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Old 09-06-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
southpawbrasserie
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Default Sour Ale

So yesterday I brew a gallon of sour ale. What does everyone think? The recipe/process is:

60% home malted pale wheat
40% unmalted wheat

9 IBU- Hersbrucker @ 60 min

Dregs built up on a stir plate from Goose Island Sofie

Double decoction mash of 30 min @122F, 30 @ 140F and 30 @ 158F. Pulled 3.5 pints the first decoction and boiled 20 min. Pulled a little over 4 pints the second decoction and boiled 20 min.

OG: 1.052

The yeast starter was built a week ago, and put in the fridge upon completion. (I know, not a good idea, especially leaving it in the flask with just aluminum foil over it) but I pitched around 4 tblsp. I guessed, it was about a 5 second pour from flask to carboy. Anywho, I had signs of fermentation in 2 hrs. And this morning (about 16hrs) I had a nice krausening building already (about 3/4" thick).

So, I'm going to let primary run it's course, transfer and add a few 2" pieces of red oak 1" dowel. Let it run 6-12 months then add fruit. Not sure what yet, but something in season and fresh. Then I'll let that ferment 3-4 mo and probably bottle.

Last, I may pitch some lacto from my sourdough starter or some yogurt whey. I'll just wait and see how it goes first.

What's everyone think?

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Old 09-06-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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First thought is that a decoction mashed one gallon sour seems like a lot of work. That said, looks good to me.

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Old 09-06-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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Just matilda dregs wont give you a sour. Theres sach and brett, but you need some lacto and pedio to get the lactic and acetic character.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:18 PM   #4
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I used Sofie dregs. The only info I found on Sofie was Sacch and Brett is in the dregs. That's why I mentioned adding lacto in the form of yogurt whey. With that said, would you consider this not a sour with it only containing Brett and Sacch? I understand some sours contain all of the bugs, but some don't. In what form can I acquire pedio, other than purchasing a vial or pack of it? I haven't done any research on this yet.

In regards to your comment on all of this work for just a gallon. On a typical brew day for 5 gallons, it takes me around 5-6 hrs. If I were to do a decoction, it would take me 7-8 or possibly longer. When I do 1 gallon brews of a simple mash schedule or even a decoction, I can be pitching in 3 hrs. I have a medical condition that limits me to stay for long periods. So I brew 1 gallon batches in the house where i can sit. I could brew 2-3 gallons but my smaller pots don't have a valve, which consists of me picking up the kettle, which with my medical condition, I can't lift things over 25 lbs! So this is why I brew 1 gallon batches. I have a time limitation because I have 2 daughters that I like spending time with and not brewing. With that, thank you for your input although it's wasn't pertaining to the questions I asked. There is alot of great info on this forum, but you have to sift through people like you to get to the good info. Have a great day, think about assisting others and not giving useless comments.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southpawbrasserie View Post
There is alot of great info on this forum, but you have to sift through people like you to get to the good info. Have a great day, think about assisting others and not giving useless comments.
Way to be an ass. You asked openly what people thought. He gave you his thoughts.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Hear hear, RAM! Sour ale does seem appropriate, huh?

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Old 09-09-2012, 07:44 PM   #7
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I don't mean to be that way. Like I said, with my medical condition, I can not brew 5 gallon batches anymore without help. (all I can really do is direct and supervise whomever helps me). I understand it is alot of work to decoct a 1 gallon batch, but this is better than not brewing right?

I was just trying to relay that I am on homebrew talk to gather information and learn more. When someone replys with a comment that isn't helpful, or just trying to belittle someone, it bothers me. Have a great day!

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Old 09-09-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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Sorry, but that is reading a lot into any of the comments to say that they weren't helpful or trying to belittle someone.
Brett won't give you sour, but will give you funk and perhaps fruity. Your thoughts on adding lacto of some sort would be right if you want sour.
Good luck with your medical condition and your brewing.
Cheers.

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Old 09-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
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Decoction for a sour brew is totally unnecessary. If there is brett, and especially if there is bacteria like pedio or lacto, the (minimal) added fermentability that comes with decoction won't be needed. If you did the decoction for flavor, just add a bit of melanoiden malt, or munich or anything else that will give you a bit of that flavor.

Brett probably won't get it too sour. Might not get sour at all. Since grain is covered with lactobacillus, just toss a small handful of unmilled grain into the fermenter. It'll get sour.

A starter is also not necessary for a sour beer. In fact, sour beers are super easy to make (but they take a long time).


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I don't mean to be that way.
Then don't. I think you have a chip on your shoulder. You should cut that sh1t out asap. We're here to help.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:22 PM   #10
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Skip the red oak dowel pieces. You want white oak and not just in the beer for flavor. The idea with sour and wood is that the wood is the barrier between the beer and the outside air allowing a very small amount in through the wood.

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