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Old 09-08-2012, 12:46 AM   #1
Calder
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Default Couple of questions about brewing Berliner Weisse

I've made a number of sours (drinking one now from 2010), but never made, tasted, or even seen a BW.

Wanted to try to make a BW. I have an idea how I'm going to do it, but wanted to ask a few questions to try and avoid some issues.

My plan is to boil the wort thru the break (OG: 1.032) with no hops, cool it, add some Lacto (no aeration), put an airlock on it, and keep it warm (95 F - 100 F) with a heating blanket for a week.

Then reboil, add some hops to less than 10 IBUs, cool and pitch WLP022 (an English yeast I have handy).

Questions:

1) I don't want to use grain for the lacto (don't want the smell). Don't want to use Wyeast lacto (reported to have yeast, and I don't have any). What other options? Live Lactobacillus Acidophilis from the pharmacy - Probiotic), or yogurt. Yogurt has several cultures, and althought it only needs a little bit, I am not sure about putting some yogurt in my beer. Is there any problem with this? Unless someone points out an issue, I plan to use about 50 grams of Lactobacillus Acidophilis from a Probiotic.

2) Is a week with Lacto enough, or too much?

3) 1.032 is the top end of the BJCP guidelines. Any benefit in going higher or lower?

4) What sort of ferment/ action should I expect from the Lacto before the yeast is added? Any issues with an airspace in the fermenter for the lacto part?

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:59 AM   #2
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1 - I've had decent success by starting my own lactobacillus cultures using wort with a small handful of grain, then adding the decanted culture to fresh wort. If you have time, it may be worth getting a couple of sterilized mason jars, adding a cup of 1.025 (lower gravity) wort and tossing a different grain in to each jar. This is what I did to get a decent sampling to figure out which one was the best. Each one was totally different, from the pellicle to the aroma and flavor. I then picked the "best" one and added to a BW.

I've been meaning to post photos and a write up of my "experiment". They'd be good photos for the "Post Your Infection" thread.

2 - I'd probably go off of flavor or pH, rather than strictly a time frame. When I do a sour mash, I've found that around 3.3 - 3.4 is the sweet spot for my taste.

3 - I've always gone higher with any BW that I do, but that's just because it's my personal opinion that if I'm going to drink a beer, I want to have at least 4.5%. If it's lower than that, I'd rather opt for a homemade rootbeer... but that's probably just my inner alcoholic talking. Higher concentrations of alcohol can give lacto some trouble - not sure of the exact %, but this shouldn't come in to play at all with the way you're doing it, since alcohol won't be created until after you've killed off the lacto with the 2nd boil.

4 - Lacto doesn't like oxygen, so purging the headspace with co2 is a good idea. When I sour mash, I always put a layer of saran wrap directly over the mash, then purge, then put another layer of saran wrap on. It really, really helps keep down on the vomit/death smell from the mash. I'd probably go easy with transferring the wort in to the fermenter - no excessive oxygenation, etc.

One final note, and the reason that I don't like doing it this way - either use glass, or a bucket that you don't want to clean ferment in again. I've found that once lacto gets in to any of my fermenters, it's really almost impossible to kill off.

If I misspoke about any of this, I'm sure someone will correct me.

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:34 AM   #3
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Keep me posted on what you ended up doing with this. Want to make sure I didn't give you bad advice.

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Old 09-18-2012, 01:37 PM   #4
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This is a presentation from NHC 2012 on Berliner Weisse from Jess Caudill of Wyeast Labs.


Also subscribing because I'm curious to see what turns out.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK
This is a presentation from NHC 2012 on Berliner Weisse from Jess Caudill of Wyeast Labs.

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hClp9huB1M

Also subscribing because I'm curious to see what turns out.
Thanks for sharing the video. It'll keep me busy on the rainy, miserable afternoon.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:27 AM   #6
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I saw the video. My question is; why didn't he ferment the lacto on it's own at Lacto's preferred temperature?

I pitched about 800,000 cells/ml of Lacto Acidopholis in 2 gallons. Left it for 5 days at 90 F. Tasted sour, but from the small sample, I would not say 'mouth puckering'.

Pitched about a 6 pint active starter of WLP022 (way more yeast than needed), and let temperature drop to room temp (70 F). Fermentation seemed pretty much over in a couple of days.

I'm going to leave it a few more weeks then bottle.

OG = 1.036, IBUs = 10 (all added in starter).

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Old 10-14-2012, 03:29 AM   #7
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Outcome of brew documented in following link.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/how...erment-353334/

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