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Author Replies
SteveG
05/20/07 10:57 AM  
ANyone ever not boil?
Al found a really neat Berliner he brought to a party yesterday. Even though this was a serious beer crowd, this brew was unknown to everone. Excellent Berliner, it said on the bottle that it uses mash hopping and no boil! Anyone ever try something like this?
Sean White
05/20/07 11:33 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
No, I haven't, but I think there is a pretty good description of this in Designing Great Beers.

They Boil the hops in separate water and sparge the grains with it, I think.

SteveG
05/20/07 11:48 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Interesting Sean, I'll check though out. This bottle specified mash hopping, I would guess you could get away with that in a Berliner cause the hop level is so low. I have no idea what the advantage might be, but I think I'll give it a try for next years Berliner.
WitSok
05/20/07 12:31 PM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
No, I haven't done this, but I have read about it. I believe either Marc Sadam or "-S" have written about this technique. Would I use this technique? Yes, I belive it is the natural way to a Berliner wiesse.

By not boiling the lactobacillus in the malt/wort can natural sour the beer, working simaltanously with saccharomyces. Mash hopping should provide minimal bitterness, provide some flavor, and somewhat keep lactobacillus in check.

Maybe it is time to attempt my first Berliner!

Cheers,

Dan

neonmeate
05/21/07 01:23 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
my berliner that i'm currently drinking had just a 10 minute boil. i couldn't quite bring myself not to boil at all.

a sacch-free beer, brett. anomalus and lacto from yoghurt, that was it. hops were 100% FWH with 60g spalt in a 15L batch - used more hops cause i thought the brett could deal with it, even if the lacto couldn't, and i like that grassy hops and brett combination. but it sure seems lactic enough - nice and sour. it's taken 10 weeks for the flavours to settle down but is tasty now. certainly not too hoppy for my tastes. next time maybe i will do an overload of aged-hops like a lambic.

SteveG
05/21/07 09:37 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Very interesting neonmeate, I went in a similar direction. No sacch in mine either , I went pure B. Clausinii.
neonmeate
05/23/07 05:42 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
yes steve, i will pay you royalties when i release it commercially, i got the original idea from you!

might try a brett only gose next time.

Loren
05/23/07 09:13 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Boiling kills lacto, correct? Which is why I thought it odd when someone posted in the normal forum that Tomme A. added lacto pre-boil to his Mo Betta Bretta. Question is...why? To pre-lower the mash pH, before the boil kills the lacto?
Mike T
05/23/07 09:56 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
According to the interview with Peter B(media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbr10-19-06.mp3), they added a big slurry of lacto to a portion of the first runnings (no details, on proportion), near the end of the boil this soured portion is added to the main boil. This gives the beer some sourness and gives the Brett the raw materials to make ethyl lactate all without risking a lacto infection in the batch.

I did a Moí Betta Bretta clone awhile back with .5 lbs of acid malt instead of the above procedure. I donít think enough I got enough acidity out of it, so next time (I already have a starter of Brett A going) Iíll either up it to 1 lb or try my hand at the actual procedure.

Al B
05/23/07 09:58 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
You can do a sour-mash pre-boil with lactobaciili. Time and temperature is required to acheive acidity...so I suppose after a day or two or three, then do your boil.

Al

Loren
05/23/07 10:01 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Interesting stuff. Thanks guys. I've been trying to connive a local brewer into making a Berliner Weisse but they're scared of contamination. This would prevent that since the lacto would be killed of via boiling, right? But you still get a solid souring?
Al B
05/23/07 10:11 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Lacto will be killed by boiling yep. Acids remain.

Joelle
05/23/07 12:25 PM  
Re: Anyone ever not boil?
What do you guys think about this guys proceedure to make a "quick" Berliner Weisse using Lactobacillus? I got this excerpt from www2.parc.com/emdl/members/apte/flemishredale.shtml He sours his wort, not the actual mash.

"10 Sour Mashing. It would be lovely to make sour ale quickly. It is possible to do a fast lactic acid fermentation. If you must sour something quickly (and this procedure makes a very nice Berliner Weisse), here's how. First, ignore all the rubbish about smelly sour mashes in the mash tun. Lactobacilli are meso- or thermo-philic and anaerobic. Use a fermentation lock. The easiest way to sour a gyle is to put it in a carboy, inoculate with pure culture or a handful of grain, and hold at 120F for a few days with a fermentation lock. You can pitch primary yeast directly on top of it when cool, or try to pasteurize it first. I use a pid hot-plate for souring. It is also very useful for making cheese, yoghurt, and tempering chocolate. The trick is to keep the temperature probe loose and to tape it to the appropriate place for each application. Typcial probe locations include the plate itself or the sides of a vessel sitting on the plate. For souring wort in a glass carboy, I rest the carboy in a partly filled kettle on the hotplate (double boiler). The probe is on the kettle, and I insulate the whole thing to keep a nice, uniform, even temperature."

It sounds like he makes his wort (I guess that's what he's calling a gyle). Don't know if he boils it. Then he brings the temp to 120F, puts it in a glass carboy with some lactobacillus, puts on an airlock and holds it at 120F for a few days. Then you can lower the temp, pitch your Saccharomyces (WYeast 1007?) and let it ferment out.

Joelle

Loren
05/23/07 12:57 PM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
This process using the bacteria to produce the acid to add to the wort/boil is far better than just adding lactic acid to a near and/or finished beer I assume? I've had a few acid Weisses/Flanders that were acetic and missed that milky sourness associated with lacto. Or am I crazy?
Al B
05/23/07 01:03 PM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
I wonder if there's any sugars left for the yeast? It would be good to know the gravities, that is, whatever method you go with - monitor the gravities and pH. Otherwise, how do you know when to pitch the yeast??

Joelle
05/23/07 01:17 PM  
Re: Anyone ever not boil?
Yeah, I don't know how much sugar there would be left for the Saccharomyces to do anything with. Wonder if that part would be necessary at all? Anyone know how much a hot plate big enough for this would go for? Any other ideas for how to keep a constant temp of 120 F for a few days? How hot do heating pads get?

Loren, I've heard that beers using just lactic acid for sourness at the end of fermentation are missing something in the flavor.

Joelle

Al B
05/23/07 03:11 PM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Here's another point.......at 150F mash or so, it is unknown how much Lacto will survive. So, I've seen where the "handful or two of crushed grain" goes in after the mash cools down below 120F. There, they can start souring during a cool down to 70F or so......then the yeast goes in for a simultaneous remainder of fermentation.
Loren
05/24/07 10:54 AM  
Speaking of Lactobacillus
www.babblebelt.com/bbb_classic/readpost.html?id=1180005109

Does it create CO2 and alcohol or just acid? Document I posted was a bit...uh...wordy to sift through.

Baums
05/24/07 11:30 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Loren asks "This process using the bacteria to produce the acid to add to the wort/boil is far better than just adding lactic acid to a near and/or finished beer I assume?" and I think that's an interesting question.

Lactic acid is lactic acid, of course, regardless of where it's from. And I don't think lactobacillus produce other important compounds (other than generally undesirable compounds produced by undesirable strains). So for me, that's almost the end of it... except like a lot of people I think it's just more fun to get lactic acid from a bottle from bacteria than from a bottle, and am willing to deal with the fact that it's more risky and complicated.

I have often heard the same thing Joelle has, that there is something missing when you use pure lactic acid vs. bacteria. But I think that's a mistaken notion. The traditional ways of introducing lactic bacteria (barrels, coolships, mixed cultures, etc) also introduce brett and other organisms that do of course add more flavor. Without adding these extra characters, I do not think there is much difference between using lactobacillus or a bottle to get the acid. In fact, I once heard someone complain that when they used a pure culture of lactobacillus (acidophilus, in fact) they got similar "one-dimensional" sourness to what people complain about with pure acid.

And Loren I agree acetic is completely different from lactic in flavor.

---

Al, Joelle,

I don't think many strains of lacto can produce more than 1% lactic under those conditions. Based on Martens' thesis and some other papers, I think it's more likely that less than 1% will be produced. Hard gueuze has 0.5% ppm, so at the very worst I think you can get a pretty blendable batch even if you let the lacto hit its limit.

Since sugar is converted almost 100% by weight to lactic acid, no more than 1% sugar by weight (= 1 Plato) is used by the bacteria. So I think there should be plenty left for the yeast.

Baums

SteveG
05/24/07 12:16 PM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Baums, I agree that the lactic acid question is an interesting one and I think I am with you on all your conclusions. Case and point. The Berliner I made for the swap is a beer I am proud of, but the the beer I sent out is not the beer that won the local regional. The Brett C. did a remarkable job of souring it and I love the level it produced. But it really does lack dimension. You get wheat and sour and nothing else. The version I sent to the NHC first round I blended a bit. I added about 15% of another lower alcohol, pale, slightly sour but pretty fruity brew. That little bit added what the C. itself missed. So I consider the actual C. beer to be a really great base beer that needs just a bit of complexity introduced. The sour all by itself doesn't quite do it.

I am proud of how it turned out and also of the speed in which it came to be. But I'm not so sure it is all that different from a very clean 1035 wheat brew with a bit of acid added in at the end. I am proud of having made this beer and I would not be proud had I artifically soured it. But does this express itself in taste? Maybe not...

Baums
05/24/07 12:43 PM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Steve,

Wow--I read in some earlier posts where you said the brett character was restrained in your brew, but I did not realize you meant it was restrained enough that it is wheat and sour and not much else. I was only trying to make a point about lactobacillus, and didn't realize it was possible to get such a clean sourness from brett.

It's great that so many interesting beers are being made by people on this forum.

Baums

Joelle
05/24/07 02:21 PM  
Re: Anyone ever not boil?
Baums mentions that, "lactic acid is lactic acid, of course, regardless of where it's from. And I don't think lactobacillus produce other important compounds." I thought I agreed with this view, but I received an email yesterday from a friend of mine who is trying to commercially produce a Berliner Weisse for a brewpub here in town. He was commenting on the method that I introduced at the beginning of this thread and mentioned this, "it's also nice to produce the acid first, then allow the yeast to perform esterification on the abundance of acids to produce some nice, subtle fruit notes." My first question to you guys is, does Saccharomyces take lactic acid and produce esters? If so, would this not occur in the bottle (or keg) if you introduced the lactic acid at bottling? If so, then maybe the using bacteria to create the lactic acid prior to fermentation with Saccharomyces would make a difference in the flavor. Or would it be possible to get this effect by adding the lactic acid prior to fermentation?

Joelle

Baums
05/24/07 03:32 PM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
"My first question to you guys is, does Saccharomyces take lactic acid and produce esters?"

If I had to bet, I would go with "no." But I have nothing solid to back that up, and if your friend has some source that indicates saccharomyces can do this, I would love to hear about it.

But either way, I think the effect of pre-acidifying the wort would be about the same whether bacteria or pure lactic acid is used. One minor difference would be lower alcohol due to the small amount of sugar consumed by the bacteria, but a little extra corn sugar would even things out.

SteveG
05/24/07 09:48 PM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
I'm with Baums on this Joelle, but there is a way I think. Brett C. beers can be really fruity in strange ways. My understanding (from Al) is that it first creates acid, then over time breaks that into esters. I don't think saach can swing that but Brett C. definately can. The reason my Berliner has the sustained, simple sourness is that there isn't enough left in the beer for the brett to keep having its fun. Or maybe it has something to do with insufficient starting gravity for the process to really kick into high gear.

It does make me wonder though, if I had introduced the acid before fermentation could the BC then at least have done a little something with it? Hummm.

neonmeate
05/24/07 10:44 PM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
with my berliner, i called it the "binliner weisse" after tasting it in primary cause there was a strong acetic component from the anomalus. however the acetic taste seems to have aged out of it after time in the bottle. perhaps this was acetaldehyde rather than acetic acid, which matures out as in normal ales? does brett break down acetic acid into esters too or just lactic acid?
Al B
05/25/07 08:44 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
I think the terminology is not quite right, rather than "breaking" down, the Bretts "create" esters utilizing acids present (i.e. ethyl lactate from lactic acid, ethyl acetate, from acetic acid). Bretts can also develop their own esters as a by-product of fermentation, including other compounds (phenolics, tetrahydropryridines, and acids as well). Oh yeah, alcohol and CO2 too. But again, each Brett is a little different.

Saccharomyces produces their own esters as we all know, but I do not think they create these from existing acids.

Lactobacilli come in many species. These can be categorized in two groups as lactic acid producers only and others that produce several types of byproducts. (I thought Baums would jump all over that!). I think to some degree, some feel that these extra byproducts add to the flavors discussed above - and this may be true. As far as acidity is concerned, lactic acid is the predominant acid produced.

Neonmate - the actic acid "sharpness" was probably converted (at least in part) to ethyl lactate ester as a result of aging. Acetaldhyde has a "green-apple" taste.

Baums
05/25/07 11:04 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Al is right, we've kind of neglected one of the two classes of lactobacillus.

I've been thinking mainly of "homofermentive" lactobacillus, which produce almost nothing but lactic acid*. These are the strains that I most associate with brewing, because for whatever reason the vast majority of lactobacillus in the culture developed at Rodenbach (l. delbrueckii, l. bulgaricus, etc) are homofermentive. Yogurt (l. bulgaricus and others) and l. acidophilus tablets are sources of this type of bacteria.

The other class is "heterofermentive," and instead of 100% lactic acid these produce about 50% lactic acid, with the rest being acetic acid, ethanol, and CO2*. (Approximating the effect of these strains with bottled chemicals might not be that hard either...) Very little of this type of lactobacillus is found in the Rodenbach culture. On the other hand, both Wyeast's and White Labs's lactobacillus strains are heterofermentive (and I'm personally not that keen to use them). Anyway Al is right that we've been neglecting these.

*Of course, lactobacillus of both types also create various amounts of trace amounts of other compounds, such as diacetyl, DMS, tetrahydropyrridines. These compounds may be the only potentially significant difference between getting lactic acid from the bottle vs. lactobacillus. The thing is, I'm not sure any of these secondary products are all that desirable. (I could be wrong!) It almost seems like a strain is deemed "good for brewing" when it best approximates using pure lactic acid.

It sounds like yogurt has worked well for some people. How did you do it (what brand, innoculation technique, etc)? Has anyone had bad experiences with using yogurt?

Loren
05/30/07 11:02 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Interesting stuff guys. Thanks for sharing. Joelle...what place in TX is trying to make a Berliner Weisse? Real Ale?
Joelle
06/04/07 11:57 AM  
Re: ANyone ever not boil?
Loren, it isn't a brewpub that is up and running quite yet (hopefully in the next year or so). It is called Black Star Co-op and it will be the first cooperatively owned and worker self-managed brewpub. Read more at www.blackstar.coop. Anyway, right now they're doing test batches for fundraising happy hours to work out the recipes.

Joelle

 
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