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Old 02-07-2013, 01:40 PM   #1
TMadness1013
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Default No sugars left for Berliner Weisse?

Hi all,

Recently made up a Berliner & wanted it to be nice and sour, so I pitched Lacto and let it sit for a week around 85 degrees. I pitched my saccharomyces the other day (was too stupid to think of taking a gravity reading!) and have basically seen no fermentation signs.

If the lacto ate up all the available sugar & left nothing for the yeast, (WY1007 btw) I will be stuck with a non-alcoholic sour beverage.

Any ideas to salvage it aside from saving it for a future blend???

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Old 02-07-2013, 03:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TMadness1013 View Post
Hi all,



Any ideas to salvage it aside from saving it for a future blend???
I wouldn't down play the future blend idea. Right now you have a batch of lactic acid with delicious delicious character. Sure you might be able to make a drinkable beer by doubling it... but you can probably make 4-5 good beers by blending it.

Also what's the pH? you might just be too low for the wimpy german yeasties. Lacto B stops working around pH3.8 I bet you're pretty close to that.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
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Sour yeasts by nature create high levels of acid and alter the pH of your wort. Most fermentation steps for sour beers start with sacch and end with sour yeasts. I'm thinking that since you let the lacto go crazy at such a high temp they altered the pH to a level that is toxic to saccromyces.

Brett/lactic yeasts take a long time to attenuate and produce the desired flavors. If you can spare the carboy I'd just leave it for a while, take samples every month or so and see how it tastes. If it's too sour you could blend it.

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Old 02-08-2013, 12:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TMadness1013 View Post
Recently made up a Berliner & wanted it to be nice and sour, so I pitched Lacto and let it sit for a week around 85 degrees. I pitched my saccharomyces the other day (was too stupid to think of taking a gravity reading!) and have basically seen no fermentation signs.

If the lacto ate up all the available sugar & left nothing for the yeast, (WY1007 btw) I will be stuck with a non-alcoholic sour beverage.
The lacto will not consume all the sugars. The lacto will stop when the PH gets to a certain level, and will probably consume less than 10% of the available sugars.

Did you aerate? Did you pitch big? The acidic wort is a very hostile environment for sacc, so you need to do as much as you can for it. I usually try and pitch about 2X what I would pitch for a normal beer. You really do need to make a big starter.

What is the gravity now?

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Sour yeasts by nature create high levels of acid and alter the pH of your wort. Most fermentation steps for sour beers start with sacch and end with sour yeasts. I'm thinking that since you let the lacto go crazy at such a high temp they altered the pH to a level that is toxic to saccromyces.

Brett/lactic yeasts take a long time to attenuate and produce the desired flavors. If you can spare the carboy I'd just leave it for a while, take samples every month or so and see how it tastes. If it's too sour you could blend it.
A Berliner is a simple beer, and to make it fast, you need to sour it before pitching the yeast. It is not the same as the more complex Lambic and Flanders sour beers.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:06 PM   #5
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I was amazed when I took a gravity reading last night. The gravity had only fallen from 1.038 to 1.036. Maybe I can salvage this baby after all.

I aerated just by shaking & only pitched a Wyeast smack pack.

I'm going to borrow an aeration stone w/ O2 tank and make a big starter using my stir plate that I just finished making yesterday. I'll let you know how it goes after that!

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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A Berliner is a simple beer, and to make it fast, you need to sour it before pitching the yeast. It is not the same as the more complex Lambic and Flanders sour beers.
Is this a new common knowledge? I have always seen to pitch both at the same time. For the very reason this has come up as an issue.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:07 PM   #7
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I would personally throw in a packet or two of us-05 and some bottle dregs to get some brett in there. I always think berliner comes together a little more rounded with brett plus it will help at eating those sugars.

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Old 02-13-2013, 01:38 AM   #8
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I was amazed when I took a gravity reading last night. The gravity had only fallen from 1.038 to 1.036. Maybe I can salvage this baby after all.
Changing sugar to lactic acid doesn't change the gravity a whole lot, so measuring the gravity isn't very effective as far as seeing how much sugar is left. I'm pretty sure that yeast eats sugars that lacto doesn't, so there should be plenty of things for your yeast to eat, assuming it can handle the acidity. You can add brett or not, but if you do, you're in for a much longer wait.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:28 AM   #9
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I had something very similar to me not to long ago, ended up pitching some US05 and it was done in 24 hours, very little visible activity.

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Old 02-13-2013, 02:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suprchunk

Is this a new common knowledge? I have always seen to pitch both at the same time. For the very reason this has come up as an issue.
If you pitch at the same time (e.g. White labs Berliner strain) the yeast can outcompete the lacto. At least that's what they say on the Jamil show, and it's been my experience brewing Berliner as well. You can pitch a strong starter of sac. onto a beer that is partially fermented with lacto (similar to how you'd do a second yeast in a Saison) and it will work we'll, but you have to have it at peak fermentation. If the yeast aren't going like crazy you're likely to have a lot of trouble (e.g. pitching a smack pack probably won't work).

Not sure how this holds up for dry yeast - I don't use it much. Seems like a few replies have done well pitching a few packets.
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