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Bootleg Biology Beta Berliner Blend

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brownni5

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I just brewed with the alliterative blend mentioned in the title, and will plan to track my thoughts and experiences as I go. Since I just brewed a couple nights ago, it's still in primary, so no results yet.

The website describes it as a blend of sacchromyces, brett, and lacto. My guess is L. brevis, since they recommend low (not no) hopping, and I'm hoping that the Brettanomyces is the strain that was being traded around the Milk The Funk group a couple years back, since it was isolated from a really old bottle of a traditional Berliner weiss. They don't give any good clues on the Sacch strain though. A Kolsch strain? Their own S. arlingtonensis?

I brewed a wort according to https://wilder-wald.com/2017/12/08/historic-berliner-weisse-homebrew-recipe/ - high percentage of wheat malt, short decoction, just a few grams of Mt. Hood in the decoction. Wort ended at 1.032 with no boil, but I didn't account for evaporation during the decoction, so I ended with 4.5 gallons of wort.

I chilled to about 68 and pitched the packet. Since this was low gravity and short in the volume, and since its a "beta" blend and I wanted to be able to give true feedback, I didn't make a starter (also, it was packaged only a few days before and shipped/arrived cold). Since it is just beginning to be spring here north of the 45th parallel, my basement stays pretty cool, so getting too warm isn't my problem. Quite the opposite. 30 hours post- pitch, there were still no signs of active fermentation so I put it on heat set to 70 and started thinking of yeast I could pitch to save the batch. Well, it wasn't necessary because at 36 hours post- pitch, it got going.

I have not had issues direct pitching Bootleg cultures into low OG wort in the past, so this surprised me. My guess is that in this blend, the Sacch cell count must be pretty low. Knowing what I know now, I'd have made a starter and hoped for the best.

More on the blend can be found at https://bootlegbiology.com/product/berliner-blend-beta/

Edit: this blend probably should not be used for the modern fast sour method explained in the sticky above. There's nothing wrong with that method, but this Lacto strain likely won't sour a wort as quickly, that is, if I'm right and it is L. brevis.
 

IslandLizard

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Sounds interesting and promising!
I like mixed fermentation sours, don't care much for most kettle sours. This could be the ticket.

How long are you estimating this will take before it's done?
 
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brownni5

brownni5

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How long are you estimating this will take before it's done?
Who knows? My hope is that I can begin drinking it this summer, but that might not be realistic. I've had other beers with L. brevis sour well inside 6 months, even with hops, but the Brett character takes longer to develop. I'd have been a lot happier to get this blend in December for summer drinking.

On his blog, Mike Tonsmeier keeps pretty detailed accounts of brew dates, packaging, and tasting dates with notes, and he's got several mixed-ferment Berliners listed there, so that might give me some idea if I'm looking at 3 months or a year.
 

radwizard

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Are you going to be bottling this? I think it would be interesting to sample some of this very young, and continue as it ages. I don't age my Berliners on the Brett very long (1.5-2 months).
I have not used that Blend, but it sounds super cool. Brevis is by far my favorite LAB .
 
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brownni5

brownni5

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Are you going to be bottling this? I think it would be interesting to sample some of this very young, and continue as it ages. I don't age my Berliners on the Brett very long (1.5-2 months).
I have not used that Blend, but it sounds super cool. Brevis is by far my favorite LAB .
I've never kegged a sour, but I was actually planning on kegging this. You do raise a good point - young and aged would be interesting. Maybe I'll keg half for quick consumption and bottle the other half for later enjoyment.
 

cmhaynes

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I've never kegged a sour, but I was actually planning on kegging this. You do raise a good point - young and aged would be interesting. Maybe I'll keg half for quick consumption and bottle the other half for later enjoyment.
Have you packaged this one yet? If so, how did it turn out?
 
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brownni5

brownni5

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Have you packaged this one yet? If so, how did it turn out?
I actually just bottled the whole batch yesterday - keg rotation wasn't going to work out. I think this could be very good. Very nice tartness despite the decoction hops, which I expected since this isn't L. plantarum. Also a nice fruitiness, I suspect from the Brett. I'll know more in a couple weeks after they bottle condition.

Note: I do not take pH readings of my sours - I don't see what it would change and it isn't a measure of "goodness."
 

cmhaynes

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Sounds good. I don't own a pH meter, so I'm not taking readings either. How many volumes carbonation are you shooting for?
 
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brownni5

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Sounds good. I don't own a pH meter, so I'm not taking readings either. How many volumes carbonation are you shooting for?
3.4 sounded good this time.
 

goodolarchie

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Reached out to Jeff about this blend, he has no plans currently to prop it for sale again.

I just finished my summer Berliner brew with TYB Brett von Berliner. It's almost out of primary so I'll bottle a few and keg or fruit the rest. I used American Noble Mosaic with it after souring, it's quite tasty before the brett does its thing.
 
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brownni5

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This is a really nice Berliner. Pretty funky on the nose, a little fruity, nicely tart. A little lemony? Best head retention of any mixed ferm beer I've brewed. I'm happy with this one - glad I have the slurry.
 

quercuslupulus

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I bottled about a gallon and a half of my Berliner using this blend (after four months) and put three gallons on a little more than 3 lbs peach puree. I thought it was lovely and very complex at bottling, but have yet to crack a bottle. I am really looking forward to seeing how it evolves over time.
 
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