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Old 02-04-2010, 07:20 PM   #1
loganb
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Default questions for you lambic and sour ale folks

i have been brewing for almost a year now and have never got around to trying any lambic or sour ales. i am really interested in trying and trying to make one. what is a good "gate way" sour ale to try out and what all goes into making a sour ale. do i just make a nice balanced recipe and instead of pitching notty or something just pitch some brett or other "wild" yeast? and how long does it take to make a sour ale of normal gravity? please point me in the right direction. thanks

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Old 02-04-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
ryane
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A good quick "gateway" sour might be a berliner weiss, if you not familiar with it, its a very light wheat beer, next to no hops and is soured with lactobacillus, they typically finish out very quickly and are very light sour and spritzy, in fact they are great on a hot summer day

other than that somthing like a flanders or a lambic will take 1yr+ and sometimes you get snake eyes, some of the best flanders/etc Ive made have been a blend of multiple batches to produce a better overall product

as far as recipe formulation for a b weiss its pretty much just a hefe on a diet fermented with a german ale yeast + lacto, for the others you need to make sure you have a lot of sugars that are unfermentable for sacch in there to feed the brett/pedio/lacto/sherry flor/etc otherwise it wont get as funky and sour

a decent primer on wild beers is "Wild Brews" by Jeff Sparrow, other good resources are

the burgundian babble belt

the mad fermentationist

city brewer

brettanomyces masters project

ryanbrews

among others

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Old 02-04-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
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awsome thank you. hopefully i can find something at the store today to try out but the HEB in texas has a pretty good beer selection so wish me luck.

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:24 PM   #4
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If your looking for sour commercial beers to try I would try these...

Flanders Red
Rodenbach
Monks Cafe

Berliner Weiss
Festina Peche
1809
Berliner Weiss - Bayerischer

Gueuze
Cantillon Gueuze
Oude Bersel
Lindemans Cuvee Rene

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:56 PM   #5
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nice. i will have to look for them. oh yeah and do you go about pitching the yeast and the "nasties?"

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Old 02-05-2010, 12:41 AM   #6
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Anything Cantillon will be delicious. As far as brewing a sour, there are a million different ways of varying complexity you can use, but the common component is they take a long time to be done.

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:53 AM   #7
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If you want to slowly introduce yourself then go for something like lindemans framboise or Faro. Just a little bit less in your face than some of the others (which are also super tasty). I'd also recommend a couple of cidre bouches (naturally fermented ciders) to get an understanding of the complexities of wild yeasts and so on.

Things like kriek and cantillon are delicious but it can be a good thing to introduce your palate and the above mentioned may have a bit more subtlety or delicacy.

I've only ever had home brewed Berliner weiss but it was delicious and fit in the above category of delicate and subtle too.

Certainly try all of them but if you find something like cantillon or geuze too sour on first sip, don't give up. Go back to the french ciders, faros, framboises and berliner weisses and build.

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Old 02-10-2010, 09:10 AM   #8
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You also might want to look into the Kentucky common thread. Not typical sour.

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