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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Berliner Weisse Methods
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:33 AM   #1
andymi86
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Default Berliner Weisse Methods

There seems to be a lot of different ways to make a Berliner Weisse. I have a lacto starter going (1C crushed grain and 1C 100F water) and plan on brewing next weekend if the starter comes out OK. Im still trying to decide how I should pitch everything. Here are all of the options I have found.

1) Pitch Lacto First
Pros: More sourness more quickly
Cons: Can't oxygenate wort for yeast, pitching yeast into a low pH environment

2) Pitch at the same time
Pros: Most simple
Cons: Oxygen might upset the lacto

3) Pitch Lacto after yeast
Pros: Yeast will consume oxygen and get a healthy start
Cons: Might take a while to sour if at all

4) Pitch Lacto and yeast in seperate carboys, blend later
Pros: Each get pitched into an ideal environment
Cons: ???

Im cleaning toward option 4. Pitch the lacto at about 100F with no oxygen, maybe even purge the carboy with CO2 if I can borrow some. Pitch the yeast with oxygen at normal temps. After temps have stabilized blend the two.

Thoughts?

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Old 02-06-2012, 03:43 AM   #2
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easiest way i've heard to do this, though in my mind it only really works for kegging since it needs to be consumed quickly, is to not boil the wort and simply add hops to the mash. hops will keep other nasty bugs out, and the lacto that was originally on the grain will slowly become active again while the yeast is fermenting. when it's at the desired ph keg it up and drink

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Old 02-06-2012, 03:45 AM   #3
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I've done #1 twice, some (but very little) sourness. Pitched sacc 1-2 days after lacto. Lacto was raging when sacc was pitched.

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Old 02-06-2012, 04:01 AM   #4
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I did #1 with a big lacto starter that I made the same way you did and ended up with a beer so sour I can barely drink it. It didn't carb in the bottles, so I poured them into a keg and it is carbing up now. I'm going to make a 100% wheat beer and blend it to taste.

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Old 02-06-2012, 04:18 AM   #5
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Im pretty set on a short boil so I at least have some control over which bugs get in there. I will likely mash hop for a few IBUs

passedpawn and Airbonreguy, where did you get your lacto? Also, how big of a starter did you make and how long did you let it go?

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Old 02-06-2012, 04:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andymi86 View Post
Im pretty set on a short boil so I at least have some control over which bugs get in there. I will likely mash hop for a few IBUs

passedpawn and Airbonreguy, where did you get your lacto? Also, how big of a starter did you make and how long did you let it go?
I used wyeast lacto, don't remember the number, my LHBS had it in stock. No starter IIRC. Just dumpola. It was raging in 24 hours. Frankly, I was a little shocked how hard it was fermenting and I got the sacc in there. BTW, I did a 15 minute boil. I let that ferment for about 4 months, then bottled.

Second batch I put in the bottle in about 10 days. That one came out just as good, maybe a little bit more sour. I conditioned the bottles in about 95F days outside (Florida).

Good Luck.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:24 AM   #7
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Cool thanks! I've heard the wyeast lacto is a bit weak so maybe that's why it never got too sour?

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Old 02-06-2012, 04:42 AM   #8
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I did the same as you: homemade starter. I made a low gravity wort, cooled it, and tossed in a handful of grain. I kept it just under 100ºf using an aquarium heater.

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Old 02-06-2012, 05:18 AM   #9
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For now I have just grain and water together. Basically following Morkins advice from this thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f72/alfe...weisse-255777/

I wonder if making a starter from this would be better than just pitching it right in?

Good call on keeping it warm. I put it in my fermentation chamber and cranked the heat up. Hopefully it will stay 90-100F.

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Old 02-06-2012, 05:02 PM   #10
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This is the route I take...

Quote:
I think it's critical with this style to make a lacto-only starter in advance. You simply can't get a predictable level of sourness without doing that. Make a one liter starter (no yeast, just lacto) and keep it as close to 100 degrees and let it go for at least 24 hours before you brew your BerlinerWeisse. I wrap the flask with a heating pad to keep the bugs nice and cozy. I use the no- boil method, mash hop and then I pitch the entire starter into warm wort (@100 degrees) and let it naturally cool down overnight in a water bath. I add some cooI water and ice to the water bath the next morning and pitch the yeast once the wort is in the 65-68 degree range and let it go. The fermentation is usually complete within 36 hours. Follow this method and you'll end up with puckering sourness that is reliable and predictable.
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