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brewinhard
07/16/10 08:27 AM  
WY Berliner Blend re-released
Saw that WY has released their PC Berliner Blend and I understand that some of you have used this one before. I have heard that this one really doesn't sour the beer enough or if it does, it takes a good 6 mos (which is fine). What do you think about this method for producing a quicker BW than just using the blend from WY?

-no boil, decoction hopped

-cool to around 120 or less and rack half into a fermenter and add 1/2# of crushed grains for a "sour mash"

-other half gets cooled to 75 or so, and is pitched with the WY berliner blend.

-combine the two 7-10 days later for a quick BW (maybe boil the sour mashed half first)

Any thoughts?

Mike T
07/16/10 08:52 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
I had good luck with the Berliner blend, it won me a gold medal in a local competition at ~4 months from brewing, but it really wasn’t that sour until after I bottled it at 3 months (I think the priming sugar helped).

I think your method could work, but how sour do you want it? My concern is that souring half won’t be sour enough, and souring the whole thing pre-sacch could make for a less than happy primary fermentation. I just played around with sour-worting for the first time, and I was impressed just how sour the wort got in 3 days at 80 degrees. I build a starter with the grain first (see pre-boil wort souring thread for more details).

tankdeer
07/16/10 11:05 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
I too have had good luck with this blend, and as anybody who participated in the berliner swap a couple years back can attest, it can get VERY sour. Like enamel stripping sour. And like Mike, mine has won several awards and went on to round 2 at the 2009 NHC.

I am a firm believer in the no boil method. But I think you are needlessly over complicating things. Personally, I would just no boil, decocotion hop, then chill and pitch the blend. Nothing more. After 2 weeks, bottle that sucker up. I also believe that this blend truly does better in bottles, than in kegs.

ChrisKennedy
07/16/10 12:45 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
Have you ever done a comparison between a decocted no boil berliner and one that is decocted and then boiled for the full 60-90 minutes? I wonder how much of the flavor is theoretically the decoction and not the no boil.

I have not been happy with certain things about my no boil berliners, and I am interested to see how a boiled/decocted berliner would go. Or even a decocted/sour mashed berliner. The favorite berliner I have made has been my sour mashed one at work, even if it is a bit too light on the sourness.

tankdeer
07/16/10 02:18 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
I have not done a comparison of my own batches side by side, but in the berliner swap there were some that had full boils and some that had only abbreviated boils. My no boil (the only one there I believe) was by far the most sour of the bunch.

The theory I believe is that some of the lacto on the grain survives through the mash and will start souring the wort during you chill, and lag time after pitching, as well as just upping the amount of bugs in the brew.

Mike T
07/16/10 02:51 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
I also assume part of it is the lower IBUs, even assuming a hopped decoction. I've beeen happy enough with my results that I have yet to boil a batch of Berliner.
brewinhard
07/17/10 09:13 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
I am packaging my latest attempt at a BW hopefully tomorrow. Really curious to see how sour it got with the large lacto pitch and high temps I used. Good to hear that the WY blend will get sour enough.

Tank- I too have read/heard that this blend does better in bottles as well. I wonder why? It could be the additional priming sugar to boot, but I guess a keg could also be naturally carbonated as well. Interesting. Maybe I will try to bottle my next one.

tankdeer
07/19/10 11:40 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
brewinhard, I actually noticed it with my other berliner weisse's too. The bottled versions always seem to have a slight edge on the kegged versions. Not sure why. It just compliments the style I guess
tom sawyer
07/19/10 02:35 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
What's in a "Berliner blend"? A Sacch yeast and a lactobacillus?
brewinhard
07/19/10 04:57 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
I think the WY berliner blend has measured proportions of sacch (german ale yeast), lactobacillus, and brett.
tankdeer
07/20/10 11:12 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
Yep. It definitely has brett in it. It starts to come out with some age, but it's very mild and complimentary. Never had a judge ding it for being "too bretty"
smellysell
08/27/10 04:51 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
Would slanting this be a waste of time?
vpsihop1
08/28/10 02:01 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
what temp should i start my ferm at? 80F would sour it up i bet, good for the lacto, but will i run into probs with the sacch?
brewinhard
08/29/10 10:25 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
Wyeast sites this strain's optimal fermentation temp from 68-72 degrees F. I would bet that the low 70's to start and then ramping up towards the end of the week would be fine. I would probably let it warm condition to increase the acidity (hopefully) from the lactobacillus. I still have yet to purchase this blend but am planning too soon before the end of Sept. I currently have one batch of BW (made with big lacto starter) aging in a corny and upon last tasting was only mildly tart. Plan on letting it age until it sours well before serving. My other batch is sitting on 7# of fresh apricots and some bottle dregs (Cantillon) to sour it even more!

Anyone use this blend yet this year? Satisfied?....

smellysell
08/30/10 08:48 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
I've just been leaving my lambics in primary the whole time with good success, do you guys recommend doing the same with this? I know I've read that the dead yeast get eaten by something, but don't remember if it was brett or lacto or something else.
ChadYak
08/31/10 11:52 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
Brettanomyces can utilize trehalose a sugar released by Saccharomyces from within the cells when autolysis occurs. Don't believe Lacto or Pedio is capable of metabolizing trehalose.

tom sawyer
08/31/10 12:27 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
I've read where the bugs eat the dead yeast, and that cherries in a kriek get completely eaten up, pits and all. Neither of these situations has been the case in my personal experience. I could certainly believe that a small amount of autolysis would lead to metabolizable products, but after a year that yeast cake is still about the same as it was at two months. And I have cherries in my current kriek that are coming on three months and they are still whole. And they were frozen prior to addition so they would be extracted better.
ChadYak
08/31/10 03:59 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
Tom, I agree with you, in that I've never seen much either. I've read the same but only on-line as far as I can recall. I've never had another brewer ever say he's seen that happen with the pits being degraded. People on-line say a lot that they have no experience with. All the sugars that can be broken down will be but unless something else can degrade all the cells of the skins and especially the pits they are not going anywhere. If you macerate the skins finely some will be partially degraded as a natural degradation but not to the extent I've read people say. And from all the barrels I've emptied with fruit in them, I've always seen the skins and pits and this also includes when making wine with extended aging on skins after maceration. The yeasts grow in them sometimes but they don't physically consume them as its not like they have little teeth. Its not something I've ever taken into consideration as I've never seen alcohol go up as a result of Brett consuming trehalose.
smellysell
08/31/10 06:16 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
So it sounds like I can leave it on the cake until it's done though without having to worry about autolysis?
ChadYak
08/31/10 06:40 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
for the Berliner it's fine as you wont be aging it for too long.. right?

Autolysis will occur but not to the extent were it should drastically change the flavor profile.

smellysell
09/01/10 11:10 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
Ok, one more question...

Did you guys' smack packs swell up with this? Mine didn't, but I didn't worry because my Lambic blend one never did either. No I'm 48 hours in with no sign of fermentation? I haven't taken a hydro sample and I know it could still take off, but just wondering.

smellysell
09/03/10 10:36 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
"Did you guys' smack packs swell up with this? Mine didn't, but I didn't worry because my Lambic blend one never did either. No I'm 48 hours in with no sign of fermentation? I haven't taken a hydro sample and I know it could still take off, but just wondering."

Still nothing :(

RyanPA
09/03/10 10:52 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
My pack did not swell either time I used it. Also, there was no krausen that ever really developed, but there was obvious signs of fermentation in the blowoff after 36 hours.
smellysell
09/03/10 11:23 AM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
As soon as I posted that, it took off!
tom sawyer
09/03/10 03:32 PM  
Re: WY Berliner Blend re-released
You should have given up sooner!

 
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