Apricot Sour Help

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
I've never brewed a sour before. I'd like to give a kettle sour a shot. I'm asking for some recipe and process critique to see I'd I've nailed this down, along with asking a question or two. I have access to a metric ton of apricots and they normally just rot on the ground.


First the recipe:

Assuming a 12 gallon batch size at 70% efficiency

20 lbs 2 row
3 lbs flaked oats
2 lbs Honey Malt
1 lb carapils

1 oz Mandarina Bavaria @ 60
1 oz Mandarina Bavaria @ 30
1 oz Mandarina Bavaria @ 15
1 oz Mandarina Bavaria @ flame out
15 lbs fresh apricots (maybe)
2 oz Mandarina Bavaria dry hop

Using safale 05

1- Mash as normal
2- Boil for about 10 minutes to sanitize wort, not adding any hops at all.
3- Cool wort to 100 degrees
4- Adjust pH down to 4.5-5.0 ish. First question, roughly how much lactic acid is that going to take. I need to know how to calculate that, and also whether I need to buy more.
5- pitch llallemand wildbrew sour pitch
6- purge kettle with CO2 as best as possible. Is there any specific technique to do this? I was going to input CO2 from the bottom valve, letting air out the top recirculation port.
7- Wrap lid to kettle with saran wrap
8- Maintain temp at 100 while monitoring pH drop. Assuming this will take about 24 hrs. Is it ok for me to recirculate during this step? I'm assuming that will maintain temps better, but I dont necessarily have to.
9- Once pH is where I want it, start boil like normal and ferment as usual.
10- Apricots- I plan to use 15 lbs. Would you use a different amount? I will pit them and slice them into quarters. Freeze them, thaw them and freeze them again. Put them into hop socks and add them to fermenter when fermentation is nearly done.

I think that is about it. Anything I'm missing, doing wrong, or what you would change or do different?

Thanks
 

RPh_Guy

Bringing Sour Back
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
9,284
Reaction score
7,679
Location
Cleveland
Hi, welcome to HBT!

I'd like to give a kettle sour a shot.
Please take a look here before you decide on the kettle sour method:
Sour beer - **************** wiki

I would suggest the co-sour method for this beer.

Adding raw fruit has a high likelihood of adding wild microbes. In particular, wild yeast may be problematic if you're bottling. In that case I suggest you consider heating the fruit to pasteurize it, e.g. heat to 150F for 20-30 minutes.
 
OP
OP
B

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
So was the process that I lined our correct for a kettle sour?

Looks like a co-sour won't have any ibus? I don't really like the sound of that.
 
OP
OP
B

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
Also, won't that possibly leave the lacto around in my fermenting equipment possibly infecting future batches? That sounds even worse.
 

RPh_Guy

Bringing Sour Back
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
9,284
Reaction score
7,679
Location
Cleveland
So was the process that I lined our correct for a kettle sour?
When kettle souring you should acidify to pH 4.0-4.3. You'll need somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-20mL 88% lactic acid.
Purging with CO2 generally isn't needed.
You only need to maintain temp about 70F or so. L. plantarum does not require higher temps.
Consider yeast rehydration and higher yeast pitch rate.
Looks like a co-sour won't have any ibus? I don't really like the sound of that.
Hops can still be added after souring.
I have a comparison of the methods here:
Sour beer - **************** wiki
Also, won't that possibly leave the lacto around in my fermenting equipment possibly infecting future batches? That sounds even worse.
There's a higher risk of contamination with a kettle sour method.
L. plantarum is extremely hop-sensitive and will not contaminate future batches.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

Calder

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
8,559
Reaction score
1,048
Location
Ohio
Why go to the effort to keep O2 out of the souring process?

I have never kettle soured, I have only done Lacto sours in closed fermenters, and they have taken a week to get sour at around 95 F. I have never checked or adjusted my starting ph, maybe that is why mine are slow to start. I usually check by taste to see if it is soured enough.

Looks like a lot of grain. I don't know how lacto acts with high sugar environments. Mine have been around 1.035, which I understand is high for traditional Berliners.

I hate Honey Malt. 2 lb will have a lot of presence in the finished beer.

When you pitch the yeast, pitch big. The acidic environment is not good for the yeast. You want to pitch lager rates, or even bigger. I usually reserve a fresh cake for my Berliners.

I don't think you need to worry about bacteria from the fruit. You will have both an acidic and alcohol environment; not much can grow in that ....... certainly nothing that will kill you. Too many hops to have an issue with Brett.

Might want to see if the pits add anything. Cherry stones add an almond quality to cherry beers.
 

RPh_Guy

Bringing Sour Back
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
9,284
Reaction score
7,679
Location
Cleveland
I don't think you need to worry about bacteria from the fruit. You will have both an acidic and alcohol environment; not much can grow in that. [...] Too many hops to have an issue with Brett.
Wild yeast can certainly contaminate beer, and possibly lead to over-attenutation = gushing or exploding bottles. Hops do not inhibit Brett.
 

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
4,094
Why go to the effort to keep O2 out of the souring process?

Lactobacillus don't need O2. But there are spoilage microbes that can use it. Also, O2 oxidizes wort if there's no active yeast around to use it.
 
OP
OP
B

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
When kettle souring you should acidify to pH 4.0-4.3. You'll need somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-20mL 88% lactic acid.
Purging with CO2 generally isn't needed.
You only need to maintain temp about 70F or so. L. plantarum does not require higher temps.
Consider yeast rehydration and higher yeast pitch rate.

Hops can still be added after souring.
I have a comparison of the methods here:
Sour beer - **************** wiki

There's a higher risk of contamination with a kettle sour method.
L. plantarum is extremely hop-sensitive and will not contaminate future batches.

Cheers


Took this from Lallmand's website for how to use their L. plantarum. Sorry the image is small, you may have to zoom in. The process sounds kinda fun to me and I'd like to try it.

Not to be argumentative, but it would help to answer some of the specific questions I asked about the kettle sour process. I dont really want to do somethi g completely different.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20200505-182235_Drive.jpg
    Screenshot_20200505-182235_Drive.jpg
    442.7 KB · Views: 11

RPh_Guy

Bringing Sour Back
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
9,284
Reaction score
7,679
Location
Cleveland
Lactobacillus don't need O2. But there are spoilage microbes that can use it. Also, O2 oxidizes wort if there's no active yeast around to use it.
...
L. plantarum certainly doesn't "require" higher temps, but in my experience, 94F-95F is the sweet spot for fastest souring.
Both of these problems are avoided by co-souring. :)
 
OP
OP
B

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
Both of these problems are avoided by co-souring. :)

That's great for co-souring. Pretty sure I asked about kettle souring though, and everything I listed originally was needed for kettle souring.

I'm going to try to get my own thread back on track to the questions that I asked. Some were answered, and lots of questions that i didnt ask have been answered.

1- recipe critique. I do like honey malt. It's more of an aroma than a strong flavor for me. I dont mind adjusting down, but I'm not eliminating. I want about a 5.5% abv beer, so total grains is what it is.

4- pH adjust needs to be 4.5-4.2. I was aiming too high off memory. Thanks for the volume estimate on lactic acid needed. 10-20 mel is a hella lot of lactic acid with a hella lot of variance. How can I calculate to get in the ball park before pulling samples to test with pH meter. Can beersmith help with this?

6- purge kettle of CO2. This needs to be done. Is there a technique someone has on the homebrew level?

10- Amount and process for adding apricots. While probably not as detrimental as lactic acid to be off by a few pounds, I'd like to be reasonable.
 

SanPancho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
2,827
Reaction score
950
Location
West Coast Island in the Bay
still think you have too much honey malt. 3-5%, tops. but that's just me. you better REALLY like honey malt.

you dont have to adjust the boil ph down to 4.5 before you pitch lacto. but if you dont, then you need to be more cautious about contamination. it also means the foam protiens are degraded more, but not a big deal imho. download bru'nwater and get your local water supply report and that'll get you a much more accurate number on acid additions. or you could just use RO/distilled water, add your salts/minerals, and then use the calculator for mash ph. (brunwater, etc)

purging kettle of co2 is good, but not necessarily needed. boiling drives off oxygen, so as long as you chill pretty quickly the wort will be very low o2 environment. unless your kettle is only half full or something, you dont really need to worry too much about it, just keep the kettle covered up tight. if its less than full, you can lay some saran wrap across the top of the wort to be a barrier to ambient air.

apricots, strawberries, kiwi, blueberries and peaches are low impact fruits. you gotta use alot to get the flavor to come through. peaches and strawberries are worse than apricots. avoid frozen ones, they generally arent very ripe. you want sweet and flavorful, ripe fruit. even a bit overripe is good. wait until the yeast finish, then add the fruit. they'll kick up again and then finish. then you can crash and carb, keg, bottle, etc. freeze the fruit, then pastuerize it, then you can add it.

you may not want to do co-sour, but its not that worrisome. lacto dies above 125 or so, which means you can heat pastuerize bottles, kegs, and even plastic carboys, buckets, etc if they're hdpe or pet plastics. even vinyl tubing is good to like 140.
 

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
4,094
10-20 mel is a hella lot of lactic acid with a hella lot of variance.

Mash pH models aren't really designed for that range (well below typical mash pH). But I can tell you that 20 ml in 12-ish gallons of a typical wort will do no harm. Keep in mind that pH is logarithmic, e.g. a pH of 4 is 10 times as acidic as a pH of 5, but 100 times as acidic as a pH of 6. So, 20 ml may sound like a lot, but it's not really.

6- purge kettle of CO2. This needs to be done. Is there a technique someone has on the homebrew level?

I solved this by building a dedicated "kettle" souring keg. I realize that doesn't help you at this point. I would at least flood the kettle headspace with CO2 and try to come up with some way to make it as airtight as possible.

10- Amount and process for adding apricots. While probably not as detrimental as lactic acid to be off by a few pounds, I'd like to be reasonable.

I have used many types of fruit, but not apricots, so I can't advise on qty. But I would recommend cutting them smaller than the quarters you mentioned, to maximize contact.
 
OP
OP
B

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
still think you have too much honey malt. 3-5%, tops. but that's just me. you better REALLY like honey malt.

you dont have to adjust the boil ph down to 4.5 before you pitch lacto. but if you dont, then you need to be more cautious about contamination. it also means the foam protiens are degraded more, but not a big deal imho. download bru'nwater and get your local water supply report and that'll get you a much more accurate number on acid additions. or you could just use RO/distilled water, add your salts/minerals, and then use the calculator for mash ph. (brunwater, etc)

purging kettle of co2 is good, but not necessarily needed. boiling drives off oxygen, so as long as you chill pretty quickly the wort will be very low o2 environment. unless your kettle is only half full or something, you dont really need to worry too much about it, just keep the kettle covered up tight. if its less than full, you can lay some saran wrap across the top of the wort to be a barrier to ambient air.

apricots, strawberries, kiwi, blueberries and peaches are low impact fruits. you gotta use alot to get the flavor to come through. peaches and strawberries are worse than apricots. avoid frozen ones, they generally arent very ripe. you want sweet and flavorful, ripe fruit. even a bit overripe is good. wait until the yeast finish, then add the fruit. they'll kick up again and then finish. then you can crash and carb, keg, bottle, etc. freeze the fruit, then pastuerize it, then you can add it.

you may not want to do co-sour, but its not that worrisome. lacto dies above 125 or so, which means you can heat pastuerize bottles, kegs, and even plastic carboys, buckets, etc if they're hdpe or pet plastics. even vinyl tubing is good to like 140.

I was tossing around whether I wanted to try honey malt or dose with vanilla extract. I could eliminate the honey and go that route. I was leaning honey though.

How would vanilla pair with apricots and the mandarina Bavaria hops?
 
OP
OP
B

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
Also wanted to ask about recirculation again. During the souring phase I am able to recirculate through a manifold below the wort level to keep things moving. It will mean I can run my heating element at a lower temp, and maybe more constantly. When sous vide cooking the element runs at about 5% maintaining 130. I assume it will either be the same power output or less. Will be a more uniform temp. Just dont know if the actual recirculation will hurt anything.

Likewise I could not recirculate and just use the heating element. Not sure what power output would be, and not sure it there'd be any inconsistent temperature pockets.
 

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
4,094
Also wanted to ask about recirculation again. During the souring phase I am able to recirculate through a manifold below the wort level to keep things moving. It will mean I can run my heating element at a lower temp, and maybe more constantly. When sous vide cooking the element runs at about 5% maintaining 130. I assume it will either be the same power output or less. Will be a more uniform temp. Just dont know if the actual recirculation will hurt anything.

I've never recirculated a kettle sour, so I can't really advise on that part. But...

Likewise I could not recirculate and just use the heating element. Not sure what power output would be, and not sure it there'd be any inconsistent temperature pockets.

I wouldn't worry so much about inconsistent temperature pockets. But I would worry about temperature control. Does your setup measure temperature and switch on/off accordingly?
 
OP
OP
B

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
I've never recirculated a kettle sour, so I can't really advise on that part. But...



I wouldn't worry so much about inconsistent temperature pockets. But I would worry about temperature control. Does your setup measure temperature and switch on/off accordingly?

Yes, system automatically adjusts according to temp swings. If I set for 95 degrees and at 10% power, and it goes to 96 degrees, power will shut off till it drops to 95, then power will kick back on at 9%. It will continue this iteration until a power output is found that matches the heat loss rate and then just maintain that throughout.
 

VikeMan

It ain't all burritos and strippers, my friend.
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
4,094
Yes, system automatically adjusts according to temp swings. If I set for 95 degrees and at 10% power, and it goes to 96 degrees, power will shut off till it drops to 95, then power will kick back on at 9%. It will continue this iteration until a power output is found that matches the heat loss rate and then just maintain that throughout.

Sounds good.
 

TenaCJed

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 17, 2015
Messages
275
Reaction score
126
Location
Metro Detroit
I would worry about adding O2 into the beer due to the circulation. Just having some movement of wort is going to help introduce O2. From what I have read, O2 during the kettle sour process can add off flavors \ aromas that you do not want, like vomit.
I have only done two kettle sours, and followed the recommendations at the time of about 2 years ago. Boiled wort for about 15 minutes, cooled to 90 (used a yeast that did fine around 80) pitched yeast, put suran wrap on the surface of the wort and up the kettle a little, overlapped pieces. This helps provide a layer to keep O2 out, how much I have no idea. Both kettle sours I have done were clean sour with no off flavors or aromas.
 

brownni5

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2017
Messages
782
Reaction score
331
6- purge kettle of CO2. This needs to be done. Is there a technique someone has on the homebrew level?
"Of" or "with"? Either way, no it doesn't, but it sounds like you're dead set on it, so go for it. Look at Wort Souring for more info.

Also Soured Fruit Beer. Really, the Milk the Funk Wiki will answer any questions you might have.
 
OP
OP
B

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
With, sorry for the typo.

The practices that I've posted are directly from memory at a brewery that I helped make a kettle sour, where they did all the steps I've laid out. They're also written in the attachment I posted from lallmand's best practices.

I dont want to completely discount any advice I get here, but I put more weight on advice from a manufacturer than I do from an online forum.

Sorry if what techniques i plan to use are considered archaic and have offended folks who are telling me information contary to manufacturers best practices. Didnt think I was opening up a controversial can of worms, but not sure what else to expect from internet opinions.
 

brownni5

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2017
Messages
782
Reaction score
331
Pop
Anything I'm missing, doing wrong, or what you would change or do different?
So when you wrote the last part, you really didn't mean it? Seems to me you were looking for affirmation and not information. We tried to help as asked. Sorry.
 

SanPancho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
2,827
Reaction score
950
Location
West Coast Island in the Bay
honey malt at, say 2%, and touch of vanilla could be good. The key with both of those is DO NOT overdo it. Better to add more on the next batch than lose a batch to being oversweet.

recirc Will speed the souring, but at risk of introducing o2. You can skip that idea entirely, use a mash cap/Saran wrap to limit any o2, or switch to different strain of lacto and not have to worry about it. Homo fermentive strains don’t produce acetic.

overall, I think you are thinking too much. Don’t try and mimic a brewery. Don’t go crazy with your equipment. Just keep it simple. Plantarum works fine at warm room temps like 75. No need to hold at 95 and complicate things. No need to recirc. if you really want fast souring use more lacto or make a starter.

i think a touch of vanilla with apricot is ok, not sure how mandarina will work with that tho. Maybe the vanilla or the mandarina, not both?
 
OP
OP
B

BeeRanger

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
SanPancho, VikeMan, and TenaCJed ... thank you for all your feedback. It has been helpful.

When I asked for help or advice, it was for the specific feedback that these 3 folks were able to give. I didnt ask for a completely new method of making a sour. I also didnt expect to have to worry about proper grammar. It seems like brownii5 is more intent on starting some elementary bickering match rather than reading the content of what was written. I guess that's what keeps keyboard jockeys in business though.
 

TenaCJed

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 17, 2015
Messages
275
Reaction score
126
Location
Metro Detroit
I forgot to mention that when I did my kettle sours, I did it in the summer as I brew in my garage and on it stays around 70 - 80 when it is warmer in Michigan, so I did not have to worry about keeping the kettle warm.
 

brownni5

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2017
Messages
782
Reaction score
331
SanPancho, VikeMan, and TenaCJed ... thank you for all your feedback. It has been helpful.

When I asked for help or advice, it was for the specific feedback that these 3 folks were able to give. I didnt ask for a completely new method of making a sour. I also didnt expect to have to worry about proper grammar. It seems like brownii5 is more intent on starting some elementary bickering match rather than reading the content of what was written. I guess that's what keeps keyboard jockeys in business though.

Again - sorry. You asked if others would do anything differently, we replied. I pointed you to a couple of links that I thought would answer your questions and help you keep it simple. The MTF Wiki goes into how to kettle sour (wort souring) and why most don't purge with CO2 anymore (no benefit), and also the fruited sour page, which gives others' ranges for fruit additions. I thought those would help. Clearly, I was wrong.
 
Top