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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Berlinner weisse question
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:48 PM   #1
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Default Berlinner weisse question

I am planning on putting together a Berliner weisse for this summer, and had a few quick questions about techniques for this brew... I am not planning on doing a sour mash, but rather fermenting the wort for about a week, then transferring it into a secondary with some lactobacillus to begin the souring. Since traditionally this is a no-boil type brew when doing a sour mash, is it really necessary to perform a boil with my wort?

Would it be possible/safe to simply go straight from the mash run (through my chiller) into a sanitized carboy? My thoughts are that this could make for a rather simple no sparge, no boil, quick brew day with a little mash hopping and simple lautering. Do I need to boil this brew or can I just mash, RDWHAHB, and let the beer happen?

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Old 01-12-2012, 01:55 AM   #2
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You don't need to boil, but from my understanding you do want to bring it up close to boiling to sanitize. Also, it's fairly common to perform a decoction mash.

I'd also consider pitching lacto sooner rather than later. In fact, I'd give it a few days head start over the regular yeast.

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:36 AM   #3
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Hmmm, I will take that into consideration. Thanks for that input!

However, one afterthought that I had, what about DMS? Should I worry about not boiling off any of the DMS by skipping the boil?

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:52 AM   #4
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Hmmm, I will take that into consideration. Thanks for that input!

However, one afterthought that I had, what about DMS? Should I worry about not boiling off any of the DMS by skipping the boil?
DMS is produced during the boil. It is also removed during the boil. So if you don't boil, ...

But if you're going to add your own lacto culture (which I think is a good idea) you probably should raise the temp and kill off everything. Get it above 160 for 5 minutes and you are golden.

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Old 01-12-2012, 06:14 AM   #5
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So couldn't I theoretically do that with a mash out? If I mash out at 168 in my tun for about 15 minutes I should be good?

Also, what exactly is the mind-set behind pitching the lacto first? Just to let it establish itself? Should I pitch lacto and wait to see activity from it before pitching the yeast? And if that is the case, should I worry about oxygenation from mixing/swirling the wort once I pitch the yeast?

Also, since the yeast and bugs will be co-fermenting, do I need to worry about autoalysis (sp?) of any kind from being in the fermenter and on the trub for 5-6 months?

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Old 01-12-2012, 01:40 PM   #6
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So couldn't I theoretically do that with a mash out? If I mash out at 168 in my tun for about 15 minutes I should be good?

Also, what exactly is the mind-set behind pitching the lacto first? Just to let it establish itself? Should I pitch lacto and wait to see activity from it before pitching the yeast? And if that is the case, should I worry about oxygenation from mixing/swirling the wort once I pitch the yeast?

Also, since the yeast and bugs will be co-fermenting, do I need to worry about autoalysis (sp?) of any kind from being in the fermenter and on the trub for 5-6 months?
Not really. You'll notice that that graph refers to "highest concentrations found in filtered beer". Your mash has an abundance of bacteria that would require a much longer period to kill to safe levels. I'm not a microbiologist so that's about the extent of my knowledge. Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:22 PM   #7
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I boiled mine for 15 minutes. I also added the lacto 2 days before the sacc and it isn't sour at all now. Next time I'm going to do 3 or 4 days before the sacc.

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:43 PM   #8
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I boiled mine for 15 minutes. I also added the lacto 2 days before the sacc and it isn't sour at all now. Next time I'm going to do 3 or 4 days before the sacc.
When did you brew it?
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:35 PM   #9
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I boiled mine for 15 minutes. I also added the lacto 2 days before the sacc and it isn't sour at all now. Next time I'm going to do 3 or 4 days before the sacc.
I have made 2 BW batches, and this was my experience both times. I think I'm done with the style - it beat me
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:50 PM   #10
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Is it commonly understood that a Berliner Weisse must remain in primary for multiple months? I recently listened to a Basic Brewing podcast with Michael Tonsmire, and I think his beer was in primary for at least 2 months, and in this thread I'm seeing 5-6 months. Yet in Brewing Classic Styles, Jamil makes NO mention of an extended fermentation.

What's the scoop with souring? Should I brew a Berliner Weisse now if I want to drink it in the summer?

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