WLP 630 Limited Release Berliner Weisse

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Sounds like my batch. 1 vial no starter 68 degrees. Only I have a 4 gallon batch. Mine was visibly fermenting within 24 hours. I don't have any advice outside of warming the fermenter a bit. But then this is my first lacto fermentation so Im not a good source for advice
 

HopNuggets

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Man... I brewed mine with WLP630 on March 12. I was hoping to drink the end of June or July but that is only 4 months of aging... Hope mine gets sour before the 7 months people have waited in the past. Not really into drinking a Berline Weisse in October when I'm supposed to be sucking down Pumpkin Ales... Pitched around 78ish and it fermented in the higher 60s. Going to transfer to secondary next weekend after 3 weeks in primary. I did get that sulfur aroma coming off primary for 1 day about 3 or 4 days into fermentation. Once the temp warms up I'll be able to get the secondary into the 70s to help the process a bit.

If worse comes to worse I will skip kegging this batch and bottle it to have next summer or just go with what I have at the end of June or beginning of July to have a nice light and refreshing dog days of summer brew.
 
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I see HopNuggets primaried his batch for three weeks. How long are you other guys keeping this thing in primary?

Whats the verdict for extended secondary versus bottle aging?
 

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I have a Small Batch of berliner weisse that I used this yeast with going right now. I kept it in primary for about 6 weeks and it'll probably be in secondary for another 4 or so. I pitched the whole vial for 2.5 gallons, so it had no problem getting nice and tart. I went with a simple single infusion mash and 15 minute boil. Stoked to see the final results!
 

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Any idea what the normal yeast strain is in the blend? I'm thinking about making a BW this summer (first try with sour beers), and I actually enjoy a slight touch of hefe yeast character underlying the acidity. Any suggestions?
I recall reading somewhere very reliable that the yeast used is WLP029.
Apparently it wasn't too reliable! The description on their site indicates a German Hefe yeast. Chris White just finally got back to me indicating that it is NOT WLP029, and is in fact a proprietary strain. If I understood him correctly, it is a strain that they simply don't offer in a yeast-only product without lacto.

Perhaps it is sourced from one of the two Berlin breweries still making a Berliner Weisse, although that is just hopeful speculation. I suppose it could also be sourced from a foreign craft/revivalist version, although judging by the sources used for other style-specific yeasts, this seems to be even unlikelier. So maybe it's just a great hefeweizen yeast from a brewery that doesn't even make the style... but that doesn't make a ton of sense as they already offer great examples of hefe yeast.

So I'd say it's either the first scenario where it's from an authentic brewer (or as authentic as you'll find today), or it IS one of their currently offered strains, and I misunderstood Chris White. But the only way I possibly could have, given the specificity of the question, would be if his response was deliberately ambiguous (ignoring the context of the whole thing) in order to mislead, but from hearing him speak, reading his book, and everything else I know about the guy, I find this to be unlikely, but if anybody knows something about the guy that I clearly don't that would support the idea of him not just keeping the source of the yeast a secret (which is very understandable), but being totally misleading to a point just short of being able to be called an outright liar, that would be interesting to know, and would make it all the more likely that it's just a hefe straim they already offer.

I see HopNuggets primaried his batch for three weeks. How long are you other guys keeping this thing in primary?

Whats the verdict for extended secondary versus bottle aging?
Bulk aging keeps it far more consistent, which is helpful for gauging the sourness of the whole batch to determine appropriate consumption time. If you are priming with sugar, you are also creating a slightly more alcoholic environment, only half a point ABV or so, but lacto still don't like it, and that's in addition to the added acidity from dissolved carbon dioxide, and that carbonic acid will be present with any method of carbing. And wasting an entire bottle every time you want to test where it's at seems rather wasteful.

As for my fermentor times, I brewed this in early February, and racked into a glass carboy, hoping to bottle by mid-June and drink early July. Although the reality is that planning for a certain amount of time in the secondary (or wherever you plan to let it age/sour) is a great recipe for a lousy beer. You taste it every once in a while, and when the sourness is at a level you really like, then it's ready. Just like yeast, bacteria don't give a damn how long you think they should take, or you want them to take - the question of how long always makes me cringe. You know from reading the posts that it takes months, and half a year is not unusual... the most accurately questions of this nature can be answered are still, at best, very wide ranges of ball-park figures, as in whether it's a matter of days, weeks, months, or years, and the thread should have made it plainly clear that we're talking a matter of months here.

Learn to listen to your beer, it will tell you when it's ready! Trying to reverse these roles and attempting to tell IT when it's ready is never going to work, trust me.
 

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As for my fermentor times, I brewed this in early February, and racked into a glass carboy, hoping to bottle by mid-June and drink early July. Although the reality is that planning for a certain amount of time in the secondary (or wherever you plan to let it age/sour) is a great recipe for a lousy beer. You taste it every once in a while, and when the sourness is at a level you really like, then it's ready. Just like yeast, bacteria don't give a damn how long you think they should take, or you want them to take - the question of how long always makes me cringe. You know from reading the posts that it takes months, and half a year is not unusual... the most accurately questions of this nature can be answered are still, at best, very wide ranges of ball-park figures, as in whether it's a matter of days, weeks, months, or years, and the thread should have made it plainly clear that we're talking a matter of months here.
From my experience I've found that bottling produced a more prominent sour flavor in the beer. I split a batch in half and bottled half of it a few months ago, while let the other bulk age (on some chilis!). I just bottled the other half and found it a few notches below the sourness of the first bottled version.

I think it has to do with the fact that there is a completely anaerobic environment in the bottle which help the yeast thrive. Also, you have less worry about keeping an entire carboy around ~70; below which the lactobacillus may start dropping out. (The temperature fluctuation in my room is also what I suspect also contributed to this half being less sour.)
 

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Well I wanted to give an update. After about 6 days I popped the lid on my conical and there were small signs of fermentation and the beer had a very pronounced sour smell to it. So I threw a few tsp of nutrient in there and within the next day it had a pretty good ferment going. Now another week later I just took a sample and it is right at 1.010 and has a very tart taste to it already. I am actually surprised how tart it is. I think the delayed fermentation helped the lacto do it's thing. So far I am impressed!
 
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Lacto krausen has formed on my Berliner-like wheat beer.



That picture is after a recognizable saccharomyces krausen fell. I'm also smelling some acidic and sulfury aromas coming from the airlock. Looks like 20 IBUs wasn't enough to knockout the lacto after all.
Despite the appearance and aroma of of my batch, I tasted my first thief sample last night after 3 weeks in primary and detected no sourness. In fact it tasted and smelled like a light hefeweizen. It is thin with a mild banana/fruity aroma but no sourness.

Now I need to decide whether to rack to secondary and bulk age or just bottle condition and age. Either way hoping it will eventually develop some sourness.

If this thing does not sour I will at least consider it a learning experience in the ability of hops to ward off lactobacillus. I really thought dumping a tube of lactobacillus into a beer would guarantee some sourness.
 

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jamest22 said:
Despite the appearance and aroma of of my batch, I tasted my first thief sample last night after 3 weeks in primary and detected no sourness. In fact it tasted and smelled like a light hefeweizen. It is thin with a mild banana/fruity aroma but no sourness.

Now I need to decide whether to rack to secondary and bulk age or just bottle condition and age. Either way hoping it will eventually develop some sourness.

If this thing does not sour I will at least consider it a learning experience in the ability of hops to ward off lactobacillus. I really thought dumping a tube of lactobacillus into a beer would guarantee some sourness.
With all the lengths we go to in order to ensure bugs like this don't contaminate most of our batches... yeah you'd think so. But in most cases it will take months to sour, so just rdwhahb :)
 

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A little update on my Berliner Weisse. The sulfur note is almost gone and it has a little cheerio flavor. The tart sourness is starting to show up to the party.
 

madbare

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I just kegged mine on Sunday. This thing is SOUR! LOVE it!! I have one more vial of this yeast, I may try a no boil version next.
:)
Steve
 

faithinchaos

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you probably ****ed up by oxygenating it. lactobacillus does best as an anaerobic fermenter and while technically it should ferment in aerobic conditions i doubt it will, according to my own experience.




Hit the numbers yesterday for the parti-gyle brew.
6 gallons of Hefeweizen: 1.052 OG
6 gallons of Berliner Weisse: 1.032 OG

I pitched the WLP630 in the Berliner Weisse wort at 85F (higher than I've ever pitched but based upon my research, went with it) and oxygenated for 30 seconds. Its currently at 72F ambient and airlock activity began after 10 hours (which seemed quick based upon my WLP630 research).

Will be awhile until I can provide tasting notes...hoping it will be worth the wait!

Best of luck jamest22 on the upcoming batch.
 

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faithinchaos said:
you probably ****ed up by oxygenating it. lactobacillus does best as an anaerobic fermenter and while technically it should ferment in aerobic conditions i doubt it will, according to my own experience.
The yeast will use up all the oxygen in under 12 hours. The lacto has the other 5.99 months or whatever to work its magic.
 

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lacto doesn't really work well that way. it is too sensitive to alcohol, ph, oxygen and ibu.
 

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faithinchaos said:
lacto doesn't really work well that way. it is too sensitive to alcohol, ph, oxygen and ibu.
Yes, but that's why Berliner Weisse is an extremely low-gravity, low-IBU beer. And it won't become too acidic until it produces a fair bit of lactic acid.

So that leaves oxygen, which, as pointed out, is entirely gone within a matter of hours, allowing the lacto to start reproducing again.
 

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lacto is easily out competed by brewer's yeast and just doesn't work well when not pitched in great enough quanities in anaerobic environments. in a low gravity beer the brewers yeast will take the gravity low enough and ferment enough of the sugar that there will be little left for the lacto if it will even ferment anything at all. lacto is just too sensitive to aerobic substrate where normal brewers yeast is already working. that is why it doesn't play a big part in lambic fermentation. if you're planning to sour a beer over the course of several months you should use pedio as it is more tolerant to ph, alcohol, ibu and aerobic conditions, though without brett it can produce an undesirable amount of diacetyl.
 

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faithinchaos said:
lacto is easily out competed by brewer's yeast and just doesn't work well when not pitched in great enough quanities in anaerobic environments. in a low gravity beer the brewers yeast will take the gravity low enough and ferment enough of the sugar that there will be little left for the lacto if it will even ferment anything at all. lacto is just too sensitive to aerobic substrate where normal brewers yeast is already working. that is why it doesn't play a big part in lambic fermentation. if you're planning to sour a beer over the course of several months you should use pedio as it is more tolerant to ph, alcohol, ibu and aerobic conditions, though without brett it can produce an undesirable amount of diacetyl.
Lambic controls lacto through a pretty heavy dosing of aged hops. Rationalize your opinion all you want - my BW is already quite sour, and I aerated.

In fact, if you look at traditional BW brewing, it's not even boiled, and many people brew it without boiling. The significance of that should be obvious - without boiling, the wort is ALREADY somewhat oxygenated.
 

faithinchaos

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aged hops don't control lacto but other unwanted bacteria such as enteric bacteria, et al.

which traditional berliners do you find don't boil? the only ones i have read about were split fermentations where the unboiled version was inoculated with lacto and the boiled version was hopped and they were later blended. oxygenation is never mentioned and would inhibit lacto growth. there would still be only small amounts of o2 in an unboiled wort as the mash temperature is not one that would easily allow oxygen dissolution. the only time where long periods of aging would promote growth of lacto is where the beer is bottled quickly after primary fermentation is over as fermenters are not really great at keeping o2 out even with airlocks.
 

emjay

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faithinchaos said:
aged hops don't control lacto but other unwanted bacteria such as enteric bacteria, et al.
Actually it helps control both of them (and pretty much any gram-positive bacteria, I believe)

faithinchaos said:
which traditional berliners do you find don't boil? the only ones i have read about were split fermentations where the unboiled version was inoculated with lacto and the boiled version was hopped and they were later blended.
Off-hand, I couldn't say exactly which traditional producers don't boil - but there are only 2 left (and in practice, really only one). But pretty much every traditional brewer at the height of its popularity skipped the boiling for the entire batch, as do the vast majority of homebrewers who decide not to boil - splitting the fermentation for blending is a pretty uncommon practice, although the practice of doing it on an unhopped version is largely unnecessary (though I won't debate whether or not it's beneficial), since the hops are low enough in a typical BW to still allow lacto to reproduce and ferment.

faithinchaos said:
oxygenation is never mentioned and would inhibit lacto growth.
Oxygenation is a fairly modern practice and you won't really ever hear it mentioned in a traditional context. Yes, it inhibits lacto growth, but only for the very small amount of time that it's there. Brewing with bugs is a huge interest of mine and I've read a ton of material, and not once have I ever read so much as a suggestion that the molecules formed by the wort reacting with oxygen continues to inhibit the growth of anaerobic organisms. In fact, that's an extremely massive scientific claim that I'd love to see evidence of, if it's true (even if that would make me wrong.) But a cursory search through a few academic journal databases isn't revealing anything.

faithinchaos said:
there would still be only small amounts of o2 in an unboiled wort as the mash temperature is not one that would easily allow oxygen dissolution.
I agree (and then there's also incidental aeration after cooling and racking, which can allow another 1-2ppm of dissolved oxygen even if careful), but if you begin to make this a factor in your argument, you better be prepared to answer the question: where is the line drawn? At one point does the dissolved oxygen become too much? However, I consider the issue moot until it can been established that oxygen still matters even after the yeast has used up all the O2.

faithinchaos said:
the only time where long periods of aging would promote growth of lacto is where the beer is bottled quickly after primary fermentation is over as fermenters are not really great at keeping o2 out even with airlocks.
I seem to remember that the act of racking will generally introduce a fair bit more oxygen than you'll see from gas exchange through HDPE buckets for quite a long time (though I'll acknowledge that I'm not extremely certain about this). No matter, because I agree that these buckets do allow a lot of oxygen in, and far more than most people realize.

However, you're showing a slight bias here by assuming that bottling is the only way to deal with it. It is specifically BECAUSE of the permeability of HDPE buckets that I use glass carboys for all my sour beers EXCLUSIVELY. My BW, brewed just over 100 days ago, is currently sitting in a 5gal carboy filled up almost to the neck. I would never recommend keeping a sour beer in a plastic fermentor for any extended period of time for exactly that reason. Some sours, like Flanders Red, really need small amounts of oxygenation, but even in that case, 5 gallon batches in HDPE allow around 10 times as much oxygen through than is ideal, so it's still much better to use glass and more tightly control the rate of so-called "micro-oxygenation" through any of a number of methods.
 

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oxygen ingress occurs through the bung and airlock usually and the container (carboy, bucket, etc) is pretty unimportant here. "wort reacting with oxygen" not sure what you mean here, but

ideally you should pitch a large culture of yeast and lacto with little oxygenation therefore promoting growth of lacto but still getting a good fermentation from your brewers yeast. or pitch a large starter of lacto 12-24 hours prior to pitching your brewers yeast and before the pH drops too low so you still get a good fermentation. if it gets too low before the yeast can complete a proper fermentation you might get poor attenuation which is why i suspect brett is usually found in these berliner blends.

you say you are a big fan of brewing with bugs but you are the same guy that doesn't think a 100% brett L beer would be good...
 

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faithinchaos said:
oxygen ingress occurs through the bung and airlock usually and the container (carboy, bucket, etc) is pretty unimportant here. "wort reacting with oxygen" not sure what you mean here, but

ideally you should pitch a large culture of yeast and lacto with little oxygenation therefore promoting growth of lacto but still getting a good fermentation from your brewers yeast. or pitch a large starter of lacto 12-24 hours prior to pitching your brewers yeast and before the pH drops too low so you still get a good fermentation. if it gets too low before the yeast can complete a proper fermentation you might get poor attenuation which is why i suspect brett is usually found in these berliner blends.

you say you are a big fan of brewing with bugs but you are the same guy that doesn't think a 100% brett L beer would be good...
I've had 2 styles brewed with Brett L only - way too aggressive for my tastes, and my personal feeling now is simply that I don't expect to ever find a great beer fermented only with Brett L.

I can be a big fan of pizza (although what I said is that it's a huge interest - not quite the same), but it doesn't mean I have to like it absolutely smothered in anchovies.

Your arguments are continuing to devolve in a big way, and I can see things will probably just start going in circles, so I'll just leave it at that. There's a whole slew of brewers here who have aerated/oxygenated their Berliner Weisse and have had nothing but great results, so I'll let the evidence speak for itself, and people can make up their own minds. I'm not even sure why I bothered arguing, because I know a BW can turn out fine either way, oxygenated or not.
 

faithinchaos

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yes, my arguments devolve yet you're the one insisting an anaerobic bacteria works wonderfully in an oxygen rich environment and will still outcompete brewers yeast.
 

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faithinchaos said:
yes, my arguments devolve yet you're the one insisting an anaerobic bacteria works wonderfully in an oxygen rich environment and will still outcompete brewers yeast.
Nope, never said that. The environment remaining in the environment after about 12 hours is pretty negligible, and it does a horrible job competing with yeast, which is why it takes months rather than days to get a good amount of tartness.

Like I said, going in circles...
 

faithinchaos

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yes you are doing a good job of going in circles.

should the lacto still be active after primary fermentation your best best is to get it into bottles as soon as possible (assuming you have reached terminal gravity) so that you are in an anaerobic environment where the lacto will strive. pitching more lacto at this time couldn't hurt.
 

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My Berliner Weisse with WLP630 has been in secondary for 9 weeks. I plan on pulling a sample at 11 weeks, on Father's Day, to see how it's coming along. I am excited now that the temperature has finally turned as we have been experience summer and skipped spring. The carboy is above 70 all the time now and up in the mid-70s most of the time so hopefully I'll get those tart and sour flavors to come out quicker!!!
 

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Just pulled a sample last night and it was not sour at all. It was very light and refreshing and there was a lemony aroma there but no tartness yet. Hopefully another couple months will help it some but I have a feeling this Berliner Weisse will be bottled off once it's ready and drank next summer.
 

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Hi Guys - I am hoping to revive this thread as I am a NOOB and using the White Labs WLP 630. I purchased the White Labs BW vial but it was out of date. The guy at the brew shop told me to do a 1qt starter. That was done and I saw a white scum on top two nights ago but now it is gone and the yeast is clumpy at the bottom with little CO2 production. Now I am not seeing any activity after 48 hours at around 70 degrees. I have emailed White Labs to see what they say.

Do you think I should dump this starter and go with the Lacto for a few days and then the US-05 yeast or give this a try? White Labs says 65-72 degrees but some guys say upwards of 100 degrees. I am not sure what it is supposed to look like.

Also, I am wondering if you guys have any tips or pointers on this style, I am wanting a really tart beer. How long in primary? Do you do a secondary? How long in bottle conditioning?

Using 5lbs Wheat LME/.5oz Saaz/5 minute boil
 

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Making a starter wasn't the best idea, but you work with what you got I guess. No activity after 48 hours is totally normal for a starter-sized fermentation. Just pitch it and cross your fingers.

Also, listen to White Labs. Over 100 will not only result in some awful tasting beer, but it's pretty close to killing the yeast!

Lastly, especially since you have an old product AND you made a starter, you might need to age this a very long time. Like... next summer is even a possibility. If you can't wait that long, some homebrew supply shops sell food-grade lactic acid, which you can carefully mix into the beer to get the level of sourness you like.

Edit: I see you I missed part of your post! I don't really like recommending dumping anything, so I will say that, if you can spare the fermentors and space, make a second batch with lacto and US-05. If not, I would pitch the lacto first, let it get 2 days head start (make sure everything is kept SANITARY), and then pitch your starter.

Also, 5lbs of Wheat LME is a too much for a BW, and that's important because the lacto likes low alcohol. 4lbs LME seems like the max, but I'll double check that in a short while.
 

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I brewed my Berliner Weisse with the WLP630 blend 6 months ago and I just took a sample this past weekend. A bit more lacto flavor has come through but still not tartness. I plan on just leaving it in secondary for the fall and winter, but if there is no tartness come spring time I think I may add some lactic acid and bottle it off. This will be the last time I use a blend. Next Berliner will be pitching pure lacto and then yeast as others have done.
 
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My first BW was lacto, followed by sacc a day later. Primary about 4 months at 75. There was only the slightest tartness. I bottled, then put the bottles in 90F; small pellicles formed in the bottles within days. After a month in the bottles, they have a nice sour aroma and medium tartness. I'd still like more.

I just made a second batch. Half of it is in long-term primary storage, just like the first batch. The other half was bottled after only 8 days in primary and is now conditioning in 90F.
 

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I'm about to bottle my batch I made in early February. No idea what it tastes like yet, but my LHBS just started stocking gallon jugs (rather than little 1/4/8 ounce bottles, or whatever's typical) of 88% lactic acid, produced by Five Star (the company behind Star San, in case people forgot or didn't know).

I just picked up one of these gallon jugs on Friday, so I'm more than ready to tart-ify my beer :D I may even try making a few bottles *well* beyond puckering :D
 
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I brewed with this yeast March 2011 and bottled this past February 2012. I was hesitant about the beer turning out well until the past month or so where It's fully carbed and the tartness is coming out well.

I will use this blend again.
 

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Gosh I wish I'd seen this thread before starting. Brewed a Berliner last weekend with WLP630. Original gravity clocked at 1.035 and about 5ibus. I did a full hour boil.

I also did a kind of a mini starter the day of brewing just to get the yeast going a bit before pitching. I'm a bit upset at White Labs right now because I checked their website before buying this yeast, and they had very little information about how to handle this blend. So I assumed this blend should be handled just like any other yeast.

So the strange thing is that I got a very fast start with this yeast. I pitched the yeast around 8pm, and by 6am the next morning, I was already seeing a good deal of activity. I got a nice little krausen after 24 hours, but very strangely enough, it fell like a rock by 48 hours. I've never seen a fermentation do that. It's so strange to see a very active fermentation with basically unperturbed surface. Fermentation has been steady at an ambient temperature of 68F. It is now showing signs of slowing down.

I'm confident this will make beer, but maybe not the beer I was hoping for. I'd like to seek some advice on what I should do next. This beer was meant to be a strawberry berliner weisse. Before I started, my plan was to primary ferment for about 2 weeks, then rack over strawberries and secondary that for 2 more weeks and then bottle. But based on your comment, the level of sourness may be very low by bottling day. I also read that strawberry fades quickly over time and may be gone before the sourness develops properly. What do you guys recommend? Should I do a secondary without the fruit, then rack in a tertiary over fruit a few months later?
 

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If I leave this in primary for a about a month and then move it to secondary for 5-6 months will I need to add any additional yeast before bottling like you normally would for a beer that conditions for that long?
 

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If I leave this in primary for a about a month and then move it to secondary for 5-6 months will I need to add any additional yeast before bottling like you normally would for a beer that conditions for that long?
Usually beer will still be able to carbonate after 6 months unless it's really high gravity (or *possibly* also unless it's extremely hoppy). A normal beer should be fine, and something that is as *LOW gravity* as a BW should be even more fine. However, it can't really hurt to add more yeast before bottling, especially since the word "usually" isn't exactly a guarantee...

Just make sure to follow the best/safe practice of waiting at least a few days (personally I'd give it a week) after adding the new yeast before you add priming sugar and bottle it, in order to make sure it's fully fermented so that you don't end up with bottle bombs; a BW should already be dry as hell and is possibly even actually the style that has the LOWEST risk of this, but it's an important safety measure that will not hurt the beer at all. So since the only "downside" to this is having to wait 3-7 days longer, and the potential upside is the personal safety of not only you, your family, and friends, but also the safety of your beer (and really, isn't that what's most important? :)), it would be fairly foolish to skip such a short waiting period simply out of impatience.
 
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