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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > sour beer experiment
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:54 PM   #1
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Default sour beer experiment

I'm going to be making a hef this weekend and was wondering if I would be completely insane to split the batch and sour half of it. Here are the details of what I'm thinking.

Take the American Hef recipe from BCS and bump the grist bill up to 11 gallons. Drain off the wort for 5.5 Gallons of normal hef following the recipe, and taking the rest of the wort, only using 1 oz of Willamette at 60 min, and letting it go through the normal primary fermentation on WLP300.

This is where I want to take things in a strange direction. I grow some pretty tart blackberries, so I figured I'd rack the beer over onto about 4lbs of blanched & pureed blackberries and throw in a pack of brett (WY5122) and let the thing go for a year. Does this sound like a good idea? I've got two of the of NB's sour recipes in the pipeline already and figured I'd try making something just off the cuff.

Just looking for some community feedback on things to tweak. I batch sparge, so complex step mashing/ turbid mashing is a pain in the ass. After reading some of the mad fermentationist's blog and he seems to indicate you can sour just about anything, so I figured it was a good place to start.

Anyway, as always your input is greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-09-2012, 01:23 AM   #2
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Sounds like a good plan.

You will get some interesting changes with the clove flavor (4-vinyl guaiacol) with Brett producing 4-ethyl derivatives. Chad Y of Crooked Stave explains this very well in another post - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/und...3/#post3734990

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Old 08-09-2012, 01:25 AM   #3
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Brett alone will not make it sour.

Jolly Pumpkin does a sour hefeweizen, might want to look at their website.

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Old 08-09-2012, 04:09 AM   #4
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Apache, do you have a suggestion for an alternative? Like I said this is just a fun experiment, so I'm open to ideas.

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Old 08-09-2012, 04:13 AM   #5
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Thanks for the link , Almighty. I heard an interview with Chad on the BN, and that is part of the inspiration for this brew.

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Old 08-09-2012, 04:43 AM   #6
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Belgo-Berliner Bavarian Hefe?

DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!

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Old 08-09-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxkale View Post
Apache, do you have a suggestion for an alternative? Like I said this is just a fun experiment, so I'm open to ideas.
Live dregs out of sour bottles and/or one of the sour blends from wyeast or white labs.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:53 PM   #8
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I think the best way to do this would be to use lacto to sour it. I would hop it to 10 IBU, pitch lacto, let it roll at 90 degrees for a week, and then pitch your yeast. A good way to think about sour is that can be used just like hops to balance a beer.

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Old 08-09-2012, 04:57 PM   #9
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That is correct about the sourness. You will get very little from the Brett. You will also get some tartness from your berries, but if you really want sour then you will want to add bottle dregs or a commercial pitch that has lacto or pedio in it.

I noticed that you are in Beervana - therefore I would suggest you use some Cascade dregs - they only have lacto (and sacc), but a supposedly very aggressive strain. And if you want more sourness then you will want to pitch the lacto before you pitch your WLP300, it all depends on how sour you want your beer.

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Old 08-09-2012, 06:04 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the input. After reading your suggestions, I'm leaning toward WLP655, since it appears to be the "everything sour but the kitchen sink" yeast, from what I can tell. I'm thinking of pitching that and the WLP300 at the same time and adding the blackberries in a few weeks, depending on how long my SWMBO will let me take up space in the freezer. I put this same hef on my homegrown blackberries last year and it ended up with a very pronounced tartness, so I am not THAT concerned with the beer being "under soured". Even if it ends up just a mildly tart beer, it will give me a good yeast cake in a year or so for further experimentation.

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