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Grapefruit Sour - Kettle soured beer w/ fruit

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andrewbrews

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Working on trying to get a nice sour beer on tap that won't contaminate my entire system and kettle souring seems to be the way to go. Additionally, I am playing around with how to add grapefruit (local competition ingredient). I have a couple of good local examples of dry hopped kettle sours that I am trying to use as a baseline.

My plan is to kettle sour a light colored 1.040-1.045 OG wort and then ferment out with grapefruit and dry hopping during fermentation. I am looking for feedback on the addition of grapefruit as well as feedback on the kettle souring process (sort of against capsules at this point, but maybe in the future)

Key questions
- How to add grapefruit? Extract or Juice or both?
- Oak addition? Thinking of extract that I would make to control flavor
- Any issues with recipe for a kettle sour?

Details
2 row (US) - 72 %
Malted Wheat - 18%
Cara pils - 10%

Mash at ~155 for 60 minutes
Sparge and collect wort
Pitch Omega Lacto Blend
Sour for ~40 hours (Friday evening to Sunday Morning)

Warrior @ 60 mins 18.5 IBU
Azacca @ 5 mins
Cascade @ 5 mins

Split batch

Pitch German Ale (Both)

Dry Hop w/ Azacca and Cascade for ~ 3 days (Both)

Add Grapefruit Extract (Zest grapefruits and put into vodka for ~ 1 week) (Both)

Add oak extract (Low toast soaked into vodka for ~ 1 week) (one only)

Add grapefruit juice from grapefruit (heated to about 165 for about 5 mins) - not sure how much and if it's a good idea curious about color addition. (One only)

Thoughts?
 
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Add the fresh peel of 1 grapefruit with the pith removed to the keg. You'll get plenty of character in 24-36 hours. As for the recipe I would ditch the carapils and go with a mix of pils/wheat or use DME. I would also skip adding any hops to the boil and go with a big dry hop, 4oz or more.
I recommend sour worting in a keg or fermenter like shown here....https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=579458

My sours are no-boil so the tricky part for me is hitting the right OG and volume as to not leave any headspace in the souring tank.
 
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andrewbrews

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I can get behind removing the flavor hops (5 min additions) but is there enough bitterness to balance the acidity and fruit just from dry hopping and maybe the grapefruit?

Also, I have seen some references in BYO and other places about acidifying the wort before pitching (~4.5 pH). I didn't see this in your method at all.

Appreciate the feedback. I'm going to replace the carapils with wheat. Lastly, since I'm going with all grain, will water salts be an issue with the lacto or acidity? I have to add a good dose of gypsum to get to the mash pH I'm looking for.

Thanks again.

Edit: Acidification before pitching the lacto
 
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I can get behind removing the flavor hops (5 min additions) but is there enough bitterness to balance the acidity and fruit just from dry hopping and maybe the grapefruit?

Also, I have seen some references in BYO and other places about acidifying the wort before pitching (~4.5 pH). I didn't see this in your method at all.

Appreciate the feedback. I'm going to replace the carapils with wheat. Lastly, since I'm going with all grain, will water salts be an issue with the lacto or acidity? I have to add a good dose of gypsum to get to the mash pH I'm looking for.

Thanks again.

Edit: Acidification before pitching the lacto
The acidity should balance the sweetness(like wine) and you still get some IBU from dry hopping. You really don't want bitterness though as it clashes with the acidity. Between the acidity and a big dry hop it'll taste like juice.
Dropping the ph to 4.5 pre souring helps prevent the lacto from eating the proteins that help with head retention and also helps prevent other bacteria from getting going in the wort. Omega sours fast enough that you can make super clean sours without the added step but your head retention will still suffer. I debated adding it to the outline but I really wanted to keep it as simple as possible.
As for water, mines pretty soft yet balanced though my last batch I used RO to try using a NE IPA profile. As long as its not mineral tasting I'd say use what you normally use.
 

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I'd really encourage you to look at using a ton of Comet hops in both whirlpool and dry/keg hop additions. It tastes of pure grapefruit zest to me; far more than any other hop I've used.
 
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andrewbrews

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Hello Everyone,
I wanted to provide an update!

First question I have - Is acetaldehyde perceivable in sour beers? I didn't get it, but in a competition that I entered into that had "Grapefruit" as the category, the judge noted acetadledhyde. There was no opportunity to list the underlying style, so maybe it was just that it was in stark contrast to all the grapefruit pale ales and IPA's.

I ended up going with comet hops and using grapefruit extract (grapefruit peels soaked in vodka for two weeks) along with some oak extract (oak soaked in vodka for two weeks). I think it's a great summer beer, but the feedback has me a little bit confused.

Is acetaldehyde perceivable in sour beers? For a beer that finished at 1.004, it seems unlikely that fermentation didn't finish. What else is going on?
 
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