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05/27/08 10:51 AM  
Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
Hey everyone,

I brewed up a berliner weisse 4 weeks ago using the wyeast blend. As others have experienced I tasted yesterday and detected aboslutely no sour. I forget who said it before but I agree that it tasted much like a watered down bretty lager. Anyway, it hasn't been warm here so my temps have been probably in the optimum range for the german ale yeast, but sub optimal for lactic acid production. My question is do I just wait? Do I warm it up? Do I do one of two other ideas I had to maybe make things more interesting:

1) i have a mason jar of Russian river bugs hanging out getting funky right now. I can add some of that.

2) I thought it might be interesting to add some white wine grape juice. I have access to many varieties grown locally, any suggestions?

or I could do both 1 and 2 or any number of other things. Any thoughts? I may go the wine route, however I wanted to add some local wild blackberries to half the beer sometime in July when they start showing up, that could make for an ugly combo. Thanks for the help.

05/27/08 11:11 AM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
I believe I had the watered down bretty lager..... either of those options sound good to me (or both). I agree about the grape/blackberry combo, might be weird. Recently, my LHBS happened to pick up some local organic raspberries, frozen at the end of the 2007 harvest, of which I purchased 5 quarts, approximately 4.5 lbs. I mashed them into a carboy through a funnel and racked the berliner on top. Not sure how it's gonna taste but it looks good - hoping it will turn out like a light framboise, or, a raspberry berliner!

05/27/08 11:18 AM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
BTW...what's your gravity on the berliner? If it's too low it might not be worth pitching more bugs, otherwise I'd say go for it as long as you don't mind the wait.
Mike T
05/27/08 11:23 AM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
Iíd say wait on it, mine didnít taste very sour until about 3 months in secondary, after it got a little tangy I bottled it and very quickly it became pleasantly tangy. Not sure if it was the warmer temps after I bottled or if the lacto ate the priming sugar, but it got tart in a hurry.
05/27/08 11:38 AM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
My current beliner is not all that sour - but might be just starting to head in that direction. Surprising as the last clausinii berliner I made was sour after the primary (4 days!). There were two differences with the second brewing, one was that though I pitched a lot it was about half the previous beer (about 150ml vs about 300). The other was that I did not heat the second batch. The first was kept warm with a brew belt. Both were made in January.

I'd wait to see what effect the warmer moths have on it...

05/27/08 12:00 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
I didn't mean to sound as if I thought you SHOULD abondon your berliner, I just thought those options sounded good if you decided not to let it be. I do think high temps are key to high lactic acid production, so perhaps letting it warm up will help. With that said my first berliner had been sitting for 3 or 4 months and hadn't soured a bit - hence the raspberries.

I'm hoping my second berliner attempt (all-brett c with lacto) will turn out much better. Taste wise it already is IMO, still no acidity....but temps are just now beginning to rise in the closet I have it in so I'm gonna let that one sit and see.

05/27/08 12:06 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
<My current beliner is not all that sour>

Steve, is that to say it is somewhat sour? All brett c? That still boggles my mind, I got no acidity at all out of the 4 consecutive brett c beers I did...not even the ones with lacto!

Al B
05/27/08 12:36 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
I, on the other hand have had plenty of sour clausenii brews with a pulverizing pine-apple punch. This may be due to a very high pitch rate.

Just did a 100% clausenii wit. Not sour after 3 weeks with a normal pitch. Ferm. temp. 72-74F. Fruity but not pine-apple yet.

05/27/08 01:51 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
Well, I took a quick sample over the long weekend, but the C. was still settling out. To get a real taste I think I should transfer it to a different keg. Some C. would still transfer with the beer, but I think enough will be left behind to get around the taste impact of a very cloudy pour.

Anyway, what I tasted was too cloudy to really know whats going on in there, but I started sensing some possible tartness. I'll post as soon as I can make a better call...

05/28/08 12:34 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
Al, I remember you saying that.... in order to maybe coax out some acids I decided to try a berliner inspired by what Steve did last year - high pitch rate, and low gravity wort, and hoped that it wouldn't have time to turn acids to esters. I used an entire yeast cake for it, I think OG was probably around 1.03. I got nothin, not even pineapple. Perhaps it was because of the interaction between the brett b & c?

My first beer, the all brett india wheat ale (best way to describe it!) is now finally starting to get a little more fruity in the bottle. Initially, despite the high TG, it was very clean and hoppy, no malt fruitiness or sweetness at all whatsoever. Very weird...

Sorry to get OT.

Al B
05/28/08 12:44 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
Yeah, I haven't put my finger on it (clausenii). I didn't aerate my early batches w/ clausenii since it was a high pitch. Aeration seems to affect it differently?

Al Befuddled

05/28/08 12:51 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
So the beers that lacked 02 turned out to produce the enhanced flavors? I did aerate the first few beers, and then I think I decided to not aerate the berliner to see what happened....I'm gonna take a taste of it today and check the grav...
05/28/08 02:16 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
Ben, can you define "high pitch rate"? What role did heat play?
05/28/08 02:37 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
I used an entire yeast cake from a saison, and the berliner only had an ~OG of 1.03. I'd say there was at least 500mL of thick slurry at the bottom of the fermenter. It fermented around 74-75, so it wasn't TOO warm. So maybe heat is the variable? You wrote that your first was heated, correct? I didn't realize that at the time when I primaried it. It should be getting pretty warm now though, and hopefully the lacto will kick in.
05/28/08 03:08 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
Well, I'm pretty sure that either pitch rate or heat are the key, those were the only two differences between my beers. I'm not sure if the yeast cake thing is a variable, I pitched pure slurry. I wonder how much of a cake is actually yeast?
05/28/08 03:20 PM  
Re: Another Wyeast berliner weisse question
Not only that, but yeast from a cake is in wayyyyyy different shape than yeast from a freshly propagated slurry...

Split batches seem like the best way to find something definitive. Aerating one half but not the other, or whatever.

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