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want moar sour! (for my BW)


read 1590 times • 15 replies • posted 4/16/2012 11:31:49 AM

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zdk 1809:95
My berliner weisse has been going in the primary for 2 weeks now, but itís tasting more like an american wheat than a sour (though still pretty tasty).

My guess is that the yeast (safale-05) out-competed the lactobacillus during the initial fermentation. If this is the case (and assuming that the existing lacto wonít eventually take off on its own, my thought is that I could grow up a dense lacto culture and add it with some cane sugar to kickstart the lacto (I purposefully made the beer under-volume, so I have about a gallon-worth of wiggle room for adding more stuff to the fermenter.

Thoughts?
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t0rin0 62:1330
Iíd be curious to hear some advice as well since I had a similar situation. My first one wasnt sour enough after a 5 weeks in the carboy (sour mashed 25% for 4 days, fermented with the same yeast and some extra lacto) so I added a quart from the lacto starter that I did for my sour. Itís only been a week so I have no idea if it worked or not.

Iíd be curious to know how much lacto you used in the primary and what it tastes like in another month.
4/16/2012 11:46:02 AM

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ryan 3186:13
When Iíve brewed Berliner Weiss, I usually do 50% with lacto and 50% with ale yeast, and then combine them after 7-10 days. I then give it another two weeks to finish and clean up. Always turns out nicely sour.

Did you do a boil and add hops? Hop acids slow the reproduction rate of the lacto.
4/16/2012 12:06:23 PM

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HornyDevil
Originally posted by ryan
Did you do a boil and add hops? Hop acids slow the reproduction rate of the lacto.


This is the first question that I would ask as well. A full recipe would also be nice, though.

Only reason commercial breweries add hops to their sour beers is that they are required to do so by law. Otherwise, you donít need them in this style of beer, so as a homebrewer (who doesnít have the governmental restrictions to deal with) there is no need to include them in your recipe as they work against what you are trying to do which is to sour your beer.
4/16/2012 12:22:25 PM

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zdk 1809:95
Originally posted by ryan
When Iíve brewed Berliner Weiss, I usually do 50% with lacto and 50% with ale yeast, and then combine them after 7-10 days. I then give it another two weeks to finish and clean up. Always turns out nicely sour.

Did you do a boil and add hops? Hop acids slow the reproduction rate of the lacto.



Did a short 15-20 minute boil to convert about an ounce of low acid hallertau, so Iím fairly confident that this isnít the issue.

Brewing separately and blending is a good idea, which I hope to approximate by brewing up more lacto in a separate starter culture. Does anybody know if dense lacto cultures produce off-compounds (flavor-wise)?
4/16/2012 12:25:11 PM

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zdk 1809:95
My lacto was the Wyeast L. delbruckii (4335). I took some frozen stocks in glycerol so I can re-pitch the same strain from the same bag, if need be.
4/16/2012 12:30:36 PM

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lithy 2996:156
Originally posted by zdk
Originally posted by ryan
When Iíve brewed Berliner Weiss, I usually do 50% with lacto and 50% with ale yeast, and then combine them after 7-10 days. I then give it another two weeks to finish and clean up. Always turns out nicely sour.

Did you do a boil and add hops? Hop acids slow the reproduction rate of the lacto.



Did a short 15-20 minute boil to convert about an ounce of low acid hallertau, so Iím fairly confident that this isnít the issue.

Brewing separately and blending is a good idea, which I hope to approximate by brewing up more lacto in a separate starter culture. Does anybody know if dense lacto cultures produce off-compounds (flavor-wise)?


Is this a 5 gallon batch? An ounce seems high to me if so, especially with a boil. I remember using about a half of an ounce as a first wort hop, no boil, split batch 50/50, sour half for 3-4 days, ferment the other half with US-05 and combine. This always produced a nicely tart beer for me.

If I remember right, anything over like 8 IBU is going to start giving lacto trouble.
4/16/2012 12:37:39 PM

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MatSciGuy 907:
I know this doesnít help with your current batch, but when you rack off the beer, brew another batch and pitch on top of the yeast cake. You will get much more sourness in subsequent generations of yeast/lacto.

For the batch youíve got going now, add a 4 oz bottle of lactic acid (can get at homebrew stores) and some Brett and let it condition for another month or two to mellow and youíll be golden.
4/16/2012 1:07:29 PM

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ryan 3186:13
FWIW, I just checked my log and last time I used 1.5oz of Hallertau in the mash for a 10 gallon batch, no boil. Also looks like I let it sit for two weeks before mixing the yeast half with the lacto half. Then gave it two weeks before dry hopping with a couple ozs of Hallertau for a week.

The problem with pitching a big starter into your current batch, is that there probably isnít enough sugar for the lacto to convert to lactic acid to get much more acidity. What is the gravity at presently?
4/16/2012 1:44:44 PM

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rudolf 2340:104
Lacto likes it hot. Like 95 degrees hot. Increase the temp of the sour portion & youíll see a jump in tartness.
4/16/2012 7:45:17 PM

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Gription79 2252:51
I use about one ounce of very low alpha hops in the mash for ten gallons. I split the ten gallons into two five gallon fermenters, do a three liter starter of lacto, and pitch lacto with about 5-7 grams of us-05(re-hydrated) into each carboy. I have been happy with the results.

If you are looking for more sourness you could always do a small batch and ferment with just lacto and blend.
4/16/2012 10:05:36 PM

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