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Old 08-01-2014, 07:06 AM   #1
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Default Sour mash Berliner - should have boiled longer

I did my first sour-worted Berliner Weiss a couple weeks ago. I soured for 3 days then boiled for 15 minutes and added some hops. I fermented for a week down to 1.004. After a week in the bottle it was obvious that I didn't kill all the bacteria with my boil. I had to dump the batch before all my bottles exploded.

I'm not sure I everyone else who sour mashes boils longer and I just missed that bit of advice, but I wanted to share my experience and encourage sour mashers to boil longer than 15 minutes.

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Old 08-01-2014, 11:21 AM   #2
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Why do you suspect that you didn't kill it all? I would expect that even a simmer, let alone a boil, for 15 minutes would kill everything in the wort.

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Old 08-01-2014, 12:01 PM   #3
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Yeah, I can't imagine anything surviving a 15 minute boil. Hell, the last few Berliners I've brewed I haven't boiled at all. No gushers, no bottle bombs.

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Old 08-01-2014, 01:49 PM   #4
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Agreed with the other posters, boiling long enough likely wasn't the issue.

Did you reuse any of the same gear for the souring and primary fermentation stages? It would be pretty easy to accidentally reintroduce the bacteria after chilling. Plastic gear (racking cane, tubing, fermentor etc.) scratches easily and often is a source for cross-contamination.

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Old 08-01-2014, 08:40 PM   #5
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I was really careful to not reuse any equipment from the sour mash. I used a disposable 9 liter water bottle for sour worting. I purposefully didn't use any of my regular brewing gear after the mash. I was careful with sanitation. I made sure I hit terminal gravity.

I've also never seen an infection go from brewing to blowing up a bottle in so few days. It makes me think it wasn't just a bit of bacteria that got through my iodophor.

However.... I've got a serious man-crush on oldsock and so I'll believe pretty much anything he tells me about beer.

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Old 08-01-2014, 09:00 PM   #6
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here's some info on pasteurization temperatures for milk, .01 seconds at 212F is enough (or 15 seconds at just 161F).

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Old 08-01-2014, 09:04 PM   #7
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If you got bottle bombs or gushers in a few days your brew likely wasn't done fermenting and there were too many fermentables available, ie too much priming sugar.

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Old 08-01-2014, 09:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Culbetron View Post
...I fermented for a week...
I think this is your problem. Even if you only had 2-3 more gravity points to go, you'd have exploding bottles when you ferment those 2-3 points plus your priming sugar.
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:03 AM   #9
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It could be... I had no gravity change over a 3 day period prior to bottling and I primed conservatively for 2.5 volumes of CO2.

I did notice a ring around the neck of the bottles. So I must have infected it somehow. Oh well, I think I'll have to try pitching lacto next time post-boil.

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Old 03-01-2015, 06:44 PM   #10
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I ended up trying this beer and then dumping it all. It tasted awful. Just really bad.

A couple months later I realized I had forgotten to dump one bottle of it. I thought "might as well try it!"

I poured a brilliantly clear bear with a perfect head and a spritzy body. The aroma was lemony and grainy. The taste was just amazing! Perfect balance of citric sourness, funk, and graininess. I might just have been my best beer I've made and I dumped it all

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