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Old 12-31-2013, 09:16 PM   #1
mrphillips
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Default Using Yogurt To Make A Sour

A buddy and I brewed up a couple batches today: I brewed a variation on an old APA recipe, and he brewed a Sour Rye Stout. I must admit, I was a little jealous of his recipe, but when I asked him how he was going to turn it into a sour, he said he was going to use yogurt. It had lots of other bacteria in it, but one of them was lactobacilic (or however you spell it). He's keeping it at 90 degrees for a week, then plans to boil it again to kill the bacteria before pitching his yeast. Is this crazy idea of his going to work? God I hop it does.

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Old 01-01-2014, 02:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrphillips View Post
Is this crazy idea of his going to work? God I hop it does.
Yes, and maybe no.

Many of those organisms are lactic acid bacteria, which is what he wants. Unfortunatly most lactic acid bacteria (not all), are adverse to hops; that is, if there are hops present, they will remain dormant. Some can't tolerate any hops, some are ok to about 10 IBUs, anything more, and it is a rare strain that will survive.

The way to do it, is to add the bacteria before doing the boil and adding the hops. If you only want it slightly sour (ala guiness), you can just sour a small amount and add that to the main batch when soured enough.

Also, 90 F is low. I usually go for 100F and have found it takes from 5 to 7 days to decently sour.

I usually do not boil after souring, unless I want to add hops. The alcohol (and low PH) will sort out any bacteria. I usually do this for Berliners which don't have any hops. Some of this bacteria creates alcohol with the lactic acid, and by boiling it, you will be driving off the alcohol, and ending up with a low alcohol beer. To tell what you have, check the gravity after souring. If you have homofermentive bacteria, the gravity will be similar to the starting gravity. If you have heterfermentive bacteria, you will see a significant reduction in gravity.

He may get lucky, but I suspect nothing will happen. It all depends on what bacteria he has in there.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for the notes. He did a 60 min. boil with an ounce of warrior hops (I think the AA were 15), so probably nothing will happen.

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Old 01-03-2014, 02:23 AM   #4
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Could always add lactic acid on the bottling or kegging end to get the sourness he wants if the yogurt doesn't work out.

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Old 01-03-2014, 03:07 PM   #5
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Well it took a couple days, but the yogurt is doing some real work on the wart! I came home from work yesterday, and there was a freaking stout volcano in my kitchen! Can't tell which bacteria is going to town on it, but somethings happening...so I'm chalking it up as a victory

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Old 01-03-2014, 06:38 PM   #6
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This is a really interesting idea. Did he just pitch a cartoon of yogurt instead of yeast?

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Old 01-03-2014, 08:17 PM   #7
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Yep. He transfered it into his carboy when the wart was was 90º, and slopped a couple spoonfulls of all natural plain yogurt right in the carboy. Then he wraped a heating pad around it and went home. Crazy stuff.

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Old 01-03-2014, 08:21 PM   #8
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Oh, and he hasn't pitched yeast yet. This is what it looked like last night.

20140102_215645.jpg  
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:17 PM   #9
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Wow!!! I've never had lacto go crazy like that. Any idea what yogurt it was. I would like to see what is in it.

Before he boils it, can you ask him to take a gravity reading with an hydrometer. A refractometer reading will not be any good. It would be interesting to see how much it changes.

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:50 AM   #10
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We took the gravity, as well as PH levels, before we added the yogurt. I'll definitely post the results. Should be another 2-3 days. He used "Taste of Inspirations Greek Yogurt Plain," and only put in half of the container (maybe a 1/4 cup...it was a fairly hap-hazard addition to the primary )

My buddy's pretty sure that it was infected with a wild yeast strand, but I'm real skeptical that any yeast could be that active at 90-100 degrees. Plus, I've never had a wild yeast infection, and everything was boiled/racked in the exact same place as my last 5 beers.

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