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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > More Advanced Sour Mash Questions- Need Sour Expert Help
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
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Default More Advanced Sour Mash Questions- Need Sour Expert Help

Okay guys, I have been toying with the extreme end of the sour spectrum and need some truly educated advice. I recently did a 2-day 100% sour mash (brought full volume mash up to 153* and held for an hour. Cooled to ~105* and pitched a 1000ml starter of White Labs WLP677 Lactobacillus, and about 1lb of unmilled pearl malt and let it sit, covered, for 48 hours) The result yielded a mash with a preboil ph of 2.4.

I boiled for 45 minutes to eliminate dms and and wound up with 13.5 gallons of 1.020 gravity wort. In my opinion, after my fruit additions, this will be a nearly perfect OG for a 2.5% ABV, very tart berliner.

My concern is, that I would like to start doing sour mashed Flanders Bruins with ABV in the 6-8% range, and I am concerned that my low conversion from the sour mash will inhibit my efficiency to the point to where I will not be able to get an OG above maybe 1.050 without having to lose half my volume to boiling.

Will swapping 65-70% of my base malt with 6-row help enough in the conversion to counteract the conversion lost in the sour mash? Is it possible that the Lacto fermented enough in the mash tun over the 48-hour period, that my conversion was actually fine and it was a 1.020 FG that was measured? If so, How can I counteract that, since all achieved mash fermentation will be boiled off?

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Old 10-21-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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Well, doing a sour mash does not affect your mash efficiency at all. It can reduce your pre-yeast-fermentation gravity but, as with a normal mash, all of the conversion (which is what is measured by mash efficiency) takes place during your sac. rest at 153...

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Old 10-22-2013, 02:23 AM   #3
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Well, doing a sour mash does not affect your mash efficiency at all. It can reduce your pre-yeast-fermentation gravity but, as with a normal mash, all of the conversion (which is what is measured by mash efficiency) takes place during your sac. rest at 153...
That was my thought, i should have stated that i used a 20% acidulated malt grain bill, and I've read lactic acid inhibits amylase enzyme and conversion.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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That was my thought, i should have stated that i used a 20% acidulated malt grain bill, and I've read lactic acid inhibits amylase enzyme and conversion.
why are you using 20% acidulated malt if you're also pitching lacto and uncrushed grain for a sour mash? skip the acid malt and let it sour an extra day. that way you can mash to whatever gravity you want and then let the lacto in to do their thing. lacto will eat some of the fermentables, but the amount is fairly low and can effectively be ignored (maybe a few points). that's one of the big advantages to doing a sour mash - you're not limited to the super low ABV/IBU that the traditional method is since there's no alcohol or hops in solution during the souring.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:11 PM   #5
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That was my thought, i should have stated that i used a 20% acidulated malt grain bill, and I've read lactic acid inhibits amylase enzyme and conversion.
Ah, well in that is definitely true - a low mash ph will inhibit the activity of the amylase enzymes as well as present the risk of tannin extraction.

If I were trying to get a sour beer without doing a sour mash, I'd mess around with higher percentages of acid malt (I might try something like 1/2 hour rest, add acid malt, another 1/2 hour or something though, just to make sure there was time to get conversion on my primary grains) but otherwise you're better off performing a mash at an appropriate ph and then pitching your lacto to sour the mash.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:08 PM   #6
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you can add the extra acidmalt after your regular sach rest after all conversion has occurred

the lower pH during the souring phase can help keep other bugs/yeasts etc at bay to benefit the lacto

i believe 4.5 is the range to shoot for

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Old 10-22-2013, 07:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lastsecondapex View Post

I boiled for 45 minutes to eliminate dms and and wound up with 13.5 gallons of 1.020 gravity wort. In my opinion, after my fruit additions, this will be a nearly perfect OG for a 2.5% ABV, very tart berliner.
Traditional berliner weisse was mash hopped and not boiled. It soured naturally during fermentation and conditioning. It goes rather quickly in my experience with a 51/49 rye/2 row blend. I do a quick clean version with white wheat and 2 row that has a 30% grist sour mash at 100F for 72 hours, followed with a 70% mash at 149F, to which the sour mash is added before sparging, and then a 15 minute boil with maybe 10 ibu..

Also, fruit wasn't added directly because of the reinheitsgebot. It is usually presented "mit schuss". Woodruff or raspberry syrup on the side (to get around those tricky purity laws...)

Also, I thought DMS was mostly a corn adjunct problem but when I went looking for some DMS info I found some interesting reading here:

http://beersmith.com/blog/2012/04/10...e-brewed-beer/

I've never really been on the beersmith website. Apparently I've been missing out.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:48 AM   #8
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Also, fruit wasn't added directly because of the reinheitsgebot. It is usually presented "mit schuss". Woodruff or raspberry syrup on the side (to get around those tricky purity laws...)
I was dissapointed at GABF how many Berliner Weisses were served, but without the traditional fruit syrup. It just isn't the same. I like the "playing with my beer" part of getting to choose which syrup.
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