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Old 04-04-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
ardyexfor
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Apr 2010
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Started making a Berliner Weisse with a combo of wyeast lacto and lacto cultured from grain. It took off within 24 hours with a furious looking fermentation, swirling and whirling but no krausen. It was really weird to be able to see that on top of the wort churning as well. Almost like watching a boil. Also tons of co2 bubbles rising through the wort. Smell is sour with a bit of funk. Taste is tart like a BW with a bit of wheat and lots of carbonation. Nothing seems off though and it is rather clean tasting.

Here's the problem... The lacto cultures alone have reduced my gravity to 1.010 at the 48 hour mark and all activity has ceased. I have looked and searched and can't find a straight response as to whether this is normal or not. I would think if it had a "yeast infection" it would have produced some off flavors fermenting at 90 degrees. The other thing I can't find a straight answer on is if any alcohol will have been produced with this drop in gravity.

I have a 2L starter of Brett Brux chilling in the fridge that was going to take it's turn next, but it appears there is not much left to work on.

So, firstly is this normal?

Secondly do I have alcohol or just sour low gravity wort? If no alcohol should I add some sort of sugars for the Brett to work on?

Thirdly should I bother to pitch the Brett or save it for something else? I do have a 1L starter of JP Dreggs I grew up that could go in instead if it would be a waste to pitch all that Brett.

Hopefully someone can shine some light on this soon. I'd hopefully be making an educated decision sometime tonight (Wishful thinking and fingers crossing here). Thanks in advance for the help.

 
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:43 AM   #2
ardyexfor
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AND I just broke another hydrometer!!! *sigh* Life goes on... Now I have an excuse to got the Homebrew Shop though.

 
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:53 AM   #3
LiquidArtisan
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Sounds normal to me, I like Brett in my BW I think it adds complexity to all the lactic acid
What strain of lactobacillus did you use? I'm sure there is some alcohol in there but not sure how much.

 
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:13 AM   #4
ardyexfor
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Wyeast 5335 and lacto cultured from raw uncrushed grain. Problem is, if the lacto didn't produce alcohol a fermentation of 1.010 to even as low as 1.000 is only 1.31%. Seems like that would be a waste of most any yeast, especially a $12 pack of Brett. So I am hoping someone has a solid answer on what's what here.

 
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:11 AM   #5
ardyexfor
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I ended up pitching the Brett. Still trying to figure out if the lacto will have produced any alcohol or not so know if I need to add any sugar to the mix so the Brett can make some alcohol.

It's been about 12 hours since the pitch and basically no activity so far. Not surprising though with 1.010 wort...

 
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:18 AM   #6
sockmerchant
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I think your lacto starter from the grain had more than just lacto on it. Your grain has all kinds of bugs on it.

I think that the wild yeast etc that reduced your gravity would have produced alcohol.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:14 PM   #7
ardyexfor
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I have heard suggestions of this being possible, but I don't know what yeast could have fermented this warm without producing nasty off flavors......

The way I see it is I either assume I have alcohol and continue to proceed as normal, or I assume I don't and add 1.6# of sugar to make up for it. Flip a coin?

 
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:41 PM   #8
nofootbreak
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Adding sugar to a small dry beer is going to make it very thin and watery. I would leave it be, personally.

 
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:13 PM   #9
ACESFULL
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I have made 3 berliners all using the uncrushed grain sour mash. All of them turned out fantastic. All 3 times the FG was 1.002 but as time went on the beer dried out more and more making it all kinds of sour (no boil method). I added fruit to the last 2 that adds some sugar to the beer obviously and helps with the over dryness. Beers taste great! Have a Blood Orange/Pineapple on tap right now!

 
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:56 PM   #10
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The simple and evidence lacking answer is the other wild yeasts in addition to the bacteria from the grain. If you didn't pitch a pure culture you have no idea whats in there. I would just consider yourself lucky and save the slurry for subsequent batches since, so far, this one came out nice. I once did a split batch of belgian wit and intended to just ferment half with lacto and the rest with a more neutral belgian yeast. Well the lacto portion got seriously gross (did no boil/hop) and ended up blending it and then adding brett to remove the nastiness in the beer. It's pretty good now but I wish it had ended up more like yours did.
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