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-   -   Quick and Dirty Berliner (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f72/quick-dirty-berliner-292973/)

Simps 01-08-2012 10:50 PM

Quick and Dirty Berliner
A while ago I was looking for a fast easy way to make a Berliner Weisse. I posted on the forums for advice and got no response so I threw this together myself and it turned out great.

The sourness is obviously not as complex as an all-grain naturally sour Berliner but it only took me 2 hours to make and was the perfect drinking sour beer for a hot summer on the boat.

The best part - you don't have to wait MONTHS for sourness to develop, or worry about contamination. (my buddy had a bad case of baby-vomit bacteria in his few trials with natural souring and spent a lot of cash on lactic bacteria that after months on end did nothing for his beer)

The only thing I would change - increase the sourness SLIGHTLY to mimic the level of sourness in an authentic Berliner. This beer is sour, but I didn't want to scare my beer-ignorant friends away.

Quick and Dirty Berliner
4 ibs. Briess Wheat Dry Extract (80% grist)
1 ibs. Briess Pilsen Dry Extract (20% grist)
1oz Tettnang (3.5%AA) (15min) (7ibu)

Boil for 15min - I do a full volume boil, you could add the extract after boiling if you are concerned about color but I wasn't.

1pkg Safale American (DCL Yeast #US-05)
Re-hydrated in sanitized (boiled) water and NO SUGAR 10 min before pitching. No starter.

Fermented for about 3 days, moved to 4C once finished and let settle for 1 day. Moved to keg and soured.

The best guidance I could find on souring lead me to believe the ideal concentration for lactic acid on average Berliners should be .38% (that's 71.92grams lactic acid in 5 gallons) I reduced mine to .34% (64.24grams in 5 gallons) and was happy with it. I've seen estimates as high as .45% but I didn't want to overdo it on the first run.

So what I did because I couldn't get lactic acid in powder form was use 73ml of 88% Lactic acid from my LHBS.

Now for the math:
This gave me (73ml*.88)=64.24g lactic acid

in 5 gallons +73ml H2O. (18927ml + 73ml) = 19000ml

64.24g/19000ml=.338% lactic acid. rounded = .34%

A teacher once told me you don't understand anything until you can explain it with numbers so there you have it. Again that's .338% NOT 33.8%, it doesn't sound like much but it is.

Additionally I should mention why I chose the malt proportions the way I did. First off this will give you a beer with .003 more gravity than the style, but I didn't want to finely measure the extract, again this is supposed to be quick and dirty! Second, the Briess Wheat extract actually contains 35% barley malt and 65% wheat malt. If you change brands the final balance should be close to 50% wheat and 50% barley. Feel free to experiment with a higher proportion of wheat, but I wouldn't add less. The color and body will be too heavy.

ahaley 01-11-2012 09:07 AM

Awesome, this is something I will have to try I most likely will do more sour and If people don't like it oh well. That sounds like a great beer though

Simps 01-12-2012 03:46 PM


Let me know what you think. It's a huge time saver.

DisturbdChemist 02-01-2012 08:13 PM

I'm looking to do a sour because last weekend i had a few and opened my eyes on the style. I do not keg yet but bottle. So you add the latic acid to the keg, if i'm going to do this i'll probably add it to the bottling bucket before i bottle. I want to try it this way as well as natural to see the difference

drea23 03-23-2012 01:47 PM

I'm fairly new to brewing and this will be my first sour attempt. What does "moved to 4C" mean? Is that move to a secondary? Do you think it would benefit to leave in primary longer?

Any thoughts on how long to bottle age for the souring?


Simps 03-23-2012 06:55 PM

Moved to 4c as in 4 degrees celcius. I took the primary bucket and put in in a fridge to drop the yeast. You can leave it longer if you like, I believe the standard is 2weeks. Normally i ferment for about 4-5 days then the put it in a fridge for 1 or 2 days and then keg. When you bottle just add the acid to the bottling bucket and mix well. No need to age longer than it takes to get carbed as the sourness will be the same regardless and it's a best fresh style.

Update with how it goes and what you thought! Good luck!

djelemenohpee 05-01-2012 05:03 AM

this sounds great. especially for a new brewer like myself. Does adding the lactic acid to the bottling bucket create the carbonation in the bottle or do you still need to add sugar to the bucket as well?

has anyone else done this brew yet? curious if you let it sit for two weeks or did a secondary and how that came out. I dont have a a fridge big enough to cold crash at the moment.

Simps 05-03-2012 02:52 PM

If you are bottling you still need to add sugar to create the carbonation.

You are probably thinking of lactose - a type of sugar. Lactose sugar however is not metabolized by yeast either and would also not create carbonation.

djelemenohpee 05-03-2012 06:34 PM

So what do I need to add to the bottling bucket to get it to carbonize?

DisturbdChemist 05-03-2012 06:38 PM

either table sugar or dextrose (corn sugar) will work to carbonate

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