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Old 06-02-2009, 06:53 PM   #1
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Default My first Berliner

I am planning on brewing a Berliner Weisse this weekend. It will be a five gallon batch. 4lbs of German Pilsner malt, 4lbs wheat malt and 1oz Saaz hops in the mash. I plan on taking 1.5 gallons of wort and throwing 1/2 pound of grain into it to get the lacto going, and then doing a 15 minute boil on the remaining 3.5 gallons.

What are my chances of success with the lacto using the "grain method". My LHBS does not carry lacto, and it is too late for me to order it online. I read BierMunchers thread on his Berliner, and he seemed to have success with his lacto this way.

Any thoughts from anyone else?

Also, what is the best water type for this style?

Thanks

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Old 06-02-2009, 08:30 PM   #2
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You might try some lacto from yogurt cultures or probiotics. Dont know if it would work but maybe someone else could chime in. As far as souring with grain in the 1.5gal. It may work may not depends on the amount of lacto in the grain. Some grain may be to "clean" and wild yeast may take over before the lacto. I just did a BW about 3wks ago pitching wyeast lacto a couple days ahead of time and it was nicely sour last time I sampled. Also did no boil with mash hops and decoction.

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Old 06-02-2009, 09:59 PM   #3
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I just did the grain souring method and I'm just so-so with the results. I did a 48 hour sour mash with the full mash, then used a saison strain (wasn't shooting for a berliner weiss). The sourness/tartness is a good level, but real funky. I've only tried a few bottles but they seem to have a soft note of vomit and foot, smelling a bit like the stinky sour mash. This smell is lessening as the beer ages a bit more in the bottle, but isn't quite as clean of a sourness as some of the pure lacto ones I've had.

I've only tried this once, so not sure if this is a typical result, but getting over the smell of a sour mash takes some effort for sure. My only advice is keep the souring mash in a place you won't be able to smell it, it really is that bad. Oh, and use rice hauls, I got a big old stuck mash with mine and the only thing worse then a stinky sour mash is get that crap all over you while trying to get the mash unstuck.

I'd like to hear how it goes.

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Old 06-02-2009, 11:39 PM   #4
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I
What are my chances of success with the lacto using the "grain method".
Little to none. You would be better off just using some acidulated malt in the grist and then adding lactic acid at bottling/kegging than trying to make a Berliner Weisse with a sour mash. Sour mash and lactobacillus are two different animals...
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:55 AM   #5
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I'm not going to do a sour mash. I'm going to do a standard two hour infusion mash at 150f. Then take 1.5gallons of wort from that and inoculate with the grain.

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Old 06-03-2009, 01:53 AM   #6
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Thats going to provide very unknown results, as there are a plethora of other things on the grain as well, if you could get ahold of a commercial berliner and step up the dregs that would be the best bet to doing this

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Old 06-03-2009, 02:05 AM   #7
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I'm not going to do a sour mash. I'm going to do a standard two hour infusion mash at 150f. Then take 1.5gallons of wort from that and inoculate with the grain.
I wouldn't do it, but I hope it works for you.

I look at it this way: We put a lot of time and effort in our homebrews. I would just brew something else until I had better ingredients for a Berliner Weisse.

I agree, stepping up the dregs of a commercial Beliner is a good idea.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:58 AM   #8
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Little to none. You would be better off just using some acidulated malt in the grist and then adding lactic acid at bottling/kegging than trying to make a Berliner Weisse with a sour mash. Sour mash and lactobacillus are two different animals...
Lactobacillus is the primary player in a sour mash. Barley is absolutely loaded with lacto. that said, it will be completely unpredictable and unrepeatable. IMO sour mash, acid malt and adding lactic acid are all no way to do a Berliner Weisse.

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Thats going to provide very unknown results, as there are a plethora of other things on the grain as well, if you could get ahold of a commercial berliner and step up the dregs that would be the best bet to doing this
The problem with this is since lacto is so slow acting, the sacc will be all that is really stepped up, and it may be difficult to get much lacto character.


Bottom line, buy a lacto culture from the lhbs or online and do it right.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:25 PM   #9
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Ok, I'm taking your advice. I ordered some Lacto D. online and it should be here by Friday.
Would it still be a good idea to take 1.5 gallons of the wort and pitch the lacto and let still at or near 90F for a week and then add to the main fermenter? Or can I just pitch the lacto and the yeast at the same time? I plan on using Safale 06, wheat ale yeast. Anyone see any problems with this?

Thanks.

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Old 06-03-2009, 07:27 PM   #10
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you should pitch it in the whole batch. Keep the whole thing at normal ale temps.
Then you need to decide how sour you want it. You can pitch the lacto first, at the same time or after the yeast. I pitch mine a week before I add the yeast.

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