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Old 02-11-2012, 09:29 PM   #1
mccann51
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Default Sour Diesel: rye, hop, and strain questions in regards to sours

I'm interested in making a pretty intense sour beer (thus the title of this thread). I've brewed a couple of sours, so I'm comfortable working with the bugs, though I don't have a good understanding of them or how to pair flavors with that sourness.

Firstly, what is the max IBUs that I can brew with that won't inhibit the bacteria (btw, I'll be using dregs from Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin, or both)? I've read that sour and hops do not go together, but I was thinking a dry-hopping after some aging could really compliment the sour. I feel like a strong NW dry-hop could compliment the sourness, but I'd like to hear what others think. I'm also thinking some resin-pineyness might be good for the type of intensity I'm looking for - steer me correct if this sounds like a terrible idea flavor-wise - but I'm not sure how to achieve that without inhibiting the bacteria.

Secondly, rye. I know The Bruery makes a rye sour, but I've never had it, and I haven't read any other reports of people doing this. The concept is very intriguing to me, but I can't even begin to imagine how the two flavors would compliment (or not) each other. I'm worried the sour and rye spice might conflict quite a bit. Any thoughts? (btw, I don't necessarily want to brew a hoppy-rye-sour, I'm just determining options)

Finally, what is the best method to get a good amount funk without the sour becoming the completely dominating force. Both my sours were pretty much sour bombs, very hard to discern the funk. Is there a way to get an intense funk and sour without the sour being all that comes through? Would keeping the temp lower help (to give the Brett more of a jump start over the bacteria)?

My plan of action right now is brew a 1.075 OG beer, and mash at like 155F to get a lot of Sacch-unfermentables. I'll then pitch a rehydrated pack of Safale-04 and the dregs from a bottle or two of Russian River and/or Jolly Pumpkin (yay for Bday presents!); I'd prefer not to have to deal with a starter unless it's absolutely recommended. This 'plan' is completely open to change and suggestion, especially in light of answers to the above questions.

Thanks for any advice you may have!

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Old 02-11-2012, 09:58 PM   #2
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max IBUs of 10 since it inhibits lactabacillus. usually aging drops out the AA's and bittering units while still maintaining the preservative qualities. they should not be "cheesy" though.

i think the spiciness of the rye can be very interesting! i say go for it. i always thought step mashing to high temps will release extra tannins that will fuel the complex fermentation later in its age. high mash temp or 155 sounds good, then step up even higher after an hour or so.

keeping fermentation temps a bit colder with less temperature swings and very little oxygen introduction will be the best way to prevent going overly sour. i know some of mine are beyond acidic cantillon style - good but for special occasions, esp with good cheeses, but def not for everyday consumption.

jolly pumpkin dregs are always excellent and rr ain't too shabby niether brew it up and get back to us over the course of time. remember to share you pellicle in the photo collection...

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Old 02-11-2012, 10:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessup View Post
i think the spiciness of the rye can be very interesting! i say go for it. i always thought step mashing to high temps will release extra tannins that will fuel the complex fermentation later in its age. high mash temp or 155 sounds good, then step up even higher after an hour or so.
Thanks for the info! Some clarifications: Could you be more specific about the step-mashing please? I only have experience with single-temp mashing. What are your thoughts on the dry-hopping? Also, I thought AAs were the basis of hops' preservative qualities. Is this not the case? Ie does dry-hopping contribute compounds to the fermenting wort that inhibit the bacteria, as well?

I will definitely be posting pellicle pics! I have some old ones that I took specifically for the gallery here that I just haven't got around to pulling off the camera to post.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:15 AM   #4
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Alpha acids are responsible for the bittering of beer. Beta acids, which don't lose their potency from aging or oxidation, and some polyphenols, are the antibacterial agents in hops. Beta acids do not have nearly the bittering potential of isomerized alpha acids. Thus in Lambics, aged hops prevent spoilage by lactobacillus, while pediococcus is responsible for most of the souring. In Flanders red, low IBUS are targeted with fresh hops, so more lactobacillus activity is present. I think they target low IBUs because the bitterness and sourness do not go well together in a dry beer. Bitterness balances the sweetness of the malt, but if the beer is very dry, bitterness will dominate. You may certainly try what you like.

You can sparge very hot (194F) if you do not wish to step mash. This was done historically to remove all sugars (fermentable and not) from the grain after the low efficiency turbid mashing schedule. I'm not sure the extracted tannins actually feed the bugs, but they break down and precipitate out over the long fermentation.

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Old 02-12-2012, 12:40 AM   #5
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Okay, thanks. So it's the bitterness from the hops that doesn't go with the sourness, not the hop flavor or aroma, that does ring a bell. In terms of the hops inhibiting Lacto more than Pedio, do the two different strains provide different sour qualities? Ie if I totally inhibited the Lacto, but the Pedio was still going, would there be a noticeable difference in the sour flavor?

I BIAB, and I usually do a mashout, so I'll extend the length of the mashout from 20 mins to an hour. I'll then hop the wort with Chinook for 5 mins. After about a year of aging, I'll dry-hop and bottle.

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Old 02-12-2012, 04:09 AM   #6
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Max IBUs is strain dependent. The packaged Lactobacillus from white labs is not hop tolerant, and I dont know if Wyeast's is or not hop tolerant. I do know you'll likely get sourness regardless of hops with RR and JP microbes. RR has Pediococcus bacteria and JP I hear only has Lactobacillus that was locally "sourced". So the hop tolerance will likely not be an issue. There are certainly strains of Lactobacillus that are hop tolerant. Not all strains follow the often cited "no more than 10 IBUs" mantra spouted over and over on this site.

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Old 02-12-2012, 01:47 PM   #7
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There's more than just the inhibition of lactobacillus that you should think about when considering bitterness in a wild beer.

You need to consider if these things will go well together. The vast majority of traditional "sour" beer styles have low IBUs. This is for a reason. Often bitterness and sourness together makes for an unpleasant experience. Many things in nature that have these two sensations together are poisons and animals (humans included) will avoid the combination as an adaptive mechanism to aid survival.

So my point is think about why you want to add bitterness rather than if you can.

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Old 02-12-2012, 08:46 PM   #8
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Idk if you want to call it Sour Diesel... that's the name of a high grade strain of marijuana, I would be confused it it were used as the name of a sour beer.

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Old 02-12-2012, 11:13 PM   #9
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I'm gonna stick at the 10 IBU just because of the bitter+sour issue, but it is good to know that there is variation in Lacto hop-tolerance (I was kind of assuming there would be). Btw, I looked into the difference between Lacto and Pedio, and according to a presentation floating around HBT by Vinny from RR, Lacto gives a 'softer' (I can't remember the exact wording he used, but softer was the gist of it) tangier acidity than Pedio.

Haha, I appreciate the heads up, BovineBlitz. The name is actually intentional, and why I'm trying to get some of that resiny-citrusy hop flavor and aroma going.

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Old 02-13-2012, 12:04 AM   #10
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I just soured a 1 gallon batch of DeadGuy'ish, on JP Bam Noire dregs, that has 30 IBU's. Has been aging for 1 month. Delicious, tart, no problem with hops. Was so good I added some fruit to bring in more flavors. Letting it sit for another month.

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