I had my first Gose beer the other day, and I knew from the first sip that I'd have to brew some.
Gose is an old style of German Wheat Beer that is making a bit of a comeback. Well, not much of a comeback actually, but it's back from the dead at least. The concept is similar to Berliner Weiss: a sour wheat beer that is fairly low in gravity and very refreshing. Gose also features the addition of salt to the brew and often some coriander as well, which increases the refreshingness to lassi-like proportions.
The bottle I got was a dusty old 333ml that had already been marked down twice, it may have actually been selling for below cost (I think I bought it for something like $2.34). I got it along with some bigger cellaring beers, but thought I'd give this a try right away. I was very impressed. The hops are barely present and the coriander is subtle, but the sourness and salt are not. The beer was quite carbonated and fairly cloudy and pale.
The wheat provided a nice fullness to the beer, and the lactic bacteria did it's tangy, yogurt-like thing without getting too funky. The finish, for all that flavor, was pleasantly dry. All in all, one of the best session beers I've had, and probably the best summer beer I've ever tasted. I'll definitely be making some this summer, probably as soon as Wyeast releases their new Berliner Weiss strain in July. Though Gose is apparently usually boiled, I might blend the two styles a bit, use the Berliner Weiss strain (which will include lactic bacteria as well as Brett), and go for a no-boil 10 gallon batch. Check it:
For a 5 gallon batch:
- 3.5 lbs Weyermann Wheat malt
- 3.5 lbs German Pilsner
Mash at 155 degrees for an hour along with .5 oz coriander and 1 oz Hallertau in the mash.
Mash out and sparge at 170
Cool and pitch yeast
Add salt to taste at bottling
Check out Stan Hieronymus' new book "Brewing with Wheat" for a good section on Gose.