Originally Posted by cardinalsfan
tell me more about the sour wort process, that seems like what I'm really going for. Should I expect 20% sort wort for 48 hours to give a good bite or does it need more/less time and percentage than a normal sour mash? And do you just add it back in to the normal wort after mashing and boil normally? Is it ok to do a 60 min boil with this method?
The sour wort process is very simple. Basically just mash and sparge a portion of the grain as you normally would, then give it a quick ten minute boil. Cool, add to a container and drop in some raw grain. Keep it warm and eliminate air exposure as much as possible. Once you're happy with it, do the rest of the mash as normal and then just add the soured wort in the kettle as you are adding the runnings from the main mash.
You can do more volume soured over less time/lower temperatures or a smaller volume soured for more time/higher temperatures. There's no exact rule and a lot of it depends on the equipment available to you. If you can keep it around 100-110F consistently you will get sour faster than at lower temperatures. Since limiting oxygen exposure is very important you really want to use a vessel best for that purpose. Small-mouthed containers are best in my opinion, especially since it's hard to really contain liquid with saran wrap like you could if it was more solid with the grains still in there.
I sour wort in a 64oz growler and fill it to an inch away from the mouth so there is very little oxygen exposure. I seal the mouth with foil but it does produce some krausen and some leaks out. I don't have a heating pad so I usually just keep it warm in the sink with regular hot water additions. It's imperfect, just like a swamp cooler. I've sour worted 25% and found at the lower temperatures I usually get (80-90F) it takes 4-5 days to get really sour. I've made a beer very tart -- not lambic sour though -- souring 25% for that long. It is more sour than a berliner weisse but not as sour as a "sour" beer. However, if I had a heating pad and could keep it constantly around 110F I'd probably get the same results out of 2-3 days.