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-   -   unsour berliner weisse (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/unsour-berliner-weisse-133984/)

Matt Up North 08-27-2009 02:57 AM

unsour berliner weisse
I tried to make a berliner weisse and it is not sour after around 15 days. sure, "takes more time" I will hear you say. I still think that there should be some sort of a sour flavor. What can I do? I don't want to RDWHAHB. I do want to understand why there is no sour because I am just about to make up a barrel aged sour beer with brett and don't want to just have a barrel aged beer.


sause 08-27-2009 03:21 AM

Do you have this in the barrel right now or in a carboy? Has your SG dropped at all? After fermentation the lacto really can't survive. But if it hasn't take a .5 pound of grain crush it and add to beer. The lacto in/on the grain will help sour the beer.

newkarian 08-27-2009 10:40 AM

The key to getting a sour bw is to let the lacto ferment for 24-72 hrs before adding the sach. The organisms involved in souring a lambic such as pedio are much more hardy than lacto and take months to years to fully develop flavors. Lacto sourness is typically developed quicker as the lacto dies off at higher alcohol levels and is over come by the sach fermentation. Although you wont get the same results you can get a close approximation by adding lactic acid to taste at bottling.

ryane 08-27-2009 02:23 PM

I agree with all above posters, although I would not suggest adding crushed grain to your wort, as you never can tell what youll get. My last experience smell like hot vomit and this filled my house

Keys to getting sourness in a Berliner, Im assuming you used WY/WL lacto, is to keep the IBU extremely low <<10IBU (both strains are horribly intolerant of IBU's approaching 10), pitch the lacto early, keep it warm and really let it get going for at least 24hrs before the sacch

At this point your really not gonna get any significant sourness, your best bet is to either sour up a small batch (lacto only) and add that to your berliner, add lactic acid, or what Ive done with unimpressive berliners is to add lemon juice.

Adding the lemon juice will up the acidity and gives it a very nice bright citrus aroma/flavor

Matt Up North 08-27-2009 02:49 PM

all of this is useful information. I am not saying I didn't do it wrong, but I followed the instructions from Wyeast and made up a starter (10gallon batch) that I let go for a week and then pitched that into my wort. I realize that a lot of people use the pitch 24 hours in advance and get good results, but I am looking for really sour. I had assumed that by using this method (starter) I would get a great sour flavor and be able to enjoy this guy! So far, no good.

My recipe aside, I have an OG of 1.034 and a FG of 1.007, IBU 6, SRM 2 and abv 3.2%. I am sure that the lacto isn't dead because of the beer. If anything I might have killed it in the starter as there wasn't a pellicle in the starter. I tasted the starter prior to pitching just to make sure that maybe, just maybe, the pellicle wouldn't form in a week and that I was on the right track and it tasted like a hint of sourness. I was excited and pitched it in along with my yeast.

In the future, I just want to make sure that I did kill the lacto starter so that I can attempt it again and maybe this time acheive better results.

Any thoughts on why the lacto (aside from dead) might not be souring this at all?

PS...I did a fake version of this using acidulated malt and it is beautifully sour. Not very complex like I was hoping for, but sour. I now know how to get a "sour" beer easily, but I really am interested in finding out how to make this Lacto thing work as in the next week I am looking at brewing up a bigger barrel aged beer and this was kinda the test.

Evan! 08-27-2009 02:51 PM

You really need to wait. I pitched some lacto-d into mine, sans Sacch, and it fermented down to 1.008 in about 24 hours before I added the sacch. The sacch never did much of anything. But even after the lacto took it down to 1.008, it wasn't sour, just odd-tasting. Now, after conditioning for ~3 months, it's really starting to get sour.

If you're impatient and want to speed it up, though, you can do what ryane says and add lactic acid. I wouldn't suggest lemon juice myself, but to each his own.

Evan! 08-27-2009 02:52 PM


Originally Posted by Matt Up North (Post 1510125)
Any thoughts on why the lacto (aside from dead) might not be souring this at all?

Because it hasn't been long enough. That's why. Chizzill!

ChrisKennedy 08-27-2009 04:05 PM

You should really have at least a tartness by now. My Berliners have had a noticeable tartness within two weeks, that did get a bit stronger over the next month.

Of course, 5gal of a recent Berliner (fermented with LactoD and Brett C) still smells a bit like vomit, but the Brett L one smells good, so hopefully the vomit will air off.

Edit: And souring a Berliner is completely different than souring most other "styles". Berliners get (traditionally) all of their sourness from Lacto, and since lacto is so picky, to get a good level of sourness it pretty much has to happen early. But most others get most of their sourness from Pedio, and some aceto/brett/whathaveyou. Pedio (and the others) take longer, benefit from a lot more time, go through longer stages etc. With a lambic, you really have to be patient for the sourness to develop. With a Berliner, well, if it ain't even noticeable in 3-4 weeks, well, it isn't age that it probably needs.

Tonedef131 08-27-2009 04:17 PM

I have a berliner that is like 6 months old now and I am not happy with the level of sourness, it's there but I was hoping for something like the New Glarus Berliner Weiss. I made a lacto starter and kept it in the 90s for a day before pitching, then pitched at the same time as the yeast. I have it warm aging in a keg right now and hopefully it will get more sour this way, I have considered buying another pack of lacto and adding it...or just adding some lactic acid directly. Next time I think I am only going to chill the wort down to like 90, pitch the lacto, then once it comes down into the 60s naturally I will add the Sacc.

Evan! 08-27-2009 04:28 PM


Originally Posted by ChrisKennedy (Post 1510338)
With a Berliner, well, if it ain't even noticeable in 3-4 weeks, well, it isn't age that it probably needs.

I disagree, respectfully. My sourness didn't really take hold until a couple months out.

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