100 Bottles of Beer – Here Gose Something Different

Gose Salt

A Homebrewer’s Personal Journey through His Craft – Part 38

In my last posting, I mentioned a style of beer which we had not yet discussed – Gose.

What is Gose?

Gose Bottle

Traditional Gose beer bottle produced in Leipzig, Germany. Wikipedia

Gose is a style of ale that originated in the 13th century in Goslar, Germany, for which it is named. The style had all but disappeared by WWII but was revived in the mid-1980s. Gose has again found popularity. There are now several specialized gose breweries in Germany. In addition, the style continues to be brewed outside Germany, most notably in US Craft Breweries where interest in historic styles is strong.

Gose belongs to the style of sour wheat beers brewed across in Northern Germany most typified by Berliner Weisse and also bears some similarity to Belgian Witbier. It is typically brewed with at least 50% malted wheat.

Gose salt

Flavors usually associated with gose are herbal and lemon sourness. But, most importantly, a moderate to strong saltiness. Originally, this was due to the local water source. I have even read of it being brewed with seawater. Modern versions of this historic ale are simply brewed with added salt. This is different from Burton Water Salts or gypsum which are typically used to treat soft water for brewing. We are talking about basic non-iodized table salt.

Gose typically does not have any prominent hop bitterness, flavor, or aroma. The beers usually have an alcohol content of 4 to 5% ABV.

How Does That Fit the Reinheitsgebot?

Because of the use of coriander and salt, gose does not comply with the Reinheitsgebot. However, it is allowed an exemption on the grounds of being a regional specialty.

Radical Brewing

My first attempt at brewing a gose was patterned off a recipe in Randy Mosher’s Radical Brewing. I increased the Pils and the salt and added the pale malt because I just cannot leave well enough alone.

And So It Gose…

  • 2 lb Pilsner malt
  • 12 oz 2-row pale malt
  • 1 lb acidulated or sour malt
  • 3.5 lb American white wheat malt
  • .5 lb flaked oats
  • .5 lb flaked barley
  • 1 lb rice hulls
  • 1.2 oz Santiam whole cone hops (FWH)
  • .5 oz Santiam (45 min)
  • 1 oz crushed coriander (end of boil)
  • ½ tsp sea salt (end of boil)
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet (15 min)
  • UCCS 5638 Bavarian Wheat yeast
  • Priming: ½ cup corn sugar and ¼ cup DME

Mash It Up

This is a step infusion mash. Add all crushed malts, flaked grains, and first wort hop (FWH) to 18 qt. 106°F water. Increase to 113°F and hold for 15 minutes. Raise to 153°F and hold for 15 minutes. Increase to 170°F mash-out, lauter and sparge with 170°F water, collect 5 gallons of wort.

Bring to boil and add .5 oz Santiam. Boil for 30 minutes and add whirlfloc tablet. Boil for 15 minutes and add coriander and salt. Cool and add to the fermenter with yeast already pitched. Total boil was 45 minutes.

Fermentation activity was already beginning that evening and was bubbling away very nicely the next morning. That is when I realized I had forgotten to take a gravity reading. Activity had slowed significantly by evening.

Calculate the Gravity

According to the Tasty Brew Calculator, OG should have been around 1.047 and the brew should finish about 1.012 for 4.5% ABV. However, the calculator did not account for the salt, which should have increased the gravity. Note: As of this writing, TastyBrew.com no longer exists or has been renamed so I could not find it.

I should have racked this to a secondary after three days but let it go for seven days. Intermediate gravity was 1.020. Bottled after another seven days.

How Was This Salty Brew?

Very light flavor, no obvious hop and just a hint of coriander. No taste of the salt and no wheat/yeast esters. FG was 1.020, which made me wonder if my OG was higher than the calculator determined. I am going to guess this was 4% ABV.

After only a week of bottle conditioning, the brew already had a decent carbonation level but needed more to be true to style. Light in flavor and body and was slightly cloudy, just right for wit or weisse. Flavor was slightly fruity with little or no hop and no apparent saltiness. it was actually quite good and continued to get better with longer conditioning.

Lets Try it Again…Only Different

On my second gose, I wanted to change it up a bit…Who me? What a surprise!

Black Truffle
Sliced Black Truffle

I had recently tasted some Black Truffle Sea Salt and immediately thought, “This would go good in a beer! Black Truffle Gose!” Obviously, gose is normally a white beer. Since I am using Black Truffle salt, I added some Midnight Wheat to darken it up to match the name without adding a dark roast flavor. Also using what is probably a more appropriate yeast strain.

Black Truffle Gose

  • 6 lb Pilsner malt
  • 4 lb American white wheat malt
  • .5 lb acidulated or sour malt
  • .5 lb 80L crystal malt
  • 6 oz Midnight Wheat malt
  • .5 lb flaked oats
  • .5 lb flaked barley
  • .5 lb flaked corn
  • 1 lb rice hulls
  • 1.5 oz Chinook hop pellets (FWH)
  • .6 oz Santiam whole cone hops(45 min)
  • .8 oz whole cone hop blend (.4 Cascade, .3 Nugget, .1 Perle)(15 min)
  • .5 oz Exp. 04190 hop pellets (5 min)
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet (15 min)
  • 1 tsp black truffle sea salt (end of boil)
  • 1 vial White Labs WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend yeast
  • Priming: ½ cup corn sugar and ½ cup DME

Another Step Infusion

Add all flaked grains, crushed malts and first wort hop (FWH) to 16 qt. 106°F water. Increase to 113°F and hold for 15 minutes. Raise to 153°F and hold for 15 minutes. Increase to 170° mash-out, lauter and sparge with 170° water, collect 6 gallons of wort.

Bring to boil. Boil 15 minutes and add .6 oz Santiam. Continue boiling for 30 minutes, add .8 oz hop blend (this was a blend of the total meager crop of these homegrown varieties that year) and whirlfloc tablet. Boil for 10 minutes and add Experimental 04190 hops. Remove from heat and add salt. Cool and pour into the fermenter with yeast already pitched. I could smell the black truffle while it was cooling. I remembered to take a gravity reading on this one: OG 1.071.

A Slow Start

There was no fermentation activity the following morning and very minimal activity beginning in the evening.

Activity built very slowly and never did become as strong as usual. However, it did continue for 18 days until I decided to rack it to a secondary. Even then it was more active than when I would normally rack a brew.

The color was brown and still a bit muddy. The flavor was not salty but did have a thicker, briny mouthfeel. There was a subtle black truffle aroma and flavor. I considered adding some dry hop but decided against it. Intermediate gravity was 1.016 for about 7.5% ABV.

That’s a Good Thing

After eight days in the secondary, the brew had cleared very well. It was ready to bottle.

The brew was a nice brown color. No obvious saltiness but did have a unique black truffle flavor. Not much hop, kind of replaced by the truffle, and that’s a good thing. A bit of a briny, smooth mouthfeel with moderate body.

FG 1.016 so, no change, even though there was some continued activity. Decided to call it 7.5% ABV. A gose is not really supposed to be a big beer.

I Really Should Record Better Notes

Unfortunately, I did not leave many tasting notes for this one. I did note it was really excellent, had improved with age, and had some chill haze. The truffle flavor came through even more, almost completely replacing the hops… and that is a good thing!

As promised, we have discussed a previously unmentioned style of beer. I hope you enjoyed it, I know I did.

Sea Salt
Sea Salt

Until next time…Keep it Salty… and Keep On Brewin’…

About

I am the HomeBrew Guru… My name is Bob Archibald. Some of you may remember me as the grumpy old man behind the bar at Bristol Brewing (bristolbrewing.com) in Colorado Springs where I had been pouring beer for over 12 years. They finally decided I was getting too old or didn’t have enough tattoos or something and replaced me with younger hipper bartenders. Oh well, it was time I moved on anyway. At least they kept my home brew recipe for the annual Christmas Ale! I have been home brewing since late 1994 and have brewed over 150 beers to date. Although I am not a highly technical brewer (its more of a ZEN thing) and still brew on a stovetop, I have created many different styles of beer and have gotten rave reviews for some of my creations. I have also dabbled with mead and wine to equal degrees of success. My latest endeavor is to try my hand at distilled spirits. I have found the basic stovetop method of brewing to be economical and in no way limiting in the quality and variety of beer which can be produced by the home brewer. I also still bottle condition my brews because I like the flavor of a good bottle conditioned beer. It is also more economical than the expense of kegging and the necessary draft system, just a little more time-consuming. A LITTLE MORE ABOUT MY BACKGROUND I am originally from Montana. I went to high school in the little town of Plains and later to an electronics school in Missoula, which eventually lead to a career in the telecom industry for about 23 years. First with Mountain Bell where I did everything from Operator Services to Central Office Installation to Outside Plant. From there I went to Northern Telecom, better known as Nortel, where I did Central Office Installation, Engineering, Grounding, Fiber Optics, and finally Sales Engineer. The telecom industry had a bit of a melt-down after the events of 9/11 and I found myself looking for work. I tried a couple of customer service jobs and ran my own retail business for 5 years. During that time I picked up the part-time gig with Bristol Brewing and I guess it sort of stuck, for a while anyway. 100 BOTTLES OF BEER I began writing my Home Brew Blog, 100 Bottles of Beer, about 9 years ago. It was hosted on Associated Content and then moved to Yahoo Voices. Both of those venues have shut down and I have now moved to WordPress. I went about two years without writing a new one but, I have now revived it here. The blog chronicles my fermentation adventures from how I got started in home brewing, my very first brew through my 100th brew and beyond. All recipes and instructions are included as well as related brewing history, brewing basics and advanced methods, personal experiences, successes, and failures. The most important thing to remember is… KEEP ON BREWIN’

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