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Old 03-05-2013, 04:52 AM   #1
mmonacel
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Default Timing to add Brett to NHC berliner weisse

I have a split batch Berliner weisse that just isn't there yet. One carboy simply tastes like nothing / slightly wheaty and the other just tastes soapy. I believe these flaws are due to missing my mash pH way on the high end which gives a flabby flavor to both and for the second carboy I never racked it off the yeast / trub which is about 3 inches now and has been sitting for 7 months so autolysis has fully set in. Neither really soured to the level I was looking for - again likely due to the high starting pH.

I've got a berliner registered for the NHC though so I'm hoping to let some Brett munch away on one to lower the pH and provide some depth of flavor. I may also supplement with some lactic acid to help lower the pH and add some sharpness to the flavor. I have a 2L starter of East Coast Yeast Brett Blend #1 (ECY 04) - description below that I'm ready to add to one of these carboys in another day or so. My questions are:

- Which carboy would you add this to?
- Would you chill and decant or add the whole starter?

What says you?

My gut tells me to go with the bland one as opposed to the soapy one since it's just a "better" beer to begin with and likely to do better in the short term. Long term though, I'm thinking the Brett would chow down on the yeast autolysis bits to provide more overall flavor.

ECY04 BRETT Blend #1
Three individual Brettanomyces isolates from lambic producers combined to give an aggressive brett presence in any beer. Vigorous, funky and acid-tolerant, the blend can be added at any stage of fermentation and is excellent for priming or re-yeasting.

I should finish by saying I don't have real hopes for a solid NHC performance from these, but I do believe they have potential with Brett given the style and the fact that I've got plenty of patience to wait on these for the long term.

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:19 AM   #2
Calder
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I'm not sure Doctoring either of them is the right way to go. If you don't have much invested in them, you might as well toss them.

I don't know what time-line you are working to, but you can put together a decent Berliner that can be in the bottle in 3 to 4 weeks and be drinking 2 to 3 weeks later. The key is to sour before adding any yeast, don't use any hops, and keep it warm during the souring process.

Make wort (around 1.036), no hops, no aeration, add lacto and keep warm, preferably 90 to 100 F for about 5 days. keep under an airlock, and don't mess with it.

After 5 days, taste it. If not sour, replace airlock and let it go another day or 2 until it sours.

Once it is sour, you can either add yeast, or boil, add hops, cool and add yeast. Use a large starter, as the acidic wort is hostile to the yeast. Aerate well and ferment normally. If you boil you will get no more souring.

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:54 PM   #3
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aren't the NHC entries due in a few weeks? I think you're SOL on fixing these in time for that, but I'd rather add brett to the bland one than soapy for the long haul. I'd save some of the starter to keep so you can re-use it others.

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Old 03-07-2013, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
I'm not sure Doctoring either of them is the right way to go. If you don't have much invested in them, you might as well toss them.

I don't know what time-line you are working to, but you can put together a decent Berliner that can be in the bottle in 3 to 4 weeks and be drinking 2 to 3 weeks later. The key is to sour before adding any yeast, don't use any hops, and keep it warm during the souring process.

Make wort (around 1.036), no hops, no aeration, add lacto and keep warm, preferably 90 to 100 F for about 5 days. keep under an airlock, and don't mess with it.

After 5 days, taste it. If not sour, replace airlock and let it go another day or 2 until it sours.

Once it is sour, you can either add yeast, or boil, add hops, cool and add yeast. Use a large starter, as the acidic wort is hostile to the yeast. Aerate well and ferment normally. If you boil you will get no more souring.

Interesting - I've never heard this approach. Basically a sour mash but presumably you're taking it off the mash bed into a carboy and pitching lacto. Let it do it's thing, then proceed with the boil process as normal. I LIKE it! You can split up a brew day, less variability / risk than doing a sour mash since you're innoculating with a known strain, and you can dial in the sourness before proceeding. Plus as opposed to pitching lacto with sacc you don't have competing interests with temperature or O2 requirements. How have I never seen this before?! Awesome. Thanks!
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