Berliner Weisse

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octo

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5 gallon recipe

3lbs weyermann pils
2lbs weyermann light wheat
1oz old willamette for 15 min

half gallon (pils dme) lacto starter
s05 yeast

I am intending on "sour mashing" some grain in a half gallon of low grav wort for a few days to develop the lacto. Then I will pitch the "sour mash" directly in to the fermentor with the clean wort and let it "stew" for a few days, to let the lacto blend in with the rest of the wort. Then after a few days I will pitch the clean s05 yeast in and allow it to ferment as usual (around 68).

After fermentation is done, should I let the beer rest on the lacto for an extended amount of time (6+ months)? Or is it ok to just straight bottle and let the lacto develop further in the bottle? Also, are there any implications with my process? Thanks
 
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octo

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ok well, I've got the sour mash going, so I'm going to let that go for a considerable amount of days.
 

gclunde

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I have a Berliner Weisse fermenting as I write this...but I went about the process of souring a little bit differently.

After mashing, I took half the wort (1-1/2 gallons) and placed it in a sanitized bucket, cooled to 120 degrees F, added a 1/2 pound of crushed 2-row pale malt, placed the bucket in a warm area, and let sit for 2-3 days. The wort was pretty sour by that point...so I filtered out the grain, boiled it for an hour, added a little bit of hops for bittering, cooled and mixed with the already fermenting wort.

I'm very interested to see how it turns out. I am also curious if the above process is similar to what others are using or if the process discussed by the OP is the norm?
 
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octo

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I've done the way you did it before (except i did the entire batch), and it turned out nice, but it doesnt get any more sour with age. I was looking to get a jump start on the sourness and still let it get more so as time progresses.
 

Bsquared

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I was talking about this with a friend over his nice and tart Berliner, and he used apple juice for the lacto starter, and incubated it at ~98ºF. I guess he was saying thats the way they do it at the Bruery in Orange county. I plan on doing this with my next attempt of a Berliner.
 

heywatchthis

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"and let it "stew" for a few days" I would be careful here. The lacto can make the wort so acidic that the us-05 can't/won't ferment. I usually pitch my lacto culture 1 day ahead of the yeast, and no more.
 
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octo

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"and let it "stew" for a few days" I would be careful here. The lacto can make the wort so acidic that the us-05 can't/won't ferment. I usually pitch my lacto culture 1 day ahead of the yeast, and no more.
good to know, does 1 day really do anything noticeable though? Doesnt seem long enough.
 

heywatchthis

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Any head start when you're trying to sour a beer in short order is better than nothing...but in reality, maybe it doesn't make a huge difference. A berliner is a standard tap at my house, and they are always plenty sour...why mess with success.

But seriously, you need to be careful with the acidity level.
 
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octo

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Does the pilsner need an extended boil? or will the 15 minute boil be sufficient?
 
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octo

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cool, thanks. Do you go to any of the local brew clubs around here, passedpawn?
 
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octo

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As a follow up, I brewed this, missed my target gravity by a bit. I pitched the lacto starter then forgot to pitch the s05 (oops). There was a lot of activity in the fermenter after I pitched the lacto starter and it had formed a pellicle already. So I pitched the s05 3 days after, and the yeast didnt do anything (no activity in there at all) and I tested the gravity and it had dropped 12 points (1.022 to 1.010) from the lacto fermentation I guess. It already has a sharp taste to it from the sample I took, so I guess I'm going to let it sit for a month or so and see if the gravity drops any more. If it doesn't change anymore, I'll probably pitch some brett in to it.
 

Bsquared

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Can you check the pH? It might be too low and inhibiting the yeast from working. Brett like acidic conditions, so pitching brett should ferment it out fine.
 
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octo

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I did, it was at 4.6, maybe lower. the strips only read down to 4.6. But still, there was a lacto fermentation, so why wouldn't the lacto continue to eat the rest of the sugars? The pellicle for the lacto has already reformed since last night.
 
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