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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > How to sour mash homebrew (AKA: sour beers for impatient homebrewers)
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:41 AM   #11
smh
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Very nice write-up. I'm just starting to appreciate sours and recently brewed my first Berliner using wyeast's 3191 blend. It turned out very nice and is decently sour at 1 month. As you say though, Berliner tends to have a much simpler profile than other sours.

How do you think these other styles would differ with your approach? Is it really possible to speed up the process for things like Flanders Red? And although you suggest Brett doesn't really sour, it is critical to many of these beers. I presume that this process can't really speed up the Brett ferment. Basically I'm getting at the question of what is really the limiting factor in terms of time for these beers?

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Old 06-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #12
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I don't think you could make a reasonable approximation of something like a Flanders with sour mashing, since the sour profile in that beer is developed using Pedio and a some acetic characteristics.

There is no reason, however that you couldn't sour mash a Berliner Weisse and then do a 100% Brett fermentation or a normal Sacc fermentation with Brett secondary, which would bring some funk and complexity to the table at least. Probably the closest thing to a Flanders you could do would be a sour mash with a darker colored wort, then pitch some Wyeast Brett L, which supposedly produces a decent cherry-like flavor. Obviously the end product would be very different from a traditional Flanders Red, but it might be worth a try.

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Primary: De Bom sour (Gen. 2), De Bom/Embrace the Funk Brett blend saison'ish beer
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:00 PM   #13
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As promised, here are some pictures of the sour mash I did that is currently finished and fermenting with US-05. I was helter skelter with the pictures, so if I didn't address anything, please ask.



Cast of characters: bucket to measure out my water, DME (5lbs), 6 gallons of water, my old stock pot (I didn't want to dig out my burner and big pot), grain (pretty much any will do, but I used 2-row, uncrushed), and 7gl cooler. Not pictured: thermometer, whisk.



I stirred all 5lbs of DME into 3-4 gallons of water. Since I'm not going to get it up to boiling, headspace in the pot isn't an issue. Whisk, whisk, whisk to get rid of all the clumps and raise the temperature to whatever temperature makes you feel comfortable that you've pasteurized everything.



Once you get it to temperature, pour it into your clean, sanitized cooler or whatever vessel you're going to be sour mashing in.



Let it cool to 120 or below and pitch some lacto-carrying grain or a commercial culture. The lid will go back on the cooler to reduce oxygen exposure. The cooler is in my fermentation chamber, which can heat and cool. The reptile heat cables taped to the sides of the freezer will easily keep the ambient over 110 or so degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal.



Here is the sour mash after 48 hours. It is just shy of sour and stinks pretty badly. Mine smelled like sour milk and bad sour cream, no fecal smells or anything like that. Luckily the freezer contained all of the stink.



I used a paint bag to separate the soured wort from the grain and scum produced. Works like a charm.



I used a very small amount of hops that have been sitting in the freezer for more than a year. I was aiming for only somewhere like 5 IBU.

After screening out the crud, you boil just as normal. A vigorous boil will scrub a lot of the stink and deal with any DMS issues you might have with grain sitting at elevated temperatures for that long. I've done 15 minutes before and had issues with DMS, so this time I went for 30 minutes.

The good thing about this method is that by boiling , you kill the Lacto so you don't have to worry about your equipment. I chilled and fermented as I would any other beer. Used US-05 and it went from 1.038 to 1.01 in two days. I'll be checking it this weekend to see if it's at terminal gravity and, if so, I will be racking it onto 7lbs of strawberries I have in the freezer.

I'll be sure to update with more pictures as I get some that are noteworthy.

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Primary: De Bom sour (Gen. 2), De Bom/Embrace the Funk Brett blend saison'ish beer
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In bottles: Mango sour, Lambic, Brett tripel, Sour brown, Brett L/B Porter
Kegged: Jamil's Sweet Stout with Raspberries, Dry-hopped Berliner Weisse (Lacto Brevis), 3-2-1 IPA

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Old 06-28-2013, 09:07 PM   #14
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Here is a write up I did on sour mashing for our homebrew club website. It's got plenty of PRETTY PICTURES TOO!
http://www.hazardhomebrewing.org/201...-to-sour-mash/

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Old 06-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #15
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Thank you for posting that! The first time I sour mashed anything a while back, I wish I could have found more information.

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Primary: De Bom sour (Gen. 2), De Bom/Embrace the Funk Brett blend saison'ish beer
Secondary/Aging: ECY01 Sour #1, ECY01 Sour #2, The Yeast Bay Melange Sour, Bourbon Barrel Quad, De Bom on tart cherries
In bottles: Mango sour, Lambic, Brett tripel, Sour brown, Brett L/B Porter
Kegged: Jamil's Sweet Stout with Raspberries, Dry-hopped Berliner Weisse (Lacto Brevis), 3-2-1 IPA

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Old 08-14-2013, 12:14 AM   #16
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Any pictures with the strawberries? Or maybe updates in general?

Anyways, I just started my first sour mash today. Thanks for the info.

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Old 08-14-2013, 11:26 AM   #17
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I have to say I was not super pleased with the strawberries. They are pretty good on the nose, but next to non-existent in the flavor. What flavor that does come through is really, really ripe strawberry.

I'll get some pictures uploaded once I get a chance today.

I think the next berliner will either a berry version or lightly dry hopped with a fruity hop like Amarillo, Citra, or Nelson Sauvin.

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Primary: De Bom sour (Gen. 2), De Bom/Embrace the Funk Brett blend saison'ish beer
Secondary/Aging: ECY01 Sour #1, ECY01 Sour #2, The Yeast Bay Melange Sour, Bourbon Barrel Quad, De Bom on tart cherries
In bottles: Mango sour, Lambic, Brett tripel, Sour brown, Brett L/B Porter
Kegged: Jamil's Sweet Stout with Raspberries, Dry-hopped Berliner Weisse (Lacto Brevis), 3-2-1 IPA

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Old 08-15-2013, 05:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshrosborne View Post
I have to say I was not super pleased with the strawberries. They are pretty good on the nose, but next to non-existent in the flavor. What flavor that does come through is really, really ripe strawberry.

I'll get some pictures uploaded once I get a chance today.

I think the next berliner will either a berry version or lightly dry hopped with a fruity hop like Amarillo, Citra, or Nelson Sauvin.
Oooh, I like the idea of the dry hopped version.

I'm sour mashing my first right now and it seems to be going very well (Very clean sour after 30 hours and pretty close to my taste).

It's a 12 gallon batch so I'll try to split the batch 3 ways:
- Straight Berliner
- Dry hopped like you suggested
- Some sort of extended ferment with fruits and Brett

I can't guarantee I'll do all three, but I'll try at least 2.

Good ideas!
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:03 PM   #19
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If I sour in my mash tun, I could just cover the top with plastic wrap and pull samples from the drain and not disturb the top, right?

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Old 08-15-2013, 04:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
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If I sour in my mash tun, I could just cover the top with plastic wrap and pull samples from the drain and not disturb the top, right?
I would guess so. I was going to buy a water cooler with a spigot to do it this way, but I ended up being cheap and getting a different one.
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Primary: De Bom sour (Gen. 2), De Bom/Embrace the Funk Brett blend saison'ish beer
Secondary/Aging: ECY01 Sour #1, ECY01 Sour #2, The Yeast Bay Melange Sour, Bourbon Barrel Quad, De Bom on tart cherries
In bottles: Mango sour, Lambic, Brett tripel, Sour brown, Brett L/B Porter
Kegged: Jamil's Sweet Stout with Raspberries, Dry-hopped Berliner Weisse (Lacto Brevis), 3-2-1 IPA

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