Author Topic: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner  (Read 960 times)

Offline denny

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Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« on: August 15, 2013, 02:03:18 PM »
Anybody used lactic acid to sour a Berliner weisse?.  It was done with a sour mash, but it's young and hasn't soured much yet.  Yeah, I know waiting would be the way to go, but how about lactic acid?
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 02:13:26 PM »
Did you sour mash, boil, then add lactobacillus? If so, you could warm it up with an electric blanket/fermwrap to get the lacto going.

I'm sure there's a rule of thumb about how much acid to add to drop x pH points, but when I adjust sourness, I do it in a keg, one tablespoon/teaspoon at a time, until it tastes right.
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 02:29:59 PM »
I've tried lactic acid in the pint glass during the pour and it was terrible. I have heard that if you are going to use lactic acid that it takes some time to "mellow out". Not sure if this is true or not since I haven't tried it.

Offline denny

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 02:38:42 PM »
Did you sour mash, boil, then add lactobacillus? If so, you could warm it up with an electric blanket/fermwrap to get the lacto going.

I'm sure there's a rule of thumb about how much acid to add to drop x pH points, but when I adjust sourness, I do it in a keg, one tablespoon/teaspoon at a time, until it tastes right.

Lacto has been added and the beer warmed, but it's not going as quickly as I'd like.  According to Jess Caudill from Wyeast, the lacto should have been added before the yeast in order to get faster action.  But that's hindsight....
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 04:49:10 AM »
I have added between 2.5 to 3 oz. of lactic acid 88% to bring more tartness to a Berliner weisse that wasn't quite where I wanted it.  It turned out very good.  I had used WLP630 in the primary.  I won't do that again.  The results were underwhelming.  I wholly recommend doing a sour mash or pitching lactobacillus in the primary and letting it sour at 90 - 100F for a few days before pitching your saccharomyces.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2013, 07:32:34 AM »
It makes a lot more sense than waiting for something to happen that isn't going to happen.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 09:36:40 AM »
Try starting with 2oz of 88% Lactic acid. You can always add more if necessary.

Or

Dose a sample of the beer to your liking, then scale up the addition to the full volume of beer.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 10:10:19 AM »
Dose a sample of the beer to your liking, then scale up the addition to the full volume of beer.

Dats what I would do!  8)
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Offline denny

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 10:16:48 AM »
Dose a sample of the beer to your liking, then scale up the addition to the full volume of beer.

Dats what I would do!  8)

Yeah, that's my SOP.  Thanks for the help, everyone!
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Offline Siamese Moose

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2013, 02:15:54 PM »
All right, time to 'fess up! This was NOT Denny's beer, it was my wife's. I asked for his input, and he suggested putting it on the forum. I didn't want to do that because that keg was going to Beer and Sweat* last Saturday, and I knew that some of the judges who would be there are regulars here, and many of them ask for sours. I did not want to bias a judge into looking for a lactic-dosed beer. Overall the beer is quite good, it was just not sour enough for Saturday. We ended up adding 1/2 oz. of 88% lactic acid, and it really could have used more. Unfortunately we did not have the time to try several iterations. In the end the beer got a 37.3 score, but didn't even make it into the mini-BOS (Beer and Sweat is a tough gig!). We now plan to just set the keg aside and let it mature properly.
I will add that we used a White Labs vial of lactobacillus, and the pro brewer we talked to said that was a big mistake. He said the Wyeast lacto is a different strain, and is much more aggressive and sour.

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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Lactic acid to sour a Berliner
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2013, 12:32:08 PM »
I must go to this, "Beer and Sweat"...
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