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Old 02-21-2012, 09:25 PM   #1
Dealmaker
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Default New to Sour ales

Making first foray into bacterial laced beer. Have done some research posts, but still have questions & want some anecdotal comments.

1. With regard to Berliner Wiese, what is the experiential preferred liquid & dry yeast?
2. Anyone know where to buy food-grade lactic acid for less than $1 an ounce?
3. How many months does lactobacillus truly take to “tart” beer?
4. Has anyone successfully “cheated” with lactic acid additions or acidated malt? If so, how much/ratio?
5. What are the preferred controls (temp, amount of bacterial cultures, etc.) to achieve a good tartness in minimal time when brewing Berliner Wiese?

Sour Ale:
1. Which brewers yeast ideally first?
2. How long to wait before adding bacteria?
3. Ideal temp for bacteria growth?
4. How to expose to right level of oxygen for bacteria?
5. Any way to cease bacterial growth before botteling?

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Old 02-21-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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I want in on the knowledge that is to be dropped on this thread.

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Old 02-22-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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You will surely get differing opinions. These are what work for me.

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Originally Posted by Dealmaker View Post
1. With regard to Berliner Wiese, what is the experiential preferred liquid & dry yeast?
I use German Ale yeast. WLP029 or Wyeast1007
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2. Anyone know where to buy food-grade lactic acid for less than $1 an ounce?
I do not mash this. I put 8 oz. acidulated malt in a hop sock and place in primary. It is coated with lactic acid. 1/2lb costs less than a buck. [/QUOTE]
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3. How many months does lactobacillus truly take to “tart” beer?
This gets nicely tart after about 3 mos.
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Originally Posted by Dealmaker View Post
4. Has anyone successfully “cheated” with lactic acid additions or acidated malt? If so, how much/ratio?
see question two.
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5. What are the preferred controls (temp, amount of bacterial cultures, etc.) to achieve a good tartness in minimal time when brewing Berliner Wiese?
This get a but odd. After my wort has cooled to less than 120F. I do not pitch yeast yet. I do put the acid malt in though. I put the sealed primary in my cleaned brew kettle. I fill the kettle with water making a water jacket. I then drop an aquarium thermometer into the kettle/jacket set at 90F. I leave this for 3 days. After three days I drop the temp to low 60's pull the acid malt out and pitch sacc.

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Sour Ale:
1. Which brewers yeast ideally first?
Depends. For Oud Bruin WLP 500,530, 550. For Gueze/pLambic/Flander's Red WLP 565.
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2. How long to wait before adding bacteria?
Until gravity has dropped about 80%
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3. Ideal temp for bacteria growth?
I just let it sit at room temp mid 60's.
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4. How to expose to right level of oxygen for bacteria?
Too much O2 and you get vinegar. I prefer to keep this sealed tight. If I want oak flavor I can always add oak to the sealed carboy.
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5. Any way to cease bacterial growth before bottling?
There is debate over if this works or not. Campden tabs will at a minimum slow everything down if not kill everything. There are two varieties though Potassium metabisulfite and Sodium metabisulfite. Potassium is more common.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #4
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I don't have much experience with brewing sour beers, but I have fair amount of knowledge from reading posts, books, etc.

1. With regard to Berliner Wiese, what is the experiential preferred liquid & dry yeast?
I don't think it matters too much. It all depends on the amount of yeast character you desire.
2. Anyone know where to buy food-grade lactic acid for less than $1 an ounce?
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/lactic-acid-4-oz.html ..but I would not use only this to sour a beer - http://embracethefunk.com/2011/08/15...-post-ferment/
3. How many months does lactobacillus truly take to “tart” beer?
Lacto does most of its work early on, in the first week. Brett needs aging, lacto does not.
4. Has anyone successfully “cheated” with lactic acid additions or acidated malt? If so, how much/ratio?
I have not tried it.
5. What are the preferred controls (temp, amount of bacterial cultures, etc.) to achieve a good tartness in minimal time when brewing Berliner Wiese?
My Berliner Weisse turned out well with lacto cultured from grain, pitched into warm(ish) wort 2 days before pitching yeast.

Sour Ale:
1. Which brewers yeast ideally first?
It depends. Some yeast character remains after it sours, but beers with brett might get more character from the extra sugars left after fermenting with a low-attenuating strain.
2. How long to wait before adding bacteria?
It's really up to you..you can add them at the same time. Definitely lacto first if you're using it.
3. Ideal temp for bacteria growth?
Lacto -90s. But any ale temps would work well for all yeast / bugs.
4. How to expose to right level of oxygen for bacteria?
Some people use an oak dowel through the stopper on their carboy. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
5. Any way to cease bacterial growth before botteling?
Heat pasteurization...difficult at home..

You should read:
http://www.themadfermentationist.com...r-at-home.html
http://ryanbrews.blogspot.com/2011/0...on-adding.html
...and probably other posts on their blogs.

Also:
http://lambicandwildale.com/2010/01/...on-wild-brews/

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Old 02-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info storunner & jvlpdillon. Storunner, does "Lacto cultured from grain" mean you built up lacto cultures in a starter for a time before adding to fermenter?

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Old 02-22-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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Yes. I tossed some grain into a pint of wort (in a small soda (PET) bottle) and let it sit for a few days. You might end up with a few more bugs than lacto, but with a strong Saccharomyces ferment you'd minimize their effect.

Other methods of getting lactobacillus are:
A starter from the whey on top of yogurt (pick the fancy stuff...maybe the non-fat version)
Buy a bottle of Acidophilus from the vitamin aisle of a drug store and sprinkle a capsule into the wort.

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Old 02-23-2012, 02:10 AM   #7
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Now know Brett is actually a fungus like yeast & there are several varieties for Brett. Any preference for type of Brett?
Like the Acidophilus pill idea. Have you actually used this method before?

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Old 02-23-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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All yeast are fungus as both Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces are a part of the Fungus Kingdom.

Brett also shouldn't necessarily be thought of as being that different from Sacch. Pitching a healthy starter into well aerated wort and fermenting at a steady temperature will result in a very clean beer, with little to none of the 'brett' character we are used to. Saccharomyces creates some strange flavors when under pitched into un-aerated wort. It also won't attenuate to the 'near-100%' levels seen in lambics and other bretted beers.

As for a type, the different strains throw different flavors from citrus to fruit to band aid to horse blanket. I would read up on the different kinds on Wyeast or White Labs.

I haven't tried the acidophilus pill method, but I know at least one brewer who has, and still does to sour his beers.

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Old 02-23-2012, 08:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I haven't tried the acidophilus pill method, but I know at least one brewer who has, and still does to sour his beers.
I think this is me! Wow! I'm drinking a smoked acidophilus as I type.

The handful of grain method works too, and may give you a more complex flavor. The acidophilus method is more like a packet of dry yeast. It's quick, cheap & reliable.

As far as Brett goes, read those links above and peruse babblebelt.com.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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Can you give more details on your acidophilus method?

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