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Old 04-10-2012, 03:08 PM   #51
bigljd
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Default Dependable sour mash process

[QUOTE=elproducto;3958079]There really isn't anything in beer that can make you sick.
QUOTE]

True there's nothing in beer that can make you sick, but there are lots of things that can grow in unfermented wort that can make you sick.

Zymurgy had an article about a year ago for a fairly simple, sour mash process that I used for a sour blonde ale and it worked well. Take a hand full of base malt grain, and throw it in a pint/quart of starter wort (I used a pint of canned wort, which is sterile). Keep it at ~100 degrees for 3 -6 days - this is important to allow the lacto to take over and not have other bad bugs win. I kept it warm using a reptile heating stone in a small cooler. After a few days it should have a sour green apple smell - no garbage dump or vomit smell at all.

Then, mash your grain recipe as you normally would, sparge and heat to a boil for 10 minutes or so to kill any bad bugs. Cool it to around 110 degrees and drain your wort into a 5 gal contractor water cooler until it's full all the way to the top to minimize any air exposure. While it drains, add your lacto starter to it. Put the top on the cooler and cover with a sleeping bag and keep it somewhere warm for 12 -24 hours. Then drain back into your boil kettle and do a normal 60 minute boil, which will kill off any bugs, while adding your hops and whatever is in the recipe. Ferment with a normal sach yeast.

Sour mash will give you a tangy, lactic sourness similar to a Berliner Weiss. It's quite one dimensional compared to a lambic or flanders brew, but it works well in an already complex beer (saison, dark belgian ale, etc), or for a BW. A friend made a maple brown ale and a spiced pumkin beer with the sour mash and they turned out fantastic. My sour blonde was pretty one dimensional so I've added some fruit to it along with some brett to try to add some depth and complexity to it.

Edit - I actually mashed 6 gallon of wort for my blonde ale. I drained 1 gallon into a PET plastic jug and put it in the fridge for the night, and soured the 5 gallons in the contractor cooler. The next day I boiled all 6 gallons of wort. This way you finish with a 5 gal batch.


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Old 04-11-2012, 06:36 AM   #52
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I basically followed Morkin's schedule on my Berliner with a few small variations.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f72/alfe...weisse-255777/

The starter was held at 85 for 2 weeks. The pelicle that formed after pitching it was pretty scary looking and the S-05 yeast went berzerk at 75. Was down to 1.003 in about 3 days. After 3 weeks there was zero tartness/sourness, but after 2 months it is getting very tart and I plan to give it another week or two before kegging it.


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Old 04-11-2012, 07:41 PM   #53
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I dumped it last night... The smell was so foul, I couldn't imagine anything drinkable possibly coming out of it... And with that, I am completely through with trying this style again anytime soon... Perhaps one day I will try culturing a lacto starter, or better yet, buying a lacto smack pack, and adding it into a clean sterile wort and letting it do it's thing in the fermenter instead of souring a mash.

God this was a horrible experience. I can't even fully describe the smell... I think I might need to move.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:42 PM   #54
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Oh, and now I have a smack pack of kölsch yeast that I already smacked and it has swollen... Anyone know how long it will stay good for? It might be a few weeks before I get to brew again...
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:50 PM   #55
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Put it in the fridge. You'll have to make a starter anyway. It will be good for at least a month or two.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:04 AM   #56
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You should have drank some anyway. Puts hair on your chest.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:45 PM   #57
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How long can you age a BW for? I brewed a NB kit and kegged it in August of 2010 and in the process of cleaning etc. set it away and it got buried behind stuff that probably should have been thrown away. Just happened to find it last night. Any predictions on what I might find?
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:57 PM   #58
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Well...I've been 'aging' my BW for 5 months now. I (at first) thought it needed to age...but then when I realized it doesn't I just never got around to bottling it. The wine thief sample was delicious a month ago....but who knows...it may have gone south since then. I think yours will be just fine!

I'm bottling it tonight. If it's terrible, I'll try to let you know you may be in for a surprise.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:33 PM   #59
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i bottled my last BW in june of 11... it has actually gotten better in bottles although i'm not really a fan of it - as of yet, but i haven't tried it in a while.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:10 AM   #60
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I'm tapping into it later this week. I have to make some raspberry syrup and then it is a go!


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