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-   -   Conducting a 3 gallon Berliner Weisse experiment (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/conducting-3-gallon-berliner-weisse-experiment-373877/)

ICWiener 12-13-2012 03:09 AM

Conducting a 3 gallon Berliner Weisse experiment
Hey everyone,

I just bought two 3 gallon carboys off of craigslist. I am thinking of doing a split batch of Berliner Weisse. I want to conduct a little experiment to look at some side-by-side differences but can't decide what to do. I'm looking for input.

I've got my grain and my hops. I'm going to use Safale US-05 for both. I have one pack of Wyeast Lactobacillus and I'm wanting to do one of these two things:

A) Buy a second pack of Wyeast Lacto and when it comes time to split the batch, I would pitch one concurrently with my yeast. In the other carboy I would only pitch the lacto. I would leave it for about 48 hours with a heating pad on it (around 85-88), then bring it down to 66 and pitch my yeast.

or a much simpler experiment,

B) Buy a vial of White Labs lacto, split the batch, and pitch each lacto separately.

I want to take advantage of an easy opportunity to get side-by-side comparisons, so I can decide which brew I like better. I just can't decide if I should use the opportunity to test differences in product or differences in method.

Coff 12-13-2012 10:57 AM

I would go for the same pitching schedule and 2 different Lacto pitches. I have only done 1 Berliner but I got great sourness pitching the Lacto warm first then following up with sacchromyces.

Maybe try the commercial Lacto in one and culture Lacto from a handful of grains for the other.

ICWiener 12-16-2012 07:41 PM

Update: I wasn't able to procure a White Labs vial before brew day. So I'm making this right now and will split my Wyeast lacto starter. I'm pitching one concurrently with my yeast, and the other one will get a 48 hour head start with a heating pad wrapped around the carboy.

Calder 12-17-2012 01:22 AM

I didn't vote as I'm not sure I agree with either.

I would have said make a lacto starter. let it go for about 5 days at around 95 F (I think 100 is optimal). Then split it between the brews. The reason I say 5 days is to ensure the Lacto has really done it's work. Lacto takes a while to get started; once started, it sours quickly. It can take up to a few days to get going. Once the starter gets sour, the ph provide protection, so there is no issue leaving it for a while.

No matter, you split the starter.

I'd recommend you taste the lacto only wort before pitching the yeast. Mine need about 5 days to decently sour; again it is the lag phase of the lacto that takes the time, once it is going, it will probably full sour within 24 hours. Once the wort is noticeably sour, pitch the yeast. If you can't taste the sour, leave it a day and taste again.

How many/much hops did you use. Lacto does not like hops. Too many hops, and neither beer will sour. You really don't need any hops in a Berliner.

ICWiener 12-17-2012 02:57 AM

Thanks for the input. I'll definitely follow your advice and taste the lacto only wort before pitching. I let the starter go for two days, the pad kept it very warm, although I didn't taste it, it smelled good: tart, but not funky. I also used an apple juice starter, rather than DME. Lots of simple sugars for the lacto and a low ph to begin with.

I used 1 oz of whole cone Hallertauer, 3.8% AA. Threw them in with the mash. Not really much to worry about there.

ICWiener 12-18-2012 03:24 PM

It's been a little under 48 hours since I put these into their fermenters. I fixed a blowoff tube to the the mixed fermentation pitch, assuming I'd need it since there's very little headspace in the carboy. I did not, however, fix a blowoff tube to the lacto only pitch. Anyone care to guess what happened?

It's not bad, but the lacto fermentation steadily and slowly made it's way out of the airlock last night, the t-shirt covering the carboy was very wet this morning. I was surprised...although I had never done a lacto only pitch like this, so I didn't really know what to expect.

I went home at lunch to check on it. The lacto only fermentation is going twice as hard as the mixed. Should I add yeast to it sooner, rather than later? Or should I let the lacto peter out before adding the yeast?

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