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Advice for a Berliner Weiss

I’d like to start playing with sour beers and figured the relatively uncomplicated taste of a Berliner Weiss would be a good way of getting to know what works and what doesn’t. I’m not quite ready to try a sour mash, but anyone have advice on which other methods have worked well for them?

My current plan is to sanitize and pitch my yeast into a bucket with 4.5 gallons of wort and do my lactobacillus in a separate sterilized jug with 1 gallon of wort, then marry the two after a couple days. Good idea? Bad idea?

Seems reasonable but I’m mostly waiting to see what others say since I want to brew one too. I was going to just go the patient route and pitch either the White Labs or Wyeast berliner blend and wait until it was sour enough for me. Did a kriek and it it certainly can get sour enough going that route given enough time. My next option would be to do like you’re planning, sour a portion and blend to taste. Seems like a much more controlled way than the sour mash method.

I will be curious to know how this turns out, as I think its a good idea. I’ve heard of pitching lacto first, then an ale yeast, but I would think that method would potentially pose pH problems for a lot of ale yeasts if the lacto has done its job and spit out lots of lactic acid.

I don’t recall if lacto can ferment sugars/carbs unfermentable by sacc yeast, so once blended, I would leave it for a few days in case the lacto starts going to work on something. Someone may chime in with more knowledge (you could always PM Old Sock. Aka Michael Tonsmiere. Aka The Mad Fermentationist. Aka The Bug Whisperer). Maybe also check his page madfermentationist.com for berliner info and ferment methods.

It’ll be a while (just had twins), but I’ll post details and results once I get to it.

Congrats! Your first(s)? My wife is due with our first in 10 days.

Newborns are into homebrewing, coffee roasting, food fermentations and golf, right?

[quote=“sampothepancake”]I’d like to start playing with sour beers and figured the relatively uncomplicated taste of a Berliner Weiss would be a good way of getting to know what works and what doesn’t. I’m not quite ready to try a sour mash, but anyone have advice on which other methods have worked well for them?

My current plan is to sanitize and pitch my yeast into a bucket with 4.5 gallons of wort and do my lactobacillus in a separate sterilized jug with 1 gallon of wort, then marry the two after a couple days. Good idea? Bad idea?[/quote]

I never do my berliners with blending like this. Not sure what the need for doing them seperate is?
I Just do a no boil,(very easy brew day) berliner
keep warm for a few days with lacto then drop down I usually add brett to which finishes everything off.

Some lacto strains will not give you enough attenuation, dont have the yeast numbers in front of me but some are able to ferment more and some are not

[quote=“grainbelt”]

I never do my berliners with blending like this. Not sure what the need for doing them seperate is?
I Just do a no boil,(very easy brew day) berliner
keep warm for a few days with lacto then drop down I usually add brett to which finishes everything off.

Some lacto strains will not give you enough attenuation, dont have the yeast numbers in front of me but some are able to ferment more and some are not[/quote]

This sounds infinitely simpler than 2 fermenters and blending, and will likely yield as good of a product. Grain you use Brett Trois for these typically?

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“grainbelt”]

I never do my berliners with blending like this. Not sure what the need for doing them seperate is?
I Just do a no boil,(very easy brew day) berliner
keep warm for a few days with lacto then drop down I usually add brett to which finishes everything off.

Some lacto strains will not give you enough attenuation, dont have the yeast numbers in front of me but some are able to ferment more and some are not[/quote]

This sounds infinitely simpler than 2 fermenters and blending, and will likely yield as good of a product. Grain you use Brett Trois for these typically?[/quote]

I have before… but will all the different brett strains available now I play around with those a lot.

I have a house culture I use most of the time

Yes, first kids. Think we can add classic console game repair and restoration to that list?

As for why, experimentation, repeatable results, and not having to wait as long.

For example, if I use L. sanfranciscensis (the strain used in sourdough bread ) for my lactobacillus, it will eat the maltos but also produce glucose which my chosen yeast can eat. By maintaining a consistent temperature, allowing the lactobacillus to largely finish, then boiling the sample before returning it, I should have a repeatable tartness level. Also by boiling, I’ll be able to get rid of many of the unwanted flavors that might otherwise take months or years to remove in other sour beers.

At barely minimum, it seems worth a shot.

Bare minimum. That’s what I get for using predictive text.

[quote=“sampothepancake”]Yes, first kids. Think we can add classic console game repair and restoration to that list?

As for why, experimentation, repeatable results, and not having to wait as long.

For example, if I use L. sanfranciscensis (the strain used in sourdough bread ) for my lactobacillus, it will eat the maltos but also produce glucose which my chosen yeast can eat. By maintaining a consistent temperature, allowing the lactobacillus to largely finish, then boiling the sample before returning it, I should have a repeatable tartness level. Also by boiling, I’ll be able to get rid of many of the unwanted flavors that might otherwise take months or years to remove in other sour beers.

At barely minimum, it seems worth a shot.[/quote]

well what was the question for then? you seem to have it down.
You dont every have to wait very long with berliners, for repeatable results you just need to stick with a way and brew and brew and brew for any beer.

Mostly because I’ve never done anything sour before and wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing something incredibly stupid, or at least not that someone else already screwed up before me :slight_smile:

That’s kind of why I want to start with the Berliner, so I can work out the bugs (MUST RESIST STUPID PUN JOKE) on something a bit more straightforward than other possible choices for a first sour beer. Since it can just be saccharomyces and lactobacillus, I’m hoping I’ll be able to taste my screw ups pretty quick.

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