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Brewing a Candy Sour....post your process

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fendersrule

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There's not a lot of information out there regarding brewing with Candy.

My local sour joint brews the craziest items. I'm a big fan of brewing fruited sours, but I'd like to try my hand into a candy sour. What really got me thinking about this was the two candy sours I had recently. One was a Starburst Sour (red/pink in color) and it tasted like...starburst...and it was impressive. The other one they did that I thought was amazing was a Red Vines sour. It actually tasted like Red Vines....

Short of asking them how they brewed it, I'd like to understand what process you guys have done to a) extract the flavor of the candy, and b) extract the color of the candy.

Some thoughts I have:

1) Use hard candy when possible. The ingredients are more simple, and it would melt easy. Starburst comes in hard candy.

2) How much candy to use. Seems like you want to be in the "poundage" here. At least one pound for a 5G batch?

3) Seems to be if I treated it like fruit, you should be able to get most flavor tossing them in after peak of primary fermentation.

4) Maybe impacting the color would be to use for example 1lb of candy during the last 15 minutes of boil, and 1lb in the primary....

How they did the red-vines is beyond me. Maybe they dumped 5lbs of red vines into a muslin sock into late primary.
 
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fendersrule

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Let my start by a guestimate.

Starburst Sour
66% two-row
33% white wheat malt

2lbs of starburst at flame out
2lbs of starburst 3 days into fermentation.

Hardcandy-version only.

Thoughts?
 

Funky Frank

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StarBurst FaveREDs instead of classic? Vanilla bean to meld flavors and add perceived sweetness? Make the wort unfermentable as possible to counter all the adjunct sugar?

I like the project. Keep us posted.
 

OldDogBrewing

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I would personally add some lactose because everyone who drinks my beers can consume it, if you can add it, it will give some residual sweetness to enhance those candy flavours

Maltodextrine isn't fermentable for sacch too, so it might be a good substitute in case someone allergic to lactose drinks your beer, but if you add brett by any chance, it will ferment both
 
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fendersrule

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Here's what I'm thinking.

Brew sour base as normal. Sour and ferment as normal. 6 Gallons.

Do all candy additions in secondarys of 2 gallons each.

2 Gallons = Gushers Flavor 1 (1.5lbs)
2 Gallons = Gushers Flavor 2 (1.5lbs)
2 Gallons = Sour Patch Kids or whatever (1.5lbs)

This guy's picture got me super excited. Take a look at the picture of the green/blue gushers beer.

 
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fendersrule

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I made 6 gallons of a base sour. It's fermenting/souring right now.

I picked up 2 lbs of watermelon sour-patch gummies. Probably won't use them all.

I'm planning to head to the store and pick up 2 more varietys as well.

My plan is to rack the beer into three seperate vessels for three different varieties.

I was thinking about pasterizing the candies before racking, but I'm not sure if it's really necessary. Thoughts?

@RPh_Guy
 

RPh_Guy

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I was thinking about pasterizing the candies before racking, but I'm not sure if it's really necessary. Thoughts?
I personally wouldn't bother with pasteurization in this case. I really doubt there's any relevant yeast or bacteria on it.

I once made a wine from candy corn and the flavor didn't come through at all. You might consider using flavorings rather than the actual candy. Either way, good luck to you!
 
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fendersrule

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My hope is that 1.5lbs of candy per 2G would probably be sufficient. What do you think?

Curious if Airheads would disenagrate. I'm thinking to atleast cut them up by scissors into smaller strips. This is Blue-raspberry. Hoping that it would turn the beer to blue-green. Chances of that happening?

Curious if the sour patch watermelon would disenagrate, what do you think?

I suppose I could pour in some blue-berry juice with the airheads, and pour some watermelon juice in with the sour patch. The problem is that I'm going to need larger secondaries. As long as you are adding more fermentables, is there a worry about headspace in a secondary? I know head-space is a no-no if not adding fermentables. Suppose there is no reason in either case to add yeast nutrient?

Thanks for any additional help!
 
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fendersrule

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Well, here we go.

Looking at a 9% Sour if it lands at 1.021, which I doubt it.

9.5% is more likely, or 1.016ish

Thinking I'll let this sit for a month.

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fendersrule

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I chatted with the head brewer that does this stuff locally a lot. Learned some things that I had thought about doing but didn't choose to do.

Basically, I did it correct. There are a couple optional things I could have done, but what you see above is how it's basically done on the professional level.
 

goodolarchie

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Curious how the fermentation(s) are going? I see these candy adjunct beers all over now, seems that this fad has saturated the American craft scene and especially in the midwest. We might need a special Adjuct sub-forum for novel ingredients if it keeps up. I've put some strange stuff in my beers from the bulk section but it's been limited to botanicals and cereals.
 
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fendersrule

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Has been 1 week in secondary. Going to bottle it next week.

I've removed the airlocks in order to take a whiff. Each one definitely smells like the candy that I put inside.

Of the secondary that is semi transparent, I can still see the strawberry sour strips, but they look pretty thin and are all resting on the bottom. In other words, these have not broken down entirely after 7 days.

Next time it is best to melt any candy down and to add it in syrup form. I had thought about doing that many times, but I decided to just go whole with it.

The airheads fermentation restarted pretty quickly. The others (strawberry sour strips and sour patch watermelon) did not create any new airlock activity. HOWEVER, I've pretty certain it did restart fermentation and that these little 2 gallon buckets probably have an air leak somewhere.

I'll definitely post an update when I have it!
 
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fendersrule

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Candy sour should be as relevant as any other flavor you want to add. Whether it's fruit, cereal, spice, or whatever. Candy is roughly about the same price as frozen fruit, so why shouldn't it be relevant?

You have a taste that you like. That makes you recollect and think about something, perhaps when you were a kid. It's all the same. Nothing wrong with adding ANY taste to a sour, or beer for that matter.

Stay tuned. I can tell simply by the smell of it that it will be a damn good sour!

Pics in about 6 more days. :)
 

OldDogBrewing

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Curious how the fermentation(s) are going? I see these candy adjunct beers all over now, seems that this fad has saturated the American craft scene and especially in the midwest. We might need a special Adjuct sub-forum for novel ingredients if it keeps up. I've put some strange stuff in my beers from the bulk section but it's been limited to botanicals and cereals.
The Reinheistgebot sub forum hahahahah
 
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fendersrule

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Bottled all three beers. Pictures in order to description. These are all 9% big-ass sours.

1) Sour Patch Watermelon. What do you get when you mix pink + green + yellow? You get diarrhea. The color was the first thing that turned me off. The smell has a slight tinge of that artificial watermelon that's found on the nose. Smell isn't promising. It's hard to explain it, but it doesn't work very well. It's Lactobacillus with a hint of the worst imparted smell from this candy. Taste wise? Solid. I'm not particularly happy about sharing this one. This is not something I'm going to want to give someone and let them know how great candy sours go. However, it's drinkable...very drinkable. We used 1.8lbs of this candy in 2G of sour. Would recommend NOT using Sour Patch watermelon.

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Our rating:

Color: 1/5
Smell: 2/5
Taste: 3.5/5

2) Sour Strawberry Belts. The most beautiful color I have ever seen while bottling. OK, that's a pretty serious claim because I've bottled some beautiful beers before, but I've seen nothing that LOOKS exactly like pinkish juice. The smell is absolutely splendid. Removing the lid, strawberry aroma filled the air. It tastes exactly like strawberry belts. Let me put it another way, you are DRINKING the candy. The taste, smell, and color is all successfully imparted perfectly. You may even say too much, because again...you are DRINKING the candy. This is a perfect sour for someone that loves candy as much as sour. I've tasted nothing else like it. What amused me the most is the very solid strawberry taste, but the sourness of the candy actually came through blending with the L plantarium. You have to love sours to love this one. One would be perfectly fine using less than 1.8lbs per 2 gallon. Try it with 1.2-1.5lbs, which should still be plentiful. Would make this again, easily. You will want to use a filter pulling the beer off of the belts.

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Our rating (for a candy and sour lover):

Color: 5/5
Smell: 5/5
Taste: 5/5

3) Blue Raspberry Airheads. Removing the lid and wow, surprise! I knew this wasn't mold--this was likely a chemical reaction between an ingredient in the airheads (whatever the waxy stuff is) or perhaps it's just the waxy stuff floating on the top. We skimmed it off before siphoning. We knew it was going to be green, so that's no surprise. "Faint" may be too little of a word, but there definitely is that blue airheads smell, but it isn't strong. It's more present than the watermelon sour patch though. As we continued to siphon the secondary, the color grew more and more blue, telling us that the thick waxy substance of the candy sunk. What a beautiful color. Expect to get a little less beer out of using airheads since you probably don't want to pick up that dark blue stuff. We used about 1.25LBs of airheads for 2G, which is one box. I would suggest to feel free to use more than this but also expect to get less beer at the same time. My girlfriend loves this one, and I get where she's coming from. This beer doesn't feel like drinking candy...this beer has super fine balance where the airheads get to play in the background. It's very smooth and very balanced and works extremely well with this grain bill.

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Our rating:

Color: 5/5
Smell: 4/5
Taste: 5/5

Cheers!
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fendersrule

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I don't want to toot my horn, but you guys gotta give me some rep. This may be the only somewhat-detailed post on brewing sours with candy on the interwebz. I hope it inspires the science within each of you.

@RPh_Guy, soon after awhile we may have to add this to the wiki....
 

Funky Frank

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Awesome post/thread!

Some thoughts on recipe1 tweeks, maybe add a little caramunich 3 and a pinch of midnight wheat to give a red color and mask the diarrhea color. Maybe add an ounce of brewers best watermelon to give better nose and nudge the taste toward the candy.

I think 2 and 3 are beautiful but I bet that making a reddish base wort is probably going to be a good recommendation for a lot of candy.
 
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fendersrule

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Awesome post/thread!

Some thoughts on recipe1 tweeks, maybe add a little caramunich 3 and a pinch of midnight wheat to give a red color and mask the diarrhea color. Maybe add an ounce of brewers best watermelon to give better nose and nudge the taste toward the candy.

I think 2 and 3 are beautiful but I bet that making a reddish base wort is probably going to be a good recommendation for a lot of candy.
Giving my secrets away, but basically, the wort is 65% 2-row and 35% white wheat malt. For my taste profile, it's a perfect sour base.

Agreed though, as you can stab it from either direction. I'd rather introduce the "whitest" possible wort before any additions....it's more fun to split it out ot experiment unless you fully believe you found exactly that one thing...then at that point darken it to your desire!

I honestly prefer keeping zero caramel now making IPAs to be honest.....Caramel malt can suck it in my opinion....

I made a chocolate cherry sour which is getting rave reviews.....zero caramel as well....just barely enough midnight wheat to give it that roasted taste...

The more and more beers I make. unless I'm following a recipe, I will skip caramel grist.

One thing I will say about the airheads. Don't let our slightly less than perfect rating turn you away. I'm hard on my stuff. The blue-raspberry flavor comes up on the throat after each swig. I can say for certain that the strawberry sour belts and the blur-raspberry airheads do a tremendous job being placed in the ratio which I outlined.

I look forward to your experiments. I will likely be visiting a brewmaster soon that does this stuff and will likely learn some more things. WIll share only what I can.
 
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RPh_Guy

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I don't want to toot my horn, but you guys gotta give me some rep. This may be the only somewhat-detailed post on brewing sours with candy on the interwebz. I hope it inspires the science within each of you.

@RPh_Guy, soon after awhile we may have to add this to the wiki....
Glad it worked out well! I added a note with a link to this thread.
Cheers!
 

El Duderino

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My wife had the commercial Strawberry Starburst sour with Lactose and now I have to reproduce it. Ive been collecting info and am going to do the Pink Starburst Kettle sour on wednesday night. I'm using Goodbelly for the L. Pantarum, US-05 for the yeast and Im going to melt the candy down into a syrup instead of racking on top of the whole candy and I'm going to keg it on some lactose thats been boiled with water
 
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fendersrule

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Sounds like a good plan.

Some breweries will add a complementary Juice with the candy, so it's not all 100% candy. You may want to consider that.

Seems like boiling candy vs not shouldn't impact the sour in any substantial way. The yeast is still going to ignore the waxy stuff.
 

LoneTreeFarms

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My wife had the commercial Strawberry Starburst sour with Lactose and now I have to reproduce it. Ive been collecting info and am going to do the Pink Starburst Kettle sour on wednesday night. I'm using Goodbelly for the L. Pantarum, US-05 for the yeast and Im going to melt the candy down into a syrup instead of racking on top of the whole candy and I'm going to keg it on some lactose thats been boiled with water
So having done a starburst wine I can tell you to boil the candies to liquid then stick it in the fridge/freezer for a while. The wax that they use in the candy will float to the top and you have to skim it all off. You don’t want that in your mix.
 
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fendersrule

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So having done a starburst wine I can tell you to boil the candies to liquid then stick it in the fridge/freezer for a while. The wax that they use in the candy will float to the top and you have to skim it all off. You don’t want that in your mix.
Not a problem if so though. you can skim it out of the fermenter when completed. It does no harm.
 
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