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Old 02-22-2012, 02:09 AM   #1
Jan 2011
Sarasota, FL
Posts: 174
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Hey all,

I'm about to embark on my first sour brew attempt. I'm looking at a possible relocation for my job, so doing a wild fermentation is a but impractical at the moment. Has anyone done a nice sour brown with the sour mash technique?

Care to share a recipe and a step by step?

I'm going for a nice strong sour characteristic, as found in Jolly Pumpkin Biere de Mars or Spring sour. Is this level of sourness even possible with a sour mash only? How else could I turn one around in say a 6-8 week time span?


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Old 02-22-2012, 02:12 AM   #2
lamarguy's Avatar
Aug 2008
Austin, TX
Posts: 1,653
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No, you won't achieve a comparable sour intensity or flavor with a sour mash alone.

You can certainly combine a sour mash with a traditional barrel souring to speed up the process, but plan to blend a couple of batches to obtain a good flavor profile.
Doggfather Brewery

Planned: Lambic, American IPA
Fermenting: 6 gals of 1.090 stout (Belgian) & 6 gals of 1.090 stout (English)
Tapped: Berliner Weisse, Black English IPA, German Pils, & Live Oak Primus

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Old 02-22-2012, 04:37 AM   #3
Registered User
Jul 2009
Keller, Texas
Posts: 4,882
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Theoretically you could reach that level of sourness with a sour mash but the problem is that your ale yeast won't be able to ferment in that environment.

You could sour mash a bit and add lactic acid at bottling to make it very sour. However the flavor will be rather one dimensional. You really need the pedio and brett in there making the more developed flavors.

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Old 02-23-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
Jul 2008
Posts: 1,553
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I did a sour brown with just sacch and whatever resides on grain. I'd give you the recipe, but that computer died. If memory serves (it rarely does, that's why I like to keep things on the computer), the og was 50ish, ibu was in the teens, and srm was 25ish. It was ok on its own, better with cherries, and excellent on blackberries. No pedio or brett, so it was ready in a month or so.

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Old 02-23-2012, 09:30 PM   #5
Sep 2009
san diego
Posts: 323
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You can absolutely get a beer that's as sour as a "legit" sour beer if you use a sour mash, and regular sacch can ferment it out, it will just lag a bit. You won't get a traditional funky beer, you'll get whatever character you'd normally get from your yeast, plus a clean lactic sourness. The big key to a sour mash is to keep it free of oxygen and keep it warm (~100F).

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Old 03-03-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
Apr 2008
Posts: 5

Thank you maskednegator. I agree completely. In many of these posts, people seem to think that their sour ale has to be a "lambic". It does not. I just did my first sour mash via the CP method; but I did mine for three days, drained, sparged, boiled, racked to primary on a trappist 2 day starter and it exploded into a healthy fermentation. The sour mash did not inhibit it at all. It dropped to 1.012 in just about a 1 1/2 weeks, I racked to a 12 gallon glass carboy and pulled a sample to taste. It smells and tastes wonderfully sour. thus far I am thrilled. I added 10 pounds of sour cherries, and after one week, all the cherries are floating and are getting a nice white pellicle on top. I plan to let it sit for a few months, rack to tertiary for a while, then bottle. Sour mashing has me very excited. There is a sour brown coming very soon. I know CP says to add a brett culture to his kriek recipe, but I need to see what the sour mash does on it's own. Pucker up

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