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Old 11-11-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default How to sour a beer?

I had the recently toured Magic Hat Brewery in Vermont. I tried a beer called American Sour and it was great!

I want to make a sour beer, but don't have expereince in it. I most likely will use extract. Is it the yeast that contributes to sour taste? Here is a description of yeast from AHS, White Labs Belgian Sour Mix WLP655.

"This is a unique blend perfect for Belgian-style beers. The mix includes Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and the bacterial strains Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. "

Or do I need to spoil the beer like a lambic.

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Old 11-11-2009, 09:58 PM   #2
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that Sour Mix will "spoil it like a lambic". The main organisms responsible for sourness are lactobacillus/pediococcus. We have a Lambic/wild beer forum you should check out. If you are interested in brewing sours, I highly recommend Wild Brews by Jeff Sparrow

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Old 11-12-2009, 12:23 AM   #3
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the wild brews book is good, but know that you'll be investing some serious time in making a sour beer... it's not like making a normal beer. do some searching around the site, there are some good threads about souring beers. if you don't want to go too over the top, i would recommend fermenting the beer like normal, then adding the lacto/pedio culture, this will normally result in a more mildly sour beer.

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Old 11-12-2009, 01:25 AM   #4
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Another option would be a Berlinerweiss. Its a low alcohol beer that uses lacto to sour, then noral Sacchromyces to ferment the beer. Flyangler has a good recipe: Spurhund Zunge. This beer only takes ~3 months compared to the year + for lambics, gueuze and Flanders Red.

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Old 11-12-2009, 02:07 AM   #5
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Funny, I just started asking the same question here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/acid...an-ale-146430/

I know a bit of the answer for the current MH Odd Notion:
- they use their house ale yeast and standard ale fermenting timeline/procedures
- the sourness comes from using 10% acidulated malt
- the fermentation includes oak

But, I was looking for some other similar recipes before experimenting on my own. Biggest concern out of the gate is how the pH change the acidulated malt would introduce into the mash would impact things.

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Old 11-12-2009, 02:09 AM   #6
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You could try not cleaning your tap lines, like I did. Worked for me.

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Old 11-12-2009, 02:14 AM   #7
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Sour is for the patient. Plan on that Brett taking 6+ months to do its job. Realistic time is probably 8-12 months .

Also, when you are done, be very dilligent in cleaning and sanitizing everything that came in contact with that 'sour mix'....you dont want the next beer to go that direction if its not supposed to...

Wild Brews is a must if you are planning this project.

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Old 11-12-2009, 05:19 AM   #8
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Yah I just did a sour Weiss with new beer lines. Don't know what happened.

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Old 11-12-2009, 11:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vespa2t View Post
Sour is for the patient. Plan on that Brett taking 6+ months to do its job. Realistic time is probably 8-12 months .
Ahh - that's what makes this beer interesting to me! MagicHat used acidulated malt for the sourness - not a special yeast strain. As a result, they were able to brew it using a standard ale yeast and standard ale fermentation techniques & timelines.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knuckleball View Post
You could try not cleaning your tap lines, like I did. Worked for me.
To this I will also added generate a lot of grain dust near where you chill your wort. Let's just say I'm a lot more aware of grain dust now and am careful to generate as little as possible. Don't overlook the dust the gets on your forearms while mashing in, or in your case, leave it there until your wort is nearly chilled, then brush it in. I guarantee you that wil sour a beer, or two or three
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