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Old 09-18-2009, 08:28 AM   #1
bhatchable
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Default Sour wort advice needed!

Hello, I am working on a sour mash beer right now. It is a one gallon experimental batch that I am attempting to sour with 1/2 lb of milled two row. Any advice on how long to do this for? what are visible signs of lacto infection? I plan on souring it for ____ (not sure how long even), then boiling it to sterilize, then cool and pitch us05. any and all advice is appreciated

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Old 09-18-2009, 02:27 PM   #2
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well have fun with this one, Ive done a couple and they always smell horrible, I have heard some anecdotal evidences that limiting oxygen during this time will help the smell but cannot comment on if it actually works or is just another homebrew myth oft repeated never attempted

I dont think youll need 1/2# for a 1gal batch, you could probably use much less, as for souring it - your the best person to say when to stop, just taste it and when your happy with it stop it

BTW your gonna get a lot more than lacto in there, and if my experience is anything it could turn out really nasty, but ehh its only a gallon right?

Any reason why your going this route, What do you hope to accomplish.... sour beer dregs work wonders at souring wort

FYI - be prepared for a hot garbage smell from the boil

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:20 PM   #3
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Not really expecting much i guess. just had an empty gallon glass jug and some two row and assorted specialty grains. Just wanted to experiment with a sour mash

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:20 PM   #4
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how long did you sour yours for? how long for visual signs of lacto?

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Old 09-18-2009, 08:51 PM   #5
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its not just lacto, there are alot of other things on grain so your not really looking for lacto

the ones Ive done were sour mashes as opposed to soured wort, so the smell was the most evident part of something going on, you might see more action going on in yours being in a glass jug and all

As far as souring time, its been a couple years since the last one I did (I prefer more predictable results now) but I remeber one being 24hrs and the others being 2 maybe 3 days...

Id say if you want something that you at least have a general idea of the end result, that the best way to do this would be to drink a sour beer, darn that sucks I know, and add the dregs. Ive made wonderful 1gal batches using girardin, cantillon, etc dregs in a pretty short amount of time, carbed them up and drank them fresh and quick

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Old 09-19-2009, 12:08 AM   #6
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do you also pitch some neutral ale yeast? or just the dregs?

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Old 09-19-2009, 02:32 AM   #7
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I did this around a month and a half ago in a growler. It's still hanging out on top of the fridge- the SWMBO hasn't made me toss it yet, but I get in trouble if I open it in the house.

It smells terrible... like bad compost crossed with wet feet, but it actually has a fairly pleasant tart taste. It's still slowly but noticeably getting more sour.

The first sign of lacto or similar bugs is a white scummy film on top of the beer that catches CO2 bubbles as they break the surface. My test jug had the film with a couple days.

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Old 09-19-2009, 03:14 AM   #8
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you pitched a handful of pale malt?

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Old 09-19-2009, 03:26 AM   #9
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Typically, one day will give you a fairly sour beer, and in two days it will be pretty tart. A good tip is to buy the bugs from White Labs or WYeast, and pitch them into the mash to make sure the right bugs get a foothold (who knows what else might be on the grain).

Try your best to keep in in the 120 range after the initial sach rest, an oven set to warm is the un-green method (running your over for two days straight), as long as it doesn't get too hot. A warm attic is another good option, especially for those still having summer heat. The right temp will allow the right bugs to do their work. I have heard some people say they fill the dead space with balloons or ping pong balls, to minimize O2 intake and heat loss, less air in the mash tun means less air to come into contact with the grain bed. Also, don't move it around or mess with it too much.

If there's anything you don't want after the mash is done, it will be on the top of the grain bed, so draw from underneath and leave the last little bit, and you should get just sour goodness.

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Old 09-19-2009, 03:57 AM   #10
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thanks barleywater, i think that if i should try this again it will be with a culture.

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