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Old 04-13-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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Default Adding sour/tart finish to wheat

My wife is in love with 5 Rabbit 5 Lizard, a latin wheat made with lime +passionfruit instead of the traditional orange and coriander, and has tasked me with trying to re-create as much of its flavor as is possible via extract brewing.

I think I've got a handle on most everything but what I perceive to be a mildly tart and sour finish, and was wondering if there are any good techniques for trying to replicate this.

I've read that acidulated malt can be used to lower ph during mash, but since I'm not mashing, the next option was adding straight up lactic acid 88% to the water.

Has anyone had experience adding lactic acid to the boil, pre-boil, or post-boil and if so, what was the result? Any best practices?

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Old 04-13-2014, 05:13 PM   #2
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I would assume that adding lime juice would lower the ph considerably and give a tart/sour finish. I would add more fresh squeezed lime juice.

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Old 04-13-2014, 05:25 PM   #3
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Thanks. I thought about that and wondered if adding the necessary amount of lime juice to get the desired tartness would also add an undesired amount of flavor to the finished product.

I suppose I could do a bit of taste testing. At which stage would you recommend making the addition?

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Old 04-13-2014, 05:50 PM   #4
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what about a little acidulated malt, or lactic acid to taste. I might worry that to get enough acidic bite from something like lemon or lime juice might leave more lemon or lime flavor in the beer than you might be looking for. Guess it depends on what you are going for.

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Old 04-13-2014, 05:59 PM   #5
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I was not able to pick up much lime taste from the beer when I sampled it, so my thought was that they either added the lime in a way that reduced its flavor, or they used some sort of additive to give it that bite.

It was definitely not sour all the way through.

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Old 04-13-2014, 06:39 PM   #6
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Email or call the brewery to see if you can get any info on acids they might use. I've done it a few times for different questions and always had good help and communication.

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Old 04-20-2014, 02:44 AM   #7
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A small sour mash, then straining out the grain and adding the wort to the boil to kill the bugs would be another option without too much lime flavor, but a measure of sour.

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Old 04-20-2014, 06:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxal View Post
A small sour mash, then straining out the grain and adding the wort to the boil to kill the bugs would be another option without too much lime flavor, but a measure of sour.

Only reason I might not advise a sour mash is that, being an extract brewer, he might not have the ability to flush it with oxygen. Not sure if you've ever had sour mashed beer that got some butyric acid, but it's not pleasant.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasus_brew View Post
Only reason I might not advise a sour mash is that, being an extract brewer, he might not have the ability to flush it with oxygen. Not sure if you've ever had sour mashed beer that got some butyric acid, but it's not pleasant.
You mean flush it with CO2? Oxygen is what allows pediococcus to ferment a sour mash greater than lactobacillus and cause the rotten smell of butyric acid.
I've done many a sour mash, and just covered the pot or put plastic wrap on the surface to make an anaerobic environment with good results.
Really no skill involved, just some wort, handful of raw grain, and a little time with a warm temperature...
Cheers.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:54 PM   #10
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I'm not 100% sure this could be replicated, but I was going for something similar a few months ago, and fermented a wheat beer with WY2565, underpitched by about 25% to stress the yeast a bit. It ended up with a fantastic tart, almost a bit sour, character. Exactly what I was hoping for. Combine that with a hop flavor addition maybe along the lines of Citra, Mosaic, and/or Galaxy and I think you might hit the nail on the head.

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