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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > no-boil Berliner Weisse
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:53 PM   #1
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Default no-boil Berliner Weisse

Just brewed a Berliner Weisse using an interesting no-boil technique I read about. 4lbs of pilsener, 4lbs of wheat malt, 1oz of Hallertauer. I boiled the hops in the mash out water for 15 min. You just mash and then lauter into a kettle, then let the kettle cool on it’s own for a day or two. Rack to your fermenter and pitch the yeast. Age for 6 months.

The theory is that there are enough lacto spores on the grain husks that will survive the mash and provide the sourness without adding any cultures or lacto starters. Any of you guys brew something similar? Let you know in May how it turns out, if anyone cares.

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Old 11-03-2008, 05:56 PM   #2
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Seems somewhat similar to the version in 'Brewing Classic Styles'.

4.2 lbs Pils
3.0 lbs wheat
1 oz 4.4AA% Hallertau @ 15 minutes

15 minute boil, pitch Wyeast 1338 and Wyeast 5335 together.

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Old 11-04-2008, 03:26 PM   #3
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I've been meaning to buy that book.

I just pitched some Orval dregs in an attempt to get a little bit of Brett character. We'll see how this turns out, no boiling is just scary.

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Old 11-04-2008, 03:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smizak View Post
I've been meaning to buy that book.

I just pitched some Orval dregs in an attempt to get a little bit of Brett character. We'll see how this turns out, no boiling is just scary.
I think the mini-boil is to stop all current souring bacteria that have made the wort sour and have it clean for our good yeasty bacterias. Otherwise no-boil means the bad bacteria might take over and not allow the good bacterias to work.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:46 PM   #5
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Right. The theory behind this technique is that the hot sparge water will kill off most of the nasties and that the lacto spores will survive, souring the beer over time without having to sour a portion of the mash and add back.

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Old 06-24-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
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Right. The theory behind this technique is that the hot sparge water will kill off most of the nasties and that the lacto spores will survive, souring the beer over time without having to sour a portion of the mash and add back.
Is this even true with decoction mahsing where there is repeated boiling of portions of the mash? I ask because this is on deck for my brewing schedule and would really like to utilize the natural lactobaccilus on the grains rather than using a culture, but am willing to use a culture if necessary.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:38 PM   #7
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you can also pull out a sample (liter) of your mash to grow up some lacto bacteria separate from the main portion (treat that as you normally would) and add back the lacto culture when you are "ready"

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:43 PM   #8
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Whoa! Zombie thread!!!



I dumped that beer. After six months, it smelled and tasted like rotten vegetable soup. Horrid. Made me gag as it was going down the drain. I don't think the lacto survived in any amount to properly sour it. The lacto is very sensitive to alcohol too, and I fermented it with beer yeast as soon as I was done sparging and cooling. Fail.

I did, however, perform a very successful sour mash for my saison. I mashed 1lb of base malt on my stove in a pot. When it hit 154F, I covered it and let it sit until 120F and then tossed a small handful of unmilled grain to the mash. I have a temp control chamber, so I set it to 100F and left it covered up. The next day I had a nice, clean lacto fermentation going. The aroma was not bad at all, just kinda yogurty sour, and the mash liquid tasted very cleanly sour. The key, IMO, is to add the unmilled grain at 120F and not let it get below 100F after that. The temp and the subsequent drop in ph will favor the lacto fermentation. When it was good and sour, I heated it up to boiling to stop the lacto and whatever else, and left the pot covered in my beer fridge. I heated it up and added it late in the mash for my saison. It's not carbed up yet, but the flavor is fantastic, I can pick out the slight sourness and character from the sour mini-mash. Yum.

I would try it and only use it if it smells and tastes good. I've read about sour mashes smelling like dirty diaper and dumpster, yuck, don't want in my beer. A good lacto fermentation should not smell or taste bad at all. If it does, other bugs are involved, and I wouldn't put it in my beer.

There is a thread about Biermunchers Berliner Weisse technique. Search for it. He reports his lacto fermentation as being very clean and not offensive as well.

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Old 06-25-2010, 01:02 AM   #9
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Great, thanks for the advice!

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