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Old 08-19-2013, 03:12 AM   #1
Wyrmwood
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Default 1st time berlinner weisse

So I did a sour mash berlinner weisse, and the mash tastes like sour lemonade. I boiled it down to 5.5 gal over about 1:45 and added hops at ~15 min. Everything looks good except the gravity. Pre sour, the gravity was 1.029 with a volume of 7.73 gal. I did not measure the gravity post sour/pre boil, but after boil, the gravity is only 1.22(5.5gal). It is pretty clear to me (or is it?) that the "sour" bit ate some of the sugar. So the question is, am I going to end up with a 2% beer since the lacto ate the sugars or did some of the sugars get converted by wild yeast and I should not alter anything (yet)? I think I'm just going to rack it on the s05 and call it a night, but would love to hear if I should do something to bump the gravity back up.

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Old 08-21-2013, 11:34 PM   #2
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Well, I think I found the answer to this on good ol' Wikipedia again

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactobacillus#Metabolism seems to read they produce lactic acid from sugars.

I also found this, http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/07/sour-old-ale-quick-oud-bruin.html where he loses about 4 points from his pre boil gravity (so really, losing much more than 4 points!)

I also looked at my notes, and that was 1.022 at 100F, so that makes the OG about 1.026. I measured today and it is 1.008, but there's still a big krausen and lots of movement, so it is definitely not finished.

I'd really be curious if anyone has kept good enough notes to determine the anticipated gravity loss to lacto. I did not take a reading pre-boil (kicks himself), but it also did not occur to me the lacto would be consuming it, but in hindsight, duh

I have 2 quarts of 1.026 wort I saved for priming. If the gravity doesn't finish much lower, I may boil those down and drop it in the secondary and prime with sugar, just to bump the gravity up a bit, but not until I see how low the gravity gets...

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Old 08-22-2013, 11:39 PM   #3
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Using the old, post_boil_gravity = 1 +( (pre_boil_gravity-1) * pre_boil_volume/post_boil_volume), I get an anticipated OG of 1.040. Since my actual was 1.026, that's a whopping 14 gravity points that lacto ate! Hmmm...

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