Berliner Weiss

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Saccharomyces

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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
see instructions
Yeast Starter
see instructions
Batch Size (Gallons)
10
Original Gravity
1.030
Final Gravity
1.000
Boiling Time (Minutes)
1
IBU
4
Color
pale straw
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
28 @78
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
28 @72
Tasting Notes
light, crisp, extremely refreshing, this is my brew day beer of choice
Clocking in at around 2% ABV you won't get too :drunk: on this one. My berliner has definitely become my favorite all around summer quaffer. The best part is, it is VERY cheap and easy to crank out a batch.

I have entered this beer into four competitions so far. It has one second place, first place, first place, and best of show (pro AM comp). You don't need to take MY word for it it's a good beer!

6.5# Pils
4.25# White Wheat Malt
1oz Hallertau whole leaf hops (added to mash)

Five days before brew day, prepare two 1L starters:

- 1.040 all wort starter on stir plate with White Labs Brettanomyces Clausenii
- Unstirred starter with White Labs Lactobacillus Delbrueckii

The bacteria starter consists of 10g of powdered milk, 10g of bread yeast boiled in water the microwave to kill it, 20g of corn sugar, and 10g of DME. Keep it as warm as possible -- 78*F or warmer is ideal.

Mash grains for 90 minutes at 149*F. If your mash tun is large enough, add all of the water to the mash tun before running off -- 11.5 gallons total water to yield 10 gallons. Otherwise you can do a single batch sparge. I do not recommend fly sparging since you can overextract too easily. Don't vorlauf -- you want cloudy wort.

Run wort off to the kettle, heat to 180*F, and hold uncovered for 10 minutes to pasteurize before chilling. Chill to around 90*F, and run half of the wort off to one fermenter that will get the bacteria. Pitch the bacteria without aerating, cover the fermenter with a blanket to keep it warm, and put it in a warm place. My garage is about a perfect 78-82*F in the spring which is when I brew mine. Chill the remaining wort to 72*F, run off to a second fermenter, aerate, and pitch the brett starter into it. I keep mine in the garage next to the lacto fermenter without a blanket since the warm temps won't hurt the brett.

After 28 days, combine the two batches into another fermenter (I use two kegs racking half from each fermenter) and let it sit at room temp around 72*F for another month. Then rack to serving kegs, force carbonate, and enjoy. I force carbonate to 3.5 volumes CO2.

I like my berliner pretty tart, so I add 1 Tablespoon of 88% lactic acid to each keg for a little extra kick. Don't go overboard on the lactic, or it will taste artificial.

If you try to bottle condition this beer I'd carbonate it pretty well, 5.5oz per 5 gallons of corn sugar to prime, and add champagne yeast. Brett tend not to do very well bottle conditioning on their own.
 

Double_D

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Would it increase acidity of the finished product if you let the mash sour also? I'd like to try this without adding the lactic acid at the end.
 

DPBISME

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Hummm this is an old one but I would like to try it....

If you are still "out there" would adding the hops to the Kettle prior to running off the wort be OK?

I have some "pellets" I could use if so.

DPB
 

Haputanlas

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I see an ABV closer to 4%. Am I missing something?

Either way, I've been looking for a good recipe like this. Very excited!
 

Haputanlas

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So, if I'm understanding this correctly, this beer will be ready in about 2 months? That's pretty quick.
 

mattd2

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I see an ABV closer to 4%. Am I missing something?

Either way, I've been looking for a good recipe like this. Very excited!
I am guessing that the lacto batch is not producing any alcohol, only lactic. So only 1/2 is fermenting so you get only 2%
 

Haputanlas

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mattd2 said:
I am guessing that the lacto batch is not producing any alcohol, only lactic. So only 1/2 is fermenting so you get only 2%
Interesting, I'm not that familiar with lacto , so that would make sense if it's not producing the alcohol.

Appreciate the insight.
 

mattd2

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Interesting, I'm not that familiar with lacto , so that would make sense if it's not producing the alcohol.

Appreciate the insight.
Not familiar with lacto either, came onto this one after another post on berliner weiss somewhere else on HBT and want to see how hard they were :D
I did a quick search on the specific lacto stated and it turned up that that strain does not produce alcohol (some lacto strains do apparently) so I guess that is what is happening here. It's nice when your hunch is actually right sometimes ;)
 

highgravitybacon

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Haputanlas said:
Interesting, I'm not that familiar with lacto , so that would make sense if it's not producing the alcohol.

Appreciate the insight.
The Wyeast 5335 lacto strain , L. Buchneri, produces co2 and alcohol. I am told White Labs version does not produce alcohol.

With Wyeast, it would be theoretically possible to do a 100% lacto fermentation.
 

Haputanlas

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Saccharomyces said:
I like my berliner pretty tart, so I add 1 Tablespoon of 88% lactic acid to each keg for a little extra kick. Don't go overboard on the lactic, or it will taste artificial.
If you just left the beer with the lacto a little bit longer (maybe a few more months), do you think as much lactic acid would be produced so that this addition wouldn't be necessary?
 

pgrebus

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This should indeed be a low ABV beer, and carbonated higher than an ale - it is the original champagne of beers.
 

mattd2

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If you just left the beer with the lacto a little bit longer (maybe a few more months), do you think as much lactic acid would be produced so that this addition wouldn't be necessary?
Again never done any sours so take this with a grain of salt :eek:
I would expect that the lactic content of this recipe would be more due to the ratio of bug wort to yeast wort. I reason that all the sugar should be eaten reasonably quickly by the lacto and so extended time would not produce anymore sourness, by upping the ration of sour:not you would get more sourness (but less alcohol:()
I guess you could then up the OG to conteract this but now I am messing too much with things I do not know... :confused:
 

pgrebus

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To get a strong lacto yeast strain without adding yeast, you would need to do an extended mash with un-milled grains. The lacto is naturally occurring.
 

Tomcat0304

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So the recipe is for a 10 gallon batch? I will have to bottle if I do this, how much carbonation can a glass bottle take?
 

Double_D

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A regular glass bottle can only take in the neighborhood of 2.5 volumes of Co2. Anything else and you'd need to go to a thicker belgian type bottle. And a different capper. Some of the german weizens have an appropriate range up to 5 volumes.
 

Double_D

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To get a strong lacto yeast strain without adding yeast, you would need to do an extended mash with un-milled grains. The lacto is naturally occurring.
I like to take 30% of my grist and start a couple days early. I mash in a small cooler then throw a handful of raw grain in after it has cooled to the mid 90s. I maintain the mash temp with hot water infusions over a couple days. (There's another thread on here that details using a crock pot too. One thing I'm wanting to try is a submersible aquarium heater.) Then on brew day I'll add the sour mash to the sparge and give it a 15 minute boil with a small amount of noble hops. It's quick and clean. That way I don't need a sour keg and tap. And I don't have to bottle 10 gallons.
 

Aschecte

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I like the recipe here and it looks pretty solid but I'm going to do this as a sour mash not two seperate batches.... I would reason that adding lacto is unnesasary as there is more than enough lactobacillus already on the husk of the grain so I would just split the grain bill by about a pound less than just leave at a high temp ( just like a regular mash ) and cover with foil for 1-2 days. reserve the lquid. 2 days later mash as normal than add back in the soured mash and drain off as normal ..... I like the 180 pasteruize idea than go to one carboy and only add the brett strain as the lactic acid was adequatly produced during the sour mash. sorry just thinking out loud.
 

Haputanlas

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I like the recipe here and it looks pretty solid but I'm going to do this as a sour mash not two seperate batches.... I would reason that adding lacto is unnesasary as there is more than enough lactobacillus already on the husk of the grain so I would just split the grain bill by about a pound less than just leave at a high temp ( just like a regular mash ) and cover with foil for 1-2 days. reserve the lquid. 2 days later mash as normal than add back in the soured mash and drain off as normal ..... I like the 180 pasteruize idea than go to one carboy and only add the brett strain as the lactic acid was adequatly produced during the sour mash. sorry just thinking out loud.
I like the idea of the split batches for the reduction in alcohol. Since I would have no idea what strain of lacto is on the grain, do you know if this would still produce as much beer (With the lesser amount of alcohol)?
 

Aschecte

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I like the idea of the split batches for the reduction in alcohol. Since I would have no idea what strain of lacto is on the grain, do you know if this would still produce as much beer (With the lesser amount of alcohol)?
Most lacto strains only produce Lactic acid and not alcohol though some commercial strains do..... the sacch or brett strain is what is actually creating the alcohol. I would think if you had to have a low ie.2% abv you may have to adjust the grain bill to reflect that though I could be wrong.... I'll punch it into beersmith both ways and report a bit later and my findings.
 

Haputanlas

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Most lacto strains only produce Lactic acid and not alcohol though some commercial strains do..... the sacch or brett strain is what is actually creating the alcohol. I would think if you had to have a low ie.2% abv you may have to adjust the grain bill to reflect that though I could be wrong.... I'll punch it into beersmith both ways and report a bit later and my findings.
I don't have to have it at 2%. I just liked the idea of being able to have the lacto eat away the sugars in the second split of the batch without any alcohol.

Of course, a 3-4% beer is so damn sessionable anyways. I don't know why I'd care that much either way.:mug:
 

ballewblake

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I like the recipe here and it looks pretty solid but I'm going to do this as a sour mash not two seperate batches.... I would reason that adding lacto is unnesasary as there is more than enough lactobacillus already on the husk of the grain so I would just split the grain bill by about a pound less than just leave at a high temp ( just like a regular mash ) and cover with foil for 1-2 days. reserve the lquid. 2 days later mash as normal than add back in the soured mash and drain off as normal ..... I like the 180 pasteruize idea than go to one carboy and only add the brett strain as the lactic acid was adequatly produced during the sour mash. sorry just thinking out loud.
Would the pasteurization even be necessary? Like, If I just drained the wort right off, chilled down to 90, and pitched two packs of 3191-pc, maybe with a hand full of grain? Seems like it would work the same. Put my heat belt on it and let it blow off. Also, would a higher mash temp be better, like 156, for the brett to chew on? I wouldn't want it too thin.
 

Aschecte

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Would the pasteurization even be necessary? Like, If I just drained the wort right off, chilled down to 90, and pitched two packs of 3191-pc, maybe with a hand full of grain? Seems like it would work the same. Put my heat belt on it and let it blow off. Also, would a higher mash temp be better, like 156, for the brett to chew on? I wouldn't want it too thin.
As to the OP saying about heating to 180 I believe his intent was to keep it as traditional as possible as Berliner weisse traditionally is a no boil beer but by going to 180 for 15 minutes or so you are pastureizing the wort and killing off any enteric bacteria that may be lingering as well as killing off the lactobacillus. As far as mashing higher sure you can but remember that brett will eat almost everything including all those dextrins produced at higher mash temperatures. the beer will thin out regardless over time it's just what brett does. Also just a fyi the more dextrins the longer you will need to wait to get into the bottle plan on 8 months plus to just get to a stable FG and even then be carefull brett is the mother of all yeasts when it comes to feeding of residual sugars.
 

Steve271828

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So I brewed this on April 27th. I'm now almost two weeks into the secondary phase of the brew and I just pulled a sample. Gravity reading was 1.030. Unfortunately I forgot to take an OG reading, but there's a funky smell and a slightly sour taste so I assume that some progress has been made. My LHBS didn't have any Lacto strains so I pitched a handful of grain into the lacto sub-batch. Based on the timeline posted here, I was expecting it to be farther along. Did I mess something up? I'll probably pull another sample in a month or two and hope that the gravity has dropped more. Will heating the fermenter maybe help attenuation?
 

humann_brewing

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So I brewed this on April 27th. I'm now almost two weeks into the secondary phase of the brew and I just pulled a sample. Gravity reading was 1.030. Unfortunately I forgot to take an OG reading, but there's a funky smell and a slightly sour taste so I assume that some progress has been made. My LHBS didn't have any Lacto strains so I pitched a handful of grain into the lacto sub-batch. Based on the timeline posted here, I was expecting it to be farther along. Did I mess something up? I'll probably pull another sample in a month or two and hope that the gravity has dropped more. Will heating the fermenter maybe help attenuation?
1.030? do you mean 1.003? I would think 1.030 is close to your OG.
 

Steve271828

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Yep, 1.030. The sample tasted very sweet. Should I pitch more Brett or something? Maybe a regular yeast? Wait it out?
 

Hanso

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Lactobacillus on its own will contribute sourness but will not chew through a lot of sugar the way yeast does. It's actually a decent strategy to build up your sourness base first without yeast as you are doing, waiting for it to reach appropriate sourness. Yes, heating as high as 110F can speed that process along. the low ph will help protect it from bad infections.
When it is ready pitch whatever yeast you want, usually some combo of clean fermenting yeast and Brett. Then that will do the job of dropping the gravity and producing the alcohol. After that it can age in bulk or bottle condition. If you're going to bottle condition with Brett be careful not to over prime.
 

Hanso

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My mistake. I forgot the original recipe of this thread... As a split batch. Yes, as a split batch of you have combined them back again 2 weeks ago, and you are still reading 1.030, that is strange. The lacto batch should have gotten its sugar consumed by now. I'd worry your Brett is in shock or not viable. Your hunch of pitching new Brett is probably good. Also clean feementing yeast will not hurt it although not true to this threads recipe.
 

Steve271828

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Thanks, I appreciate the response. The Brett sub-batch was really slow to start so that may indeed be the case. I will have to make another trip to my LHBS.
 

Haputanlas

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I like the recipe here and it looks pretty solid but I'm going to do this as a sour mash not two seperate batches.... I would reason that adding lacto is unnesasary as there is more than enough lactobacillus already on the husk of the grain so I would just split the grain bill by about a pound less than just leave at a high temp ( just like a regular mash ) and cover with foil for 1-2 days. reserve the lquid. 2 days later mash as normal than add back in the soured mash and drain off as normal ..... I like the 180 pasteruize idea than go to one carboy and only add the brett strain as the lactic acid was adequatly produced during the sour mash. sorry just thinking out loud.
How did the sour mash version turn out for you? I'm going to be brewing with a sour mash in the next week and am eager to hear how yours turned out.
 

erockdoc

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Hey all, I'll be brewing this in the next week or so. Since I like a tart berliner weiss, I am going to take 23-30% of the grains and do a sour mash for a couple days prior to brew day (this in addition to doing a lacto split batch, as described in the recipe).

I will be doing 5 gallons, and will likely up the hops a bit. I'll be shooting for 3-4% abv.

I'll let you know how it goes!
 

Haputanlas

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Hey all, I'll be brewing this in the next week or so. Since I like a tart berliner weiss, I am going to take 23-30% of the grains and do a sour mash for a couple days prior to brew day (this in addition to doing a lacto split batch, as described in the recipe).

I will be doing 5 gallons, and will likely up the hops a bit. I'll be shooting for 3-4% abv.

I'll let you know how it goes!
Looking forward to hearing the outcome of your sour mash.
 

Haputanlas

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Setup inside my chest freezer. These containers allow the mash tun to stay higher up so it's easier for me to open up and stick my nose in every now and then.


Picture of the mash in the mash tun in the chest freezer in my garage in my house:D



Terrible pic of me adding a CO2 blanket to the mash


I plan on keeping this mash between 115 and 120. I'll check on it every 8 hours or so until the PH reaches roughly 3.5-3.8 (And tastes sour enough).

Hopefully I did a good enough job to keep the nasties out.
 

Haputanlas

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Just did a PH reading after about 14 hours and says it's already at 3.8. However, that seems a little too soon.

After tasting the wort, it has a slight sour character and still really clean. Probably needs at least another 24 hours or so.
 

Haputanlas

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Because I set my chest freezer to 115 F, My sour mash hasn't dropped much below 119-120. I was reading that anything above 122 can ward off Acetobacter, however it could stun the Lacto. I'm just hoping that 120ish isn't harmful to lacto and produce off-flavors.

Anyone know of off-flavors caused by stressed lacto?

BTW: I'm trying to keep the mash above 112 to keep Clostridium butyricum out of the picture. I read this somewhere from BYO, but don't know whether or not it's accurate.
 

Haputanlas

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After 29 hours, the wort tastes very nice and sour! Much cleaner than I was expecting based on so many other articles and other people's experiences. The smell is pretty good as well.

The gods must be on my side for this brew (Crossing my fingers).

:mug:
 

porterguy

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This sounds very tasty and tempting. I haven't ever done a sour, so I'm looking forward to hearing how this turns out.
 

erockdoc

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So my sour mash didn't hold its temperature very well. I just checked it after 24 hrs and it is at 85 deg. I know you are supposed to keep the mash above 100, but how bad is it if it goes down to 85? I added a hot water infusion to bring it back up.
 

Haputanlas

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So my sour mash didn't hold its temperature very well. I just checked it after 24 hrs and it is at 85 deg. I know you are supposed to keep the mash above 100, but how bad is it if it goes down to 85? I added a hot water infusion to bring it back up.
It's not necessarily bad. However, if you keep the temp that low, Clostridium and Acetobacter will likely become active. I'd try to get it back to 118 - 120ish.

I kept my sour mash at 118 for the entire 76 hours and it was really clean with a nice sour note.
 
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