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Old 05-08-2011, 04:13 PM   #1
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Default Berliner Weisse

A couple of buddies and I are going to be brewing some Berliner Weisse up real soon. I have beer reading up on the style and I am still deciding on a recipe. The one thing I keep hearing some folks saying is that I should use the Wyeast Berliner Weisse blend. The problem is that I am wanting to brew this up in the next 3 weeks and the BW blend won't be available again until July. If somebody has a proven recipe and some yeast suggestions then by all means post them up.

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Old 05-08-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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I didn't know wyeast had a berliner weisse blend. White labs does and it's currently available from Brewmaster's Warehouse. However, I wouldn't use it for aberlinerwiesse because it contains a traditional german weizen yeast which wouldn't be appropriate for a real berliner wiesse. You want something clean and neutral like a kolsch or alt yeast or maybe even 1056 for the base yeast, then also some lacto in there.
If you have the march/april copy of zymergy there is a good recipe for berliner weisse on page 36 that uses a quick method for making good sour beers.

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Old 05-08-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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I actually just bottled up a BW with the wyeast blend last week. I believe the biggest difference between the white labs and wyeast blends is that the wyeast has a touch of brett in it. As I understand the blend, the proportions of microbes leans towards lacto in order to give it a head start, then sacch, then brett. You could pretty easily do this by pitching a lacto culture followed by a nuetral ale strain, then brett in secondary. Or use the white labs blend and pitch brett in secondary.

I really liked the sample I took at bottling, and think the brett adds a nice profile to the beer. I did pitch 2 packs of 8 month old blends, so my the bug balance may have been a little off, but after 2 months it was tart, clean, and just a little bretty.

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Old 05-08-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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Just did a search for the wyeast blend and it definitely sounds more appropriate than the whitelabs blend (german ale vs weizen yeast) that I've seen. If you don't want to wait for the extended aging required, the quick sour mash method in the issue of zymergy I mentioned does sound intriguing. You wouldn't get any brett character, though. But the guy who wrote the article claims that his method produces a fairly complex sourness (more so than just pitching a single lacto strain).

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Old 05-08-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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I don't have the magazine, I have a new subscription. I am thinking that I will use the BYO recipe for now, unless someone convinces me otherwise. I am thinking that maybe I need to pitch the lacto first and then maybe 2 days later pitch the 1007. What do you guys think of that plan? I will have to do starters for both since it will be either a 10-15 gallon batch and split 2-3 ways.

http://www.byo.com/stories/recipeind...eons-champagne

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Old 05-08-2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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That recipe sounds good (grain bills for these are pretty simple and straight forward).
The quick souring method in the article that I mentioned basically consists of making a 1 pint starter for 5 gal of 1.030 sugar solution (you can use wort but the author says he just uses honey for his starters). You then pitch a few tablespoons of malt into the starter, loosely cover and keep it at a relatively warm temp (100 F is ideal but not necessary) for three days. The PH drop in the starter kills off nasty bacteria and leaves behind tasty lacto and pedio. You'll know you did it right if it smells pleasant, tart, kinda like green apples.

On brew day, after you mash, bring your wort up to a boil to kill off nasties, let it cool to around 100 F and drain it into a sanitized cooler and pitch your starter. Let it sour for about 18 hrs then return to bk and proceed as normal.

A little more work up front but it could save you a few months of aging.

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Old 05-09-2011, 05:21 AM   #7
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If you have a few weeks, I would also whip up a batch of lacto cultured from grains. You could whip up two or three different batches and choose the one that smells best.

You can just experiment with it and see if you like the taste of it and if it doesn't work for your tastes, no big loss.

Just pitch 1 cup of milled grain with 1 cup of hot tap water in a food-grade container, cover the surface with foil, and put a lid on it. I use leftover buckets from bulk LME. You might have to vent gases once a day, you can put it on a heating pad to keep it warm. It seems like keeping it warm is key to getting a culture to develop quickly. Since the grain investment is so low and there's no boiling or extra steps, once you have all of the pieces of the puzzle in order, it takes about 1 minute of labor and 1-2 days of waiting and you've got nice lacto.

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Old 05-09-2011, 01:33 PM   #8
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I just kegged a Berliner that I pitched the lacto first then waited 2-3 days for the 1056 and it is the best one that I've done. That's the way I would go.

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Old 05-09-2011, 03:59 PM   #9
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Don't let the mash get above 168, mash hop, and don't boil. Let this spontaneously ferment for 3 days then pitch your yeast of choice. It's hos BW was made for a few centuries and mine came out awesome done this way. If you have lactobacillus on your grain, why waste money on a blend that gets sketchy reviews anyway?

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Old 05-09-2011, 05:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Exorcisto View Post
Don't let the mash get above 168, mash hop, and don't boil. Let this spontaneously ferment for 3 days then pitch your yeast of choice. It's hos BW was made for a few centuries and mine came out awesome done this way. If you have lactobacillus on your grain, why waste money on a blend that gets sketchy reviews anyway?
+1

Traditional and delicious.
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