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Old 01-20-2012, 11:24 PM   #31
ArcaneXor
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Originally Posted by HollisBT View Post
What exactly are the differences between the strains? Do they produce any different flavor/aroma characteristics? I have the same question about Brett, and have yet to find a solid resource to explain it.
Brevis is more hop resistant and tends to sour more (and it produces ethanol). I believe Cascade uses Brevis for their sour beers.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:14 AM   #32
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Registered to thank you guys for this discussion. I brewed a BW last October having no idea what it tasted like, just wanted a light sour ale. I followed the Brewing Classic Styles recipe and used Wyeast lacto and Safale US-05. I bottled 2 weeks after brewing, which was a simple stovetop BIAB (my first all grain, on top of first sour).

I wish I'd waited longer for the lacto to develop sourness before drinking, the first two months it was just a funky tasting wheat beer. Right now it's tart without being super sour and I've bought some syrups, but I don't have much left.

I did get a chance to try a few commercial examples, since it's apparently becoming a popular style with craft brewers, and I really dig Bear Republic's version. I want to do this again as just a sour mash, single decoction, and see if I can get more of a sour character without adding lacto. I'll also try a few of the things I read here. Thanks again.

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Old 01-21-2012, 07:45 PM   #33
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I would suggest using lactobacillus brevis instead of delbrueckii, or doing the sour starter method. The Delbrueckii strains are notorious for being very slow to sour and tend to be extremely sensitive to even very low levels of hopping.
Where can I get a culture of lactobacillus brevis, are there commercial suppliers?

I found a lot of info on BW here Berliner Weisse - Home Brewing Wiki and they also state using L. Brevis but say its hard to find.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:18 PM   #34
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Where can I get a culture of lactobacillus brevis, are there commercial suppliers?

I found a lot of info on BW here Berliner Weisse - Home Brewing Wiki and they also state using L. Brevis but say its hard to find.
I think you pretty much have to harvest it from a bottle.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:17 PM   #35
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Hey everyone, I am preparing to brew this beer, and had a few more questions that I wanted to toss out there. I have changed directions and have decided to sour mash instead of adding lacto into the fermenter.

I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were regarding the souring process. I have 1 pound of mystery grains (they came in a kit that was never used, and I have them sitting in a bowl collecting some local organisms as we speak) that I had been planning on dumping into the unboiled wort to help sour. Should this be sufficient for getting the lacto going? Or should I plan on pitching some lacto from a smack pack?

I plan on fermenting the beer with a kölsch yeast after souring and doing a quick 15 minute boil. After fermentation is complete, will it be safe to wash and re-use this yeast? My logic tells me yes, but I just want someone to confirm that before I go tainting future batches.

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Old 04-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #36
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To those thinking of culturing lacto from grains, I have successfully done it. I outlined it here.

Basically, I created 500ml of a 1.030ish wort, and added in 1/2 c. of grains. I let it sit for a few days. By the smell of it I think it developed a little enterobacteria (or maybe lactobacillus just makes that smell), but then it started to ferment with an ‘unknown’ yeast – Either wild from the grains, or cultured from the ‘terroir’ of my kitchen (brewers, bakers, …?).

Nevertheless, I got good results from pitching about 250ml of starter into 2.5 gallons of wort and letting it sour before adding S-05 after 48 hours (it may have been 24… I should take better notes).

My recipe was around 1.035 and involved about 60-40 Pale 2-Row/Malted Wheat. I doughed in at about 1.5 qts/lb. for a protein rest at 125-130F for 20 minutes. I pulled a decoction to raise it to 148F rest for 60 minutes, then pulled a second decoction to raise the mash to mashout at 168F for 20 minutes. I threw in .75oz Hallertau with the second decoction and boiled for 10 minutes. Then I did a "sparge" à la the stove-top brewing, and brought to a boil to sanitize the immersion chiller.

Nevertheless, it sat in the carboy for 4 months before I got a sample. Clear, and refreshingly tart! I haven’t bottled it yet.

As for culturing lacto you have a few more options:

1. Buy a bottle of ‘Acidophilus’ from your drug store. It’s just L. acidophilus and will sour your beer without any trouble.
2. Make a starter from the ‘whey’ which forms on top of yogurt (like Stoneyfield, or Brown Cow). Stoneyfield has a number of lacto cultures such as L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, L. casei, and L. rhamnosus. If you make a starter, you can probably minimize the effect of the other things in the ‘whey’
3. Buy a yogurt ‘culture’ from a cheese making store. The commercial yogurt culture has L. delbrueckii which is common in brewing. However, it does have ‘milk’ and lactose’ in the culture…

As for bulk aging…I don’t think it’s necessary, but it may be fun if you culture a starter from grains. You might get something more than straight-up lacto and it could develop a pellicle and change flavors over time. I split my batch between pure culture (with the wild yeast) and culture and S-05. The pure culture batch has a pellicle and I haven’t tried it. I hope to the next time I brew (Thursday?). If it’s really good, I’ll bottle it by itself, if just pretty good, I might try blending it. If it’s terrible, I may toss it, or…bottle it for kicks.

Hopefully that helps. I don’t have a whole lot of experience. Given more time, I might try the Acidophilus method, and the yogurt method.

I do plan on racking a bigger (1.060) beer onto the yeast cake of my current BW….just to give it a shot. If they pure culture is very good, I’ll do the same for that… I’m just trying to decide if I want to do a light beer (still 60/40 barley/wheat) or one with some melanoidins.

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Old 04-03-2012, 03:06 AM   #37
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Also, Ian assuming that it is safe to taste it throughout the souring process? Again, logic tells me it is ok and would be no different than the bacteria in yogurt and cheese, but while it sours I can taste it to make sure it isn't getting too sour, without fear of getting sick, right?

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Old 04-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #38
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Hollis- You should be correct. I'm confident that you should fear getting sick as long as it doesn't taste bad. Especially after a day or two, the pH will drop to safe levels.

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Old 04-03-2012, 02:28 PM   #39
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There really isn't anything in beer that can make you sick.

A word of warning to people. I just had a Berlinerweisse go south, and it's going to be a whole batch down the drain. I did the same thing as storunner, and had GREAT results. Unfortunately I used foil on my carboy rather than an airlock, and oxygen got in and turned everything to ethyl acetate. Nail Polish remover!

Mike T. suggested that you use airlocks or solid bungs for all sours to minimize the risk of oxygen exposure.

Funny enough, the Gose I did from the same batch is totally fine, but I did use an airlock.

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Old 04-04-2012, 06:33 PM   #40
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