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Old 09-02-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
theoryno7
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Default Berliner Weisse Smells like Cheese

I brewed a Sour Mash Berliner Weisse a while back and opened a bottle this week. It is everything I was looking for—acidic, light, dry refreshing. All good things. The only problem is that the nose smells like parmasean cheese. Is this just the smell of the lacto? My hops weren't cheesy, so I don't know where else it would come from. Any thoughts?

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by theoryno7 View Post
I brewed a Sour Mash Berliner Weisse a while back and opened a bottle this week. It is everything I was looking for—acidic, light, dry refreshing. All good things. The only problem is that the nose smells like parmasean cheese. Is this just the smell of the lacto? My hops weren't cheesy, so I don't know where else it would come from. Any thoughts?


Send it to me for disposal.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #3
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Did you boil the beer or was this no-boil? I had a couple berliner weisses this weekend. The boiled one was tart but fairly clean in taste. The no boil one was less tart but had more cheese-yogurt aroma to it. So I would say yes, it's a common smell for lacto.

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Old 09-03-2012, 05:43 PM   #4
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Did you boil the beer or was this no-boil? I had a couple berliner weisses this weekend. The boiled one was tart but fairly clean in taste. The no boil one was less tart but had more cheese-yogurt aroma to it. So I would say yes, it's a common smell for lacto.
I did a 15 minute boil. I pitched WLP001 which did nothing for 4 days. Ended up pitching Safale 05, which worked very quickly. I'm wondering if some of the cheesy flavor had to do with the lag in fermentation.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:10 PM   #5
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Possibly but I would guess it's more likely due to the shorter boil time.

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Old 09-03-2012, 07:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. I will probably try a 30 minute boil next batch. I dont mind the smell, but it is turning a lot of people off to the beer before they taste it.

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Old 09-03-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster
Possibly but I would guess it's more likely due to the shorter boil time.
Totally agree with this. I did 2 Berliners this summer - exactly the same recipe. One boiled for 45 mins (to get down to correct volume) and the other boiled for 20 mins. The shorter boil didn't drive off as much of the smells associated with the sour mash as the 45 min did.

If you enjoy it and it's scaring other people away, that's a good thing. More for you! I let people try mine (sour peach with 7lbs of real peaches) and then I show them a picture of what the sour mash looked like and they don't want anymore! The ones that still want more are then welcome to it if the ungodly gross looking mash doesn't scare them off. If only they could have gotten a whiff of the 3 day sour mash...
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:51 PM   #8
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I just kegged my sour mash Berliner Weisse on Tuesday. I was inspired by The recent episode of Basic Brewing Radio. I also did a 15 min boil and pitched Wyeast 1056.

The beer turned out great, though the nose is a little off-putting to some. Mine smells of sourdough, though only as it warms in the glass. I split the batch--4 plain and one gallon racked onto raspberries. We'll see how the raspberry version turns out.

Curious to see if your cheese aroma fades over time.

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Old 09-03-2012, 08:01 PM   #9
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If you enjoy it and it's scaring other people away, that's a good thing. More for you! I let people try mine (sour peach with 7lbs of real peaches) and then I show them a picture of what the sour mash looked like and they don't want anymore! The ones that still want more are then welcome to it if the ungodly gross looking mash doesn't scare them off. If only they could have gotten a whiff of the 3 day sour mash...
Now I want to hand out pictures of the grey mash goup with every bottle. +1 on the smell of the sour mashing. It was scary at first but the final beer is so damn good. It is encouraging to know that others are having a similar experience.

I am taking this batch to my local brew club next week. I am the first person in the club to brew a sour, so we will see what reactions I get...
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:03 PM   #10
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I just kegged my sour mash Berliner Weisse on Tuesday. I was inspired by The recent episode of Basic Brewing Radio. I also did a 15 min boil and pitched Wyeast 1056.

The beer turned out great, though the nose is a little off-putting to some. Mine smells of sourdough, though only as it warms in the glass. I split the batch--4 plain and one gallon racked onto raspberries. We'll see how the raspberry version turns out.

Curious to see if your cheese aroma fades over time.
That episode is what inspired me as well. This is the most fun I've had brewing yet. I wont know about the smell fading over time because I've polished off almost the entire batch and given the rest away. It is very interesting to hear what people think. Some people get all cheese on the nose. Some people smell fruit or bread. It's such a fun beer, it is probably going to end up as one of my go to summer beers along with hefe and saison.
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