First attempt at a sour, Help?

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Brewfawx

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So i recently got a smaple of some wild yeast from the coast, and after the sample fermented out it smelled sour, but in a very pleasant way. I wanted to make a sour beer with it, and wee what came from it. I was thinking of doing a sour blonde ale with strawberries, but I have no idea how to sour a beer. whats the usual process for souring a beer?


P.S.: I know my wild "yeast" sample has other bugs in it besides yeast.
 

RPh_Guy

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You or someone else somehow captured a mixed culture, right?
In unhopped wort?
Does the fermented sample taste good?
How old is the sample?

Sour beer in a nutshell (traditional method, with new wild culture):
- Brew your wort as normal with no hops.*
- Pitch the culture. Consider making a starter.
- Protect from oxygen and light. Maintain around 65-75F or whatever temperature you know works well with your culture.
- Wait at least 3-6 months.
- Periodically monitor s.g. and taste (every 1-2 months?).
- Package when sg is stable for at least a month and flavor is to your liking. If you're bottling and fg is above 1.004, consider using heavy bottles.
- If you want, add fruit before packaging and let it sit 2-6 weeks to ferment. Monitor sg and taste weekly.

* You certainly can add hops but I'd stick to a bittering addition 5 IBU or less. The more hops the less sour, generally speaking.

Milk the Funk is a great resource if you want more info.
http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Mixed_Fermentation

http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Packaging
 
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Brewfawx

Brewfawx

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Yes, we managed to capture a mixed culture. The sample tasted really nice, with a crisp dry finish to it. the sample is only about a week old, but its been living in my fridge.

and thanks! thats a super helpful guide.
 

TEWNCfarms

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So i recently got a smaple of some wild yeast from the coast, and after the sample fermented out it smelled sour, but in a very pleasant way. I wanted to make a sour beer with it, and wee what came from it. I was thinking of doing a sour blonde ale with strawberries, but I have no idea how to sour a beer. whats the usual process for souring a beer?


P.S.: I know my wild "yeast" sample has other bugs in it besides yeast.
How did you collect wild test?
 

TEWNCfarms

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You or someone else somehow captured a mixed culture, right?
In unhopped wort?
Does the fermented sample taste good?
How old is the sample?

Sour beer in a nutshell (traditional method, with new wild culture):
- Brew your wort as normal with no hops.*
- Pitch the culture. Consider making a starter.
- Protect from oxygen and light. Maintain around 65-75F or whatever temperature you know works well with your culture.
- Wait at least 3-6 months.
- Periodically monitor s.g. and taste (every 1-2 months?).
- Package when sg is stable for at least a month and flavor is to your liking. If you're bottling and fg is above 1.004, consider using heavy bottles.
- If you want, add fruit before packaging and let it sit 2-6 weeks to ferment. Monitor sg and taste weekly.

* You certainly can add hops but I'd stick to a bittering addition 5 IBU or less. The more hops the less sour, generally speaking.

Milk the Funk is a great resource if you want more info.
http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Mixed_Fermentation

http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Packaging
Why do you say to use a heavier bottle is it’s 1.004? Are you talking about specific gravity when you say sg? And so are traditional Belgian sours “hops free”?
 

dawn_kiebawls

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Why do you say to use a heavier bottle is it’s 1.004? Are you talking about specific gravity when you say sg? And so are traditional Belgian sours “hops free”?

The use of heavier bottles is because of the slow attenuation (consumption and fermentation) of sugars in the beer. Since it is such a slow process, especially with sours/bretts, having that high of gravity means there is enough sugar remaining that it could ferment further and result in bottle bombs.

yes, SG is specific gravity.

I don't know for sure, but I do believe traditional sours are hop free, or at least very low IBUs (like 2-4). Hops are naturally antibacterial which inhibits souring microbes.
 

RPh_Guy

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TEWNCfarms

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The use of heavier bottles is because of the slow attenuation (consumption and fermentation) of sugars in the beer. Since it is such a slow process, especially with sours/bretts, having that high of gravity means there is enough sugar remaining that it could ferment further and result in bottle bombs.

yes, SG is specific gravity.

I don't know for sure, but I do believe traditional sours are hop free, or at least very low IBUs (like 2-4). Hops are naturally antibacterial which inhibits souring microbes.
Ahhh I didn’t realize that, but I want to say I did read that recently in “art of fermentation” about hops. Thanks! I prefer a less hoppy bitter beer anyways, so it works out!

So if I’m doing sours and doing a secondary/bottling ferment will I need stronger bottles? I was just going to save the bottles from Red Oak that I drink, would these not work?
 

TEWNCfarms

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Most traditional Belgian sours are actually around 30-40 IBU. They have bacteria selected over hundreds of years that can handle that much hops.

...
I have some tips for wild yeast collection on another thread if you guys are interested
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/collecting-wild-yeast-would-this-work.656078/
There are more detailed guides on a few sites too.
Awesome thanks for the link! I’m real into trying to use wild yeast/bacteria, but again I know I’ve got a LOT to learn before I can get to that level, but it’s good to have goals;)!

And that’s interesting about the high IBU, so on the traditional Belgians is the bitterness quelled because of the bacteria? Or are they really bitter? The One true Belgian beer I had recently that got me intonations wanting to brew was Wild West Blackthorn/Sloeberry, and that wasn’t bitter whatsoever, it was sour though.

Question on the bottling carbonation, and how they had a corn sugar syrup usually, could I add a fruit syrup instead at bottling?
 

RPh_Guy

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Wild yeast are everywhere outside. You don't need any particular plant.

Yes, the Belgians with high IBU are notably bitter.

When bottling you want a controlled amount of attenuation to take place, otherwise you could have explosions or gushing.

Red Oak bottles are not considered heavy bottles, but are fine for normal amounts of carbonation. They can only safely handle maybe up to 3-4 vol CO2.

Any type of fermentable sugar can be used for bottle priming. Normally priming is not the best time to add flavor.
 

TEWNCfarms

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Wild yeast are everywhere outside. You don't need any particular plant.

Yes, the Belgians with high IBU are notably bitter.

When bottling you want a controlled amount of attenuation to take place, otherwise you could have explosions or gushing.

Red Oak bottles are not considered heavy bottles, but are fine for normal amounts of carbonation. They can only safely handle maybe up to 3-4 vol CO2.

Any type of fermentable sugar can be used for bottle priming. Normally priming is not the best time to add flavor.
What do you mean by attenuation? So should I buy specific bottles for when I start bottling sours?
 

RPh_Guy

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Attenuation is the word for the amount of fermentation that occurs.

I use normal beer bottles and I make sure FG is stable before bottling.
 
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