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Old 02-06-2006, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default Sour malt

I'm looking to give the Belgian Cowboy recipe from a recent BYO a whirl. It calls for 0.5# of sour malt. I've gone to the LHBS and they have no idea what this is. Any idea on whether this can be replaced with 88% lactic acid (as per another BYO witbier recipe) at bottling time or does it need to go in during the partial mash?

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Old 02-06-2006, 02:59 PM   #2
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It's also called acidulated malt.

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Old 02-06-2006, 03:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelone
I'm looking to give the Belgian Cowboy recipe from a recent BYO a whirl. It calls for 0.5# of sour malt. I've gone to the LHBS and they have no idea what this is. Any idea on whether this can be replaced with 88% lactic acid (as per another BYO witbier recipe) at bottling time or does it need to go in during the partial mash?
The guys at the LHBS should have known what sour malt is. Even if it us usually called acidulated malt as BeeGee pointed out.

The sour malt in the mash has an affect on the mash and the boil that the lactic acid at bottling time doesn't have. But since it is only a partial mash, I believe that it is in the mash more for flavor than for its other effects and that you should be able to add lactic acid at bottling time.

But do you really want to pour acid into your beer? I'd go with the sour malt. If you are adventurous, you can make your own sour malt from pale or pilsner malt. Search for "sour mash". But this may be less predictable than using sour malt.

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Old 02-07-2006, 02:48 AM   #4
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So the second HBS I went to said that their wholesalers don't stock this, that it is a Euro-only product. Can't say I believe them. I think I'll go ahead without it and hope for the best.

The thought of adding lactic acid was from the witbier recipe on BYO.com. I guess it's to give the white beer its bit of sourness?

Thanks for the info, guys. The starter smells really nice.

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Old 02-07-2006, 01:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gaelone
So the second HBS I went to said that their wholesalers don't stock this, that it is a Euro-only product. Can't say I believe them. I think I'll go ahead without it and hope for the best.
I wouldn't be surprised if this is true.

The German purity law forbids the use of acid in breweing (right so). Sour malt and sour mashes are the only way to get your PH down for lighter beers. Outside Germany, brewers are not bound to this law and can take the shortcut of using phosphoric or lactic acid, thus eliminating the need for sour malt.

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Old 02-07-2006, 01:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gaelone
So the second HBS I went to said that their wholesalers don't stock this, that it is a Euro-only product.
My HBS has always stocked acidulated (aka sour, acid) malt. So do ebrew, Northern Brewer, Midwest Supplies, North Country Malt, and my favorite, Austin Homebrew Supply. I'd say it's time to look for a new HBS or hit the web!
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:36 PM   #7
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I just ordered it from Northern. The bad thing about NJ is that there are only 2 HBSs within 2 hours of me. One is run mainly as a BOP (extract-centric) and the other is run as an afterthought to the winemaking shop.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-07-2006, 05:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaelone
I just ordered it from Northern. The bad thing about NJ is that there are only 2 HBSs within 2 hours of me. One is run mainly as a BOP (extract-centric) and the other is run as an afterthought to the winemaking shop.

Thanks for your help.
I understand your pain. I have essentially one HBS and it's about 22 miles away (each way). It's a good shop and the staff are courteous and helpful and I do business there because I want to keep them there. However, I also order from the internet due to the great selection and the fact that even with shipping it's often cheaper than making a special trip by car.
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