Alferman Imperial Berliner Weisse

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Morkin

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My lacto starter smelled a little like nail polish remover. Probably not a good thing. What smell should I expect out of the starter?
Usually that is the sign of Ethyl Acetate or Acetone. It 'could' subside, and also could not. Homemade Lacto starters are very trial and error. This is primarily why Jamil likes using store bought lacto cultures, because the Homemade ones are sometimes hard to predict.

I have had 1 batch that had a slight smell of Ethyl Acetate, and it turned out fine with some time. I would say if you are scared to pitch it into wort, don't.

Next time, make 2 Lacto starters, and then choose the one that smells the most like a clean, tart, lactic acid smell.
 

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Chub said:
My lacto starter smelled a little like nail polish remover. Probably not a good thing. What smell should I expect out of the starter?
Mine smelled of quite sour dairy/dank sour cream after about a week. Not sure if that's the right smell but my beer seems to he doing ok. Although I've yet to see any pellicle on my beer. Could this have anything to do with using fermcap s?
 
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Mine smelled of quite sour dairy/dank sour cream after about a week. Not sure if that's the right smell but my beer seems to he doing ok. Although I've yet to see any pellicle on my beer. Could this have anything to do with using fermcap s?
That is about right for the lacto starter. But you should have seen a pellicle. A fermcap should have had nothing to do with not forming a pellicle. Has your airlock done anything, or has the gravity changed?
 

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Morkin said:
That is about right for the lacto starter. But you should have seen a pellicle. A fermcap should have had nothing to do with not forming a pellicle. Has your airlock done anything, or has the gravity changed?
Airlock was going crazy the first few days after I added the lactose. Didn't really do much of anything after the brewers yeast was added. Haven't taken a gravity yet as I wanted to wait till the end, as to not waste the sample. But ill take one this week maybe.
 

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So with this beer would i sparge normally or is it a no sparge thing?
 

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I batch sparged as usual and then cooled it to about 100 and pitched my lacto starter... its been like15 days since I pitched the brewers yeast and there is still no pellicle. Hope everything is ok...
 
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I batch sparged as usual and then cooled it to about 100 and pitched my lacto starter... its been like15 days since I pitched the brewers yeast and there is still no pellicle. Hope everything is ok...
There is always a chance that the pellicle will not be visible, although with this beer it certainly should be. Did you taste it after 48 hours before pitching the yeast? If it was not sour enough for you likeing, I would have weighted to pitch the yeast.

Also, I have had some cases where when I pitched the yeast, the pellicle fell back into the beer.

Take a sample and reading. That is the only way to know for sure.
 

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Morkin said:
There is always a chance that the pellicle will not be visible, although with this beer it certainly should be. Did you taste it after 48 hours before pitching the yeast? If it was not sour enough for you likeing, I would have weighted to pitch the yeast.

Also, I have had some cases where when I pitched the yeast, the pellicle fell back into the beer.

Take a sample and reading. That is the only way to know for sure.
I had a pellicle before pitching but not again after. Is that normal?
 
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I had a pellicle before pitching but not again after. Is that normal?
I believe so. I think it is the same premise of if you have ever rocked a carboy with a pellicle in it, they will fall back into the beer.

As long as the taste was correct, there is no worries. But will state this again:

*Make sure the sour level is where you want it before you pitch yeast*.

It will sour a bit more, but the lacto and yeast then are competing for sugars, and there is less the lacto can eat to produce the flavor.
 

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Tasted this for the first time since pitching the beer yeast and it's great! Sour, light, and refreshing. If I wanted to make more could I just pour another batch onto this yeast cake (to avoid making another lacto starter)? Or would that be over pitching? Also, it's only been a month since the brew date, is there any real reason to let it wait longer (another month) before bottling if the taste is already there?
 
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Tasted this for the first time since pitching the beer yeast and it's great! Sour, light, and refreshing. If I wanted to make more could I just pour another batch onto this yeast cake (to avoid making another lacto starter)? Or would that be over pitching? Also, it's only been a month since the brew date, is there any real reason to let it wait longer (another month) before bottling if the taste is already there?
Bottle it if it tastes good. BUT A WARNING. Put into Champagne bottles for 2 reasons:

1) Even though the yeast is done, Lacto can eat things that yeast cannot, and may produce c02 long after yeast is done.

2) A Berliner Weisse is carbonated at 2.5-3 volumes of carbonation. That will break normal bottles.

Also, I have not re-used this yeast and lacto cake but have been wanting to. If you do, I would assume you would not want to put 100 degree wort on it, as that would give you unpleasent off flavors from the yeast. I'd say you can re-use the yeast, but put 65-70 degree wort on it. This method will take a lot longer to produce the sour flavor though....
 

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Also, do you carb with the same amount of sugar as your normally would with brewers yeast? Or does the lacto need more/less? I've carbed apple wine to close to 4 volumes in normal bottles without any issues, but maybe i'll just keg this one, as no one wants bottle bombs.

Little update 7/2/12: took about a month but a pellicle finally showed up. Tastes great already though, probably going to keg this batch pretty soon.
 

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I've really enjoyed this thread. I wondered if anyone has used whey (drained from yoghurt) or rejuvelac (sprouted wheat, soaked in water for 48hrs) as a starter? Either of these could be a quicker way of getting the lacto culture.

I also wondered if the consistency of the starter grist matters? Mine is quite dilute, and I wondered if this may be retarding the lacto's development. There doesn't seem to be any progress with my starter after 5 days. Its made using pre-crushed grain (all I could get that day), and has been in glass jars with plastic lids in a yoghurt maker at about 120F.
 
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I've really enjoyed this thread. I wondered if anyone has used whey (drained from yoghurt) or rejuvelac (sprouted wheat, soaked in water for 48hrs) as a starter? Either of these could be a quicker way of getting the lacto culture.

I also wondered if the consistency of the starter grist matters? Mine is quite dilute, and I wondered if this may be retarding the lacto's development. There doesn't seem to be any progress with my starter after 5 days. Its made using pre-crushed grain (all I could get that day), and has been in glass jars with plastic lids in a yoghurt maker at about 120F.
Not sure how this would work. I would try it and see!
 

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Fair call on the try it and see method.

I think I may have initially misread the starter method. Can I clarify what temperature the starter is held at to develop the culture? I see it should be started at 130, but is it then allowed to drop to the 80-100 range over the few days it takes to kick off before pitching?

I reckon I may have killed my DIY lacto culture anyhow, by keeping it in the yoghurt maker. I read that prolonged temperatures of 120-130 or higher may eventually pasteurize it.

Just started a batch of rejuvelac as a back up, so we may see whether it works for this after all.
 

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This is one note I wish I wrote down but if I recall right I did 90-110 for the starter and then got the batch up to about 115 after pitching for the first 3 days or so then cooled it down and pitched brewers yeast at like 70-72 on the 4th day.
 

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After recently being introduced to sours and having an insatiable thirst for Festina Peche and 1809, I want to give this a go next weekend, but have a few questions.

I only have Caramel 20 and crystal 20 grains on hand -can I use either of these for the lacto starter while await the 2 row and wheat to come in? Or will that significantly impact the flavor?

Also can fruit be added to this? I love splitting batches in half and adding fruit to one half in the summer. I was thinking either raspberry or cherries would taste good in a Berliner.

Thanks!!!
 

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PoconoParadiso said:
After recently being introduced to sours and having an insatiable thirst for Festina Peche and 1809, I want to give this a go next weekend, but have a few questions.

I only have Caramel 20 and crystal 20 grains on hand -can I use either of these for the lacto starter while await the 2 row and wheat to come in? Or will that significantly impact the flavor?

Also can fruit be added to this? I love splitting batches in half and adding fruit to one half in the summer. I was thinking either raspberry or cherries would taste good in a Berliner.

Thanks!!!
Im not sure about you crystal malt vs 2-row question but here us a thread about adding fruit that I've been watching as im curious about that as well. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/sour-cherry-sour-apple-berliner-weisse-experiment-336231/ .

Just bottled my batch last night, has anyone had any luck washing and reusing this yeast/bacteria cake? Im sure you'd have to ferment a lot cooler and it would probably take longer to get the sourness. Just wondering if it was worth keeping or not.

Edit: two days after bottling and there was alteady pellicles forming in the bottle. The yeast cake got a much thicker pellicle than the full batch ever got. Washed it and ill use it on a cider this weekend probably.
 

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When you pitch the yeast, do you oxygenate the beer at all? I would assume the bacteria would use most of the oxygen needed for the yeast to start?
 

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Your gonna wanna pitch the yeast after 48 hours or so after the lacto is pitched. As far as aerating I'm pretty sure lacto doesn't like oxygen to much so hold off until you pitch the yeast then rock the fermenter for a bit to aerate for the yeast to use.
 

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I gave this a shot on Sunday and pitched a homemade lacto starter at 100 per Morkin's intructions. At about 48 hours I am seeing no airlock activity and just a few bubbles on the surface of the wort. Should I be concerned? I did buy a Wyeast Lacto as well in case the homemade one didn't look so hot, but it looked and smelled as described here, so I pitched it. Should I consider pitching the Wyeast? or will that only muddy the waters?
 

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What temp is it currently fermenting at? Lacto likes to be at around 120° if you can keep it that hot. I had tons of airlock activity by the 24 hour and fermented the lacto at like 115. I'd probably give it a bit more time before pitching more. And just taste it before you pitch the brewers yeast. A buddy just made a normal Berliner and didn't wait to taste sourness before pitching the brewers yeast. We sampled it last night and its sitting at 1.009 but has no sourness at all. I think he's a little mad at himself for not waiting longer.
 

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We are having cool nights here in the PA Mts, so it dropped from 100 to 85 overnight and was sitting at about 83 today despite being wrapped in blankets. I put it in a spare room and pumped the heat up in attempt to raise the temp. I'm gonna give it another day or two and hope it kicks in. Thanks for the advice!
 

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I got the temp up into the 90s and lo and behold there was airlock activity yesterday. Today it is chugging away and souring up nicely. I'm going to pitch the brewers yeast tonight. So glad to see her coming to life .... I thought she was DOA there for a bit. I'm going to rack this over cherries in the secondary, so I'll update how it turns out.
 

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Thanks for this recipe. I'm going to be giving it a try next.
I have a few questions though.
1. I'm thinking of using one of the packaged Lactos rather than the homemade starter. It was on sale at the beer shop I go to. Do you think I would have better results if I created a starter with it and let it work away few a few days/week before adding to the brew?
2. I was thinking of using one of the more funky Belgian white beer yeasts. It would have more fruity flavors to it I'm assuming than what the recipe calls for. Anyone do this? Would this be a mistake for this style?
3. I noticed on some of the other Berliner wise recipes folks put there's in the garage to keep it warm. I'm assuming this is probably a good idea as long as you can keep the sun off of it correct?

I'm new to this forum, but am really excited about the knowledge and information here!
 

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Just cracked my first couple of bottles of this and its quite sour but not on the back of your tongue like most sour/tart beers. Not sure if that's because its only sour from the lacto or what. Pretty refreshing, kind of lemony, ended up at 5.77% and I could guzzle these down on a hot day. Thanks for the great recipe, I think ill add some Cascade Sang Noir dregs to my next batch to see if that adds any complexity to the sourness.

EDIT: Didnt end up with ANY sort of head/head retention at all though. Not sure what could have caused that, but it it doesn't really bother me at all.
 

ennis2000000000

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So do I wanna try and keep the starter at 130 for a week or let the temp Fall over a week and do I wanna keep the lacto inoculated wort at 100 for a few days till is add yeast at 70?
 

america

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ennis2000000000 said:
So do I wanna try and keep the starter at 130 for a week or let the temp Fall over a week and do I wanna keep the lacto inoculated wort at 100 for a few days till is add yeast at 70?
I'd try to keep the starter in the 120 - 130 range and then keep the lacto fermenting wort a bit cooler (110-120) for the first few (2-4) days and then lower the temp to brewers yeast temps. Just make sure you test it for sourness before you pitch the brewers yeast and you should be good to go.
 

ennis2000000000

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Starter is sitting at 100 I was able to get my fermentation cabinet up that high its been 2 day tastes like lemonade smells slight of acetone here is what it looks like

ForumRunner_20120824_122331.jpg
 
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Just cracked my first couple of bottles of this and its quite sour but not on the back of your tongue like most sour/tart beers. Not sure if that's because its only sour from the lacto or what. Pretty refreshing, kind of lemony, ended up at 5.77% and I could guzzle these down on a hot day. Thanks for the great recipe, I think ill add some Cascade Sang Noir dregs to my next batch to see if that adds any complexity to the sourness.

EDIT: Didnt end up with ANY sort of head/head retention at all though. Not sure what could have caused that, but it it doesn't really bother me at all.
You shouldn't get good head retention out of this beer. This beer has such high levels of acidic acid that it should cut the head completely off by about halfway through drinking it.
 

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My beer that smelled and tasted like sauerkraut juice after 6 weeks in the fermenter, no longer does after 3 months. It has become very tart and sour, very nice. I added a couple tablespoons of sour cherry syrup to a glass, and I swear it tastes a lot like New Glarus' Belgian Red. I'm gonna have to get another one going soon. Thanks again for the recipe.
 

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I am very excited to try this brew this weekend. I made my lacto starter during my lunch break today, except I put a little twist in it. 1/2 cup crushed Bries 2-row in ~3/4 cup 150f water that settled to about 140f in a minute or two. I cracked open a pack of greek yogurt that I was going to have for lunch and poured off about a tsp or so of the whey into the starter as well. Any harm in doing this?? I figured that if anything I would just get a few more bugs in there to help kick off the lacto ferment.

One other question I have is to boil, or not to boil.... I see that people do both. Being that this would be my first 'no boil' if I go that way, I am just a little apprehensive about other bacteria and nasties from my mash tun getting into the fermenter. I figure that if I boil for 10min or so I will kill off any of those guys. Obviously if it is unnecessary then I don't want to do it, since part of the appeal of this recipe is the quick brew day with only two vessels (HLT and MT).

Please let me know your thoughts on both of my questions above. Cheers:mug:
 

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Ok, so the starter is nearing readiness. I think that I may step it up again by pouring the raw grain starter into a 1 liter dme flask starter. It smells pretty good. Fairly clean, but definitely some sour smell. Not sure if I'd say "garbage", but sour funk for sure. Tastes a few drops and it tastes sour and clean. Am I on the right track? I never heard back in the consense of a 'no-boil' vs a 'short-boil' (10 min)?
 

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I did a no boil.
I can't say yet if my batch has turned out, but it didn't get infected with anything that wasn't intentional.

I would think mine is ready to bottle, but the flavor is quite week and watery. I know carbonation will change the flavor somewhat, but I would think it would be more flavorful pre-carbonation anyway. What should I expect?
It's watery, light flavor, mild lacto sourness. I know I can age it further to get more sourness, but the watery light flavor is concerning to me.
 

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Brewed this up yesterday. First bacteria inoculation, first no sparge, first no boil, first no chill. What an easy brew day.

Went for a more traditional gravity so I cut the grains and hops down a bit.

4.5# pale us 2-row
3.5# wheat malt
0.75 tettnanger

Protein rest at 118f for 20min. Sacc rest at 148-150f for 60min. Mash out at 165f with remainder of water. This was a very thin mash at that point. Drained without vorloufing into kettle and heated to 185f to pasturize, killed heat, covered and let free fall to 120f (about 4hrs).

Pitched homemade lacto starter (see above post) and within 12hrs this carboy is going nuts! Nice krausen, active airlock, and swirling wort. I am keeping it at temps, 100-110f, in a small sealed bathroom with a small space heater fan pointed at it about 12" away. It's actually holding temps quite well this way, since I don't have a way to heat my term chamber as of yet. Gonna give of the full 48hrs before pitching US-05.

Couple questions:
1. Should I add oxygen at Sacc pitch?
2. Will the time above 140f in the kettle cause DMS?
3. How long in primary after the US-05 is pitched until this might be ready to keg?
 
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