Thursday, May 18, 2017

GoodBelly Trials: What I've learned

GoodBelly, a name synonymous with fast souring.  If you haven't heard about this probiotic you need to check out "Milk the Funk" on Facebook.  Or read this. ;)  Now this isn't going to be a technical breakdown of pH reading or a boring textbook style processes(s).   This is going to be notes on the way I prepare a basic Berliner Weisse or Gose style beer that's simple to read and understand.

Starting off you have a couple ways to create a fast soured beer.  On the ones I've brewed, I've found that a blend between the 2 popular techniques works best for me.  A quick boil for about 15 mins then onto a hot heating pad.  Which is set at about 100°.  Boring right?  Well, I found the magic happens before brew day.  It's all about a large Goodbelly starter.  

I try to use my Sous Vide in my brewing as much as possible, which works perfectly as a prolonged starter warm/hot starter.  I pull about 1200ML of GoodBelly (I've found Mango works best) into a 2L flask.  This goes into a 3 gallon brew pot filled with water and the Anova Sous Vide machine set at 106°.  Then I let it run...and run and run.  For about 3 to 5 days.  The Goodbelly at this point as gone from a murky drink to a Lactobacillus P filled slurry.  The bacteria is hot and happy.  This is when it works best.  Not before.  I've found this is critical,  don't miss this step.  If you don't have an Anvova, sous vide use a heating pad, light bulb or something else to generate heat around 100° to 110°.  Or now is the perfect time to purchase one.  

Now the recipe I use for all my quick souring beers.  this includes Gose and Berliner Weisse  (process coming next)

Island of the Sun (Gose/Mango) #4
Belgian Specialty Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 30 Jul 2016
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.86 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 72.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
6 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 48.0 %
2 lbs 8.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 20.0 %
0.7 oz Salt (Boil 10.0 mins) Flavor 3 -
1.0 pkg GoodBelly - Lacto (Goodbelly #GB-Lacto) Yeast 4 -
1.0 pkg Lalvin 71B-1122 (Lallemand - Lalvin #71B-1122) [23.66 ml] Yeast 5 -
4 lbs Fruit - Mango (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 6 32.0 %
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.040 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.040 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.007 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.004 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.4 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.7 %
Bitterness: 0.0 IBUs Calories: 128.5 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 3.2 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs 8.0 oz
Sparge Water: 5.22 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 10.63 qt of water at 155.6 F 145.0 F 60 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 5.22 gal water at 168.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.59 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.59 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 7 days at 106° then add 71B
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F

Created with BeerSmith

Now what the hell do you do with this information?  Well go out and buy the ingredients listed.  Adjust the ABV accordingly but don't go much over 5.2%, I've found that the mid 4's work best.  Create your warm GoodBelly starter and wait for the weekend.  

Now is this a Gose or a Berliner Weisse?  Well it's neither, it's a fake way of creating both of them.  One with salt and one without keeping the same recipe.  Now is this correct to all the purist out there?  Not a chance, but I guarantee, they would not be able to tell the difference between mine and a correctly produced one.  

Now back to the recipe. I like to use a pinch of Pink Salt added for the Gose at the end of the boil.  If the blend of beer and salt isn't your thing, delete that addition.  If you have any fruit or other flavor additions, it is best to add at the end of the boil.  Add when the burner is turned off and let it rest as its cooling to around 115°.  Then move the wort to your fermentation vessel and add more fruit.  About 1/2 should be added in the kettle and the other 1/2 into the wort with the Goodbelly slurry.  In total I like about 2 pounds a gallon.  But adjust that as you need.  I've found this beer above is perfect at 4 pounds in total of a frozen mango smoothie pouch. 

Other combos I've tried:
Lime zest 
Plain Jane 
Orange zest

Now your fast souring beer is in the fermentation vessel, I place mine on a heated yoga mat.  This keeps the beer around 109° if I make sure the wort is over 90° to start with.  I add the goodbelly slurry, do not decant.  Now wait for 4 to 7 days.  Checking pH by a meter or a quick taste.  I then add 2 packs of 71B white wine yeast to the beer.  This will ferment very quickly and does not have to be temp controlled.  Just inside the house with the heating pad off.  Normally this ferments for 3 to 5 days and I am at 1.004 or lower.  I rack and add to a keg.  Placing it into the fridge at 41° or colder.  After about a day or so the dead Goodbelly bugs should be completely dropped at the bottom of the keg.  Rack again into a new keg and serve (once carbed) 

Enjoy the fruits of your labor without any of the headache of a sour beer.  Remember its still sour beer, don't mix equipment with your clean beer!



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  2. Hey Chris, just curious, is the recipe supposed to read 0.75 OUNCES of sea salt, not grams? Personally I've used 25 g several times and find that amount works well... so, either that's a typo, or you really don't like salt! :)

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