I love a good berliner weisse but I have had a tough time brewing one. There seem to be two popular ways to brew one. The first is to simply brew it as normal but pitch lacto into the fermenter. But this takes months and I already have too many sour ales sitting in a closet and don't really have the space/patience for another. So, the long wait is not really an option.
The other technique is the sour mash. I have also tried the sour mash, but the result was . . . not good. The laco obviously did not win the battle with the whatever other funky, nasty bugs were in the mash. It was dumped fairly quickly. I was thinking of trying it again, but was not looking forward to dumping another batch.
My idea for a third way seems like it should work. But I have been known to make mistakes before. Tell me if there is something I am missing.
I plan to mash as normal, drain to my kettle and boil for 10-15 minutes, just long enough to kill anything in the wort. While it is boiling I will clean and StarSans the mash tun. Then turn off the heat to the kettle, let it cool on its own to 120 and siphon back into the mash tun. I will then pitch a White Labs vial of lacto, but plastic wrap on top of the liquid, seal the mash tun and wait a day or two. Then run the liquid back into the kettle, boil, then into the fermenter with a clean beer yeast.
This seems to split the difference between the two techniques. It will give you a berliner weisse in weeks instead of months. But it avoids the unreliability of throwing a handful of grain into the mash. The downsides are the expense of having to buy the lacto and the extra work of two boils (even if one is very short).
Am I missing something? Is there any reason this is a bad/stupid idea?