Thursday, May 28, 2009

Berliner Weisse woes

So about two months ago I brewed a Berliner Weisse. I had three gallons of 1.032 wort, 50/50 wheat/pilsner malt ratio, which were the second runnings from my American Wheat beer. I pitched a full pack of Wyeast lactobacillus at about 78 degrees and let it sit for about three days. I didn't really see any activity in there, but then again, I don't really know what lactobacillus looks like in a fermenter. After the three days I pitched a bit of Wyeast 1007 (German Ale yeast) slurry from a previous batch. The whole thing sat in the fermenter for about three to four weeks and was bottled with some priming sugar.

Well, after letting the bottles prime for about four weeks I cracked one. I also managed to track down some waldmeister syrup - no small task - at the Schaller and Weber deli on the Upper East Side. And the final beer is more than a little disappointing. No sourness at all. If anyone has any experience with the Wyeast lactobacillus culture and can offer some advice or tips, please comment below. Otherwise I think that my next run at a Berliner Weisse will be a traditional no-boil mash.
Update, 5/29: I got an e-mail back from Wyeast who said that their lactobacillus strain is inhibited above 10 IBU. My Berliner Weisse brew was somewhere in the 8-12 range, so they suggested that this could be the reason why and advised me to give it another couple of months to see if I get some slow acid production.


Seanywonton said...

Some of the guys from the Babblebelt that were having trouble with getting enough sourness were saying they got great results from pitching some Phantome dregs in their Berlinner weisses.

You could try that, it not only has some lacto, but some extra brett that could add some more complexity.

Tom E said...

But I hate complexity!!!

Ryan said...

Ive had similar experiences with WY lacto, very little sourness if at all

I have a recent berliner, which like yours, really isnt sour, but it tastes pretty damn good with a bit of fresh squeezed lemon, adds the sourness and a nice citrus aroma

Anonymous said...

IN your mash you need to use aciduated malt, and then pitch with whitelabs berliner weisse yeast lacto blend. 3 weeks primary 2-3months seconadry and 4 weeks in bottle. put extra suhar in bottle as it needs to be like champagne and use strong eurpean bottle because some will geyser.