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Berliner Weisse - 2-day Sour Mash then Boil

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Berliner Weisse - 2-day Sour Mash then Boil

Postby jwible204 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:19 am

A few weeks ago, after I started riding my bike again this year, I got the itch to make another Berliner. Last year's batch wound up tasting great, but took a long time to develop the acidity and character I wanted.

To summarize last year's batch, I mashed/sparged as normal to achieve .25 gallons more then my desired fermenter volume. Boiled for 15 minutes then cooled and pitched lacto for 7 days, then pitched sacch to ferment it out. I didn't keep the wort hot while the lacto was working so it never really developed past being subtly tart and a touch funky until it was a few months old.

This year, I wanted to turn the beer around quicker and do it in a manner that left me with clean wort/beer from the brew kettle on. I stumbled on a great post about doing a 2-day sour mash, boiling for 15 minutes then cooling and pitching sacch. My hesitation for not wanting to do this is I didn't want to stink up my apartment for 2 days, my wife would kill me. Further research confirmed that keeping a layer of c02 over the grain bed would cut down and/or eliminate the cheesiness/funk of the sour mash. Using the blog post info and after talking with Jimmy @ PHBO I set out to do the sour mash.

Here was my plan.
- Mash in at the normal 1.25 qts/lb at 148F
- After 1 hour, cool to about 115, then pitch (1) lb of uncrushed 2-row (I sped up the cooling process by adding ice cubes)
- Purge the mash tun with c02 (from my kegerator), seal it with duct tape, cover with a blanket and place the entire thing on a heating pad (i use this heating pad for saisons, at full power it hols a bucket to about 95F)
- Check every 6-10 hours and add re-heat water as needed. These water volumes were calculated as the intent was to 'finish' the mash with my full boil volume. I wound up targeting about 105 degrees F for each infusion as my mash tun would drop about 5-8 degrees between checking. After each addition I would gently stir, purge with c02 and re-seal the mash tun
- After 24 hours I started checking pH, it was at 3.3 during my first check. By the following late morning it was at pH 3.2 and it had developed some peliccle. I added my last water infusion to bring me to my total boil volume, then about 2 hours later I ran off into my kettle (no sparge).
- Once I hit boiling, I added .2oz of Chinook (4 IBUs) and Whirfloc. After 15 minutes I cooled to about 75 and pitched rehydrated Belle Saison. (I have no room in my ferm chamber and won't for a while, that's why I went with Saison yeast and pitched warmer then ideal).
- My OG was 1.032 and fermentation took off within 2 hours.

I had my first taste last night, about 54 hours after pitching and just 96 hours total after my initial mash-in. I'm so incredibly happy with how this beer is turning out. The aroma has notes of breadiness and lemon, the flavor is very clean with good tartness. I'm going to guess that the breadiness will subside, there was still a ton of yeast in suspension. I'll crash it out in my keezer this weekend then keg early next week. I'm very much looking forward to having this on tap for post bike ride beer.

If anyone is interested in trying let me know because it probably won't last until the next 3rd Friday meeting. Below is a pic that I took last night of it during my first tasting.
rsz_2014-06-16_232816.jpg (78.6 KiB) Viewed 750 times
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