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Old 12-30-2010, 04:34 PM   #1
kopher
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Here's what we did:
Made a 5 gallon batch of Berliner Weisse, using the Wyeast 3191 and the approximately the Kinder Weisse recipe from Northern Brewer.
Left it in primary for like 4 months (I know this is usually bad, but it was our first sour so we weren't sure, plus it had such a nice pelicle we didn't want to disturb it).
Moved 2 gallons into secondary after those 4 months, and another 2 gallons into a secondary with some cherries and oak.
The last gallon (plus yeast cake) we left in the primary and dumped 2 gallons of just-brewed mead, which was at about 1.075. So we've got about 3 gallons of sour braggot at, I guess, an OG of ~1.050.
So I don't know -- not much activity yet, so no idea what's going on in there. Was thinking of pitching a vial of WLP655 (Belgian Sour Mix 1) if I don't see anything happening for another couple days

Any thoughts? Has anyone made a sour mead? It sounds pretty delicious to me...

 
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:59 PM   #2
ReverseApacheMaster
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What's the alcohol content on the mead? Chances are with the typical alcohol content of mead you are going to get little to no souring action because the alcohol will suppress most everything. Lacto is not particularly alcohol tolerant. If you can get some souring activity, it will probably be very slow to go because of the alcohol.

 
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:18 PM   #3
kopher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
What's the alcohol content on the mead? Chances are with the typical alcohol content of mead you are going to get little to no souring action because the alcohol will suppress most everything. Lacto is not particularly alcohol tolerant. If you can get some souring activity, it will probably be very slow to go because of the alcohol.
It's raw mead, as in "must" maybe? The mead was at around 1.075, so since it's 2/1 mixed with 1.005 berliner weisse the gravity of the whole thing should be around 1.050. Very little alcohol so far, but I guess it will get up to ~5%...

 
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:21 PM   #4
WolvinMaine
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My understanding is part of the reason Berliner Weiss is so low in alcohol is that lacto does not do well with high alcohol levels. Most of the traditional sour beers you see out of Belgium are usually not that strong. The Oud Bruins are probably the closest to that SG, are a bit less acidic, in part because they are higher gravity and the alcohol suppresses the bugs. Also, I am not sure how much long term souring you are going to get. When I make meads in that range, the final gravity is usually around 1.000, but then I am using a different yeast strain. There is not much in the way of more complex sugars for the bugs to munch on, so I don't think you will get much souring with time, unless it is acetic. Just my guess, who knows for sure, that is why we experiment!

 
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:59 PM   #5
Gavagai
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According to Jamil on his Oud Bruin show, lacto dies out at around 8%, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem for you. The lack of complex sugars might be, though. My guess is that you'll get just a bit of sourness. I'd be curious to see how this turns out.

 
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:38 PM   #6
kopher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WolvinMaine View Post
My understanding is part of the reason Berliner Weiss is so low in alcohol is that lacto does not do well with high alcohol levels. Most of the traditional sour beers you see out of Belgium are usually not that strong. The Oud Bruins are probably the closest to that SG, are a bit less acidic, in part because they are higher gravity and the alcohol suppresses the bugs. Also, I am not sure how much long term souring you are going to get. When I make meads in that range, the final gravity is usually around 1.000, but then I am using a different yeast strain. There is not much in the way of more complex sugars for the bugs to munch on, so I don't think you will get much souring with time, unless it is acetic. Just my guess, who knows for sure, that is why we experiment!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavagai View Post
According to Jamil on his Oud Bruin show, lacto dies out at around 8%, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem for you. The lack of complex sugars might be, though. My guess is that you'll get just a bit of sourness. I'd be curious to see how this turns out.
Interesting, thanks. What if I threw in some maltodextrin boiled with a bit of water? Just as a way to add the complex carbs that lacto eats? Maybe I'll just leave it for now though and see what it tastes like in a month.

 
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:51 AM   #7
mccann51
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Any results to report?

 
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:56 AM   #8
HexKrak
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Nice bump. I'm subbed too!
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:02 PM   #9
kopher
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Yep, tasted it a couple of weeks ago. It's super sour -- undrinkably so -- but I imagine it will improve, or at least change with time. It's hard to detect any flavors other than the sour but there seems to be a bit of honey character still. Has a terrible aftertaste, but again, hopefully it'll fade.

None of my sour beers have turned out good yet, but they're all fairly young so I guess the bugs are still working on it.

I'm attempting to attach a pic -- looks crazy, but partly just cuz it's in a bucket that's only half full and had other sour stuff in it before (i.e., a full batch of berliner weisse). The berliner weisse still has no flavor, by the way....except the gallon we dumped a few pounds of cherries in


 
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:33 PM   #10
mccann51
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Sounds interesting! I've got a sour mead brewing right now; I figure if it doesn't age nicely, I'll use it for blending with non-sour meads (I've got a blueberry melomel in mind I think would be a good blend partner).

Hope it ages well!

 
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