Wheat and a Sour Tang - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Wheat and a Sour Tang

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-03-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
explosivebeer
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 437


I've heard over the past few years since getting into brewing that wheat can sometimes have or cause a sour tang. I've only brewed one wheat beer in my 60+ batches and didn't have that experience. I don't have *perfect* sanitation procedures but they're pretty good and I've never had a batch go south before.

I know Jamil Z is adamantly opposed to the link between the two. But low and behold, after never having an infection of any kind in all my batches, I brewed a Weizenbock in January and all three fermenters picked up some moderate (carboys) to aggressive (plastic bucket) lactic sourness.

I was actually thinking about souring one of the batches just to see what would happen so this is somewhat serendipitous, although I'd still like to get to the root cause of it. The batch in the plastic bucket had to be tossed since I think the elevated levels of oxygen facilitated the lactobacillus growth past the point of enjoyment.

Does anyone know if there are proteins or other elements in wheat that harbor bugs or somehow are more prone to lacto issues during or after fermentation?
__________________
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 07:47 PM   #2

Wheat beers have a characteristic tartness to my palate, and I think that's what you are tasting. Have you had any visual indication of a lactobacillus infection?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 08:03 PM   #3
explosivebeer
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 437

I didn't see anything that would indicate an infection, but the beers have turned decidedly sour after being incredibly rich and balanced and dare-I-say, analogous to Aventinus. Now they're very tart and interesting - still very enjoyable, but in a very different way. The tartness cuts through the rich, complex maltiness.

On a sidenote, I've blended it with rich, roasty stouts and it's been a pretty amazing complement. I guess that's why Guinness has been doing it for so long.
__________________
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 08:14 PM   #4
Brewsmith
 
Brewsmith's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2005
Torrance, CA
Posts: 6,252
Liked 64 Times on 59 Posts


I've made a beer out of 100% wheat and it did not have any tang or tart flavors. It has to be some issue with the yeast or possible infection.
__________________
Fermenting:#160 Apollo/Calypso Pale Ale
Kegged:#153 Old Helicon Barleywine 2013, #157 Irish Red, #158 Mosaic IPA, #159 Bravo/Delta ESB
Up Next:Brown Porter, American Stout, Imperial Stout
My Recipes
Tuba Sonata

Smith & Co. Custom Tap Handles

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
ACo
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Bethesda, MD
Posts: 176
Liked 3 Times on 1 Posts


A little off topic, but is a gouze considered a soured wheat beer?
__________________
802 Brew

Primary 1: Empty :(
Primary 2: Empty
Primary 3: Empty
Primary 4: Empty
Bottled: 802 AIPA (6% abv), Dunkelweizen (6.6% abv), EdWort's Apfelwein (8.5% abv), Centennial IPA (6.2% abv), 802 House Honey Pils Pale Ale (3.2% abv), 802 100IBU IIPA (7.7% abv), 802 Magnum/Centennial IPA (6.0% abv), 802 Honey Cream Ale (6.0% abv), Bourbon Breakfast Stout (7% abv)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
explosivebeer
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 437

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewsmith View Post
I've made a beer out of 100% wheat and it did not have any tang or tart flavors. It has to be some issue with the yeast or possible infection.
I know wheat beers don't necessarily have or impart those flavors. But I'm wondering if they have a higher propensity of having them for some reason. Even though I used the same methods that have produced dozens of batches without any infections, it could certainly be a sanitation issue. But I find it odd that it would coincidentally happen with an ingredient that has been purported to produce this very sort of character. Does anyone know the cause behind the correlation?
__________________
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 08:54 PM   #7

What was your yeast strain? Some of the German wheat yeast strains have a distinct tartness.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 10:30 PM   #8
explosivebeer
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 437

I used the White Labs Hefe IV yeast for the carboy batches, and part of an abbey ale yeast yeast cake for the plastic bucket batch. A couple weeks after brewing these beers exhibited really nice, complex, malty, dark fruit aromas and flavors without a hint of sourness. Now the sour bite dominates and everything else is in the background.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
What was your yeast strain? Some of the German wheat yeast strains have a distinct tartness.
__________________
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 10:33 PM   #9
Brewsmith
 
Brewsmith's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2005
Torrance, CA
Posts: 6,252
Liked 64 Times on 59 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by explosivebeer View Post
I used the White Labs Hefe IV yeast for the carboy batches, and part of an abbey ale yeast yeast cake for the plastic bucket batch. A couple weeks after brewing these beers exhibited really nice, complex, malty, dark fruit aromas and flavors without a hint of sourness. Now the sour bite dominates and everything else is in the background.
If it wasn't there before, but is now, it sounds like an infection to me.
__________________
Fermenting:#160 Apollo/Calypso Pale Ale
Kegged:#153 Old Helicon Barleywine 2013, #157 Irish Red, #158 Mosaic IPA, #159 Bravo/Delta ESB
Up Next:Brown Porter, American Stout, Imperial Stout
My Recipes
Tuba Sonata

Smith & Co. Custom Tap Handles

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 11:18 PM   #10
explosivebeer
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 437

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewsmith View Post
If it wasn't there before, but is now, it sounds like an infection to me.
That's my thought as well. But one of the carboy batches was kegged and developed a strong tartness to it. The other carboy batch stayed in primary until the other day when I moved it into secondary. It also developed the same sort of character while in primary, although to a slightly lesser extent.

If only the kegged batch turned sour, I'd say it's definitely a keg sanitation issue. But having the other do the same thing in the carboy makes me think otherwise. Having the third batch in the plastic fermenter go REALLY sour/funky (probably with the help of the added oxygen), confirms it was something on the batch level - either my wort got contaminated (possible, but since these beers were so good and rich after a couple weeks of fermentation, somewhat unlikely), or there might be something in the beer itself that has the tendency to promote lactic souring.
__________________
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why is my wheat beer sour? Lando Recipes/Ingredients 12 09-08-2009 07:13 PM
Tang taste JBFURDOG Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 02-19-2009 02:47 AM
Sour cherries in a wheat beer King of Cascade Recipes/Ingredients 14 07-14-2008 03:05 PM
That home brew tang ora8i General Beer Discussion 12 02-13-2006 04:21 PM
No vanilla, too much lactic tang Cheesefood Recipes/Ingredients 4 10-12-2005 02:01 PM


Forum Jump