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Old 09-02-2012, 06:43 PM   #11
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I found this method in an issue of Zymurgy and highly recommend it if you try this again.

1. Make a sour starter - 2 tablespoons of un-milled grain in 1.030 wort in a flask for three days at 100 - 110 (I use a heat stick in a water bath and temp controller to keep the temp - it will smell and taste tart).

2. Do a regular mash and cool to 100-110. The sour starter goes in for 12 - 36 hours depending on how sour I want it to get (Again I use a heat stick and temp controller to keep the temp).

3. Boil with hops and ferment with a clean ale yeast.

I then make a few different fruit syrups and add to taste or drink as is.

This makes a great Berliner Weisse that you could be drinking in less than one month.


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Old 09-02-2012, 08:05 PM   #12
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Hmm, a sour starter, I wish I had thought of that 2 or 3 days ago! From my limited exposure to sours I like what I've tried so far, and so does SWMBO (go figure!) so I will definitely be making more. Im moving in a couple of months to a more brew friendly home so im hoping to get more in depth with sours, even some true sour fermentations. Thanks for all of the advise so far, I will keep this thread updated as I brew.


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Old 09-02-2012, 08:28 PM   #13
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I am going to try and start the mash a little earlier today and let it go for at least 18 hours before I boil. Are there any thoughts on the roasted barley, black patent, and honey malt? Let me know what you guys think, you can't hurt my feelings!
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:35 PM   #14
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Quick update:

I mashed using 8 lbs of 2-row, 2 lbs of white wheat, 1 lb of C-60, 2 oz of honey malt, and 1 oz of black patent. I dropped the roasted barley. Mash temp was 149° although it dropped to 145 after the first 45 mins so I let it go a total of 90 mins. I then cooled it to 120°, tossed in a lb of milled, un-mashed 2-row and covered the surface with tin foil. Its been souring for almost 13 hours, I just checked it and it has a slightly funky smell, but nothing gag-worthy yet. The taste is fairly sour, it's not pucker-worthy yet, but it is getting there. I'm going to let it sour for another hour or three while I oven age an oz of cascade.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:48 PM   #15
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I've seen this recipe several times before but I've never seen anybody try it and come back around and say it was a great beer or really matched that lindeman's beer. There's really no sourness at all in that lindeman's beer. There's a little bit of that lambic funk in the flavor that might be slightly replicated by a sour mash but anything more than a few hours is going to get more sourness than meets the lindeman's beer.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:54 PM   #16
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That's ok, I'm not trying to get an exact clone, I think Lindemans is too sweet. What I really want is a sour and dry framboise that hopefully has a little residual sweetness. I have no idea if I will get that or not with this recipe, this is my first time trying to brew anything sour and if it turns into something drinkable I will be happy!
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:46 AM   #17
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Update:

I let this sour for 15 hours, it had a great flavor and smell, kind of like a sour apple cider, it was very good! I boiled for 90ish minutes, I'm not exactly sure due to the fact that I ran out of propane somewhere between 60 and 30 mins and had to transfer to my stove top. I finished with 5.4 gallons at 1.064, about 83% brewhouse efficiency. The taste was sour and a little cascady, if I was to do it again I would:

1. make sure I have enough propane to finish the boil!
2. purchase actual aged hops or else research oven ageing better. (I tasted a little bitterness in the final sample, but hopefully that will fade with age)
3. use less grain or adjust crush to compensate for the longer mash. (I got 83% and I was planning on 75% which is my norm)

I'm looking forward to racking this one on top of the 9lbs of raspberries I have waiting in my freezer and I'm really looking forward to my first taste of the final product. This is definitely one I will keep in the closet so I can taste test as it ages. Thanks to all who posted and gave advice. I will give an update next time something interesting happens.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:14 AM   #18
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Maybe I missed something, but it would be great if you posted exactly what you did for the sour mash (all the little bits folks forget about, such as how you covered it and what temperature you kept it).

Sounds like it came out good. Would like to learn from what you did. I've never done it, but might based on your success.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:38 AM   #19
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Ok, here goes:

Before this brew I have zero experience with sour mashing so if the experts notice any mistake, that's why!

Based on the advise in this thread I decided to mash low (around 148°) to get a nice and dry finished product. I also mashed thin because I figured the more time my first runnings had to sour, the more sour the final product would be. I ended up mashing with a ratio of 1.5 quarts per lb of grain. Even so, after the 1.5 hour mash and 15 hour souring process I only got 2.5 gallons of first runnings. I kept my grain in the cooler I always use to mash during the souring process, it took a little longer than I thought to get it down to 120° (when I added the 1lb of un-mashed 2-row) than I thought it would. I used some ice cubes and a cold pack (sanitized) from the freezer to help speed up the cooling process. I tried to avoid vigorous mixing to cool the mash as much as possible because I didn't want to oxygenate too much and risk ending up with vinegar. Once I got to 120° I added the un-mashed 2-row, mixed gently, and covered it all with 3 layers of tin foil. That might have been a little overkill but I was really paranoid about oxygenation! After closing the lid I covered the cooler with a couple of winter jackets to aid with insulation. By the end of the 15 hour souring process it still smelled and tasted good so I'm thinking it wasn't a waste of foil. Over the 15 hours I lost about 10° (ending at 110°) but I think I've read that the bacteria from the 2-row husks work best between 120° and 110° so I didn't stress it. I sparged with 5 gallons @ 175° and ended up with 7.4 gallons going into the boil (there must have been a little stuck in the mash tun). For the boil, I went with 90 mins, to kill off the nasties and get the volume down to 5.5 gallons. I ran out of propane at one point and had to transfer to the stove, so I'm not exactly sure how long the boil was but I ended up with 5.4 gallons so I must have been pretty close to 90 mins, maybe a little longer. Overall I am impressed with the taste and odor of this batch, I am excited to see how it turns out!

Edit: I should add, at the end of the 15 hours of souring it smelled good, definitely a sour/kinda funky smell and different from the typical end of mash smell I'm used to, but it was good and not something that would make a person want to gag. I used a pipette to taste test and it was sour but good.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:05 AM   #20
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Update: Transferred today from primary bucket to secondary 6.5 gal carboy with 9lbs of frozen raspberries. Gravity was 1.020 as I transferred to secondary, ideally I would have let this sit for another 2 weeks or so to let the fermentation complete, considering my crazy high OG, but since I am on a time crunch (moving in a month) I need to get this done. So I racked on top of the raspberries, took a gravity sample and taste test. Taste was sourish, kind of like a cider going sour, and a little sweet, it made me think of those alcoholic energy drinks called Sparks that I used to drink back in the day before they outlawed them. I'm sure the sweetness came from the wort still being at 1.020. Anyways, I racked on top of 9lbs of frozen raspberries, I decided not to pasteurize before racking since the berries have been frozen in my freezer for the last 2 weeks, hopefully that doesn't bite me in the butt later! Taste was good, nothing like Lindemans raspberry, more sour and I'm think the 9lbs of fruit will only add to the dryness and tartness of this beer, but that's ok. I'm excited to see how it turns out.


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