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Troy Robinson
04/27/12 07:01 PM  
Berliner Weisse
I know there are a lot of Berliner threads out there, but I thought I would start my own to avoid hijacking.

Here was my procedure. Got a Wyeast Lactobacillus smack pack a couple of months ago and put it in a 3L starter. I let that ferment out and after it settled at the bottom, decanted the beer off the top. I made another 3L starter and fermented that out. So that is my initial pitch.

I brewed a regular 11 gallon batch of beer yesterday with 50/50 Pils/ wheat at 1.036. Boiled it 60 minutes and added about 5 IBU worth of hops. I chilled it to about 80 degrees into two carboys and decanted my lacto starter again. Pitched half in each carboy and I am trying to keep it warm. The best I can do right now is about 78 degrees, but there is already a nice layer of foam on top. I plan to put some Wyeast 1056 in after another day or so. Hope it all works out.

So I have a couple of questions. When should I pitch my yeast? Is there any way to harvest the lacto for use in further batches before I pitch the yeast?

04/29/12 01:50 AM  
Re: Berliner Weisse
You should be able to take a pull of the acidified wort prior to adding yeast and pitch it into another starter to grow up more lactobacillus.

As far as when to pitch yeast, I've known people to go by either taste or pH reading. You definitely want to encourage the pH to get below 4.5 as quickly as you can. That is the cutoff point for growth of other undesirable bacteria, such as enteric acid producers.

04/29/12 11:25 AM  
Re: Berliner Weisse
I typically let mine go with a large healthy lacto pitch around 100 deg. for about 48-72 hrs or so. I then let the beer cool down to around 75F and pitch my ale yeast.

Jaymo has a good idea with pulling some of the wort and innoculating a new starter with it before adding the ale yeast.

Troy Robinson
04/29/12 03:26 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse
That is a good idea. I think I might just rack the beer into a smaller carboy to free up some space for future beers. If I leave about a pint or so in each one, there should be plenty of Lacto to keep a starter going.

The next beer I want to try is sort of an imperial berliner weisse. How will the lacto perfom in a wort of much higher gravity? Say, 1.060 or above?

05/03/12 10:46 PM  
Re: Berliner Weisse
Pull a small amount and re-build. Next time save some. You can build starters in parallel or just keep a small amount and repeat.
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