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Old 09-25-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
cardinalsfan
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Default Sour Mash Process Check

Ok, I'm planning on doing a sour mash for my upcoming Gose and want to make sure I have the process right.

Recipe - 3 gallons

3# Wheat Malt
2# German Pils
2# Acid Malt

2 days before brewday:

Take 20% of malt bill and mash normally. My plan is to do a 60 min mash with 1 qt of water per pound of grain @ 149*. Sparge/mashout as normal and remove grain. Cool wort to 110-120* and pitch a handfull of any uncrushed grain. Cover with saran wrap and let sit in a very warm place (110 or so) for 24-48 hours depending on how sour I want (I plan to do 48 hours).

Brewday: Take remaning grains and mash, again at 149* for an hour. Mix sour wort into the main wort after the 60 minute mash and mashout/sparge. From here, boil as normal and send to fermenter.

Sound about right?

I guess my main question is this - do I leave the grains in the sour mash or pull them and toss in the fresh grain to get the lacto going? And a secondary question - do I add my sour mash into my regular mash or just add the wort from the sour mash into my wort from the regular mash?


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Old 09-25-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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I've only done one sour mash and I soured the whole thing. Mashed, cooled, added whole grain to mash. Covered with plastic wrap and flooded cooler with co2. Added boiling water as needed to keep temp in the 35-40c range, I went 3 1/2 days before mashing out.


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Old 09-25-2012, 07:05 PM   #3
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so you say you mashed, cooled and added whole grain to the mash - did you pull the grains you mashed with and added whole grain to the wort or you left all the grains there and added whole grains on top of that?
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
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There are many ways to skin that cat. Some people sour the whole mash and just sparge when they feel it is sour enough. Others use two different vessels and add the sour mash to the main mash at the end of the mash. In that case, it seems most people leave the grains in both mashes and dump the sour mash into the main mash, grains and all. Then there is also the sour wort process, where you mash, sparge and quickly boil a portion of your grain bill and then add back some grain as a source for bacteria. The third method is my preferred choice. I've never experienced the rotten disaster some people get with the first two options.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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tell me more about the sour wort process, that seems like what I'm really going for. Should I expect 20% sort wort for 48 hours to give a good bite or does it need more/less time and percentage than a normal sour mash? And do you just add it back in to the normal wort after mashing and boil normally? Is it ok to do a 60 min boil with this method?
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalsfan View Post
so you say you mashed, cooled and added whole grain to the mash - did you pull the grains you mashed with and added whole grain to the wort or you left all the grains there and added whole grains on top of that?

Left the ground malt in and added whole malt - I was kind of scared, but my wife was out of town and I figured it was less intimidating than fermenting meat, so what the hell. I got very, very few of the scary smells. Those only came from areas where the saran wrap came off the surface of the mash and let outside air in and I scraped any yucky looking stuff off before adding water. Lot's of people think this method is bad news bears - I've only done it once and it smelled good the whole time - not any harder than making kraut or sourdough if you have co2.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalsfan View Post
tell me more about the sour wort process, that seems like what I'm really going for. Should I expect 20% sort wort for 48 hours to give a good bite or does it need more/less time and percentage than a normal sour mash? And do you just add it back in to the normal wort after mashing and boil normally? Is it ok to do a 60 min boil with this method?
The sour wort process is very simple. Basically just mash and sparge a portion of the grain as you normally would, then give it a quick ten minute boil. Cool, add to a container and drop in some raw grain. Keep it warm and eliminate air exposure as much as possible. Once you're happy with it, do the rest of the mash as normal and then just add the soured wort in the kettle as you are adding the runnings from the main mash.

You can do more volume soured over less time/lower temperatures or a smaller volume soured for more time/higher temperatures. There's no exact rule and a lot of it depends on the equipment available to you. If you can keep it around 100-110F consistently you will get sour faster than at lower temperatures. Since limiting oxygen exposure is very important you really want to use a vessel best for that purpose. Small-mouthed containers are best in my opinion, especially since it's hard to really contain liquid with saran wrap like you could if it was more solid with the grains still in there.

I sour wort in a 64oz growler and fill it to an inch away from the mouth so there is very little oxygen exposure. I seal the mouth with foil but it does produce some krausen and some leaks out. I don't have a heating pad so I usually just keep it warm in the sink with regular hot water additions. It's imperfect, just like a swamp cooler. I've sour worted 25% and found at the lower temperatures I usually get (80-90F) it takes 4-5 days to get really sour. I've made a beer very tart -- not lambic sour though -- souring 25% for that long. It is more sour than a berliner weisse but not as sour as a "sour" beer. However, if I had a heating pad and could keep it constantly around 110F I'd probably get the same results out of 2-3 days.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:53 PM   #8
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I've done sour mashes a few times. The process I take is this:

-Mash like normal
-Put the runnings in a stainless or glass fermenter (one with a small opening is best - like a carboy)
-Throw in your handfull of grains.
-Purge carboy with co2 (I just stick the end of a co2 hose in...open the valve for a few and turn off)....then cap the carboy (I use an airlock...but prob unnecessary... I just didn't want to take a chance of pressure build up.)
-Wrap with electric blanket...and keep temp somewhere around 100-110 for a few days (tasting to see where the sourness level should be)
-Once sour enough boil add hops etc...
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mors View Post
I've done sour mashes a few times. The process I take is this:

-Mash like normal
-Put the runnings in a stainless or glass fermenter (one with a small opening is best - like a carboy)
-Throw in your handfull of grains.
-Purge carboy with co2 (I just stick the end of a co2 hose in...open the valve for a few and turn off)....then cap the carboy (I use an airlock...but prob unnecessary... I just didn't want to take a chance of pressure build up.)
-Wrap with electric blanket...and keep temp somewhere around 100-110 for a few days (tasting to see where the sourness level should be)
-Once sour enough boil add hops etc...
I did this when I made my Berliner this summer. The only thing I didn't do was the Co2 in the carboy. After making the beer and getting some feedback this was the only issue that I had. I held mine @ 120F for 7 days then blended it all back after the ale yeast was done.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #10
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awesome, thanks everyone!! I feel like I have a good handle on this now.

ReverseApacheMaster - I'm going to use your method the first time. I have some 1 gallon glass jugs with caps or airlocks so I plan to use those. I do 3 gallon batches so that would be 1/4 of the wort before I boil (boil 4 gallons) so that should work perfectly!! I do have a heating pad I plan to use.


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