All posts by hommel

Brown Porter 1

I have time for one more beer before I start making my NHC 2015 beers.  Not much time so I figured I’d make an English style beer that is a bit quicker turn around and one I have haven’t brewed before.  After kicking it around a bit I settled on a Brown Porter for no real good reason other than I’ve brewed most of the other English low gravity styles.
I did my normal research and reread the Porter book from the Classic Styles series, Brewing Classic Styles and old NHC recipes.  Jamil’s recipe seemed like a good place to start so I took his recipe and tweaked it a bit.  In reading the BJCP style guide it mentions low roast and chocolate and possibly some coffee notes.  I find most chocolate malt to be a bit harsh (acrid/astringent) so I decided to take Jamil’s chocolate and split it half and half as pale chocolate and coffee malt.  Also, I find fuggles to be a bit too earthy / woody so I used Willamette instead which I really like.  Otherwise I basically stuck with his recipe.
Brown Porter 1
12-A Brown Porter
Date: 4/1/14
Size: 8.44 gal
Efficiency: 85.0%
Attenuation: 77.0%
Original Gravity: 1.050 (1.040 – 1.052)
Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.008 – 1.014)
Color: 20.34 (20.0 – 30.0)
Alcohol: 4.99% (4.0% – 5.4%)
Bitterness: 26.1 (18.0 – 35.0)
10.5 lb (75.0%) Maris Otter – added during mash
1.25 lb (8.9%) Brown – added during mash
1.25 lb (8.9%) Caramel Malt 40L – added during mash
.5 lb (3.6%) Pale Chocolate – added during mash
.5 lb (3.6%) Coffee Malt – added during mash
2 oz (66.7%) Willamette (5.3%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
1 oz (33.3%) Willamette (5.3%) – added during boil, boiled 10 m
1 tsp Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 15 m
1 ea Wyeast 1028 London Ale™
mash salts:
1.1g Gypsum
2.6g CC
1.6g pickling lime
sparge salts:
2g Gypsum
5g CC
acidify sparge to below 5.8 (~10ml of 10% phosphoric in 10G of water)
should give mash pH of 5.4
14 lb of grain
1.5 qt/lb = 21 quarts = 5.25 gallons
mash @ 152
mash in water temp 162.1 so 162.1 into mash tun and measure before mashing in
pitch @ 66 and ramp to 68 over 2 days > hold for a total of 2 weeks minimum. rack to clean keg and force carb to 2.3 volumes.
8/25/14  Fairly normal Brewday.  80F and sunny out which is always nice 🙂  Efficiency was super high (84%) so I had to dilute my work with 1G of water to get the gravity right.  pH was a bit high but not way off.  I measured water temp in MLT pre-mashing in and it was spot on it looks like Mash temp was good.  Cooled wort to 65 but it was 69 by the time I pitched.  Not a big deal but I was aiming for 66 at pitching time.   Pitched 1.3L starter.  Set the brewpi to drop 1 degree F over 24 ours and hold at 68 through end of primary.
8/26/14 @ 8am 1 inch kreusen and VERY active fermentation.
8/27/14 @ 8am yesterday afternoon ferment was ferocious!  amazingly no blowoff.  this morning ferment still steady but seems to have slowed
8/28/14 @ 8am wow, kreusen totally dropped and zero bubbling.  definitely my fastest ferment ever.  hopefully it has finished out.

Belgian Dark Strong 1

I’ve been brewing for going on three years now and I decided early on that I wanted to brew all 80 BJCP styles.  I’m about half way there and with this brew I’m knocking another one off the list.  I had also won some D-180 at a homebrew competition which I needed to get out of the refrigerator and this seemed like the best candidate 🙂  I definitely gravitate towards hoppy beers and big Belgian beers and I’ve been a fan of this category since I had my first St. Bernardus 12.  Some of the versions I’m not a huge fan of (Chimay Blue) but others I absolutely love (St. B 12, Gulden Draak).
To put this recipe together, I looked at my normal sources (Brewing Classic Styles, BYO, Zymurgy, Gordon Strong’s Books, NHC recipes) but none of these really struck a chord.  Most have very complex grain bills and did not take advantage of the great Belgian Dark Candi Sugar we can now easily get.  So, I re-read Brew like a Monk and took a lot of inspiration from the Dark Strong write up as well as the insight into how St. Bernardus brews the 12 and how Westmalle ferments their yeast in their Dubbel and Tripel.  Since I had the D-180, I also looked at their website which has a pretty good looking St Bernardus 12 and Westvleteren 12 clone recipe.  Lastly, I brewed a Tripel I was very happy with (and my first 1st place beer) in which I used Westmalle Yeast (Wyeast 3787) and 20% sugar.  So I took all this together and came up with my Belgian Dark recipe.  The brunt is Castle Pilsner malt but I wanted a nice malty aroma and flavor so I used 9% Castle Chateau Aromatique (basically super charged munich malt at 35L).  I also wanted it to dry out nicely so I mashed low (ended up at 149 rather than planned 150) and used 4% D-180 (1Lbs) and 9% table sugar (2Lbs).  Pretty basic hop bill, middle of the style range and just enough to offset some of the sweetness but not be particularly noticeable.  For the ferment, the one issue with my Tripel was it was a bit too low on phenolics and esters so I ramped the ferment faster.  I started at 64 and ramped it to 76 over three days whereas with the Tripel I did it over 5 days.
Belgian Dark Strong 1
18-E Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Size: 7.0 gal
Efficiency: 70%
Attenuation: 80%
Original Gravity: 1.090 (1.075 – 1.110) – ended up at 1.088 since boil evaporation rate was only 1G/hr                                                                                                     rather than expected 1.25G/hr
Terminal Gravity: 1.018 (1.010 – 1.024) – Tripel with same yeast finished at 1.006 so this is probably                                                                                                 high
Color: 19.13 (12.0 – 22.0)
Alcohol: 9.52% (8.0% – 11.0%)
Bitterness: 31.7 (20.0 – 35.0)
18 lb (78.3%) Pilsen 2RS Malt – added during mash
2 lb (8.7%) Aroma 100 EBC Malt – added during mash
1 lb (4.3%) Candi Sugar Dark D-180 – added during mash
2 lb (8.7%) White Table Sugar (Sucrose) – added during mash
1 oz (50.0%) Northern Brewer (10.3%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
1 oz (50.0%) Styrian Goldings (3.2%) – added during boil, boiled 15 m
1 tsp Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 10 m
1 ea WYeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity™
mash salts:
2.2g Gypsum
3.3g CC
sparge salts:
4g Gypsum
6g CC
acidify sparge to below 5.8 (~12ml of 10% phosphoric in 10G of water)
should give mash pH of 5.4 – was actually 5.6 so i acidified the boil to get it down to 5.3
20 lb of grain
1.4 qt/lb = 28 quarts = 7 gallons
mash @ 150 – was 149
mash in water temp 160.9 so ~161 into mash tun
pitch @ 64 and ramp to 76 over 3 days then hold ~21 days.  rack to keg, drop to 45F at 5F a day and then force carb to 3.
1-18-14 : made 3.4L starter with 1 yeast pack per Mr Malty
1-20-14 : pretty normal brew day.  kettle gravity was higher than expected but then boil rate was less so ended up not having to adjust at all but came in at 1.088 rather than 1.090.  the wort was brown out of the MLT but the D-180 adds a lot of color.  maybe it will be 19 SRM but seemed darker than that.  time will tell 🙂  6.5G into the fermenter and decanted started down to 2L so total of 7G in 6.5G glass carboy.  hopefully blowoff won’t be a huge issue.  only area of concern was pH.  Mash Ph came in at 5.6 rather than calculated 5.4.  In looking further into this, I realized in Bru’n Water that I had marked the Aromatic as Roasted malt rather than Base Malt which then made the proper calculation.  I addressed it by acidifying the boil kettle with 5ml of 10% phosphoric acid which brought it down to 5.4 which dropped to 5.3 by end of the boil and is inline with the Braukaisers recommendations.
a thin krausen had formed at 4 hours with a small amount of bubbling.
1-21-14 major fermentation.  huge kreusen that has blown off some but not too bad.
1-22-14 temp up to low 70s.  fermentation slowed but still steady
1-23-14 fermentation slowed to bubbling every 2 sec
1-26-14 still bubbling every two seconds but yeast seems to be starting to drop
1-27-14 bubbling every 4-5 sec
1-28-14 bubbling every 5-6 sec
1-30-14 bubbling every 8 sec.  moved to bubble and took sample.  1.012!  wow.  nice peppery note along with dark fruit (plum, fig).  no fusels.  very clean for 10+%!  definitely not infected.
1-31-14 bubbling has greatly slowed to about 15sec.
2-1-14 almost no bubbling (> 30sec) and has started to clear
2-3-14 kegged and slow dropped to 45 @ 5 degrees a day.  measured at 1.010.
2-9-14 racked to clean keg and force carbed @ 20 psi @ 44 F
2-17-14 carbonation seems a bit low especially compared to “high carbonation” in style guide so increased to 24 psi @ 44F
2-19-14 carbonation is better although a hair lower than st bernardus 12.  bottled of some for competitions.

Hop Fu West Coast IPA 1

My first few American IPAs did not turn out quite the way I wanted.  I’ve brewed Jamil’s recipe from Brewing Classic Styles / Lagunitas IPA / Dogfish 60 min hybrid and a clone of Blind Pig as well as two Pliny the Elder clones (almost an IPA by today’s standards 🙂 ).  None of these were bad but they definitely lacked the hop flavor and aroma I am looking for.  What I want is a Pliny the Elder / Sculpin / West Coast IPA punch in the face from across the room hop aroma and a big citrusy / piney / dank hop flavor and I just wasn’t getting there.  I think part of it is recipe and part of it is process.  So I decided to address both.
With the recipe I came across Kelsey McNair’s Hop Fu in the NHC winning recipe section from a few years back.  I looked into it further and realized he has placed at NHC in IPA at least three times with this recipe.   Wow.  That is totally nuts especially considering that is one of the largest category with well over 500 entries.  So, I figured his recipe is a good place to start.  I tweaked it a bit for what ingredients I can get easily (rahr 2-row instead of great western, simpson’s heritage med crystal) and my water (1% acidulated malt) and I adjusted the amounts a tinge towards my tastes (a hair more crystal but still under 2%).  The other big changes are I totally changed how I do my knock-out additions (0 minute) and dry hop.
Knockout addition:
I have heard the advice over and over again to cool as fast as possible in various books and radio shows so I have a very rapid immersion chilling setup with recirculation.  It works great and I can get down to ale fermentation temps in about 30 mins and lager temps in about 45 depending on the weather.  More recently, I listened to an interview with the brewer from, I think, Lagunitas where he talked about how they do whirlpool additions and the light bulb went off.  I had been throwing in a bunch of late addition hops but then immediately chilling but Lagunitas was whirlpooling at > 185 for 30+ mins.  Lagunitas has some of the best hop character in the business (especially IPA and Sucks) so I took that hugely to heart.  Then, as often happens, I started seeing those types of comments everywhere (Vinny’s Pliny write up in Zymurgy for example) so I decided to incorporate it into my process.  So with this beer I cut the heat, threw in the hops, put the lid on my kettle (I had the lid notched so I can close the lid with the immersion chiller in) and let it recirculate for 30 mins before starting the chilling water.
Dry Hop:
Similar to cooling as quickly as possible, I had also heard to add dry hops while ferment was still active to eat up any introduced oxygen.  Recently I reread Vinnie’s Pliny write up and noticed that he lets the ferment end, lets the yeast drop and pulls the yeast plug from the conical cone before dry hopping.  So, for this beer I let it totally finish and out and sit for an additional 4 days then racked to secondary (I use glass 6.5 gallon carboys) and then did a split hop addition with half for three days then added the other half for another 4 then racked to keg.
So some pretty big changes from how I did IPAs/DIPAs before.  Not really adhering to the scientific method – changing 3 big things at once makes hard to tell what actually helped –  but if it works it works!  I’m anxious to see how things turn out!
Hop Fu
14-B American IPA
Size: 7.0 gal # I target this but that is just to make sure I can get 6-6.5 gallons into the fermenter
Efficiency: 70.0% # I use a low number here to be safe – for this beer I ended up at 74% which is normal for rahr
Attenuation: 79.0% #the halfway mark for cal ale based on wyeast numbers but i just usually end up a bit higher.
Original Gravity: 1.066 (1.056 – 1.075) #actual was 1.065
Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (1.010 – 1.018) #actual was 1.010
Color: 7.03 (6.0 – 15.0)
Alcohol: 6.81% (5.5% – 7.5%) #more like 7.2%
Bitterness: 113.7 (40.0 – 70.0)
17 lb (93.2%) Standard 2-Row – added during mash
12 oz (4.1%) Cara-Pils® Malt – added during mash
5 oz (1.7%) Medium Crystal Malt – added during mash
3 oz (1.0%) Acidulated Malt – added during mash
0.5 oz (3.9%) Chinook (13.0%) – added first wort, boiled 90 m
1.25 oz (9.8%) Warrior® (16.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
1.0 oz (7.8%) Columbus (15.0%) – added during boil, boiled 30 m
1.0 oz (7.8%) Simcoe® (13.0%) – added during boil, boiled 10 m
1 tsp Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 10 m
1.0 oz (7.8%) Amarillo® (8.5%) – steeped after boil
1.0 oz (7.8%) Citra™ (12.0%) – steeped after boil
1.0 oz (7.8%) Centennial (10.0%) – steeped after boil
1.0 oz (7.8%) Columbus (15.0%) – steeped after boil
1.0 oz (7.8%) Simcoe® (13.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
1.0 oz (7.8%) Amarillo® (8.5%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
1.0 oz (7.8%) Citra™ (12.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
1.0 oz (7.8%) Centennial (10.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
1.0 oz (7.8%) Columbus (15.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter
2 ea WYeast 1056 American Ale™ #actual used 1 with a 2.5L starter
mash salts:
3g G
1.6g CC
sparge salts:
5.5g G
3g CC
acidify sparge to 5.5 (~12ml of 10% phosphoric in 10G of water) # I batch sparge
should give mash pH of 5.5 #was 5.6 so a tinge higher than i would want
18.25 lb of grain
1.5 qt/lb = 27.4 quarts = 6.84 gallons
mash @ 152
mash in water temp 162.4 so ~163 into mash tun
ferment @ 67 for 10 days > secondary and dry hop half for 3 days and other half for 4 > keg  > drop 5 degrees per day to 45  > force carb to 2.5 vol
12/22 made 2.5L starter with 1 smacked wyeast 1056 pack put on stir plate
12/24 normal brew day.  tested new herms setup before starting brew and it was not recirculating right so i ditched it to do more testing.
did the 30 min whirlpool as planned and it started at 212 and at 30 mins was down to right at 185.  let sit for 20 mins after cooling and cone in center was HUGE mound of hops.  last about 2 gallons but was still able to get just over 6 gallons into the fermenter.
decanted down and mixed up 1L of slurry.  pitched @65 and slow ramped over 8 hours to 67 and held there for whole fermentation using brewpi.
pitched at 2pm and at 10pm had nice 1/2 inch kreusen and good blowoff activity
12/25 2 inch kreusen and very strong fermentation
12/27 fermentation really starting to slow down and is almost done
12/30 sample taken and is 1.008-1010.  sample is clean (no infection, no perceptable diacytl) and VERY bitter and nice hop flavor and aroma.  very promising!
1/2 racked to secondary 6.5 gallon fermenter purged with CO2.  about 5.9 gallons.  added 2.5 ounces of dry hops (.5 oz of each hop)
1/5 added other half of dry hops
1/10 racked to co2 purged keg.  got about 4.9 gallons 🙂  wow – all those hops really soak up the beer.  finishing pH is 4.6 which is a bit higher than i would like.  most likely because my mash pH was 5.6 which is a bit high as well.  very strong citrus / orange aroma with a bit of dank.  no carbonation so it will be interesting to see how that changes things.  very bitter but smooth, not harsh.  nice hop flavors which lean towards the dank / piney but show a nice citrus edge.  will drop 5 degrees a day to 45, force carb and put on tap.
1/14 beer down to 45F so force carbed (30psi and shake for 5ish mins) and put on tap @ 14psi and 43F to get it to ~2.5 carbonation.  usually takes a few more days to get fully carbonated but did pull a sample.  Whoa!  serious hop aroma and flavor.  also huge head with serious retention.  all around pretty dank/piney but there are hints of citrus around the edges.  quite bitter but it is not throat constricting or unpleasant.  so far so good!  clarity is pretty poor so will keep an eye on it to see how long it takes to clear.
1/21 beer is now nicely carbonated and has dropped fairly clear but there is a bit of a haze.  did a side by side with sculpin and nose is spot on as is the flavor although the bitterness seems a tinge higher on my hop fu.  very happy with this beer.  not sure I would make any adjustments other than getting pH down a bit.

American Pale Ale Galaxy 1

Last year, I brewed with a focus on local competitions and did well but I feel like I’ve done what I want with that.  So, this year my focus is on getting six beers tuned for NHC.  My American IPA, Belgian Dark Strong and Wit are pretty solid and I feel like only need minor tweaking.  My German Pils, Dusseldorf Alt and American Pale Ale are some of my favorite styles but my versions need some work.
This beer I’m focusing on some ideas I have for my American Pale Ale to see if they work or not.  So, my general idea for an American Pale Ale is similar to my IPA (see Hop Fu) but I would like a bit more toasty, bready and caramel flavor but still subdued.  On the hop side , I’d like to use some of the new big oil hops to have a nice mix of new school tropical fruit (galaxy), citrus (amarillo / citra), berry (mosaic / nelson sauvin) and old school classic american hop flavors like centennial or columbus (citrus, dank).  To be clear, I don’t plan to use all those hops!  I’d like to pick one or two new school and one or two old school and do a pretty big whirlpool (2-3 oz) and similar sized dry hop addition to get a nice big hop pop but keep the bitterness in balance to the style.  So, I wanted to test my idea for the base beer and test one of the new school hops, galaxy, to see if I want to incorporate it.
Single Hop Pale Ale Galaxy 1
10-A American Pale Ale
Size: 7.5 gal
Efficiency: 70% (actually 80+%)
Attenuation: 80%
Original Gravity: 1.048 (1.045 – 1.060)
Terminal Gravity: 1.010 (1.010 – 1.015)
Color: 9.9 (5.0 – 14.0)
Alcohol: 5.0% (4.5% – 6.0%)
Bitterness: 18.1 (30.0 – 45.0)
13 lb (91.2%) Maris Otter – added during mash
.5 lb (3.5%) Medium Crystal Malt – added during mash
.5 lb (3.5%) Cara-Pils® Malt – added during mash
4 oz (1.8%) Acidulated Malt – added during mash
.5 oz (20.0%) Magnum (14.5%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
1 tsp Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 10 m
2 oz (80.0%) Galaxy (14%) – added after boil, steeped 30 m
1 ea Fermentis US-05 Safale US-05
14.25 lb of grain
1.5 qt/lb = 21.375 quarts = 5.34 gallons
mash @ 154
mash in water temp 164.7 so ~166 into mash tun
mash salts:
3.3g G
1.6g CC
sparge salts:
6.0g G
3g CC
should give mash pH of 5.3 (was 5.3)
acidify sparge to 5.5-6 (~10ml of 10% phosphoric in 10G of water)
ferment @ 67 for 10 days  > keg  > drop 5 degrees per day to 45  > force carb to 2.5 vol (pitched at 65 and raised over 24 hours to 67 and held there till done)
2/10/14 standard brew day but first day using new automated HLT.  safale us-05 which was reconstituted in 1 cup of 90 degree pre-boiled water.  efficiency was much higher than with rahr 2 row.  rahr was about 72% and crisp maris otter was about 84%.
2/11/14 ferment took a little longer than normal to get going.  i’ll chalk that up to dry yeast.  By 24 hours 1/2 inch kreusen and solid steady bubbling.
2/12/14 still solid fermentation
2/13/14 still solid but starting to slow
2/14/14 switched to bubbler and measured 1.010 pH 4.13.  definite tropical fruit notes in nose.  strong bitterness but not overwhelming.  nice malt character.  no infection.
2/21/14 kegged.  no activity after 2/16 but let sit for a bit to let yeast do any cleanup.  slow drop 5 degrees a day to 40 to cold crash.

Berliner Weisse Experiment 2 (Lacto Sources)

This is a continuation of my first experiment.  The same lab setup as experiment 1  and the things I changed are the lacto sources and the yeast I used.  The lacto sources this time were:
1> White Labs 672 Brevis
2>White Labs 677 Delbrueckii [FROZEN]
3> Wyeast 5335 Delbrueckii [FROZEN]
and since the German Ale didn’t handle super low pH (<3.2) well I decided to try a white wine yeast since wine must has a pH of 3.0-3.5 so it is accustomed to low pH.  I used Lavlin EC-1118 since it is easy to get and cheap.
So, there was one big problem.  I got the 672 from a friend and it was in good shape.  The 677 and 5335 I ordered from Northern Brewer and they both showed up frozen solid.  In the name of science, I decided to run the experiment anyway to see what would happen but I plan on rerunning the part of the experiment for obvious reasons.  Side note: Northern Brewer was very nice to work with and did replace the Wyeast 5335 since it never soured and even sent me DME for free since I made a starter.
15 min boil of Muntons Wheat DME
cooled to 115F
split across 3 x 1 gallon jugs
set in cooler with lizard lamp and controller set to 95F
1/9/15 @ 4pm
OG – 1.031
pH – 5.95
tastes like wheat malt extract 🙂

1/10/15 Day 1
1> pH – 3.71 lightly sour.  mostly lactic with a hint of maltiness.  clean.  big kreasen w/ a little blowoff
2> pH – 5.45 malty sweet.  clean.  no kreusen.
3> pH – 5.47 malty sweet.  clean. no kreusen
1/11/15 Day 2
1> pH – 3.38 moderately sour.  probably getting into range for a berliner weisse.  5/10 on sour scale.  clean.  low sweet malt character.  effervescent.  kreusen dropped.
2> pH – 4.65 sweet, worty.  not sour.
3> pH – 5.13 sweet, worty.  not sour.
1/12/15 Day 3
1> pH – 3.25 smells and tastes quite tart.  8/10 on sour scale.  clean.  not much malt flavor.  tangy.
2> pH – 3.89 still smells and tastes malty but bit of sourness.  2/10 on sourness scale.
3> pH – 4.55 sweet and malty.  clean.
1/13/15 Day 4
1> pH – 3.20 similar to yesterday.  quite tart.  clean.  8/10
2> pH – 3.5 sweet nose.  starting to getting a bit of tartness in flavor.  4/10.
3> pH – 4.32 sweet and malty.  clean 0/10
1/14/15 Day 5
1> pH – 3.17 similar to yesterday.  sour.  clean.  low malt.  8/10.
2> pH – 3.3.5 has started to bubble!  weird.  a little bit of kreusen / foam.  maybe a brevis contamination?  med-low malty sweet.  nice sourness but not TART.  a little effervescent.  6/10
3> pH – 4.21 sweet, malty.  0/10
1/15/15 Day 6
Work – Boooooo!!!!
1/16/15 Day 7
1> pH – 3.13 similar to last time.  8/10.  hazy and about 2mm of trub has formed on bottom.
2> pH – 3.16 similar to 1> but a bit maltier / sweeter.  also has about 2mm of trub.
3> pH – 4.04 clear.  sweet and malty with a very low level of acidity finally showing.  1/10.  about 3mm of trub.
1/17/15 Day 8
1> pH – 3.10 similar to yesterday but has nudged into the throat consticting level of sour 🙂 9/10
2> pH – 3.12 similar to 1> but a bit of malty sweetness in the background
3> pH – 3.98 a bit of foam and bubbling but clear.  same as yesterday. 
1/19/15 Day 10
1> gravity 1.012 pH 3.09 very sour.  clean.  dry.  9/10 on sour scale.
2> gravity 1.016 pH 3.10 some malty sweetness in nose.  not much in flavor.  very sour.  clean.  9/10 on sour scale.
3> pH 3.91.  since it has stopped souring i dumped it.
For 1 & 2 I rehydrated and pitched Lavlin EC-1118 w/out boiling the wort since they had significant gravity drops and I don’t want to just boil off the alcohol.  I used 2.5 grams of yeast for each gallon.  i set the temp to 68F but the wort was at 95F when I took it out.  It was probably in the low 80s F when I pitched the yeast.
pitched @ Noon 1/19/15
1/20/15 @ 8am no activity
@ 8pm no bubbling but 2> is showing a bit of foam?
1/25/15 i never saw visible activity outside of a bit of foam on 2> and a few bubbles in the blow off jar.
1> gravity 1.012 pH 3.09.  tastes similar but a bit yeasty.
2> graity 1.015 pH 3.04.  similar to 1.
I bottled both.  I had 1 gallon in the bottling bucket for each so I used 1.3 oz of table sugar that I boiled for 10 mins in 1/2 cup of filtered water in each bottling session (i obviously bottled them seperately).  Targe was ~3.5 volumes of CO2.  I easily got 6 bottles of each with a bit of beer left over.
I let them sit at room temp for 2 weeks and then refrigerated.
2/12/15 side by side tasting
BW2-1 (experiment 2 , lacto 1 AKA WL672 Brevis)
aroma – sour/lactic w/ faint crackery malt.  no off aroma.
appearance – straw.  hazy.  lots of visible carbonation.  nice big fluffly white head that dissipated fairly quickly but lingered.
flavor – sour lactic tang dominates.  faint crackery malt.  clean.  no off flavors.
mouthfeel.  very effervescent.
overall impression – a nice berliner.  very sour.  a bit boring but better than most berliners i’ve tried.
BW2-2 (AKA WL677 Delbrueckii)
aroma – sour / lactic with a hint of crackery malt.  similar to 2-1.
appearance – similar to 2-1 but a shade darker
flavor – sour / lactic dominates but seems a shade less sour than 2-1.  picking hairs.  a faint oxidized / extract note?
mouthfeel – very effervescent
overall impression – very similar to 2-1 and would be hard to tell apart.  maybe a faint extract twang?
Lessons learned:
1> don’t freeze your lactobacillus but if you do try making a starter.  my frozen wyeast never got going but the frozen white labs took a couple days to get going but once it did it got solidly sour.
2> white labs 677 delbrueckii may not be homo fermentative or may have other stuff in there.  needs further testing.  delbrueckii should not ferment down and generate alcohol but in this test it did.  so either it got contaminated (hard to believe – i have very good sanitization practices – but of course possible) or white labs strain is not pure delbrueckii.
3> white wine yeast (lavlin ec-1118) will ferment at low pH levels no problem and bottle conditions nicely.   it doesn’t seem to impact the flavor much at all but i’d like to test it with a full ferment to verify since this test was really just bottle conditioning.
4> both WL672 and 677 get super sour.  a lot of talk about how brevis sours super fast but it seems to be similar to other strains from test 1 and 677 from this test once it got started after it frozen nap.  brevis did ferment down well and really no yeast was needed except to bottle condition and maybe that wasn’t even necessary.  another experiment 🙂
5> i can see where fruit or brett or some other part to the process would be good since these are nice refreshing beers but a bit one dimensional and boring.
I entered 1> White Labs 672 Brevis in a 400+ beer competition and got 3rd in the Sour Category with a 40.5.  The main complaint was too much hop aroma.  Interesting since there were zero hops 🙂  But it seemed to be well received so maybe I’m headed in the right direction.
Also, I checked with White Labs on 2> White Labs 677 Delbrueckii to see if it is hetero or homofermentative.  Here is the reply I got back
“The strain is heterofermentative, so it does produce small amounts of alcohol.”
Interesting.  It appears Wyeasts Delbruckeii strain is homofermentative and White Labs is heterofermentative which I’ve confirmed with the source as well as with my experiments.