When a new brewer goes on to pitch yeast on their first batch, there’s a universal feeling that the beer might not ferment…

That the beer might be ruined…

… but when the beer starts fermenting, boy does that make you do the happy dance and make you wait anxiously for that first sip…

Truly a miracle…

Possibly the reason why ancient brewers considered beer a gift from god…

… but as time goes on and that fear of a beer not fermenting starts to fade away, another one creeps in…

What if I get an infected batch of beer?

That one seems to have more staying power and it usually has brewers doing things that are not necessary…

I’ve seen brewers wear gloves to steep grains…

I’ve seen brewers sterilize equipment or sanitize before boiling…

Usually fear of infected batches have to do with poor cleanliness…

… but bacteria in beer is not all that bad…

Bacteria can be a good thing and taming that beast is about the only way I know of to get rid of the fear of getting an infected batch…

So it’s time to face that fear and I can’t think of a better way to do so than brewing a Berliner Weiß…

Now, this beer style seems to have all kinds of methods and ways to go about brewing it…

There is the basic add a Berliner Weiß yeast strain and wait it out…

There is a more advanced, sour the beer with lactobacillus delbruckii first and then ferment…

… and then there is a more traditional way (and perhaps even more advanced) which is to sour the mash and then ferment…

Over the next few months, I’m going to be playing around with these different methods and let you know what I’ve found… what works and what doesn’t…

Today you can watch the first part and see how I’m souring my Berliner Weiß…


    4 replies to "What If I Get An Infected Batch Of Beer?"

    • Brewella Deville

      Good luck on your sour experiment. I haven’t seen a lot of sours on tap near me (although it’s true I don’t get out much) although I do see them in bottles at the liquor store. I haven’t tried one yet, because I’d rather my first sour be something fresh instead of a bottle of something that might not have been handled or stored well.

      I also wanted to thank you, because one of your posts inspired me to get my water tested and start using the EZ Water spreadsheet for adjustments. The last few batches I’ve made have been the best yet, and I’d put them up against anything I’ve had in a brewpub.

      • Jorge

        That is great to hear! The lactobacillus delbrueckii is fermenting strong… I’ll be pitching the yeast either today or tomorrow depending on how it behaves… Sour beers have been a hit or miss for me… I either love them or hate them… the best ones have been from Jolly Pumpkin… the good examples were good enough for me to try it out on my own…

        Cheers!

    • Manuel

      Good Luck. Greetings from Mexico

      • Jorge

        Gracias… salud!

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