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Berliner Weisse & lactobacillus questions

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ja09

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Just brewed a Berliner Weisse yesterday and realized that I know nothing about lacto :cross:

Super easy & quick recipe (bottom), thought it'd be a fun experiment. So far I've pitched 1 vial of WLP677 lactobacillus at ~ 83F, planning on 3 days or so before pitching s-05.

Just had some questions if anyone can help me out. I noticed there's a lot of conflicting information regarding lacto & Berliner Weisse recipes online...

1. My ferm chamber is having difficulties heating above 83F. I know ideal is a little higher around 86 to 90. Should I leave the lacto in an extra day or two since I can't seem to get the temp higher? I'm aiming for some good tartness, but not overpowering.

2. I accidentally transferred most of the hop trub to the fermentor... Is this going to be an issue with the lacto?

3. What's the best temp to pitch s-05 at for this recipe? I'm thinking normal temps of 65F and gradually increasing to 72 over a few days.

4. Is there any harm in using fermcap with lacto? I'm cutting it pretty close on head space in my 5g carboy.

5. How long should I leave this on the yeast cake?...just to taste? I think I read at least 6 months.

Recipe:
Boil Size: 5.47 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.20 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 4.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.030 SG
Estimated Color: 2.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 5.2 IBUs
Boil Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2 lbs DME Pilsen Light (Briess) (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 1 66.7 %
1 lbs DME Wheat Bavarian (Briess) (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 2 33.3 %
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 3 -
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 4 5.2 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 5 -
1.0 pkg Lactobacillus Bacteria (White Labs #WLP6 Yeast 6 -

Thanks for the help!
 
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ja09

ja09

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I've been holding the temps around 81-83F, and day 2 looked great for a sour! (i think) But day 3 looks like a normal fermentation, but I haven't added saccharomyces yet... is this normal?

Airlock bubbling away, normal looking krausen, yeast looking clumps flying around. I'm confused :confused: Pics below.

2013-10-16 17.17.15.jpg


2013-10-17 09.43.52.jpg
 
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ja09

ja09

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In doing more research, it appears this ^ is normal, I think. If anyone has any other information or experience, please chime in!
 

inkedfireman

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I've only done one Berlinner, and while I think it turned out great (don't ask my wife), I did it differently. I brewed a beer, and on top of the spent grain I threw in a few handfuls of raw barley malt, added enough 100F water to come up to the top of the grain bed, and covered it with a lid and a coat...for three days.

Then, I added my malt bill for the Berlinner on top of this. I brewed as normal, with only a 15 minute boil to kill off the lacto and stop the souring where it was. Berlinner's tend to have little to no hops in them. I fermented with a neutral ale yeast.

My sons walked home from school that day, wondering what that awful smell was that seemed to get stronger the closer they got to home! I think it turned out great, with a very distinct tartness, and funky flavor, but I love ripe cheeses and things like that. Like the style calls for, it was fairly low alcohol and ready to be drunk fresh. A berlinner can be a bit more one dimensional in the sourness compared to a lambic, but it also doesn't require being stored for 6 months-1 year or more before its ready.

The only real difference I see in our results is I had an unknown blend of lacto/? going in, but "fixed" my sourness with the boil. You used a commercially pure lacto, but it might keep going until there's no sugar left because there's no way to stop it. Frankly, if you let it go too long, I think it might have already eaten the sugars the brewers yeast are able to use. S. Cerevisiae is much more selective in what it can ferment out than a lot of the bacteria we use.

I bet it will be interesting! Good luck!

Denny
 
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ja09

ja09

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You used a commercially pure lacto, but it might keep going until there's no sugar left because there's no way to stop it. Frankly, if you let it go too long, I think it might have already eaten the sugars the brewers yeast are able to use. S. Cerevisiae is much more selective in what it can ferment out than a lot of the bacteria we use.
Denny
Thanks Denny for your feedback.

I got a lot of useful information from the video below regrinding pitching rates and times for Lacto. Their conclusion for optimal tartness was 7 days on lacto before pitching sacc. I think they stated pure lacto will only drop the gravity 1-2°Plato if no wild yeast is introduced.

However, it appears the lacto I used (WLP677) also produces alcohol and carbon-dioxide, which wasn't mentioned anywhere until I started digging. I guess this explains why my gravity went from 1.032 to 1.009 over 7 days with 100% lacto. Here's a great series of articles that I wish I would have read before I started: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2012/06/100-lactobacillus-berliner-weisse.html

 
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ja09

ja09

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Also forgot to mention that after 9 days on lacto only, my sample had a great latic/sour aroma, but the tartness was non-existent and pH was still high at 4.4, which explains why it wasn't sour. Hopefully the tartness will be there after a few months on the cake, but I have no idea.

Here are some pics after 9 days, and before pitching sacc (which now I realize I didn't even need to do).

2013-10-23 14.12.54.jpg


2013-10-23 14.17.08.jpg
 
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