March 24, 2011
So, I’ve been feeding a Lacto D. starter for a few weeks now in anticipation of brewing a Berliner Weiss. Having to prepare a room for the new nursery has been eating up spare time, but it’s good to keep mom happy! Since this was a shorter brew plan, I decided to tackle it the other night after a particularly long day at work. Sometimes, the work of brewing is very relaxing for me.
After doing a bit of research for the past few weeks, I settled on a plan involving a single decoction, mash hops and no boil. I gathered up everything I needed and got started around 8:30pm. Plenty of time, right?
At the 35 minute mark I added the decoction back into the mash and came within two degrees of my target for a mash temp of 144F. I had some boiling water prepared and was able to raise the temp with the addition of another quart.
Now, the sparge is where things started to drag. I had my sparge water sitting at 165F, but I didn’t do a mash out step. There were about 1/2lb of rice hulls added to the mash, but I guess with the lower mash temp it was just too much and my sparge was a trickle. When I added the water for the first sparge, I also added another 1/2lb of rice hulls. It was faster, but still not great. Total sparge time was around and hour and fifteen minutes.
Once my runnings were all in the kettle, I kicked up the flame and brought it up to 175F. Once it was past that threshold, I waited for another 5-10 minutes before taking the pot over to the sink to be chilled in the ice bath. I dropped the temp to around 90F and then siphoned it into the fermenter.
I pitched 750ml of Lacto D starter and brought it down to the fermentation freezer that was set to 75F. The first 24 hours were done with just the lacto culture, then I pitched about 400ml of Irish Ale starter. Did you know that lacto will form a krausen? I went with the Irish since I was already spinning it up for the weekend and because I wanted to see if it would give a little fruitiness.
03/22/2011 – Brewed the late shift. Cleanup done around 12:30am.
03/23/2011 – Added the Irish Ale starter
04/12/2011 – Racked to a 3gallon carboy for secondary.