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Old 02-25-2010, 06:59 AM   #11
jumpjet2k
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I added 15ml to just under a gallon, and it seems to have a nice level of sourness. Can't entirely confirm this immediately, as it's presently carbonating, but I'll get back to you on it after another week or two.

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Old 02-25-2010, 10:45 AM   #12
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I did a bit of taste testing last night. I pulled 8oz. out of the fermenter and began adding acid, stirring, and tasting. I started with 1/4 tsp. and it wasn't enough. I then added another 1/4 tsp. and it was starting to get there. Then I added another 1/8 tsp. and this seemed to be about right.

So if my math is right, that's 5/8 tsp. for every 8 oz. I have in the fermenter. There's 640 oz. in 5 gallons so that would be 50 tsp. of acid for the entire 5 gallon batch (640 / 8 * 5 /8). There's 0.1666 oz. in a tsp. so I would need 8.3 oz. The bottle I bought is only 5 oz.

However, according to others on here, they aren't putting nearly this much in their Berlinners. I guess it all depends on taste. Thoughts?

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Old 02-25-2010, 01:18 PM   #13
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Keep in mind that carbonation also lowers the pH of your beer considerably, and adds to the sourness. So your lactic acid will "bite" more once the beer is carbonated.

I'm in the process of making my first Berliner Weisse as well, using only lactic acid for souring (I'm a lazy noob). For a reference sample, I got a bottle of Weihenstephan 1809 (sadly the only Berliner I can find around here), poured some into a sanitized glass, and covered it with foil. I then let it sit alongside my fermenter for about a week before bottling, so that it could decarbonate and be at the same temperature as my beer.

The 1809 wasn't that sour to begin with (not nearly as sour as I remember Berliner Kindl being). But once it was decarbed, I could taste ZERO sourness. So it really wasn't all that helpful as a reference sample -- although my wife and I did enjoy drinking the other 80% of the "leftover" beer when we first opened the bottle!

I went with 3 fluid ounces of 88% lactic acid in 5 gallons. This contributed a noticeable lactic flavor, without it being too sharp. Hopefully once it carbs, it will be perfect. I bottled last weekend, so I won't know for sure for another couple of weeks.

I read somewhere on the Interwebs that most Berliners have somewhere between 0.3% and 0.5% lactic acid in them. That would work out to 2.18 - 3.64 fluid ounces per 5 gallon batch if you're using 88% food grade lactic acid solution.

Like I said, I haven't even completed my first sour ale at this point. So I'm no expert. But I would recommend you take a sample of something you like that is sour and let it come to room temperature and decarbonate for a few days. Then taste it and notice the difference. That should give you a better idea of how things should taste before they go into the bottles/keg.

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Old 02-25-2010, 01:25 PM   #14
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Thank you so much for this. Your advise is very helpful. Let me know how yours comes out. I'm thinking of using about 4 oz. in mine because I really, really love sour beer. I really want that nice tart refreshing kick of a berlinner in the summer. Thanks again.

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Primary: Apfelwein w/Cherry
Secondary: Flanders Red, ESB2, ESB3, Hobgoblin PM
Bottle: Black Beauty Honey Rye, Holiday Chestnut Ale, Grumpy Gnome IPA, Sumatran Espresso Stout, Apfelwein, All Jacked Up, Patriot's Amber, ESB1, Belgian Dubbel.

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Old 02-26-2010, 05:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdrico7812 View Post
I did a bit of taste testing last night. I pulled 8oz. out of the fermenter and began adding acid, stirring, and tasting. I started with 1/4 tsp. and it wasn't enough. I then added another 1/4 tsp. and it was starting to get there. Then I added another 1/8 tsp. and this seemed to be about right.

So if my math is right, that's 5/8 tsp. for every 8 oz. I have in the fermenter. There's 640 oz. in 5 gallons so that would be 50 tsp. of acid for the entire 5 gallon batch (640 / 8 * 5 /8). There's 0.1666 oz. in a tsp. so I would need 8.3 oz. The bottle I bought is only 5 oz.

However, according to others on here, they aren't putting nearly this much in their Berlinners. I guess it all depends on taste. Thoughts?
I did the same calculation last week with my mostly unsour BW. My calculation came up with 7+fluid ounces, so I just dumped in the 4oz bottle that I had and crossed my fingers (it's only beer, right?). It came out pretty nice. If I were you, I'd just go an ounce at a time if you want to take a more conservative approach... For me 4 was on the money, and I like mine really sour too.
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:08 PM   #16
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Munsoned: I assume you did your taste testing with uncarbed room temp. beer?

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Planning: Nutcastle Brown, Founder's Breakfast Stout
Primary: Apfelwein w/Cherry
Secondary: Flanders Red, ESB2, ESB3, Hobgoblin PM
Bottle: Black Beauty Honey Rye, Holiday Chestnut Ale, Grumpy Gnome IPA, Sumatran Espresso Stout, Apfelwein, All Jacked Up, Patriot's Amber, ESB1, Belgian Dubbel.

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Old 02-26-2010, 05:28 PM   #17
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Nope. I threw it into the kegerator for a while to cool it down, then came back and quick carbed it up before doing my tastings/adding of the acid (rocked the hell out of that keg at 30psi).

Of course, I had to bleed off the pressure to open the keg to add the acid, and I probably lost a bunch of carbonation in the process, but it has been back in the kegerator for a week+ now, and seems to taste ok to me (like I said, I like my sours REALLY sour).

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