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Old 09-09-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
chode720
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Default Sour Saison

I am new to the world of sour beers, only trying a couple, and never brewing any. I would like to have one ready for next summer and was thinking to do a sour Saison. I love Saisons and all the flavors that come with that yeast/style and I have heard other people brew sour ones and it really has me drooling over it.....

Anyways, my plan is to brew up a Saison (dont have a recipe yet) but ferment it with WLP565 Belgian Saison at 66 degrees. I know most Saison yeasts are lazy and wont ferment out if I dont ramp the temperature up. What I am hoping is that the yeast will leave a good degree of residual sweetness (in the 1.025-1.035 range) and then moving the beer to a glass carboy and pitching in WLP677 Lactobacillus.

I am not looking for a really strong sour but just something to add complexity.

My question is, does this idea sound like it will work and will the Lacto consume any of those sugars. Or should i just pitch the Lacto with a Brett strain as well?

I am planning on brewing this around the Thanksgiving/Christmas and aging until next summer

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Old 09-09-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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I havent had much luck with either WY/WL lacto strains, they arent very tolerant of alcohol or IBU's ~10 and your dead in the water

if you wanted to do this I would pitch the lacto first and then add the saison yeast, if you get ahold of one of the VSS saison yeasts you shouldnt have any problems with getting it to finish, if it ends up not quite as sour as you like theres always 88% lactic acid

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Old 09-10-2009, 01:51 AM   #3
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Last week I brewed 10 gallons of WY3711 Saison with 80% Pils and 20% wheat. One carboy got strait yeast and the other a large, fresh pitch of lacto for 24 hours before adding yeast.

I will post up what happened when I taste it over the weekend.

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Old 09-10-2009, 10:44 AM   #4
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You could also just pitch a couple bottles worth of dregs in secondary. I'd steer clear of 565 though, most folks hate it. If you can still find it, definitely give 3711 a shot, it'll give you faster attenuation and less for the bugs to eat controlling how sour it gets.

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Old 09-10-2009, 11:39 AM   #5
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So it sounds like my best bet is to pitch a lacto 24 hours before I pitch my Saison yeast. Then when the saison yeast finishes out, I'll rack to a secondary, pitch a Brett to finish it out, and then age for ~6 months

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Old 09-10-2009, 12:27 PM   #6
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I'm also considering a sour Saison, especially as I was influenced recently by a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire. It's described as a dark farmhouse ale. The book Farmhouse Ales indicates presence of lactic sourness in saisons, but doesn't give any production tips.

My guess is that this will be a tough style to brew well.

In order to get the lacto working, you're gonna need low alcohol. But at low alcohol, I'd be afraid that a Saison yeast will fully attenuate your sugars. (Ex: my 1.074 OG Saison w/ 3711 was 1.001 when I transferred to secondary, and it's still bubbling. No chance of that puppy getting sour.)

I suppose you could counter-act by mashing insanely high to give the bugs some food. Like I said, I think fermentation control will be a challenge.

Per previous post, will 24 hours of lacto fermentation really do anything? My lambic was only starting to get sour after 6 months.

But, you could consider 2-3 other much easier approaches, especially as you are new to sour beers:
1) Sour mash: take anywhere from 1 qt to 1 gallon of your runnings, let it cool, then add a handful of crushed grain. Cover it and leave it for 3 days and it'll smell awful and be really sour. Boil it to kill the bugs, then add to your fermenter. I've added tartness to a Saison with about 1 liter using this approach. I would use 2-3X more for true sourness.

2) Acid malt: I haven't done it, but adding acidulated malt is an easy way to get some lactic sourness into your beer.

3) Just add lactic acid. This would be the closest to "cheating", I suppose.


Again, this sounds like a challenging style to get right, but might be well worth it in the end.

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Old 09-10-2009, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixbillionethans View Post

In order to get the lacto working, you're gonna need low alcohol. But at low alcohol, I'd be afraid that a Saison yeast will fully attenuate your sugars. (Ex: my 1.074 OG Saison w/ 3711 was 1.001 when I transferred to secondary, and it's still bubbling. No chance of that puppy getting sour.)

2) Acid malt: I haven't done it, but adding acidulated malt is an easy way to get some lactic sourness into your beer.

Just add lactic acid. This would be the closest to "cheating", I suppose.


Again, this sounds like a challenging style to get right, but might be well worth it in the end.
I think this is why you pitch the lacto in first, before you ferment. I did some more reading and saw that alcohol and an active fermentation will kill off the lacto. My impression is that a 24-72 hour lacto pitch before fermentation will add the lactic sourness, but takes about 6 months to age enough for that sourness from lacto to come thru. Also, im not concerned about the yeast chewing thru all of the sugars. I know that Saison yeasts get lazy near the end. I will temp control fermentation at around 66 and hopefully it will stop around 1.03. I know the Wyeast Saison strain tends to stop around 1.035 if the temp isnt ramped up.

Then I will rack to secondary, pitch some brett, and let that finish the beer off.

I did think about adding some acid malt as well. Maybe I'll use lacto and some acid malt....
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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Make a gallon of all lacto saison and a 5 gallon batch of saison with just saison yeast, then blend them to taste.

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Old 09-10-2009, 02:12 PM   #9
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I did a 20% sour mash on my saision, it added a nice lactic tang to it. It isn't distinctly sour but you could do a 50% sour mash and get it real puckering if you wanted.

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Old 09-10-2009, 11:45 PM   #10
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WY3711 will not stop until most of the sugars are gone, like 1.006.

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