon



Charles Quint

Charles Quint

Watou's Wit Bier

Watou’s Wit Bier

Brugge Tripel

Brugge Tripel

Keizer Karel Robijn Rood

Keizer Karel Robijn Rood





Rodenbach Grand Cru

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Bellevue Kriek

Bellevue Kriek

Westmalle Belgian Lace!

Westmalle Belgian Lace!

Trappist Westmalle Tripel

Trappist Westmalle Tripel

Kwak Belgian Specialty Ale

Kwak Belgian Specialty Ale



Kriek De Ranke

Kriek De Ranke

Fonteiner Oude Geuze

Fonteiner Oude Geuze

Garr & St Fruillien

Garr & St Fruillien

St Bernardus Apt 12

St Bernardus Apt 12

Kriek de Ranke

Kriek de Ranke

De Ranke Kriek

De Ranke Kriek

My Brugge Souvenirs!

My Brugge Souvenirs!

Overall, I will say that our trip to Brugge has made me greatly appreciate the wild beers even more than I did before.  I found out from one of the locals that the wild beers (Gueuze, Flemish Ales, etc..) are in danger from the Belgian government.  According to them, the wild beers aren’t made in “sanitary” conditions and allow spiders and other contaminants come in contact with the beer.  The Belgian government wants to shut down these breweries that make these legendary beers all because of the way they are brewed and handled in the process.  Quite frankly, I enjoy these kinds of beers for what they are.  I really hope they get to stick around because if those beer styles die, some of the greatest beers known to man will no longer exist.


If any of you ever get the chance to visit Belgium, be sure to visit Brugge!  In the meantime, I have to get ready for my tasting party tomorrow!


James (Head Brewmaster)

Holy Toledo!

Drinking Brooklyn Lager @ Heathrow Int’l

Taking time off is a great way to step out of “the norm”, it allows you to have some good times with your friends and family.  Leaving our humble home in England for a few weeks, we ventured out to Toledo, OH to visit our friends and family in that area.  During that time, we were able to drink a lot of our favorite American beers that are hard to come by or can’t get in England.  Such as Yuengling, Sierra Nevada, Maumee Bay Brewing Company, Dogfish Head, Great Black Swamp Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and several others!  But more importantly, we got to spend some valuable time with our friends and family that we haven’t seen for quite some time.

It may be a surprise to some, but the Toledo area has a lot to offer in regards to great places to go out and enjoy a pint of beer!  Besides the classic sports bars like Frickers and Buffalo Wild Wings, there’s amazing places like the City Tap in Bowling Green, OH.  The City Tap is located downtown Bowling Green and has a wall of beer taps ranging from big names like Sierra Nevada/Samuel Adams to local craft beers like Great Black Swamp Brewing company/Maumee Bay Brewing Company.  My best friends MannyBrian and I were given the opportunity to go to the City Tap one Saturday night for a guys night out and had a great time there.  Unfortunately, I had such a great time at the City Tap…I completely forgot to take any pictures while we were there!  The atmosphere was great and it was easy to carry a conversation with other people at your table.  They have several pool tables downstairs to play on if you’re into pool.  They also have an upstairs, but we didn’t bother going up there since the bar was downstairs.  The bathrooms were my only complaint, I had to wait 15 minutes to take a piss everytime I needed to go.

All-Meat Pizza from the Village Idiot!

Another great place to visit in Maumee, OH is the Village Idiot!  If you’re looking for a great slice of pizza, great music, and some good beer, the Village Idiot is your weapon of choice.  Located on the main strip of Maumee, this place is Maumee’s best place to hang out at.  But beware, the Village Idiot isn’t your typical pizza bar that you’d expect. Their menu is located on the back wall where you order your pizza at.  The only price that’s listed is a plain cheese pizza which starts at $9.99, so if you order two all-meat pizza’s it’ll run you $27.00 even.  The Village Idiot has a lot of beers to offer on tap and bottled, they have beers for all beer-drinkers alike…from the simple Budweiser fans to the avid craft beer drinkers.  If you’re into live bands, the Village Idiot usually has musicians perform several times a week, ranging from folk music to rock.

Maumee Bay Brewing Co. is located in the Oliver House

If you’re looking to try the local breweries within the Greater Toledo area.  You don’t have to look very far, located within the Oliver House, the Maumee Bay Brewing Company (MBBC) has some of the friendliest staff that I’ve encountered in the Toledo area.  My good friend Brian and I went there for lunch and to try some of their brews that have on tap.  During our visit Brian had the Reuben sandwich and had their IPA, while I had the pulled pork sandwich and decided on the six 4 oz. samples of their brews.  Both of us enjoyed hanging out and conversating with the production brewer while he was on break.  You should know that there are two bars located within the Oliver House..One is open during lunch hours and closes while the “downstairs” bar opens up.  They both serve MBBC brews on tap and offer a small variety of other beer options by bottle only (Bud/Miller/Coors).  The “downstairs” bar stays open until 2am and has a patio area available that is both beer/smoker friendly.

MBBC Hosted Oktoberfest Pig Roast

During our trip at the Oliver House, Brian and I learned about the Oktoberfest event that were holding that very weekend.  So we decided to get more information to see if it was worth going to.  Unfortunately, Brian wasn’t able to go..but my Father and I decided to go for a couple of hours.  We decided to eat when we first got there and had a couple of their hand-tossed pepperoni pizza’s they had on special.

MBBC Oktoberfest

Their pizza was very delicious and we tried their German-inspired beers they had on tap for the Oktoberfest event.  Their Hefeweizen had so much potential, it was way undercarbonated to fit that style of accordingly.  It had the banana-clove-bubble-gum like flavors that any Hefeweizen should, but it lacked the carbonation to give it that carbonic acid bite to counter the sweetness of the beer.  Their Oktoberfest they had available was a total let down and a horrible interpretation of that style of beer, it was far too bitter and hoppy.  According to the BJCP for that style of beer, that’s very inappropriate.  However, I did really enjoy their Dortmunder they crafted.  Out of all the German-inspired beers MBBC had available, I will say that the Dortmunder was the best.  I didn’t get a chance to eat the pig roast they had available, for I was too full from the pizza and beer we had earlier.  I also didn’t get a chance to hear the folk band they had hired to play at the event.  So I felt bad having to leave so early but we had already been there for several hours and needed to get going by the time the band was getting ready to play.

MBBC Mobilized Tap Truck

If you’re looking for something entirely different and unique.  I highly suggest visiting the Irish Pub inspired Paddy Jack’s restaurant & bar.  Paddy Jack’s specializes in gourmet style grilled cheeses and has a large variety of beers from all over the globe.  My sister Lacie and I went to Paddy Jack’s to eat there for lunch one day and we had some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches we ever had in a long time.

Paddy Jacks!

Their portions are very generous for their price and their staff is extremely friendly as well.  Wearing long white-stockings and plaid skirts the waitresses ensured our drinks were never empty and displayed excellent service to both my sister and I.  They have so many TV’s available around the restaurant/bar area that it’s impossible to miss your favorite sports team play!

One last place that I recommend visiting while in the Greater Toledo area is The Blarney.  My sister’s friend was performing on stage that night and they were an excellent cover band to listen to.  I do not recall the name of their band at the moment, but once I get that information I will have it available ASAP.  The Blarney is a Irish Pub inspired restaurant/bar, it’s located downtown Toledo and has an outstanding selection of Irish beer, whiskey, and domestic/craft beers available on tap or bottled.  Their food was exquisite, although I originally opted for their ribs…but they were fresh out by the time we got there.  So I got their sliders instead, which were very tasty!

Live Performance @ The Blarney

My only complaint that evening was our poor waitress had so many tables that she didn’t come around as often as we would’ve liked to order more beers…which is understandable.  Overall, I recommend visiting The Blarney to get together with your good friends and family to raise a glass or Guiness or Whiskey together while watching a good band or eating dinner.

As with all great things, my trip back stateside had to end.  Before I departed at Cleaveland Int’l Airport, I ended up at Great Lakes Brewing Company’s restaurant they have within the terminal for lunch and several pints.  I ended up getting two large glasses of the Burning River Pale Ale and a Cheeseburger.  Maybe it was the fact that it was my last few moments stateside, but both that Cheeseburger and Pale Ale sure hit the spot and filled me up.  Overall, it was a great trip back stateside.  I definitely recommend going to Toledo, as there’s a lot to do in that area, I know that I didn’t get to hit up as many spots as I would’ve liked to.  But, spending time with my friends and family meant more to me than anything in this world!  =)


James (Head Brewmaster)

Great Lakes Brewing Co. @ Cleaveland Int’l Airport Terminal

Improving Beer by Math! Part 1

Back when I first started brewing beer, I used to just throw cans of extract together and hoping for the best when I had my Mr. Beer kit.  Although I had some mediocre results for the most part, I did have several beers that were truly superb from that method.  But one thing I did notice from that methodology, I didn’t have consistency.  Even if I tried to make the same recipe over again, there was too many variables to be able to produce the same beer over and over again.  For instance, the Alpha Acid percentage in hops, how viable your yeast is, protein content in the grains, hell..even the extracts can be variable (in regards to the long chain dextrins that yeast can’t metabolize).  With all these variables, I had to do something about it…but what?

As I made the jump from extract (pre-made brewing kits) to all-grain brewing (brewing from scratch), I found two books that made their way in my library as my Beer Bibles.  Gregory Noonan’s New Brewing Lager and John Palmer’s How to Brew really helped me understand the basics of the brewing beer.  Within those books I found that math is my answer to help my consistency problems, ranging from basic geometry formulas, complex logarithmic formulas, and even algebraic equations.  They seemed very intimidating at first, but then I realized that the formulas are merely just plug and chug equations.

Reason why I bring up the topic of Beer Math is because I was busy yesterday doing calculations for the grain bill and other parts of Copperhead Light Ale.  Copperhead Light Ale was originally an accident (just as the original Copperhead Ale), and I decided to give the “accident” a recipe overhaul because of the potential it has of being a great beer in our arsenal of beers we routinely brew.  The accident that created Copperhead Light originally started by forgetting to add a portion of the grain bill before brewing.  I didn’t notice the missing grains until I started sparging (separating the wort from the grains) and I saw that the wort (sugary goodness) was much lighter than it should have been.  From there Copperhead Light Ale was born (or should I say the pilot batch)!

This time around I decided to reduce the overall grain bill from the original Copperhead Ale by 20% (to make up the portion of the grain bill that I missed from the first time Copperhead Light was born from), by doing so that decreased my total weight I would use in grains in the original Copperhead Ale recipe.  Then I removed an additional 30%  from each grain addition to the recipe and replaced that with rice.  To make it more easier to follow here’s an example of the math I conducted:

Copperhead Ale Grain Bill Total 10lb’s; need to reduce grain bill by 20%:

10 × .20 = 2 lb’s

10 − 2 = 8 lb’s new grain bill weight for Copperhead Light

Copperhead Ale Light Grain Bill; reduced for Rice addition by 30%:

Pale Malt – 4 lb  –> 4 × .30 = 1.2 lb reduction

Vienna – 3.5 lb  –> 3.5 × .30 = 1.05 lb reduction

Crystal – .5 lb    –> .5 × .30 = 0.15 lb reduction

Add up your reduced grain bill:

Pale Malt – 2.8 lb

Vienna – 2.45 lb

Crystal – 0.35 lb

Total – 5.6 lb

Then add up your total lb reduction to get your new rice addition:

1.2 + 1.05 + 0.15 = 2.4 lb’s of rice

Check your math by adding your adding your grain bill and rice together to see if you got a total of 8 lbs that was originally desired:

5.6 + 2.4 = 8 lb’s  <– Success!!

Okay, okay, that was really easy but you get the point.  That was the basics of using math to help formulate a new grain bill.  Actually, there’s a lot more to it than that, I already had a pre-determined starting gravity/diastatic power of the grain from the grain bill and also determined how much the rice would offset the maltiness in this brew (please note that this is an example and not the real recipe, I just simplified it for everyone to understand).  Now that I got my grain bill I can now get started on brewing my beer!

Now to determine the strike temperature (initial infusion of hot water mixed with the grains), I need to know my grain bill weight, grain temperature, and volume of water, and desired temperature.  The following equation helps us determine the strike temperature for the mash:


Ts = strike water temperature in °F

Tt = target mash temperature in °F

Tg = dry grain temperature in °F

R = Water to grain ratio (in quarts to pound / ideally 1.00 – 1.125 qts per 1lb)

Formula: Ts = (0.2/R) ×(Tt – Tg) + Tt

For example: I have 8 lb grain bill and I want to mash in at 148F with only 2.25 gal of Hot Liquor (HL / HL is brewing term for hot water).  Crush your grains and take a temp reading, for example..say its 72F.  Now figure out your Water to Grain ratio by taking your total water volume and multiplying it by 4 (this converts to quarts) then, divide your answer by your grain bill.

R = 2.25 gal × 4 = 9 qts

R = 9 qts ÷ 8 lbs

R = 1.125

Now that I have my water to grain ratio, I can now continue on with the strike temperature formula!

Ts = (0.2/1.125) × (148 – 72) + 148

Ts = (0.1777) × (76) + 148

Ts = 13.51 + 148

Ts = 161.51ºF

Now I will need to heat my HL to 161.5F to bring my mash to 148F as planned!

Now that we got the strike temperature out of the way, I can start my mash!  After a pre-determined time at that rest temperature, I want to raise my mash to a new rest temperature of 158F.  Since I’m a huge fan of decoction mashing (decoction mashing is where you boil the thick portion of the mash in a separate kettle), I want to decoct my mash to get to the next temperature rest.  A way to do this is by either following the traditional methods of pulling a third of the thickest mash and transferring it into a different pot then boil it as long as needed and then later return the decocted portion until you reach your desired temperature rest and wait to add the remaining decocted mash until it has cooled to the desired temperature.  Or you can use the following equation without having to wait on your remaining grist to cool:


Dv = volume needed to pull from mash in gal to decoct

Tmt = target temperature of mash

Imt = initial temperature of mash (or current mash temp)

Gw = weight of grain

Wim = volume of water in the mash before infusion (or current water in mash volume)

Iv = volume of water to add to mash to achieve target mash temperature

Iwt = infusion boiling temperature (default 212F/100C) you can modify this to your sea level boiling temps

Formula: Dv = (Tmt – Imt) × (Gw × (0.3125 + (Wim ÷Gw))) ÷ (Iwt – Imt)

This can look very intimidating but be sure to remember your order of operations!  My current mash temperature is 148F, my grain weight is 8 lb’s, my current water volume in the mash is 2.25 gals, and my desired temperature is 158F.  So for example:

Dv = (158 – 148) × (8 ×(0.3125 + (2.25 ÷ 8))) ÷ (212 – 148)

Dv = 10 × (8 ×(0.3125 + 0.28125)) ÷ 64

Dv = 10 × (8 ×0.59375) ÷ 64

Dv = 10 × 4.75 ÷ 64

Dv = 47.5 ÷ 64

Dv = 0.74 gal

To raise my mash temp from 148F to 158F, I will need to pull 0.74 gal of grist to reach my desired temperature.  How long to boil the decoct is up to personal preference or if you’re trying to achieve melanoiden production.  So we then rest our mash at 158F at a pre-determined time and we need to mash out our grains.  How do we do it?  By decoction of course; so we use decoction to mash out our grains.  We then need to figure out how much sparge water we will need to get our pre-boil volume in the kettle.  To do that we use the following formula:


WGr = water to grain ratio

GAr = 0.13 grain absorption ratio

SWv = WGr × grain weight

GAv = GAr × grain weight

Sv = sparge volume

Bv = boil volume

Formula: Sv = (Bv ÷ 2) – (SWv – GAv)

For example:

Sv = (7 ÷ 2) – ((1.125 ×8) – (0.13 × 8))

Sv = 3.5 – (9 – 1.04)

Sv = 3.5 – 7.96

Sv = 4.46 gals of sparge water

For me to reach my target of pre-boil volume of 7 gallons I will need to prepare 4.46 gallons of HL to sparge my mash with.  So now I can heat my sparge liquor to 170F to sparge my mash!  This is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to beer math.  I figured I could give everyone Beer Math 101 for the time being before I present a Beer Math 112 course!  At the moment, Copperhead Light Ale is almost finished sparging and it’s time to get a pre-boil starting gravity so I can do my 60 minute hop addition calculations!  😉  Till next time, cheers!

– James (Head Brewmaster)

Wood & Lagers

Well back in the late 1800s, the Bohemian Pilsner (e.g. Urquell Pilsner) stirred a craze amongst brewmasters all over in order to create the palest and most thirst quenching lager known to man.  Among these light lagers that were created following the birth of the Pilsner was the Dortmunder Export (e.g. DAB Export), Munich Helles (e.g. Paulaner Premium Lager), Standard American Lager (e.g. Budwieser), Light American Lager (e.g. Coors Light), Premium American Lager (e.g. Coors Extra Gold), Classic American Pilsner (e.g. Our very own CAP), and German Pilsner (e.g. Warsteiner).  All of these light lagers do a really great job at quenching one’s thirst.

Brewing such beers are very challenging even to the most experience homebrewer and brewmaster.  Since these beers are so light in flavor and color and kind of flaw (from the yeast, hops, malt, etc..) becomes very evident in the final product.  Major brewery’s such as Anheuser-Busch or Coors have highly skilled brewmasters who are able to produce the same product batch after batch, year after year.  I find that absolutely amazing that no matter what ingredient variables they come across, in the end no matter what time of the day or year you pick up a Budweiser.  It will taste exactly like the Budweiser you had before.

As challenging as these beers are to brew, many homebrewers and brewmasters take the challenge in brewing pale lagers.  I plan on crafting the Standard American Lager which normally consists of 60% malt and 40% corn or rice, hangs around 8-15 IBU’s (bitterness), usually a pale 2-4 SRM (pale to golden straw colored), and weighs in at 4.2 – 5.1% ABV.  I decided to use Pilsner Malt and Rice at a 60/40 ratio and mashed (steeping grains in water to convert to sugar) at a very low temperature for 120 minutes.  This ensured I had full conversion of the starches from the rice and Pilsner malt itself. One type of hop called Cascade is being used for bitterness and flavor, just a minute amount is being added for aroma as it’s frowned upon to have hoppy aroma from this beer.  I’m still torn between using two different types of Lager yeast for this beer, upon completion I’ll be sure to update the yeast that was used in this brew.

As always, I’m a huge believer of First Wort Hopping (FWH), this is a process of adding hops to the kettle as I’m sparging (draining the wort from the grains) the wort (sugary goodness that yeast likes) before boiling.  I also plan on doing something very interesting to this beer, normally Budweiser is aged at cold temperatures on Beech Wood which makes it very unique from that process.  My plan is to age this American Lager on Apple Wood instead, to separate this beer apart from other American Lagers.  There’s not much data on aging beers on many woods other than French and American Oak and Beech, which makes it hard to determine how it will affect the lager.  For now the applewood chips are soaking in Ciroc vodka (we only use the best for our to sanitize the chips prior to adding to the lager in the secondary to age.  While waiting for this lager to finish up in the primary, come on down to the brewhouse and enjoy our beers we have on tap! 

-James (Head Brewmaster)

Crossing Into The Dark Side

36 hours on stir plate, WLP 001 first gen is at high krausen!

Let’s face it, there comes a time in every homebrewer’s or brewmaster’s life when they become curious about the wild side of fermentation.  Sure Saccharomyces cerevisiae & Saccharomyces pastorianus  (brewer’s yeast) is a great companion and all, but at times the wild critter’s are needed to achieve a certain beer style.  Of course there are several issues with crossing into the wild side of fermentation.  For instance, there’s not very much scientific/experience data out there with all of the wild critters that can help guide the average-Jo unless they have a Graduates in Fermentation Science or Microbiology.  These wild critters can be very unpredictable, general knowledge states that for beer to taste better to ferment on the cool side of the spectrum.  This prevents our S. Cerevisiae and S. Pastorianus comrades to put out nasty off flavors.  There are numerous of wild critters out there that are desired for certain beer styles, some of these styles include Berliner Weisse, Lambics, Flander’s Red Ale , Flander’s Oud Bruin, Fruit Lambic, Gueuze, Kriek, and several others.

5 lb’s, 60/40 Pils/Wheat ratio in the mash!

So what are these wild critters that I speak of?  Well, I won’t go into specific strains for there are far too many to list but I will give a general idea of what they are.  These include Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, Lactobacillus, Enterobacteriaceae, and Acetobactor.  I won’t go into the nitty gritty of the characteristics on the wild critter’s except for one as this is the critter that we’re focusing out attention on today in the brewhouse.  We’re seeking to brew a Berliner Weisse and this beer is very unique as it focuses on a symbiotic relationship between S. Cerevisiae and Lactobacillus delbrueckii or other strains of Lactobacillus.  But where does one get a hold of this known beer spoiling organism?  Well, there’s numerous of places in your house where you can obtain this critter.  Do you have cabbage or cucumbers in your fridge?  Well, chances are that you have Lactobacillus.  Got some Pilsner/2-row/6-row malt laying around?  Odds are you got Lactobacillus there too.  Got some yogurt with live culturs in it?  You definitely got your Lactobacillus in there (I’ve never tried this before, although it’s frowned upon through this route…).  In short, you have Lactobacillus in your house or brewery already.  Generally most homebrewer’s and brewmasters do everything in their power to avoid this critter.  Or if you’re lazy you can just buy a pure Lactobacillus culture from White Labs or Wyeast.Lactobacillus is actually a very temperamental organism, it doesn’t like oxygen, cold temperatures, and hops (for the most part).  There are some hop resilient strains out there, but White Labs and Wyeast strains do not like highly hopped beers.  We’re taking out chances by obtaining our Lacto bug from Brewferm Pilsner malt.  This particular batch is very dusty so we’re very curious on how this will turn out.  Our yeast strain of choice to ferment this out is WLP 001 Cali Ale yeast from White Labs.  It’s on a stir plate at high-krausen as we’re brewing today.  We’re also trying out a lot of different brewing techniques today as the brew day progresses.  For example, we’re mash hopping this beer with low alpha-acid hops (Hersbrucker), we’re single decocting this brew and proceeding with a no boil as well.  This is our smallest grain bill we’ve ever brewed with as well!  For this 5 gallon batch we’re only using 5 lb’s or grain with a 60/40 ratio of Pilsner/Wheat malt for this Berliner Weisse.

Below is the BJCP’s specs on this amazing beer:

17A. Berliner Weisse

Aroma: A sharply sour, somewhat acidic character is dominant. Can have up to a moderately fruity character. The fruitiness may increase with age and a flowery character may develop. A mild Brettanomyces aroma may be present. No hop aroma, diacetyl, or DMS.

Appearance: Very pale straw in color. Clarity ranges from clear to somewhat hazy. Large, dense, white head with poor retention due to high acidity and low protein and hop content. Always effervescent.

Flavor: Clean lactic sourness dominates and can be quite strong, although not so acidic as a lambic. Some complementary bready or grainy wheat flavor is generally noticeable. Hop bitterness is very low. A mild Brettanomyces character may be detected, as may a restrained fruitiness (both are optional). No hop flavor. No diacetyl or DMS.

Mouthfeel: Light body. Very dry finish. Very high carbonation. No sensation of alcohol.

Overall Impression: A very pale, sour, refreshing, low-alcohol wheat ale.

Comments: In Germany, it is classified as a Schankbier denoting a small beer of starting gravity in the range 7-8°P. Often served with the addition of a shot of sugar syrups (‘mit schuss’) flavored with raspberry (‘himbeer’) or woodruff (‘waldmeister’) or even mixed with Pils to counter the substantial sourness. Has been described by some as the most purely refreshing beer in the world.

History: A regional specialty of Berlin; referred to by Napoleon’s troops in 1809 as “the Champagne of the North” due to its lively and elegant character. Only two traditional breweries still produce the product.

Ingredients: Wheat malt content is typically 50% of the grist (as with all German wheat beers) with the remainder being Pilsner malt. A symbiotic fermentation with top-fermenting yeast and Lactobacillus delbruckii provides the sharp sourness, which may be enhanced by blending of beers of different ages during fermentation and by extended cool aging. Hop bitterness is extremely low. A single decoction mash with mash hopping is traditional.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.028 – 1.032
IBUs: 3 – 8 FG: 1.003 – 1.006
SRM: 2 – 3 ABV: 2.8 – 3.8%

Commercial Examples: Schultheiss Berliner Weisse, Berliner Kindl Weisse, Nodding Head Berliner Weisse, Weihenstephan 1809 (unusual in its 5% ABV), Bahnhof Berliner Style Weisse, Southampton Berliner Weisse, Bethlehem Berliner Weisse, Three Floyds Deesko

Kettle full of grain dust and hand full of grains while sparging, wort temp 124F.

Our plans for this brew:

60/40 ratio for Pilsner and Wheat malt mashed at a low temperature to ensure an extremely fermentable beer.  Since we stove top mash in our kettle, we crushed the grain over the kettle to spread malt dust all over it (you’ll see why we did this in a minute).  We mashed in with 1 1/2 gallons of hot liquor (water) to the 5 lb’s of grain the mash tun was only a quarter of the way full (first time ever!).  After 20 minutes from mashing in we added 1 oz of Hersbrucker hops and according to our calculations that will bring us to 3 IBU’s of bitterness..craziness!  Our total time for mashing our grains was 90 minutes to ensure full conversion of the starches into precious sugars.  We then transferred the mash into our lautering tun and began fly sparging into the unwashed kettle.  It still has dust from the middle on up from when we crushed the grains and had some left over grains from the transfer.  This will give the Lactobacillus a head start on the brew because by the time the wort hits the kettle it’s at a temperature of 120F.  Which is the prime temperature for Lactobacillus to to it’s job of inoculating the wort, now it all makes sense! (as a side note, we sanitized anything that came into contact with this brew to prevent other nasty’s in getting into this brew) We’re also not boiling this brew to prevent DMS (a corn-like off flavor) since this is supposed to be a clean-crisp-refreshing beer.  To ensure Lacto does get inoculated in this brew we’re also tossing in a handful of grains as we sparge into the kettle.  Our starting OG for this brew is 1.028 @ 5.5 gallons, SRM (color) 2, and the IBU’s (bitterness) is around 3 (calculated), and 84% brewhouse efficiency!

B-Dub’s in the primary!

We plan on a 2 month fermentation regiment and bottling this brew, this beer is rarely found on tap and we plan to continue with the tradition of this very elusive brew.  This beer will be served with raspberry syrup when it’s ready and we look forward to raising a pint with you!

Cheers!- James (Head Brewmaster)

BiH, A Well Kept Secret

Recently I went to ČapljinaBosnia i Herzegovina (BiH) for several weeks with several friends.  It was an absolute blast, the beer is good, the food is great, and the people were friendly.  Coming from the States, UK, or Europe, money goes a long way over there for the time being at the bars and clubs.  The nightscene is very lively with many young adults socializing and have a great time.  At this one bar we stopped at, they had a Catwalk for models to entertain the patrons.  That very same night, next to that bar was another bar that held dancing cage girls.  The locals are extremely friendly and humble, they are extremely proud and I can’t emphasize on their hospitality as well.

There is another thing about BiH that everyone should be aware of, their wine is some of the best I’ve had in quite some time!  There’s vineyards stretching for miles and miles between Čapljina and Mostar.  We met some good people while we were in BiH and had some good times.  We were sad when it was time to come home, but it’s definitely a country that everyone should visit at some point in their life!

What a Busy Month April Has Been!!

Wow..this month is waay to busy!  Between doing our taxes, April fools, April 20th (for those who do celebrate), Tasting Party’s, Brewing several batches, School, and work.  April is almost over with thankfully, but it definitely won’t be forgotten.  Our brewery’s 4th Tasting Party was quite the success!  Thanks to those who all came, we’re extremely happy when our fans are impressed with the beer.  Unfortunately, we’re bad at remembering to take pictures..but we managed to snag a few pictures before everyone got too trashed!  We were able to compare a still mead to a effervescent mead that was aged well over 8 months from our good friend Oliver, and boy was it sure good!


The head brewmaster’s wife made a batch of White Sangria and Red Sangria as well for the events!  Rumor has it the brewmaster finished off the Sangria…lol.

We couldn’t thank everyone enough for the support!



We were happy that everyone had a great time and got home safely! =D

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