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-   -   Always sour mash for sour brews? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/always-sour-mash-sour-brews-175292/)

jvlpdillon 04-27-2010 08:52 PM

Always sour mash for sour brews?
I have not yet made a sour ale, although I have a lot of interest in brewing a Flander's Red/Brown or Kriek. There are some things that seem consistent for instance a minimum year long fermentation. Don;t really on hops for bittering only preservative qualities. Even these I am sure could be debated.

I have theoretical knowledge of sour mashing, hold a mini mash for a couple days and introduce some form of lacto. keep it warm. yadda yadda

I haven't heard if this is always necessary or adding a blend of yeast blend for sour ales will achieve similar results.

I don't mind trying the mini sour mash. It is SWMBO that may ban me from ever brewing again of the house smells like off sauerkraut while I finish.

Clonefarmer 04-27-2010 09:03 PM

To get the complexity in a Flanders red or Lambic it needs to sit for at least a year or longer. For a good Flanders red or Lambic I would age it closer to three years. The organisms that create the flavor profile are very slow. During this time the flavor changes dramatically. If you just want to make a beer sour you can cut this time down, but it won't be nearly as good as one that has aged properly.

Check out the Oud Bruin style or Berliner Wiesse for a shorter aging time on a sour beer.

jvlpdillon 04-27-2010 10:05 PM

Thanks. I am comfortable with the time of aging, however is sour mashing going to help the process or is skipping this acceptable too.

jja 04-27-2010 10:14 PM

You can sour the beer with a sour mash or with pure cultures in the fermenter. A sour mash is often used to obtain a specific level of sourness, then the wort is boiled to kill the bacteria and stop the souring process. This can add a nice tang or sour undercurrent to the beer. Souring in a fermenter is not stoppable on the homebrew level other than running out of food (as most of us don't flash pastuerize our beer).

So, yes, you can skip a sour mash and add cultures to the primary and/or secondary. Which cultures, when to add, and how much is up to you.

jvlpdillon 04-27-2010 10:21 PM

Thank you. That finally makes sense.

I was not expecting to cut corners and achieve the same results. I just couldn't understand why some brewers did this and some did not and still wound up with the same style.

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