Welcome to Beer Blog Vol 3! This time around we have something ‘Berry’ special! Following the recent strawberry needle scare, the brewers at All Hands have decided to do their part to help the farmers that are doing it tough as a result of the needless (“Needleless”… sorry, last one) scandal, and have brewed a delicious Strawberry Berliner Weisser, that consisted of 400KG of Strawberries!
Not only did we document most of the brewing process for this beer (Watch the video above for your viewing pleasure), but we sat down with Head Brewer, Sam Clayman, and asked him to run us through the what, when and hows of the beer.
This is what he had to say:
This beer we are doing is called A Friend in Hand. We are doing a kind of help-the-farmers type beer after the strawberry industry has been having some issues lately. So we decided to buy a huge amount of strawberries! We were already going to do a sour beer, and we were going to use blueberries, but then Brayden had the idea of putting strawberries in to help everybody out. So we bought 400 kilos of strawberries (which we just spent all day cutting the tops of… and we are not done yet). Its been a bit of a different process this time: We’re doing a kettle sour beer, which when you get all of your wort into the kettle halfway through the process you let it cool at that stage, pitch a whole bunch of lactic acid bacteria to that sugary wort, leave it for a couple of days to let that bacteria chew threw a little bit of the sugar and put out a whole bunch of acid and get it tart and sour. Once the pH is down to the low 3s we can come in, flick on the burner, kill all that bacteria, run it through and finish the fermentation as per normal.
What are the strawberries bringing to this beer?
Obviously, you get colour and you get the fragrance of the strawberries! The berries are going into the cold beer at the end of fermentation, so you are not going to lose all those aromatics; it should keep all that fresh strawberry smell. The strawberries that we bought were incredibly ripe, right on the edge of ripeness, perfect for what we are doing, very very fragrant, just sitting amongst it all day has been fun smelling them.
You should get a really nice deep, pinkish red through the beer and all that strawberry flavour
This beer has a slightly longer fermentation period, is that right?
Yea, we have done the primary fermentation with the normal yeast, just to get the alcohol content. A Berliner Weisse only starts around that 3.5% anyway, and so that is where we are aiming for: That easy drinking beer. We are going to carbonate it quite high so it’s a very effervescent, bright beer, and we add the softness of the strawberries, with that sweet and tartness to it, it should be a really delicious beer.