Sour Apple Berliner Weisse


This brew took form when JMan threw down a challenge. Who can create the ultimate apple beer?!?! I just so happened to have acquired about 40 lbs of Granny Smith apples. I then decided that the sour Berliner Weisse style might go good with all of these apples. And being that Jayne Evil is always looking for more pucker power in her lambic beers, this should be a good combination. Also at the same time, a shipment of fresh from the vine sour green grapes arrived at my door! Excellent! I’m not sure what to call this – a beer, a cider, a wine? We’ll just put it in our XBrew category. This recipe is for about 6 gallons. You can ferment in a standard brew bucket, and then bottle right away being this is such a low gravity beer. Let the brewing begin! I recommend reading the Berliner Weisse recipe to familiarize yourself with the style before brewing.

Recipe: Sour Apple Berliner Weiss
Style: Berliner Weiss derivative – XBrew
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.024 SG
Estimated Color: 2.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: less than 8 IBU

This is a No-Boil recipe.

Amount Item
2.00 gal Freshly pressed Granny Smith apple cider (2.0 SRM) Adjunct 36.36 %
0.50 gal Freshly presses sour grape juice (2.0 SRM) Adjunct 9.09 %
1.50 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 27.27 %
1.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 18.18 %
0.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 9.09 %
0.50 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (0 min) (Mash Hop) Hops –
1 Pkgs German Ale (Wyeast Labs #1007) Yeast-Ale – 450ml starter
1 Pkgs Lactobacillus (Wyeast Labs #5335) starter was about 1/2 gallon

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, 149 F – Brew in a bag method (BIAB)

1- Prepare yeast / bacteria starters in advance.
2- Juice enough apples for 2 – 2.5 Gal – or acquire pressed cider that contains no preservatives.
(optional) Juice enough grapes for 0.5 Gal – or acquire pressed grape juice that contains no preservatives.
3- Crush grains and mash using your preferred method (don’t forget to add the hops into the mash ). I used the brew in a bag (BIAB) method for this brew because of the small quantity of grain and liquor would total only about 3 gal of wort.

4- Sparge and add wort to brewpot. Add cider and optional grape juice to top up to about 5.5 gal. Place wort chiller into pot and bring wort up to boiling temp and turn off the heat. The idea here is to sanitize the wort and chiller.
5- Cool to below 80 F transfer to fermentation vessel (aerate somehow ) I normally just siphon from the brewpot into the fermentor with a sprayer tip for a small gravity beer like this.
6- Here is where you can make a choice about how sour you want your beer. For super-in-your-face-sour, add the Lacto starter, and let ferment for a day or two before adding in the ale yeast. For less sour add the yeast and bacteria at the same time.
7- Let ferment until done and bottle! Rack to a secondary only if you feel the need to batch age in a carboy. I would aim for higher carbonation levels that you feel are safe for your bottles. Let age for a few months just to let everything come together and see what happens.

This brew will be cloudy, yeasty, wheaty, sour, and finish with a great apple aftertaste.

You can see Jman’s apple brew here.

This entry was posted in Total Anarchy, Total Brewing Anarchy, WTF - What The Funk?. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Sour Apple Berliner Weisse

  1. MadMatt says:

    Update: This beer took first place in the NHC Midwest Regional! I’ll post how it does in the final rounds

  2. Pingback: Hybrid Sour Mash Berliner Weiss – a predictable method! | Anarchy Lane

  3. Steve Steve says:


    How long did you ferment this beer in primary? Have you been able to achieve the same results on a 2nd brew of this recipe? Lacto can be unpredictable, so curious on this!


  4. MadMatt says:

    I never did re brew the sour apple version again. I tried many attempts at lactose ferment after and then just got tired of the unpredictable nature. So I went on to do sour mashing for berliner. I think I had in primary for a month or longer. I think the sour apples and sour grapes helped this version become nice and sour. The no boil really brought out some nice wheat bread flavors I have not gotten with sour mashing.

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