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Old 03-09-2013, 03:48 PM   #1
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Default Sour mashing and a berliner weisse

Ok I know I'm probably asking alot but I was hoping to get some advice on a technique I think I kinda know but have never actually done. Can someone please kinda walk me through how to do a sour mash and how to use it within the context of brewing a berliner weisse...... For that matter with a berliner weisse is the Lacto the only thing taking care of the fermentation or is there a Sacch strain in there somewhere too. I did do a search and look at recipes but it seems there is onl 1 recipe on HBT for a BW and no real info on sour mash that I have found. Thanks for the advice !!!

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Old 03-10-2013, 01:10 AM   #2
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This thread covers a lot of it:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/ber...y-ways-385934/

I think there's a number of ways to do the sour mash, and this is only my first, but I did the full mash & sparge, put the kettle in my fermentation chamber at 100°F (currently holding at 90°F - my chamber can't get that high), and inoculated it with a handful of uncrushed grain in a paint strainer bag. You could also use a commercial pitch of lacto.

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:28 PM   #3
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Here's how I did mine:

Milled pilsner malt and white wheat malt. 7lb or so total, IIRC.

Heat my mash water, mash in at 148 and let it go until it gets down into the 120's (Mash tun is an igloo cooler).

Throw a cup of un-milled pilsen malt in.

Flood the headspace of igloo with CO2, and close.

Check every 8 hours or so to make sure it keeps about 100 degrees or so. Add hot water to bring it back up to temp if needed (I also threw in a little more grain... since it was open). Re-flood with CO2 and close.

I tasted it every time I opened. It went from not really sour at 24 hours, pretty sour at 36, and whoa! this is damn sour! at 48. That's where I stopped. Because I kept O2 exposure to a minimum, I got only a clean sour smell and taste. Smelled a bit like sour cream.

Got my runnings from the mash tun like any other brew. Didn't need to batch/fly sparge as I got my full volume from mash tun (due to adding hot water every time I opened the tun).

I boiled for 15-20 min. with 8 grams of hops. This killed the lacto. Cooled, racked to carboy and pitched regular sach. yeast - I used dry S-05, but would like to try a German strain next time.

Fermented all the way to 1.003 with no trouble in under 2 weeks. Had a bit of lag at begining, prob. do to acidic nature of wort.

Put it in a keg, force carb'd it, and done. 2 weeks grain to glass.

It's a very tart (even compared to 99% of commercial examples I've had) and refreshing beer. Mine ended up a little high in ABV (4.8%) in comparison to style guidelines.

I'm going to repeat the process this coming week, but after fermentation is done, rack the beer onto a bunch of peaches.

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Old 03-11-2013, 12:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmr
Here's how I did mine:

Milled pilsner malt and white wheat malt. 7lb or so total, IIRC.

Heat my mash water, mash in at 148 and let it go until it gets down into the 120's (Mash tun is an igloo cooler).

Through a cup of un-milled pilsen malt in.

Flood the headspace of igloo with CO2, and close.

Check every 8 hours or so to make sure it keeps about 100 degrees or so. Add hot water to bring it back up to temp if needed (I also threw in a little more grain... since it was open). Re-flood with CO2 and close.

I tasted it every time I opened. It went from not really sour at 24 hours, pretty sour at 36, and whoa! this is damn sour! at 48. That's where I stopped. Because I kept O2 exposure to a minimum, I got only a clean sour smell and taste. Smelled a bit like sour cream.

Got my runnings from the mash tun like any other brew. Didn't need to batch/fly sparge as I got my full volume from mash tun (due to adding hot water every time I opened the tun).

I boiled for 15-20 min. with 8 grams of hops. This killed the lacto. Cooled, racked to carboy and pitched regular sach. yeast - I used dry S-05, but would like to try a German strain next time.

Fermented all the way to 1.003 with no trouble in under 2 weeks. Had a bit of lag at begining, prob. do to acidic nature of wort.

Put it in a keg, force carb'd it, and done. 2 weeks grain to glass.

It's a very tart (even compared to 99% of commercial examples I've had) and refreshing beer. Mine ended up a little high in ABV (4.8%) in comparison to style guidelines.

I'm going to repeat the process this coming week, but after fermentation is done, rack the beer onto a bunch of peaches.
Wow thanks for the detail that was what I was looking for. BTW welcome to HBT !!! Great community of brewers. My million dollar question based on your post is two fold ..... One it appears you did the full volume to do the sour mash is this correct or did you split the bill ie. 50% sour the rest not ? Secondly how did you get conversion at such a low temp ? I understand the Lacto temp of 100 degrees but how did you get the starches to sugar with out a at least a beta rest for "x" amount of time before cooling to 100 ? Thanks again.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:36 AM   #5
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Wow thanks for the detail that was what I was looking for. BTW welcome to HBT !!! Great community of brewers. My million dollar question based on your post is two fold ..... One it appears you did the full volume to do the sour mash is this correct or did you split the bill ie. 50% sour the rest not ? Secondly how did you get conversion at such a low temp ? I understand the Lacto temp of 100 degrees but how did you get the starches to sugar with out a at least a beta rest for "x" amount of time before cooling to 100 ? Thanks again.
Thanks. I've been on here a long time, I usually just lurk...

I did the full volume as a sour mash. I like tart. Might not be a bad idea to try a 50/50 or 30/70 blend.

The conversion took place at the 148 degree temp, and after an hour, instead of getting my runnings, I just let it continue to sit covered until it dropped into the 120's and then tossed in the unmilled malt. Took 2 hours or so to get down to temp (I might have added a bit of cold water to get the last 10 degree drop or so, can't remember). Conversion was quite successful, as I ended up with a much higher OG than I expected. I had planned on batch sparging, but my first runnings ended up being 5 gallons, so I stopped there. If I hadn't added hot water to bring up temp. each time opening, I would have needed to sparge.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:12 AM   #6
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:44 AM   #7
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I've got a dedicated BIAB sour wort Berliner system that works great!

I mash in a 5 gal boil kettle by BIAB. Then a cool to 100 after removing the bag. Now that its just wort, I toss in some whole grain and stick it in the oven for a few days to hold it around 90-100. Tasting it along the way until it gets to where I want it. Usually 3-4 days or so. Then I just boil the whole thing for 30 min or so to kill off the bugs, cool and pitch 05. Doesn't take long to ferment being low gravity. Keg and carb. Two weeks. All summer long. Cheers and good luck.

Here's a pic of the wort. Yum

image-3392013917.jpg

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Old 05-24-2013, 02:50 AM   #8
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I've got a dedicated BIAB sour wort Berliner system that works great!

I mash in a 5 gal boil kettle by BIAB. Then a cool to 100 after removing the bag. Now that its just wort, I toss in some whole grain and stick it in the oven for a few days to hold it around 90-100. Tasting it along the way until it gets to where I want it. Usually 3-4 days or so. Then I just boil the whole thing for 30 min or so to kill off the bugs, cool and pitch 05. Doesn't take long to ferment being low gravity. Keg and carb. Two weeks. All summer long. Cheers and good luck.

Here's a pic of the wort. Yum

Attachment 123953
Wow that is some great info !!!! your really leave your oven on for 3-4 days at a clip for this ? I'm kinda assuming you maybe just put the light on whicI've read in other posts that will generate about 100 degrees F of heat. I really like your method and I'm so glad you posted this today as I am brewing my Berliner this weekend on Sunday. My million dollar question is twofold the one being and I believe there would be no difference here but I am going to do this all grain ( same as you ) but do a fly sparge etc.. so that should not make a difference as long as I produce just a wort...... my bigger question is this I was going to after producing the wort transfer it ( no boil ) into a 6.5 gallon glass carboy and pitch white labs Lacto Delbucki and put my ferm belt and a ranco etc-11000 to keep it at a constant 90-100 degrees for two weeks. After this I was going to re rack it back into my boil kettle and do a fifteen minute boil to kill of the Lacto then fully chill down to appx 63 degrees and pitch either Us-05 or I was even considering using a Saison or English strain to mix things up. What do you think is this similar but "different" than your process and will I still get decent results ?
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aschecte

Wow that is some great info !!!! your really leave your oven on for 3-4 days at a clip for this ? I'm kinda assuming you maybe just put the light on whicI've read in other posts that will generate about 100 degrees F of heat. I really like your method and I'm so glad you posted this today as I am brewing my Berliner this weekend on Sunday. My million dollar question is twofold the one being and I believe there would be no difference here but I am going to do this all grain ( same as you ) but do a fly sparge etc.. so that should not make a difference as long as I produce just a wort...... my bigger question is this I was going to after producing the wort transfer it ( no boil ) into a 6.5 gallon glass carboy and pitch white labs Lacto Delbucki and put my ferm belt and a ranco etc-11000 to keep it at a constant 90-100 degrees for two weeks. After this I was going to re rack it back into my boil kettle and do a fifteen minute boil to kill of the Lacto then fully chill down to appx 63 degrees and pitch either Us-05 or I was even considering using a Saison or English strain to mix things up. What do you think is this similar but "different" than your process and will I still get decent results ?
I just set the oven just below warm and it will keep the wort between 90-100. I never considered the light. I'll have to try that next time.

With what you are proposing, you have to consider two things. If you pitch a commercial strain from white labs or wyeast, it will probably take months to develop any sourness. Also, if you pitch your bugs into your fermenter, you may now want to dedicate that fermenter to sour beers. There is some debate on this, but I keep all my sour stuff sour, and my "clean" beer stuff clean. With the way I do it, everything in the boil kettle, everything stays clean. The only piece of sour equipment I use is the thief I take samples with while its souring.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:12 PM   #10
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I just set the oven just below warm and it will keep the wort between 90-100. I never considered the light. I'll have to try that next time.

With what you are proposing, you have to consider two things. If you pitch a commercial strain from white labs or wyeast, it will probably take months to develop any sourness. Also, if you pitch your bugs into your fermenter, you may now want to dedicate that fermenter to sour beers. There is some debate on this, but I keep all my sour stuff sour, and my "clean" beer stuff clean. With the way I do it, everything in the boil kettle, everything stays clean. The only piece of sour equipment I use is the thief I take samples with while its souring.
Ok I see ...... that's where the grain has the advantage as it "kicks off" the sourness quicker....... what I didn't realize and correct me if I am wrong is that your obviously inoculating the wort with lacto via grain in the kettle but what I did not realize and this is where correction may be needed is that you are boiling, chilling, pitching the Us-05 into the kettle ? and fermenting in the kettle akin to a open fermentation ?
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