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Old 09-02-2012, 03:01 AM   #1
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Default First Sour Mash - Cheater's Framboise

I'm planning on doing a sour mash based on the THE IMPATIENT MAN'S LAMBIC-ISH FRAMBOISE, found at http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=29637&st=0

My intent is to create something kind of like Lindemans Framboise (the one beer my wife will actually drink) except I don't want to wait a year or more for it to be ready! The recipe I'm thinking of is as follows:


8.0 lb Rahr two-row
2.0 lb White Wheat
1.0 lb Crystal 60L
1 oz Black Patent
1 oz Roasted Barley
1 oz Honey Malt
1 lb Lactose
0.5 lb oven aged cascade @ 60 mins
0.5 lb oven aged cascade @ 30 mins
US-05 ale yeast
9 lb frozen raspberries (racked on top of in secondary)

The procedure will be:

  • mash all of the grains at a normal temperature, 152° or so, for 60 mins
  • mash out, collect my runnings, sparge, collect more runnings, and combine them all in brew pot
  • once it all cools to 120°, add a half pound of crushed, un-mashed 2-row, cover the pot with plastic cling wrap, and allow to sour for 12ish hours
  • skim the nasties off of the top, separate the sour wort from the grains, and boil for 90 mins, with the hop additions at 60 and 30 mins and the lactose at 5 mins.

My questions are:
1. Will this work to produce a drinkable sour beer?
2. Should I be worried about the amount of head space (oxygen exposure) during the souring?
3. Will the final product be dry, sour, and sweet??

This is my first time attempting anything like this so please bear with me and I am open to suggestions!
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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Any thoughts out there? I'm going to mash and sour this tonight and brew tomorrow. Should I be worried about trying to keep the temp between 110° and 120° while it sours?

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Old 09-02-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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I was waiting for someone else to comment. I've never done a sour mash, so can't really provide much constructive feedback, but on first impression it looks very busy and you are just tossing anything you can think of in there. It may turn out wonderful, but looks to be a jumble of ingredients.

Why 0.5 lbs of hops per addition? A couple ozs total should be fine. If they still have some of their flavor left, it will dominate the beer.

From what I have read, it it may be best to get the cling wrap touching the surface of the wort, leaving no airspace.

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Old 09-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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The 0.5 lb of hops is a typo, my bad! Its supposed to read 0.5 oz at 60 and 30 mins. Are you saying I should simplify my grain bill?

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Old 09-02-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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The 0.5 lb of hops is a typo, my bad! Its supposed to read 0.5 oz at 60 and 30 mins. Are you saying I should simplify my grain bill?
Lambic is basically a wheat beer; Pilsner + Wheat and nothing else.

I figure the lactose is to get the sweetness of Lindemans. I think you would be better off mashing high to get the sweetness rather than adding the lactose.

Again, I've never done a sour mash, so have no idea how it will turn out.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:09 PM   #6
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I don't think you want to mash high.

Lambics are supposed to have a light body, and mashing high is going to give you a heavier body.


What I am confused about the tiny quantities of black patent, roasted barley, and honey malt. I presume they are for adding color, but it just seems like a bad idea to me.

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Old 09-02-2012, 05:40 PM   #7
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I'd probably let it go longer than 12 hours. I've done several sour mashes and the minimum I've done is 2 days with the full mash. I also added pre-cultured lacto to the mash to speed things along. I usually go off of my pH meter to determine sourness.

Cling wrap and co2 purging are your friends during a sour mash. They really both really help to keep the vomit/death smell down.

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Old 09-02-2012, 05:46 PM   #8
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Regarding the lactose, the original recipe calls for 3 lbs, and in the comments the OP says he would consider going as high as 5 lbs to get the sweetness of Lindemans. I think Lindemans is a little too sweet, not to mention lactose is $5 a lb at my LHBS, so im sticking to 1 lb. Regarding the small amounts of specialty malts, the original recipe calls for 1 oz black patent, 1 oz roasted barley, and 0.5 oz smoked malt. LHBS didn't sell smoked malt so im skipping that, I don't know what the other malts will contribute other than color, and im sure it will get plenty of color from the 9 lbs of raspberries so I can leave them out if the general consensus is that it would be better off without them. I added the honey malt, I figured it would be an easier way to sweeten it up a bit without spending another $20 on lactose. I've never used honey malt before, the 1 oz was just a guess at what would be a good amount, I can drop it too.

After reading a bit more on sour mashes, this is what I think I might do:

Mash low (148ish) for 60-90 mins
Drop temp to 110-120 and add u-malted grains to mash tun
Cover with tin foil, let sour for 12 to 15 hours
Mash out, collect runnings, apathetic and continue as normal

Thoughts??

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Old 09-02-2012, 05:49 PM   #9
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I should have said "add un-mashed grains to mash", stupid auto correct!

Assuming I don't have 2 days to let this sour, could I add more un-mashed grains, maybe a full lb or more, and hope the additional bacteria would speed up the process?

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Old 09-02-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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There are a couple issues here if you are trying to recreate a lambic.

Sour mashing will not result in an aged lambic. There is nothing wrong with sour mashing, I use it in my 100% Brett KY Common. But you won't wind up with a lambic.

Regarding the grainbill- you no longer have to follow the typical lambic bill of Pilsen and wheat, since you aren't turbid mashing or adding bacteria to eat up those complex sugars.

And about the mash temperature. It's common practice to follow a turbid mash. It's also a common method to mash high around 157-159 F so your initial yeast strain will only be able to eat so much, then Brett and lacto have plenty to munch on. But in your case you don't have to worry about that.
Reserve a handful of grain. I'd mash low around 148 to compensate for body. Let it cool to around 115 then try to keep it there for around 24 hours. Once the temperature is down to around 115, toss in the reserved grain. That will reintroduce Lactobaccillus delbruckii, which is what you want. There are a lot of opinions on a full sour mash vs 25% soured 75% unsoured. But I find 100% at 24 hours works for my setup.

http://www.byo.com/stories/techniques/article/indices/9-all-grain-brewing/1723-sour-mashing-techniques Helps a lot

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