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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Basic Sour Mash Recipe Questions
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:50 AM   #1
Stovetop535
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Default Basic Sour Mash Recipe Questions

One of the brewing books I picked up gave a short two page recipe guide for a sour mash. I have been wanting to try sours for awhile now. The recipe is for a 1 gallon batch and is as follows:

2lbs 2 Row
1/2 lbs wheat

-Mash at 153*, turn off heat and let mash sit 24hrs. Sparge @180* and boil as usual, hop lightly with 14 grams of a mild hop.
-Ferment with a neutral strain and then pitch a lactic culture in secondary or pitch wyeast roeselare from the start.

Is it worth my time to even follow this? I would assume normal boil means 60 min, and picking a mild hop would be something with a low aa? Would it benefit for sitting longer than the recommended 24 hours?

Sorry for the noob questions--and thanks in advance for the advice

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Old 04-22-2013, 08:52 AM   #2
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Well being you say you are a noob do you know that using your equipment with those bacteria would mean you could only use it for wild brews after that, otherwise you risk infecting future batches. You could try souring the mash first before boil to avoid this. Depending on how much of a noob you are, maybe you wanna practice more basics before diving into this.

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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Yes I realize that I will end up with dedicated equipment for sours. I should have been more clear in my first post. I am a relatively new brewer but I am comfortable with the process and my current setup. I made they initial investment up front and went all grain from my second batch. Basically I have just not read up on sours as much as I would like and I currently have a lot of open fermenters.

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Old 04-22-2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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*slightly off topic question* If doing a sour mash in a plastic cooler mashtun does that then fall into the category of things you should only use for sour beers? For some reason the thought hadn't crossed my mind until now and was thinking about doing this.

*Back on topic*
I think you should do it. There's no way a one gallon experiment will be a waste of time and/or effort. Get a low alpha continental hop and boil for 60. I have two sour beer aging now, one's about ready to be bottled, one is six months old and I'm ready to brew my third which will either be a Berliner Weisse or a Lambic.

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Old 04-22-2013, 02:43 PM   #5
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In that case , it looks like a Berliner Weisse recipe. Simple and low gravity. There are some good (and better than this imo) recipes in the recipe index. BYO magazine has some good recipes on thier site as well. As far as the hops most sour recipes are really low Iow IBUs.

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Old 04-22-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inhousebrew View Post
*slightly off topic question* If doing a sour mash in a plastic cooler mashtun does that then fall into the category of things you should only use for sour beers? For some reason the thought hadn't crossed my mind until now and was thinking about doing this.
I had not planned on using a separate mashtun. My thoughts were that the boil would take care of any leftover bugs for future batches. If this is not the case, then I will not be doing a sour mash because right now I cannot sacrifice my cooler.

I will check out the recipe index and see what I come up with. For some reason the idea of a sour mash intrigues me, and the few recipes I clicked on did not use a sour mash.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stovetop535 View Post
I had not planned on using a separate mashtun. My thoughts were that the boil would take care of any leftover bugs for future batches. If this is not the case, then I will not be doing a sour mash because right now I cannot sacrifice my cooler.

I will check out the recipe index and see what I come up with. For some reason the idea of a sour mash intrigues me, and the few recipes I clicked on did not use a sour mash.
I have no idea how this works, I'm not saying it would because I don't know, was just something that came to my mind. hoping someone else chimes in here
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:36 PM   #8
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You definitely do not need a separate mash tun, regardless if it's a plastic cooler or not. Every time you mash you're exposing your mash tun to millions of Lactobacillus cells, along with god knows how many hundreds/thousands of other strains of wild yeast/bacteria etc that are present on the grain. Grain naturally has Lacto all over it as well as strains plenty of other micro-organisms. Yes, your boil will definitely kill anything it could pick up in the mash tun.

You really shouldn't even need an extra set of fermenters/kegs/bottles either if you're following good cleaning and sanitation practices. Lacto is no different than any of the other stuff floating around in the air.

As for a 24hour sour mash I can't imagine that doing a whole lot of souring (and if you're going to pitch lacto in secondary, then i'm not sure why bother in the first place?) I've done 2 sour mashes so far and they were 4 days @ 100F and 5 days @ 100F. the 4 day one was better than the 5 day, but do it to your tastes. Lacto's sweet spot is in the 90-120F range I think, so while the mash will still sour at temps cooler than that, it'll go a lot slower. Which makes me wonder even more what 24h would do for sourness level. I was going for an assertively sour Berliner Weisse, so depending what level of sourness and what beer it is you can change it accordingly. My main advice would be to not just stick to the 24h rule, and instead start the sour mash and taste it every morning and evening and brew it when it's where you want it. Keeping in mind that your sparge water will dilute it some. FWIW, the 4 day sour mash Berliner Weisse took Gold in category 17 at the local homebrew competition.

I used this method for sour mashing my berliner, in hopes to avoid as much of the vomit smell/taste as possible. There was very little throughout the mash and in the end beer. http://anarchylane.com/blog/?p=1442 I put saran wrap on top of the mash so i didn't need to flood it with co2, and had a personal heater in the ferm chamber keeping it up as close to 100F as possible. Here is another good read on sour mashing: http://seancoates.com/blogs/berliner-weisse

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Old 04-22-2013, 08:42 PM   #9
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Also, hops inhibit lacto, and for a 1gallon batch 14g (1/2oz) is too much hops if you're going to boil. That'd be about right for a 5 gallon batch. You only want like 4-5 IBU if this is a Berliner Weisse you're going for. Also I'd look at the other recipes on the net about berliners as they are usually closer to 50/50 Wheat/Pils. If you weren't adding Lacto after the boil the the hops wouldn't matter as much, except that you don't really want any bitterness or flavor from them.

Berliner's are usually very low alcohol too (SG in the 1.028-1.032 range IIRC) so your 2.5lbs of grain in a 1 gal batch will definitely be higher than that. That's fine if thats what you're going for but to be a traditional berliner it should be less than that. My 5 gallon batch had a total of 6.5lbs of grain I think.

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Old 04-23-2013, 02:31 AM   #10
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No reason not to try a sour mash, but the recipe you have is terrible. Everyone, or at least everyone but the books author, add unmashed grain to get the sour mash going. 14g of any hop, low alpha or not, is a lot for a one gallon sour. Almost all lacto strains used in brewing are hop intolerant. You don't want to sour mash and then boil, you'll drive off the some of the flavors and possibly alcohol from the sour mash. And finally, there is the second souring phase. There are tons of sour mash threads on here, read some of those to get a better feel for how it's usually done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stovetop535 View Post
One of the brewing books I picked up gave a short two page recipe guide for a sour mash. I have been wanting to try sours for awhile now. The recipe is for a 1 gallon batch and is as follows:

2lbs 2 Row
1/2 lbs wheat

-Mash at 153*, turn off heat and let mash sit 24hrs. Sparge @180* and boil as usual, hop lightly with 14 grams of a mild hop.
-Ferment with a neutral strain and then pitch a lactic culture in secondary or pitch wyeast roeselare from the start.

Is it worth my time to even follow this? I would assume normal boil means 60 min, and picking a mild hop would be something with a low aa? Would it benefit for sitting longer than the recommended 24 hours?

Sorry for the noob questions--and thanks in advance for the advice
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