Author Topic: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch  (Read 916 times)

Offline rbowers

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Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« on: May 20, 2015, 06:34:04 PM »
I get less and less time to brew these days so when given the chance I have been trying to get two batches in.  This is easiest to do if I can brew two batches from one base beer.  Lately I've been contemplating a Hefeweizen/Berliner Weisse combo.  Both can have similar malt bills.  I would boil the entire batch briefly, pull off the Berliner portion after minimal hopping, then continue on with a full boil for the Hefeweizen.  This would result in a lower OG for the Berliner and a higher one for the Hefeweizen which would fall in line with typical characteristics of both styles.  Has anyone else done something similar or have comments on if this can work.  I'm also open to other combo suggestions.  This would be my first attempt at either style.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2015, 06:46:26 PM »
I would be concerned about DMS if doing a short boil.  Many folks including me have success not boiling a BW.   You can heat your wort to 170F, hold it there for 15-30 minutes, take a portion to make your BW and continue with the HW as normal.

I'm not sure that DMS is actually a big concern if you have enough acidity in a BW, but developing lots of acidity in a BW is a whole other topic.

Offline brewday

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2015, 08:32:37 PM »
I like this idea.  I agree with kramerog - I think the easiest way would be to get all your wort in the boil kettle as usual and then run off the BW portion into whatever vessel you plan to sour in.  You don't need the hops, but you can mash hop if you like.  I've never bothered with heating to 170° but you can if you want.  The gravity will probably still be a bit high for the BW (shooting for ~1.030) but you can dilute with water and hit both your gravity and optional temp range to pitch lacto.
Jon Weaver

Offline kramerog

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2015, 10:06:04 PM »
I've never bothered with heating to 170° but you can if you want. 

I don't pasteurize my wort for making a BW nowadays, but for a newbie to making a BW I didn't want to make any "radical" recommendations.

Offline rbowers

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2015, 10:10:46 PM »
Sounds good.  Any advice on getting a nice sour character in the BW?  I've read about pitching milled grains, pitching a pure lacto culture, or doing a sour mash (which wouldn't work too well given plans to use same mash for the Hefeweizen).  I guess you can also add lactic acid but I'm told that can be one dimensional. I'm a big fan of sour beers so I definitely want a presence of acidity rather than just a hint.

Offline brewday

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2015, 10:27:54 PM »
Sounds good.  Any advice on getting a nice sour character in the BW?  I've read about pitching milled grains, pitching a pure lacto culture, or doing a sour mash (which wouldn't work too well given plans to use same mash for the Hefeweizen).  I guess you can also add lactic acid but I'm told that can be one dimensional. I'm a big fan of sour beers so I definitely want a presence of acidity rather than just a hint.

Lots of ways.  I've had my best results following Jess Caudil's recommendations in his 2012 NHC presentation.  Basically you're building up a lacto culture via a starter for about a week, then souring your wort for about another week before pitching yeast.  Takes patience (and temp control) but I think it works well.

You can find it here:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/resources/conference-seminars/

For my current BW I used Omega's lacto blend, and I have really high hopes for it.  Super easy in that it sours in 1-2 days at room temp.  For this I did a room temp starter for two days and then pitched the culture and held the wort at room temp for two more before pitching yeast.  Super, super sour.

Either way, refrain from introducing O2 to the wort until lacto has done its thing.

Jon Weaver

Offline kramerog

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2015, 03:21:02 PM »
What Brewday said.  Sour worting is the way to go.  Make a starter from a commercial lacto but generally not with the lacto used by Jess Caudill or with malt preferably above 100 F and then pitch starter.  Search for threads on sour worting on this forum and elsewhere for more info.

Offline rbowers

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 06:52:06 PM »
So I have a lacto starter (L. Brevis) going.  I plan to use the Caudil method which I have since researched and sour the wort for a period of time prior to pitching the usual yeast. Using taste but also pH as a measurement of when to add the usual yeast, what is an optimal pH to let it drop to before pitching?  I want it sour enough to where the finished beer will have a nice strong sour flavor but also need to have the pH high enough so the yeast can do its job well.  Probably going to use US05 in 5 gal and WLP 300 for another 5 gal (going to just make 10 gal of BW and do away with original idea).

Offline jtoots

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2015, 03:18:00 PM »
I've yet to brew a sour, but was a fan of the berliner weiss method described in the recent beersmith podcast... which included a shortened boil.

Offline rbowers

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 09:53:06 PM »
Update: so the souring didn't quite go so well with my lacto brevis starter (very slow going) and on day 4 or 5 I threw in a pouch of Omega lacto blend split between the two 5 gallons.  They were not kidding about fast souring.  While it took 4-5 days to get from 4.6 to 4.2 with L. Brevis, the omega blend (or a combined effort of both strains) dropped it to 3.6 in about 30 hrs.  I transferred it back to the kettle for a short boil, cooled to ~70F, and pitched US05 to one 5gal portion and WLP351 to the other. After 9 days in the primary the gravity is down to ~1.008 and signs of fermentation have stopped.  Tastes nice and sour.  The FG seems slightly higher than I'd like but I imagine it will come across even crisper with carbonation and cooler temps.  Any ideas on how to drop the gravity a few more points?  I think the Sacc is done.  Simply adding sterile water I guess is an option but have never done this.  Brett I assume will take awhile and not really looking to add it. 
Half of this is destined for some blackberries, the other half plain.  I am assuming the blackberry sugars will ferment out completely and not really affect the gravity but correct me if that's a bad assumption.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2015, 10:13:49 PM »
Signs might not be there but it could still be dropping. I'd give it two weeks at least between two stable fg readings

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2015, 04:10:33 AM »
Personally I don't think there anything wrong with a BW ending at 1.008. It doesn't need to be a thin beer. However, I wouldn't call the yeast done until I saw stable gravity readings multiple days apart. You've dropped the yeast into a more stressful environment than they prefer. Sacc will ferment out in the 3 range but sometimes a little more sluggish than one might prefer.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline rbowers

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Re: Hefe + Berliner Weisse big batch
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 12:07:55 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys.  I will sit on it another week or two at least.