Gose Recipe

Try brewing a classic German sour known as a Gose, and discover the tart, sour flavor derived from a process known as sour mashing.

| May 2019

Getty Images/EddieHernandezPhotography

Goses are essentially wild ales — they get their most important quality from Lactobacillus — so the decision about how to sour the mash is the first and most important consideration. To make Bahnhof’s gose, Richter begins by cultivating lactic acid in his cellar from the naturally occurring bacteria found on the wheat. (According to Reinheitsgebot, brewers may not add chemical lactic acid. They must create it naturally.) He then blends an acidified wort with a standard wort to achieve a consistent pH level. There are other methods, and we’ll address those in Next Steps.

Oddly enough, Richter ferments his gose with a weizen yeast, but ferments in a cylindro-conical tank to restrain ester and phenol production. He also skips the ferulic acid rest, further limiting the phenolic potential. Richter advises, “If you like to have a noticeable wheat taste, you should use wheat yeast you would normally use for a wheat beer. Otherwise, you can use any neutral top-fermenting yeast; for example, a yeast for a kölsch.”

Seasoning the gose is, far more than spicing a wit, a matter of brewer preference. Richter says with salt, “you’ll have to try for yourself through trial and error” what amount works best. In Brewing with Wheat, Stan Hieronymus quotes Richter as saying he adds 500 grams of table salt to a 15-hectoliter batch — or about 1.25 teaspoons per gallon. Trust Richter on this one, though; salt is such an assertive ingredient that overdoing it could easily ruin a batch of beer.

Malt Bill

  • 4.25 pounds German pilsner malt (50%)
  • 4.25 pounds wheat malt (50%)

Souring Technique

See Fermentation and Conditioning below. For an alternate method, see Next Steps.

Step Mash

  • 144 to 147°F (64–67°C) for 15 minutes
  • 162°F (72°C) for 30 minutes

60-Minute Boil

  • 0.5 ounce German Northern Brewer, 60 minutes (8.0% AA, contribution of 14 IBU)
  • 0.5 ounce cracked coriander seed, 15 minutes
  • 1–1.5 teaspoons table salt at knockout

Fermentation and Conditioning

Ferment at 68°F (20°C) with a 1:1 ratio of Lactobacillus to regular ale yeast. Wyeast 5335/White Labs WLP677 (lacto) with 3056/WLP300 (wheat) or 2565/WLP029 (kölsch).



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