Sunday, August 14, 2011

First Berliner Weisse, pt. 2 - Mash and souring

Got the wort into the carboy to start souring tonight. Here's a picture of the setup for the sour starters:
After about 24 hours, the starters smelled strongly of lactic acid (think sauerkraut). They may have had a slight acetic (vinegar) smell, but were otherwise very clean. I was worried about mold/funk/terrible aromas and flavors, but none of that happened. PH for the solutions were 2.9, +/-0.1, indicating Lactobacillus activity. While they tasted sour, they also tasted sweet, so the Lacto didn't eat all the sugars from the starter.

The bug I'm interested in is called L. delbrueckii, which I believe is homofermentative and thermophilic, meaning it likes hot temperatures and just makes lactic acid, not acid and alcohol like some Lactobacillus strains do. By keeping the temp as high as possible, but below 120*, the L. delbrueckii should grow preferentially over other bugs that may have been on the grain.

It turns out I didn't really need any of that headspace, so next time I'll fill them up higher to minimize O2 and the risk of acetobacter.

Here's the recipe I made for this beer:
Batch Size (L): 18.00
Total Grain (Kg): 2.62
Estimated OG: 1.034
Estimated SRM: 2.4
Estimated IBU: 5.4
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %
Wort Boil Time: 30 Minutes

68.7% - 1.8kg Rahr Pils Malt
31.3% - 820g of Colorado Malting Company Red Wheat Malt

25g - Willamette (Pellet, 2.0% AA) for 5.4 IBU

Reused Wyeast 2565 Koelsch

Water Profile
Profile: RO

Mash Schedule
Saccharification Rest - 8L infusion, 30 min @ 151* F
No mash out
Sparged with cold water ~ 70* F

Collected more volume than anticipated.

Berliner Weisse isn't a very big beer. The grain bill looks tiny in my 10gal MLT. I chose to mashout with cold water because I was pressed for time and needed to finish up in a hurry.

I ended up collecting more wort than I anticipated. I'll check the preboil gravity and volume after it's done souring to adjust boil time and hop schedule as necessary.

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