February 22, 2015

Worm Protein Imperial Gose with Tequila

I'm not a particularly big fan of the gose style. They either seem to be a sort of generic wheat beer or a salty berliner weisse. Neither particularly catches my fancy. I am brewing this beer for a friend as an opportunity to play around with some different techniques. She's a big fan of salt, sour beer and tequila so I am trying my hand at marrying these flavors together. Gose is the natural vessel because salt is a requisite ingredient. It's easy to sour a wheat beer and tequila barrels can work with sour beer so everything works together in this style.

You might be groaning at the idea of another one of these margarita-styled beers floating around. This isn't quite a margarita beer. There's no lime or other citrus fruit going into the beer so that's going to be a significant difference between this beer and a margarita. I'm definitely not trying to make something that emulates The Bruery's Roble Blanco, which is heavy on the lime. The concept for this beer is to balance salt, tequila and oak flavors against a tart but not full-on sour beer. I am using Himalayan pink salt for its floral flavors and sour worting half of the wort to develop some tartness. The purpose of souring the beer is to give the beer a drier, crisper finish that will enhance the floral and citrus notes from the pink salt and coriander with the tequila intermingled. Definitely not a margarita.

Initially I had in mind a beer with a significantly lower gravity than what this turned into but I accidentally threw in too much grain and turned a 5% beer into a 9% beer (not accounting for the souring reducing the ABV). Oops. Not a lot I can do about that after the fact.

FWIW...the name comes from a mezcal-fueled event at a Denver bar in which there may have been a lot of discussion about the health benefits of consuming the worm in a bottle of mezcal. It is, after all, a source of protein.

Worm Protein Sour Worted Imperial Gose with Tequila

Batch size: 1.1 gallon
Est. OG: 1.087
Est. FG: 1.018
Est. IBU: 18
Est. SRM: 7.3
Est. ABV: 9.2%

Grain Bill

2 lb. White wheat malt (2 SRM)
12 oz. German pilsner malt (2 SRM)
12 oz. Munich (9 SRM)

Water Supply

3.25 qt. mash water
1.1 gal. sparge water

Water profile designed in Bru'n Water for yellow balanced

Water Profile

Calcium 50ppm
Magnesium 7ppm
Sodium 5ppm
Sulfate 79ppm
Chloride 59ppm
Bicarbonate 0ppm

Mash Water

Gypsum 0.3g
Epsom salt 0.2g

Calcium Chloride 0.3g

Sparge Water

Gypsum 0.4g
Epsom salt 0.3g
Canning salt 0.1g
Calcium chloride 0.4g
Lactic acid 0.6ml

Mash & Sparge

Mash 3.25qt at 169F for 152F mash for 90 minutes
Sparge 1.1gal at 180F

Mash half grain and water. Sparge with half sparge volume. Bring runnings to boil and pitch grain. Raise to 105F for 1.5 days to sour. Mash remaining ingredients as usual.


90 minute boil. Combine mash and sour wort in boil.

0.1 oz Belma [12.10%] at 90 for 14.8 IBU
.7 g crushed Indian coriander at 0 minutes
4 g Himalayan pink salt at 0 minutes


Ferment with US-05 at 64F. Add 1/2 oz. oak-aged tequila after fermentation. Adjust with more if necessary. Bottle to 2.7 volumes.

Brew Notes

Sour mash on 12/26/14. Rest of brew day on 12/28/14.

Sour mash ph approximately 4 at time of boil.

Bottled on 1/17/15 with .80 oz. of priming sugar and 1.15 oz (by weight) of oak-soaked tequila. FG: 1.007. Approximately 10% ABV. Some funky character, slight acidity. Salty and citrusy. Interesting.


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