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Beginner Sour Question

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mr_javi

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Can I simply brew a beer in which the style fits well with being soured, ferment it with a simple ale yeast, then pitch a bacteria culture that has the characteristics I'm looking for? For example, a Blonde, sacch fermented with say US-05, then add a lacto or brett strain in secondary and allow it to do its thing? Seems to me this would work, but most of the literature makes sours seem really complicated.
 

radwizard

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That is exactly what I do to my Saisons with Brett. That is really the only style that I have played with the bugs in though.
 
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mr_javi

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That is exactly what I do to my Saisons with Brett. That is really the only style that I have played with the bugs in though.
Do you bottle or keg? If you bottle, how do you know it is safe to do so with a sour? Just give it a ton of time and stable gravity readings?
 

worlddivides

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Yes. But you have to understand what styles work with sours. It sounds like you've been reading up on that, though, so you probably have a good grasp on that. The most important point is that they can't be too hoppy or bitter since hoppiness deteriorates over time and will be horrible by the time the beer is ready to be bottled or kegged and since bitterness (from hops) inhibits most lactic acid-producing bacteria (Brett is fine with bitterness, though. Lactobacillus is the most inhibited by it; many strains can't even take single-digit IBUs). Plus, bitterness wouldn't really go well with the character that LABs give to beer.

As for bottling, just give the beer plenty of time to ferment and don't bottle until the gravity has been stable for several consecutive months. It takes a lot of time, but that's just how sours are. Kettle-soured beers are a completely different matter, but they don't really count. Also, you usually will have to reyeast when you bottle since the Sacch will most likely be dead by the time you're ready to bottle (if you don't reyeast and you've added Brett, the Brett will still be able to carbonate your beer, but it will take a much longer time).
 

radwizard

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Do you bottle or keg? If you bottle, how do you know it is safe to do so with a sour? Just give it a ton of time and stable gravity readings?
Yeah, bottling is good with time and stable readings.
Lately, I have been kegging it all. I have whole line dedicated to wild stuff (including the reg, and gas line). Ive been doing more and more with Brett and ultimately had to start kegging it.
Bottling was never a problem for me though.
Cheers
 
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