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Old 05-20-2009, 06:58 PM   #1
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Default sours and hops?

I tried a quick search but came up empty handed. My question is I know lambics need aged hops, but if I am making just a standard sour/wild ale do I need aged hops or can I just use fresh hops?

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:01 PM   #2
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The reason for aged hops in all sour beers is so that you can use "some" for preservative qualities without the bitterness contribution. You can use fresh hops to a degree but you have to really back off and you should use the lowest AA% you can get your hands on.

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:02 PM   #3
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dunno what you mean by "standard sour/wild ale". There's not really such a thing as a "standard". Lambics use aged hops, but berlinerweisse uses fresher hops. Flanders red uses fresher hops too.

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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Like Evan! said, there are as many wild styles as there are non sour styles. Traditionally, Lambic brewers use a LOT of hops to get preservative qualities. They don't want any hop flavor or aroma however. Hops that are aged for more than 3 years loose the flavor and aroma we know.

If you want to be technical, the way we brew Lambics (cultured blends in closed fermenters) isn't even traditional, so using low AA% hops is probably fine.

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:15 PM   #5
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Keep in mind that there are beers out there like Wild Devil - IPAs with Brett. A whole ton of hop character would be hard to work out in a wild beer, but it's not impossible to mix hops and brett or other wild yeasts. Just quite challenging, I have to imagine.

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpjet2k View Post
Keep in mind that there are beers out there like Wild Devil - IPAs with Brett. A whole ton of hop character would be hard to work out in a wild beer, but it's not impossible to mix hops and brett or other wild yeasts. Just quite challenging, I have to imagine.
Yeah, but there's a big difference between brett and lacto/pedio. Brett is not a souring bacteria, it's a yeast strain. It produces mainly funky, barnyardy character...whereas lacto and pedio produce a lot of sourness. Sourness + hoppiness = clash!
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:26 PM   #7
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I kinda thought about not typing "standard" since you really can't have a standard with those styles...

So it sounds like if your doing a lambic you need the aged hops, and if your doing a sour you can mix low AA fresh and some aged.

Thanks for all the quick responses.

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Old 05-20-2009, 08:37 PM   #8
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From what I have been reading, you only really need aged hops for a lambic if you plan to spontaneously ferment it, instead of innoculating. The point of the aged hops, the preservative effect, is essential to keep the disgusting bacteria at bay at the beginning of the spontaneous fermentation (think what your mash smells like if you leave it a few days). But if you are innoculating with your own blend, it probably won't contain the nasty stuff that you need to prevent from taking hold, so you can more likely be fine with using a very low amount of low AA hops, similar to how you would make a Flanders Red or Berliner Weiss.

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Old 05-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #9
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But if you are innoculating with your own blend, it probably won't contain the nasty stuff that you need to prevent from taking hold, so you can more likely be fine with using a very low amount of low AA hops, similar to how you would make a Flanders Red or Berliner Weiss.
FWIW I plan on using 2.7% saaz hops in my Lambic when I get around to it, probably ~1/2 oz in 5 gallons. They are the lowest %AA hops I have on hand.

I'm going with Goldings and Fuggles for my Flanders ales, 15-20 IBU.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:08 PM   #10
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After reading this thread again (especially Bobby's comment) I am wondering about the potential of doing a Mash hop to get the preservation factor without all the IBU's? You could achieve all the IBU's you want and not add any hops to the boil.

What are your thoughts on how well this would work. Would this add too much flavor and aroma?

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