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Old 06-17-2011, 02:19 PM   #1
rhern053
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Default Quick Berliner Weisse Question

Berliner Weisse - should I age cold (~40*F) or room temp (~75*F)?

And for how long? 2-3 months I've heard.

Thanks!

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Old 06-17-2011, 03:31 PM   #2
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cold or room temp for what? I go from brewday to bottle in one week, no need to stare at a carboy for months on end hoping that something magical will happen...the magic happens in the bottle for this style.

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Old 06-17-2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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historically i think they're conditioned warm... mine are at room temp fwiw - i have one that's bottle conditioning and one that has bulk aged for a couple of months mostly because i forgot about it. it goes into bottles tonight if i can find the time.

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Old 06-17-2011, 06:51 PM   #4
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oh, durr...didn't see the "age" part. Yeah, bottle em' up good and young and then age a few weeks around 80 and the lacto character will come right out...much better than waiting months for bulk aging.

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:44 PM   #5
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I've been practicing my necromancy and thought I'd bring this thread back from the dead...

I'm looking into starting to branch into sours, and I thought I'd start with a Berliner Weiss. I really just want a sour with a quick turn around at this point, before I get into more complex, aged sours. It seems some say They age Berliners, others don't. I won't be doing a sour mash or anything. I'll pitch a clean lacto culter from a smack pack or vial. If you pitch the lacto, give it a day or two, then pitch the sacc, can a Berliner be kegged in 4-5 weeks?

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Old 02-12-2014, 11:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAK View Post
I'll pitch a clean lacto culter from a smack pack or vial. If you pitch the lacto, give it a day or two, then pitch the sacc, can a Berliner be kegged in 4-5 weeks?
Remember NO hops. Keep it about 90 to 100 F after you pitch the lacto, make sure it is sour (taste it) before adding the yeast, which is usually 5 to 7 days for me. Then let cool (about 12 hours), pitch yeast, aerate, and you could have it in the keg in less than 3 weeks total.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Remember NO hops. Keep it about 90 to 100 F after you pitch the lacto, make sure it is sour (taste it) before adding the yeast, which is usually 5 to 7 days for me. Then let cool (about 12 hours), pitch yeast, aerate, and you could have it in the keg in less than 3 weeks total.
Thanks for the tips. I haven't researched the style much, so this is great. I have a fermwrap and digital temp control, so I can keep it warm for the lacto. Do you get good fermentation from the sacc pitching that late? I've heard to be careful because if the pH drops too much before you pitch the sacc, it won't perform.

On hops, again, I haven't researched much. I've seen some reference to hopping only during a decoction and no boil. I'm not interested in the no boil route, and I'm probably not doin a decoction either. No decoction >> no hops? At all? That'll be tough for me. Assuming you boil, do you just do 15-20 min, or whatever it takes to get your volume?
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAK View Post
Thanks for the tips. I haven't researched the style much, so this is great. I have a fermwrap and digital temp control, so I can keep it warm for the lacto. Do you get good fermentation from the sacc pitching that late? I've heard to be careful because if the pH drops too much before you pitch the sacc, it won't perform.

On hops, again, I haven't researched much. I've seen some reference to hopping only during a decoction and no boil. I'm not interested in the no boil route, and I'm probably not doin a decoction either. No decoction >> no hops? At all? That'll be tough for me. Assuming you boil, do you just do 15-20 min, or whatever it takes to get your volume?
Lacto doesn't like hops. Don't use any before adding lacto (yes you can, but you risk it not souring). If you really want hops (and at low levels, why .... a BW is an unhopped beer anyway), you can boil the wort after it is soured, before adding the yeast. However, if the lacto you use is heterofermentive, it will have alcohol in it and you will be boiling away alcohol. If it is a homofermentative strain, you are OK boiling it. Take a gravity reading and you will know which you have. If I add hops, the only ones I add are dry hops. I have found Nelson Sauvin goes really well with this style.

Yeast, you are right, it doesn't really like the high ph environment. I usually use some fresh slurry, and pitch 2 to 3 times the amount I'd use for a regular beer. I've done a number with different yeasts, and not had a problem. I don't think you get much reproduction, so you need to rely on the health of the yeast you pitch. Fortunately it is a low alcohol beer.

Yes, I do boil. I'f I'm leaving something for a week with not much protection, I want to make sure it is as sanitary as possible. I usually just boil thru the initial break and cool. Once the Lacto starts producing acid, the low ph will protect the wort.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:09 AM   #9
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Thanks, again, for the very informative response. I think this helped me decide for sure to plunge into sours. Good answers lead to more questions. This has got me thinking more about it now.

Lacto fermentation is an anaerobic activity, right? Do you need to proactively keep O2 out until the sacc inoculation? I.e. Purge with CO2 or something after the lacto inoculation? I assume at a minimum you don't want to aerate/oxygenate yet at that point.

Quote:
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you can boil the wort after it is soured, before adding the yeast. However, if the lacto you use is heterofermentive, it will have alcohol in it and you will be boiling away alcohol. If it is a homofermentative strain, you are OK boiling it. Take a gravity reading and you will know which you have.
I think it was actually in the most recent Brew Strong podcast that JP mentioned boiling, inoculating with lacto, then boiling again before inoculating with sacc. I am bouncing this idea around in my head, but mostly for the benefit of having a "non-contaminative" beer post-fermentation.

If you re-boil, it makes sense that you would oxygenate when pitching the sacc. On the other hand, if you don't re-boil, do you oxygenate when pitching the sacc?


I hate to load up on questions, but I've got one more. Do you know who sells what type of lacto, hetero- or homo-formative? Wyeast doesn't say, and White Labs looks like they only sell a blend, not pure lacto.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:04 PM   #10
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I don't do anything to add O2 at the start, but I don't do anything to exclude it either.

I do not re-boil. I do aerate when I pitch the yeast. I really don't know if you should or not, but it has not caused me any problems.

I use probiotics for my lacto. L-acidopholis. It is homofermentive. It does not like any hops. The first time I made one, I didn't want to use grain after reading about the smell it can produce. I didn't have any commercial lacto, but wanted to try. My wife had these probiotics, so I gave it a go. The result was great, really clean sour, so I have stuck with it. I tried a blend of lacto one time (because that was all my wife had), and it had some heterofermentative lacto in it, and took the 1.040 wort down to 1.016 before I added the yeast. That turned out great too.

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