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Old 07-17-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default Sour Fears.

So I've been really curious about trying to due a wild brew/sour on a small scale. The only commercial example I've ever tried have been Blue Moon Farmhouse Ale and Lindeman's Framboise (which I know is back sweetened quite a bit) and really enjoyed them. I'm irrationally fearful of trying this because it goes against most of the things I do when I brew.

So here are my questions:

1.) Can you ever get an infection in your wild brew that makes it too infected to drink?

2.) I've read that once you do a wild/sour brew that it's a bad idea to do another brew (non infected) in the same equipment. Is there any truth to this in your experiences?

3.) I want to leave my potential brew outside with some cheese cloth over the top (keep bugs out) but it's super fraking hot outside right now. Would I be wasting my time trying to wild brew in this heat? Or would my dirty 1917 damp basement be better?

Thanks for all the advice and feel free to give any other advice you can think of in this endeavor. (especially if it involved inexpensive ideas since I'm on a very limited budget these days).


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Old 07-17-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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1) When you are dealing with Wild Yeast there is definitely a possibility of the yeast creating some undesirable flavors, but not knowing is part of the fun right?

2) A strong enough bleach bomb will kill just about anything but it is possible so many choose to keep their equipment separate.

3) I would recommend mixing up a starter and trying to catch some yeast in that THEN pitching said starter into your brew. It is easier to move 2 liters of beer than 5 gallons.


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Old 07-17-2012, 10:02 PM   #3
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If you just want to make a sour or funky beer, why don't you just use a commercial blend of yeast like Roselare or a lambic blend? Making a truly wild ale by leaving wort outside and letting mother nature infect it with whatever she feels like will give you questionable results (it may work, it may taste like a**). There are some threads in this forum about making truly wild beers, but commercial blends are a much safer option, at least until you learn more about brett, lacto and pedio and how they do their thing in a beer.
I would also keep separate plastic equipment for sour/funky beers - stainless steel and glass can be sanitized easily but plastic/vinyl is not so easy. Some people use the same equipment for both, but the safe option is to have separate stuff.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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Well after hearing this I might hold off until I have some extra money to burn on sour equipment. Would it be worth my while maybe to try it in a 1 gallon carboy? $5 I can do.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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I would go with the 1 gallon trials if you're tight on budget. The only dedicated equipment you would need would be some tubing, airlock and a bung/stopper. You might even be able to score a gallon jug with cider in it!

Don't give up!!!
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:22 PM   #6
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If you just want to experiment with small batches, this thread can give you some ideas:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/eas...-dregs-189748/

He uses dregs from the bottom of commercial sour beers that have viable yeast/bugs in them to make a lot of different sours. This also allows you to try a lot of different sours to see which styles you like best. The downside to this method is buying lots of bottles of commercial sours gets pretty expensive too.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice and encouragement guys. That thread link gave me all the info I need. I'm going to give it go.


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