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Old 08-03-2007, 07:33 PM   #1
vasie
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Default Tips for brewing up a sour beer?

I have been thinking about brewing up a sour beer in the new batch or two. I will be probably be using 50% Wheat, 35% Pale 2-row, and %15 6-row, or something like that. I have not yet considered the hops or yeast yet.

Have any of you brewed a sour beer? If so, what was your method, what was your result, and have you any tips?

Thanks.

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Old 08-03-2007, 09:28 PM   #2
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I would take the 2-row and heat that up in maybe a gallon or so of water to 155 degrees (you can probably use a milk container), and cover it with a blanket or shirt to try to keep it at that temp for a while. Then leave it for a couple days. It would probably also help to add some lactic acid directly to the sour mash. You can add this gallon to your mash when you do the brew.

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Old 08-04-2007, 03:06 AM   #3
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I've brewed a few, but only one is bottled. I used Wyeast Roeselare Blend on all of them, fermented the beer with various 'regular' yeast and then added the 'lambic yeast'. It is a blend of bret/lacto/etc. The bottled one is pretty good in my opinion, the others are alright so far but I may blend them. It takes a while for the flavors to develop with 'lambic' yeast, I feel this is one of the more challenging aspects of brewing - uncertain results, long time to find out how its going to turn out, potential to infect other beers, etc. I'm expecting it to take a long time to 'master' sour beers, and I'm moving ahead cautiously. My tip is to be careful if you're using these 'wild' yeast, they can easily infect other beer via equipment,etc. I've started keeping mine completely seperated from my other beers after a non-sour batch got infected. I really like them, and will continue to brew them at a regular, but slow, pace. Good luck.

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Old 08-04-2007, 03:34 AM   #4
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After having the Dogfish Festina, I am going to give a sour beer a try. Will probably use the professor's method with some changes. Make a gallon "starter" of 1.030 wort and drop a cup of uncrushed grain into it. Leave it for a few days, tasting to make sure it sours enough. Make a wheat beer like normal and add the sour beer at the start of boil. The boil will kill of all the bacteria and the starter jug is trashed. I am hoping this will prevent any possiblity of cross-contamination.

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Old 08-05-2007, 02:49 AM   #5
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Well I don't particularly want to go the lambic route and use other bugs in the brew. If I use the lactic acid, do I still need to let the grains ferment or sour or whatever you want to call it?

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Old 08-05-2007, 03:32 AM   #6
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Download the "Sunday Session" from the Brewing Network. Their show of 7/7/07 had a great presentation by Vinnie of Russian River Brewing. He's one of the top 3 sour beer brewers in the US today. Has lots of good info.

There are a lot of different "sour" beer styles. Letting your mash sour naturally is quite sketchy because you have no idea what wild yeasts/bacteria are local to you. Inoculating your own bugs is the most reliable way.

He also suggests using separate equipment for anything that is exposed to the other bugs other than stainless and glass. It is quite easy to accidentally sour future batches if you re-use plastic equipment such as hoses, buckets, spoons, hydrometer tubes etc.

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Old 08-05-2007, 03:40 AM   #7
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I was under the impression that all of the souring took place in the mash, so preboil. I can see infecting future batches would be a concern if I was adding bugs to the wort. I will have to go back and review that show; I didnt remember it pertaining to what I wanted to try. Thanks for the good points.

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Old 08-05-2007, 03:47 AM   #8
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Just noticed you had a "Jamil" beer in your sig... should have known you'd know about TBN.

You can also check out russianriverbrewing.com and look at their barrel aged beers. Vinnie does most of his "souring" in barrels. Sanctification is 100% bettanomyces

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