Road to Recovery

Broken Glass Carboy

A friend of mine is prevented from climbing ladders alone. The basis being accidents happen and so it's not safe to work without aide. I've had such unfortune on a smaller scale. My prized glass carboy has suffered an avoidable fall. The crash happened while balancing a racking racking cane, sanitizer and the slick carboy. Intended to drop lightly the carboy slipped from my grip. The shattered remains were a disappointment. I had spared the glass for wild yeast & Brettanomyces fermentation. Plastic carboys seemed to hold off flavors not intended for regular beers. Luckily I was preparing a historic German beer a Berliner Weisse. The beer is a light and refreshing wheat beer with Lactobacillus. Research has shown the beer also contained traces of Brettanomyces. I racked to the plastic carboy and recovered with a Blackberry Schwarzbier. I had brewed the beer on my birthday so it seemed life was coming full circle. I'll bottle up some beer for my friend and his ladder. :)

Plastic Carboy Wild Yeast

Berliner Weisse —Sour German Wheat

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.

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.

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

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

Schwarzbier —Black Beer

Aroma: Low to moderate malt, with low aromatic sweetness and/or hints of roast malt often apparent. The malt can be clean and neutral or rich and Munich-like, and may have a hint of caramel. The roast can be coffee-like but should never be burnt.

Appearance: Medium to very dark brown in color, often with deep ruby to garnet highlights, yet almost never truly black. Very clear. Large, persistent, tan-colored head.

Flavor: Light to moderate malt flavor, which can have a clean, neutral character to a rich, sweet, Munich-like intensity. Light to moderate roasted malt flavors can give a bitter-chocolate palate that lasts into the finish, but which are never burnt. Medium-low to medium bitterness, which can last into the finish. Light to moderate noble hop flavor. Clean lager character with no fruity esters or diacetyl. Aftertaste tends to dry out slowly and linger, featuring hop bitterness with a complementary but subtle roastiness in the background. Some residual sweetness is acceptable but not required.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Moderate to moderately high carbonation. Smooth. No harshness or astringency, despite the use of dark, roasted malts.

Overall Impression: A dark German lager that balances roasted yet smooth malt flavors with moderate hop bitterness.

Works Cited:

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