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Old 08-10-2009, 01:33 PM   #1
gyllstromk
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Default Lacto starter

I purchased a vial of white labs lacto and am planning to make a small batch of Berliner Weiss. I'm not finding much information about lacto starters and would prefer to avoid it this time around. I think at a smaller batch size (~3G) it might not be necessary. If I forgo the starter, and precede the yeast by a couple of days with the lacto, should I ferment warmer while the lacto is working? Thanks for any tips.

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Old 08-10-2009, 11:55 PM   #2
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From what I've gleaned from podcasts/random readings I gather that you want to keep it above 75f (hotter is better). Don't take that as fact though, I'm going off feelings.

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Old 08-12-2009, 09:38 AM   #3
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Default 90-120

I have made a few Berliners a few different ways. If you are using the Lacto from White Labs, pitch the lacto into your primary 24 hours prior to your yeast pitch. Hold the lacto at 90-120 degrees (I've found 100' to be the best for me) and then drop to your fermentation temp and ferment as usual. You may also want to try a sour mash. Go through your normal mash schedule through the mash out and then drop it to the sour mash temp range (90-120) and add crushed base malt to your mash and hold for 24 hours or more. I usually bring it back to the mash out temp (decoction) and sparge as usual.

Sorry so late (Noob)

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Old 08-13-2009, 10:22 AM   #4
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Default Lacto starter

You have peeked my interest. Last night I made a 500ml starter (DME) cooled to 95 degrees and added 1oz of uncrushed pale malt. I'll let you know how the lacto is going.

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Old 08-13-2009, 08:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingleberg View Post
I have made a few Berliners a few different ways. If you are using the Lacto from White Labs, pitch the lacto into your primary 24 hours prior to your yeast pitch. Hold the lacto at 90-120 degrees (I've found 100' to be the best for me) and then drop to your fermentation temp and ferment as usual. You may also want to try a sour mash. Go through your normal mash schedule through the mash out and then drop it to the sour mash temp range (90-120) and add crushed base malt to your mash and hold for 24 hours or more. I usually bring it back to the mash out temp (decoction) and sparge as usual.

Sorry so late (Noob)
Thanks for the tip. I think I'll go with the early pitch + warm temps. My concern about the starter is that I heard the lacto does not flocculate without the use of something heavy duty (e.g., silica) which I neither own nor want to put in beer, and I don't want to pitch a bunch of bad starter into a small batch of beer. I've heard about the sour mash method but heard it's pretty variable in results (i.e., quite sensitive to whether that crushed malt has lacto in it).
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:43 AM   #6
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Pitching the culture is the safest way. You should have great results. All grain contains lacto on the outside of the husk (among other things which are more than likely not good). I have never had a "bad" beer doing the sour mash, but they have each varied slightly in taste. It would be a good experiment in a small batch. I tried it because of it being traditional.

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Old 10-17-2009, 09:07 PM   #7
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I'm doing a Berliner Weiss soon as well and I came across the BYO article about it. It says to make a starter for the lacto 2 weeks ahead and pitch it with your yeast (i'm using the wyeast kolsch with the wyeast lacto culture) but it says nothing about size or temp for the lacto starter. I'm guessing they mean 2 weeks at room temp and not 100F? It sounds easier to give the lacto a warm pitch and a day or so head start before cooling and pitching the kolsch starter. Any more tips?

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Old 01-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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I was reading the "Brewing with Wheat" book and it got me really interested in making some sour wheat beers. They don't really have full-bore recipes in there but they do mention a 5:1 ratio lacto to german ale.

I am actually looking forward to my first Berliner and my first decoction

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