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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Sour wort berliner project: advice needed
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
gospurs
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Default Sour wort berliner project: advice needed

So much to my surprise, my attempt at a sour wort Berliner Weisse is actually coming along rather nicely. Yesterday I did a partial mash with 4 pounds of wheat and mixed that with 2 pounds of light DME - threw all this in the fermenter along with a quick Hallertau hop tea and a vial of Whitelabs lacto, and things seem to be going swimmingly. There's vigorous airlock action and I'm getting a lovely "clean-sour" smell from the brew.

I was hoping to do this no-boil, by throwing in about 5/4ths of a normal k-metabisulfite dosage as soon as I'm content with the level of sourness of my beer, letting it kill off the lacto, and then pitching Wyeast 1007 about 36 hours later.

First question: what will k-meta do to my beer? Will it mess with the flavor significantly? Will it succeed in killing off the lacto?

and the second: Do I really need to make a massive yeast starter, or can I just confidently throw in the contents of a Wyeast smack pack of 1007 and expect that to handle my fermentation needs?

btw, #excited.

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Old 05-21-2012, 09:40 PM   #2
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Yeast gets real grumpy at low pH. What you're doing, I've done a few times, though I didn't sulfite. I just heated to 150* and held for 30min to sterilize. I use a whole yeast cake, and that works well. I don't really think you can have too much yeast for a really sour BW.

I've never tried k-meta, but the dosage depends on the pH of the beer/wine/whatever. It does have a flavor, so I probably wouldn't use it.

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Old 05-21-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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Interesting... I'm beginning to wonder about the boil route. Then again, the total amount of k-meta would be less than a teaspoonful, and I kinda doubt it could hit the beer that hard. No-boil is just so intriguing to me...

Is the campden idea a no-go?

Now, to get going on that starter...

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Old 05-22-2012, 07:35 PM   #4
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I've realized I'm not clear on something: what's the point of killing off all the Lactobacillus? Why is it important to do so, rather than just tossing in the yeast?

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Old 05-22-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
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I only kill the lacto pre-ferment to keep everything on the cold side sterilized. I don't want to expose my fermentor, my autosiphon, and my bottling bucket to a large lacto infection. You might be able to effectively sanitize it afterwards, but it's not a risk I'm willing to take.

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:40 PM   #6
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I'd assume if you add enough k-meta to kill the lacto that it would also kill the yeast no matter how long you waited after the k-meta application. I don't think it dissipates. Easiest way is to just bring the wort to a boil or near boil again and kill the lacto. Anything over 180 should be fine and hold it for a while.

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Old 10-19-2012, 05:17 AM   #7
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I've never had a problem with lacto infecting my fermenters or bottling bucket. It can't survive 4% ABV or 20 IBUs or eat dextrins, so even if some does carry into the next batch, it doesn't pose near the risk that Brett would. I don't think it will survive a 30-minute bleach bath or whatever your preferred method of sanitation is. However, it won't survive pasteurization either, and the lactic acid doesn't boil until around 250 degrees.

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Old 10-19-2012, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingwood-kid View Post
I've never had a problem with lacto infecting my fermenters or bottling bucket. It can't survive 4% ABV or 20 IBUs or eat dextrins, so even if some does carry into the next batch, it doesn't pose near the risk that Brett would. I don't think it will survive a 30-minute bleach bath or whatever your preferred method of sanitation is. However, it won't survive pasteurization either, and the lactic acid doesn't boil until around 250 degrees.
There are many different kinds of Lactobacillus. Some of them are very tolerant of hops and alcohol. From my personal experience, Brettanomyces is easier to kill than the more robust Lactobacillus strains.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nateo View Post
There are many different kinds of Lactobacillus. Some of them are very tolerant of hops and alcohol. From my personal experience, Brettanomyces is easier to kill than the more robust Lactobacillus strains.
Which strains Nateo?

And which strains are carried by Wyeast/WL?
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nateo View Post
There are many different kinds of Lactobacillus. Some of them are very tolerant of hops and alcohol. From my personal experience, Brettanomyces is easier to kill than the more robust Lactobacillus strains.
Brett isn't particularly hard to kill, cell by cell; the issue is that you have to completely eradicate it for it not to show itself in the next beer because of its ability to thrive on waste and leftovers. I suppose with the lacto strains that can survive in finished beer, total eradication would be the goal. But unless I'm mistaken, lacto doesn't eat dextrins or thrive at 65 degrees, so its effects on beer flavor and stability would be less of a concern than with Brett. Still a concern I suppose..

Is killing the lacto simply a problem with disinfecting scratches and imperfections in the hardware, or do these strains just shrug off most everything we use to disinfect?
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