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Author Replies
05/31/12 08:01 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
I brewed a berliner weisse a few months ago. I transferred the wort to the boil kettle pitched the lacto starter, and then held it at 105 degrees or so for about 24 hours before boiling. The wort developed a strong cheese smell during that 24 hour period of souring that has yet to really dissipate. Any clue what that smell is our if it will go away? I'm aging it on Brett after a primary with a German weisen yeast, in hopes that the Brett will eventually clean it up.
06/04/12 08:27 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
Has anyone had a cheesy aroma off of their Berliner Weisse. The Berliner I recently did is outlined below. It's unconventional, I understand.

After mash, transferred wort to boil kettle, cooled to 110F, pitched starter of White Labs Lacto, then maintained that temp for 22 hours until the wort was sour to taste. Due to time constraints (otherwise I would have let it sit for another day) I then did a normal 60 minute boil to hopefully get rid of that raw dough taste and mouthfeel I find characteristically unpleasing in Berliner Weisse beers, chilled to 70, transferred to the fermenter and pitched a weihenstephan yeast to ferment.

Over the course of 22 hours in the boil kettle, the wort developed a cheesy aroma while souring. I assumed this aroma would go away after primary, or after a short time in secondary (where I pitched ECY04). I'm at 2 months and the aroma is still very present. The only thing I can liken it to is a cheesy smell. I'm not sure what causes that smell. I'm assuming another bacteria of some sort.

06/05/12 02:06 AM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
I had cheese in a sour beer or two that I have made in my time, and I doubt it will go away.

If you are going to utilize grain bacteria like you did, you really have to minimize oxygen. Neglecting to do so will lead to off flavors like cheese, poop, garbage, or other lovely things such as those.

Josh O.
06/05/12 03:21 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
Not cheese but I did have a berliner go bad on me last summer - no boil, sour worted, pitched ale yeast ~2 days later. Developed a terrible rancid/garbage aroma and taste (too much oxygen, I'm sure). Pitched some brett and the aroma and flavor eventually dissipated but it took about 10 months - the aroma went first, flavor hung on for a while.

Ended up a clean, tasty, bracingly sour berliner.

06/06/12 07:53 AM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
I think I had the same thing happen with a recent belgian wit I made. I did the chill to 110F pitch lacto and let it go for three days. Then I just added the wit yeast. I ended up with a rotten corn smell (which could be your cheesy smell). I carbonated it in a keg and it got ropy. So transferred it out of my 10gal corny to 5 gal and 3 gal carboys. I then added ECY04 (weird). The beer is improving at this point but that flavor is still there. I figure it'll take a few months to get rid of the viscosity and cool that flavor down. The base beer tastes great, I just hope I can get rid of that assy corn flavor.
Adam M
06/07/12 09:38 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
How about and acetone? I brewed my first BW last week and I get a serious nail polish smell from it now. Al B noted earlier in this thread that Lacto produces acetate to some degree, does it react with the ethanol to make acetone? Is this smell a common charecteristic of early BWs?

I'm using the Baums method with fantome dregs to be added in a couple weeks.

06/09/12 03:52 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
I wouldn't think that acetone is something that will be reduced. I got acetone in one long term sour mash that I did (7 days).

There are several commercial beers that I have had that had acetone and they only got worse as it aged.

If I ever had acetone in a sour beer, I would quickly become quite pessimistic about its potential for ever being a good beer.

06/10/12 12:58 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
i too have experienced this nail polish remover aroma... luckily the one time I did, it disappeared with time. however, I too have had some commercial beers that had that aroma, ( and flavor), and it was atrocious. specifically it was the Saint Somewhere St Athene.
Adam M
06/11/12 08:12 AM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
The smell has calmed down a lot in the past few days. Took my first sample Saturday night, grainy and not sour, but no acetone smell or taste. The fermenter did smell a bit like it, but nothing like a few days ago.
11/17/12 08:55 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
Can anybody vouch for oxygenating the wort in between Lacto and Sacc pitches? I know Lacto doesn't like O2, but wouldn't you still need to aerate to promote cell growth in the yeast, at least marginally?
11/18/12 06:24 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
If you first pitch lacto, then wait a few days to pitch your ale yeast you would definitely NOT want to oxygenate your wort for two reasons at this point.

1. The oxygen introduced into the beer after fermentation has begun would lead to premature staling (oxidation) of your finished product.

2. The lacto present in the wort that you pitched previously would be very unhappy and would greatly reduce their population levels as well as slow down their fermentation process. Two things you definitely don't want in a berliner weiss which take time and healthy lacto to sour your beer properly.

11/18/12 07:15 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse Success
Makes sense to me. Thanks!
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