Brazilian Style-Catharina Sour Beer – mock BJCP Guidelines

by Yuri Santos and translated by Roberto Maçaneiro

Overall Impression: A light and refreshing wheat ale, of moderate alcohol content and imperceptible bitterness. Assertive sourness with focus on the aroma and flavor of the fruit that must be added and may be complemented by spices.

Aroma: Presents sour character from low to medium. Characteristic aromatics of added fruit should be apparent, from low to high without seeming artificial. Aromatic notes of malt may be perceived in very low levels. Top-fermenting by-products, wild notes and Diacetyl are not acceptable.

Appearance: The color may may vary according to the fruit or spice added, from hazy (similar or lower to a Belgian Witbier). Abundant white head, of médium to high formation and retention (may vary according to the fruit added). Always effeverscent.

Flavor: The lactic sourness is present, from low to medium-high. Fruit characteristics should be apparent from medium-low to high levels, without seeming artificial. Notes from spices may be present to complete the flavor of the fruit. Malt flavor may appear in very low levels. Hop bitterness should not be perceived. Hop flavor, Diacetyl and acetic notes are not acceptable.

Mouthfeel: Light body from low to medium-low. Carbonation is medium to high. Acidity is low to medium-high, without being aggressive or astringent. Alcohol warmth is inappropriate.

Comments: With the proposal of producing refreshing and fruity beers, the breweries from the state of Santa Catarina and now from other Brazilian states, created a feature of wheat-based beer, light, medium alcohol content, fruit addition, acidified with Lactobacillus and fermented with ale yeast. Must always be served fresh.

History: Since the end of 2015 breweries from Santa Catarina gradually started producing beers based in the German style Berliner Weisse with the addition of fruits. The style began to popularized in 2016 when the Acasc (Associação das Micro Cervejarias Artesanais de Santa Catarina) took the joint initiative with brewers of the state to disseminate this “Brazilian brewing personality”, that have as base a top-fermenting wheat beer, in which it takes fruit addition, is acidified with Lactobacillus and fermented with yeast strain. Still in the same year Acasc performed the first workshop for conceptual definitions and production techniques of Catharina Sour, that today is ministered in many regions of the Brazil.

Ingredients: The combination of malts is usually composed of 50% malted wheat or unmalted and 50% Pilsner malt, varying with the brewer’s preference. The mash is acidified after mashing with Lactobacillus (L. brevis, L. plantarum, L. casei or L. delbrueckii), both by the method of Sour Mash and Kettle Sour, providing the typical accentuated sourness. After the boil it is fermented with top-fermenting yeast strains of various origins that present a neutral sensory profile and high level of attenuation. It must have the addition of fruits in one or more processes of the production. Spices may be added as a complement, but never overlapping the flavor and aroma of the fruit.

Vital Statistics:

OG: 1039 – 1044

IBU: 2 – 8 FG: 1002 – 1008

SRM: 2 – 7 (varies w/ fruit)

ABV: 4.0 – 5.5%

Commercial Examples:
Itajahy Catharina Araçá Sour, Blumenau Catharina Sour Sun Of a Peach, Lohn Bier Catharina Sour Jaboticaba, Das Bier Catharina Sauer.

Issue: January-February 2018