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Old 02-16-2014, 03:08 AM   #1
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Default Question about Sour Flavors

I have never had a sour beer. I had the chance to buy a Gueuze Cuvée Rene today, but at $6.50 for a 12 oz, I wanted to do some digging and see if there was a good chance of me enjoying it.

When I looked it up it had a great rating from the rating sites...but upon reading the comments I saw descriptors like "orange" and "lemon" and "sour patch kids" and so on. This is not what I had imagined a sour to taste like AT ALL. I hate citrus in almost all forms (with the exception of limes). I had always imagined the sour flavors as "dairy-like" sour (which I would enjoy) rather than "citrusy/tangy/tear-jerker" sour.

So which is it? Or are all sours not created equally (I know they aren't...but are they all lemony/vinegary or are some more toward the stinky cheese end of the sour spectrum)?




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Old 02-16-2014, 03:54 AM   #2
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I wanted to do some digging and see if there was a good chance of me enjoying it.
Ever tried explaining color to a blind man?

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I saw descriptors like "orange" and "lemon" and "sour patch kids" and so on. This is not what I had imagined a sour to taste like AT ALL.
Oranges and lemons (and tart cherries!) are sour. Most have flavors like citric acid, though it's usually lactic that causes the real taste.

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So which is it?
Both. Sometimes neither.

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Or are all sours not created equally
This is why a lot of us prefer the term "Wild Brewing". They're not equal. They're not even predictable.
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:06 AM   #3
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Default Question about Sour Flavors

I am blind, you jerk!

Ok I'm not...just wanted to make you sweat a little

Seriously...if anyone can recommend a dairy-like sour commercial beer, I'm up for trying it. I would have been sorely disappointed with a beer that tasted like lemon Warheads, though...


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Old 02-16-2014, 04:53 AM   #4
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It sounds like you are looking for lactic acid, Lactobacillus is what you want to look for. Problem is, most beers are combinations of Pediococcus, Lacto, and Brett. I have found most sours tend toward citric and acetic. I have not had one that I would describe as predominantly lactic (dairy, as in yogurt type sourness).

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Old 02-16-2014, 04:59 AM   #5
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Thanks so much! That helps me make my decision...I can scratch them off the list of "things to try when I'm the one paying for it."


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Old 02-16-2014, 05:45 AM   #6
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Cascade brewery in Portland is only lacto and a little Brett that gets in from the barrels and the fruit. They are my favorite sours. Most people will disagree but I love the lacto bombs the produce. I've been having very good results making sours from stepped up dregs from their bottles. Very clean sours with amazing aroma. I would look on their website and order some of those. Try Vlad the Impaler or Bourbonic Plague. Those are some of their non fruit forward beers.


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Old 02-16-2014, 02:47 PM   #7
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It sounds like you are looking for lactic acid, Lactobacillus is what you want to look for. Problem is, most beers are combinations of Pediococcus, Lacto, and Brett. I have found most sours tend toward citric and acetic. I have not had one that I would describe as predominantly lactic (dairy, as in yogurt type sourness).
Pedio is a Lactic acid bacteria. There is no (well there may be a touch) citric acid in a sour, and usually very little to no acetic acid.

I wouldn't have described the taste as fruity. The sourness comes from Lactic acid, which is the acid that sours yogurt.

I realize it is a different type of beer from Cuvée Rene, but a Berliner Weisse is made with just Lactobacillus.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:01 PM   #8
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I didn't mean that I wanted to avoid fruity, necessarily...I don't want mouth-puckering sour. Sour cream and stinky cheese hearty sour is good to me, and that's what I always expected of sour beer especially since it does use the same bacteria to achieve its character (the lacto ones anyway). Everywhere I just read about Berliner Weisse used the words "lemony-citrus" and "tart," which really wasn't what I had in my mind as I said.

I know...I'm gonna have to breakdown and buy one at some point.

I like lemonade pie because of the good, smooth, and balancing sourness of the cream cheese. I hate lemonade because of the overwhelming citrus sourness of the lemons.

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Old 02-16-2014, 09:09 PM   #9
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I think the only way to find out which sours you like best (if any) is to start trying some. There are plenty of them that do have what I'd call a citric flavor but they aren't intense like lemonade. The funkiness you find in a gueuze is pretty interesting and intriguing. Give it a shot and see what you think. The first time I had one I almost spit it back into the glass. Now it's one of my favorite styles.

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Old 02-17-2014, 01:45 AM   #10
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Funk Metal by Jester King has a sour milk taste to it. It is probably my favorite beer right now, although they have toned down the sourness in the more recent batches they've made.

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