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Author Topic: Berlinner Weiss Help  (Read 7381 times)

Offline kramerog

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2015, 12:25:30 pm »

Hmm, think the fact that it's only 3 gallons of really low gravity will help reduce the need for a starter? Or would jumping in today without one be pointless?

I'm unclear if you are referring to a lacto or yeast starter.  While a lacto starter isn't necessary since you said that you plan to drop the pH below 4.5 before pitching lacto, I like to make a lacto starter so that the starter drops the pH of the wort below 4.5.  Also I do like to make a yeast starter with the pre-soured wort because the ale yeast can use a boost due to the acidity of the beer.


Offline BrodyR

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2015, 12:31:45 pm »

Hmm, think the fact that it's only 3 gallons of really low gravity will help reduce the need for a starter? Or would jumping in today without one be pointless?

I'm unclear if you are referring to a lacto or yeast starter.  While a lacto starter isn't necessary since you said that you plan to drop the pH below 4.5 before pitching lacto, I like to make a lacto starter so that the starter drops the pH of the wort below 4.5.  Also I do like to make a yeast starter with the pre-soured wort because the ale yeast can use a boost due to the acidity of the beer.

Lacto - I'm using dry yeast, S-05, and small batch so was just planning to rehydrate the sach.

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2015, 12:32:53 pm »

Hmm, think the fact that it's only 3 gallons of really low gravity will help reduce the need for a starter? Or would jumping in today without one be pointless?

I'm unclear if you are referring to a lacto or yeast starter.  While a lacto starter isn't necessary since you said that you plan to drop the pH below 4.5 before pitching lacto, I like to make a lacto starter so that the starter drops the pH of the wort below 4.5.  Also I do like to make a yeast starter with the pre-soured wort because the ale yeast can use a boost due to the acidity of the beer.

Also is dropping the pH down to 4.5 pre inoculation even a good idea? Read it a couple places but know theres a lot of bad info out there.

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2015, 12:43:46 pm »
The chloride level seems high for a sour to me.  What is the reasoning behind the mineral profile?

Took it from Tonsmiere's (The Mad Fermantationalist) blog post. Looks like he used a pale low hop profile. The past was from 2008 tho in case best practices changed.

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2008/02/berliner-weiss.html

Subsequent Berliner Weiss's in the Mad Fermentationist blog appear sometimes to not have any added salts.  My recommendation is that other than adding salts to get the desired mash pH, minerals should be sparingly used to avoid salty flavors in sours unless making a Gose.

Calcium levels of at least 50ppm still apply?

Offline kramerog

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2015, 12:47:05 pm »
Calcium levels of at least 50ppm still apply?

Yes.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2015, 12:50:10 pm »

Also is dropping the pH down to 4.5 pre inoculation even a good idea? Read it a couple places but know theres a lot of bad info out there.

Dropping the pH below 4.5 is good if you want to avoid vomit smells due to bacteria in your tun or your grain.  However, if you boil before souring then dropping the pH is probably optional. 

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2015, 01:34:47 pm »

Also is dropping the pH down to 4.5 pre inoculation even a good idea? Read it a couple places but know theres a lot of bad info out there.

Dropping the pH below 4.5 is good if you want to avoid vomit smells due to bacteria in your tun or your grain.  However, if you boil before souring then dropping the pH is probably optional.

Makes sense, appreciate all the advice. In this case tho (as in no starter) sounds like a jump start on dropping the pH would help.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2015, 01:43:56 pm »
Last year I did 3 batches of sour without adjustment to 4.5 post boil. This year I did 4 batches using adjustment to 4.5 post boil. Last year's beers were not gross. This year's aren't done yet obviously but from tasting the hydrometer samples they seem a lot cleaner. So far...

At this early stage of trial I am willing to commit to saying that adjusting to 4.5 is insurance. However, its not a substitute for ridding your process of oxygen. I still purge with CO2 every transfer and every time I open a fermentor to take a sample.

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2015, 01:57:40 pm »
Last year I did 3 batches of sour without adjustment to 4.5 post boil. This year I did 4 batches using adjustment to 4.5 post boil. Last year's beers were not gross. This year's aren't done yet obviously but from tasting the hydrometer samples they seem a lot cleaner. So far...

At this early stage of trial I am willing to commit to saying that adjusting to 4.5 is insurance. However, its not a substitute for ridding your process of oxygen. I still purge with CO2 every transfer and every time I open a fermentor to take a sample.

That purge is what's scaring me. If we transfer the wort after mash, short boil, pH adjustment into a carboy (with an auto siphon to avoid splashing) to pitch the lacto there will may be some O2 in the carboy. Maybe we should use a smaller (3gallon) carboy to leave little headspace? Fermenting in a corny sounds ideal but I'm not brewing at home where I'd have access to the keg & C02.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2015, 02:18:52 pm »
Calcium levels of at least 50ppm still apply?

Yes.

It's debatable. The Ca content is largely needed for two functions: precipitating oxalate from the mash and flocculating ale yeast from the finished beer. The first function is always worthwhile, but the second function isn't really needed in a cloudy wheat style such as Berliner Weisse. Calcium is not needed for bacteria or yeast health since the malt provides all the calcium necessary for that purpose. 
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2015, 03:02:19 pm »
Last year I did 3 batches of sour without adjustment to 4.5 post boil. This year I did 4 batches using adjustment to 4.5 post boil. Last year's beers were not gross. This year's aren't done yet obviously but from tasting the hydrometer samples they seem a lot cleaner. So far...

At this early stage of trial I am willing to commit to saying that adjusting to 4.5 is insurance. However, its not a substitute for ridding your process of oxygen. I still purge with CO2 every transfer and every time I open a fermentor to take a sample.

That purge is what's scaring me. If we transfer the wort after mash, short boil, pH adjustment into a carboy (with an auto siphon to avoid splashing) to pitch the lacto there will may be some O2 in the carboy. Maybe we should use a smaller (3gallon) carboy to leave little headspace? Fermenting in a corny sounds ideal but I'm not brewing at home where I'd have access to the keg & C02.
I'm a fan of cleaner American style sours. So I'm careful to avoid touches of acetic, enteric, and isovaleric if possible. Others consider a touch of those to be "complexity". I'm not saying they are wrong, I served my country to preserve their right to funk it up. Its just not my thing. I try to get my complexity elsewhere. So, if I didn't have a CO2 bottle, I would get one LOL. If it just wasn't an option I would use what I had available to keep O2 ingress at a minimum. Boiling removes O2. Limiting exposure by planning what NEEDS to be done to the least amount of transfers as possible. Limiting headspace to minimum too. Limiting testing samples to a minimum required too. So for each step ask WHY and then try to find another way that is less exposure.

For example, you want 6 IBUs. Why? Probably for hop flavor, because you can't detect 6 IBUs is a 3.2pH beer. I can't anyway. So can you get some aroma from dry hopping that might translate as flavor since most of flavor is picked up from aroma? Probably.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2015, 03:03:42 pm »
Calcium levels of at least 50ppm still apply?

Yes.

It's debatable. The Ca content is largely needed for two functions: precipitating oxalate from the mash and flocculating ale yeast from the finished beer. The first function is always worthwhile, but the second function isn't really needed in a cloudy wheat style such as Berliner Weisse. Calcium is not needed for bacteria or yeast health since the malt provides all the calcium necessary for that purpose.

I stand corrected.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2015, 03:27:12 pm »
Last year I did 3 batches of sour without adjustment to 4.5 post boil. This year I did 4 batches using adjustment to 4.5 post boil. Last year's beers were not gross. This year's aren't done yet obviously but from tasting the hydrometer samples they seem a lot cleaner. So far...

At this early stage of trial I am willing to commit to saying that adjusting to 4.5 is insurance. However, its not a substitute for ridding your process of oxygen. I still purge with CO2 every transfer and every time I open a fermentor to take a sample.

That purge is what's scaring me. If we transfer the wort after mash, short boil, pH adjustment into a carboy (with an auto siphon to avoid splashing) to pitch the lacto there will may be some O2 in the carboy. Maybe we should use a smaller (3gallon) carboy to leave little headspace? Fermenting in a corny sounds ideal but I'm not brewing at home where I'd have access to the keg & C02.

Oxygen exposure during sour worting with lacto is not that harmful if you have another control on harmful bacteria such as  boiling or pH below 4.5.  Oxygen exposure causes the lacto to produce a fruity odor (ethyl acetate?).  I like to do the lacto ferment in a closed bucket to reduce oxygen exposure during fermentation but I am not concerned about oxygen exposure before pitching the lacto.  Some folks say that oxygen exposure inhibits lacto but I believe that to be overblown if you have the control on harmful bacteria.  If you very much dislike fruitiness in your sours then limit your samples as indicated by Klickitat Jim.  I don't find limiting samples to be necessary. In any case, the 2008 BJCP guidelines (have not consulted 2015) for Berliner Weiss allows for some fruitiness.   For the record, I do a starter with pilsener malt which drops the pH to 4.5 upon pitching and don't do a boil.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2015, 03:34:22 pm »
Last year I did 3 batches of sour without adjustment to 4.5 post boil. This year I did 4 batches using adjustment to 4.5 post boil. Last year's beers were not gross. This year's aren't done yet obviously but from tasting the hydrometer samples they seem a lot cleaner. So far...

At this early stage of trial I am willing to commit to saying that adjusting to 4.5 is insurance. However, its not a substitute for ridding your process of oxygen. I still purge with CO2 every transfer and every time I open a fermentor to take a sample.

That purge is what's scaring me. If we transfer the wort after mash, short boil, pH adjustment into a carboy (with an auto siphon to avoid splashing) to pitch the lacto there will may be some O2 in the carboy. Maybe we should use a smaller (3gallon) carboy to leave little headspace? Fermenting in a corny sounds ideal but I'm not brewing at home where I'd have access to the keg & C02.
There are a lot of ways to make a sour beer. The need to pre-acidify and/or minimize oxygen depend on your specific process. Here's an overly simplified look at how oxygen affects the major players in a sour beer:

Spoilage/acetic bacteria - O2 typically increases activity
Lactobacillus - O2 does not significantly increase or decrease activity
Saccharomyces - O2 generally needed to promote yeast health
Brettanomyces - O2 increases production of acetic acid and ethyl acetate. May be desired in small amounts, but not generally in large amounts

So basically, you want to take a look at what critters are in play to determine how you want to handle oxygenation. If you're kettle souring, you definitely want to minimize O2 levels to the best extent you can to inhibit bacteria that can create off flavors. But if you're boiling before souring, that isn't necessarily a concern. Also, if you're souring post-boil, followed by (or along with) Saccharomyces only (i.e., no Brett), then oxygen isn't really an issue.

In other words, I wouldn't sweat the O2 in your case if you're boiling prior to souring and just using Sacc.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Berlinner Weiss Help
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2015, 03:50:48 pm »
That's what I was kind of hinting at. I would mash, boil with no hops, chill to 100 and put it in the fermentor, pitch lacto, let it sit, then pitch 05, then dry hop when it's done.