Kettle sour - bacteria source, yeast selection?

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mirthfuldragon

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So I am jumping in and making my first kettle sour - something kind of like a berliner weisse. It's actually part of a split batch, with half getting kettle soured and the other half going towards a quasi-New England pale ale with hallertau blanc. I have a couple of questions.

Suggestions on whether to use Goodbelly shots, Swanson L. Plantarum capsules, or buy a packet of Omega lacto blend? Have a couple ideas for keeping it warm, either using an aqarium heater water bath (~88 degrees at full bore) or maybe my Anova sous vida.

I have a starter of Omega's DIPA yeast going (Conan / Vermont Ale yeast), but now I am second guessing myself. I think I may want something with a higher attenuation for easy summer drinking. S-04 or S-05 dry yeasts would be easy, or belle saison.

Grainbill is ~25-30% wheat, 70% pale malt, looking for ~4 - 4.5% ABV. The half getting Hallertau blanc is goingto be magnum for basic bittering (~30 IBU), then blanc at 10, flameout, then a whirlpool charge.

The other half will be kettled soured; I was thinking about doing a short boil (instead of heat-pasteurization) after souring and tossing in an ounce of citra and calling it a day.

Suggestions and feedback are welcome.

[Edited: clarity and typos]
 
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RPh_Guy

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Suggestions on whether to use Goodbelly shots, Swanson L. Plantarum capsules, or buy a packet of Omega lacto blend? Have a couple ideas for keeping it warm, either using an aqarium heater water bath (~88 degrees at full bore) or maybe my Anova sous vida.
All good options. The nice thing about L. plantarum is that you don't need to keep it warm, but it might finish a day earlier depending on how sour you want it.
Most recently I decided to keep a batch warm while souring, and it finished at a higher pH than previous batches ...? So I won't be doing that again.
I have a start of Omega's DIPA yeast going (Conan / Vermont Ale yeast)
Sounds cool. Or any of the others are fine too :)
Hallertau blanc is goign to be magnum for basic bittering (~30 IBU), then blanc at 10, flameout, then a whirlpool charge.
This is a problem.
Lactobacillus does not like hops. Typically the process is to add hops after souring.
As such it will be difficult to make it a split batch... You could mash, bring all the wort to a boil, transfer half to a separate kettle (to sour it there), and then add hops to the pale ale half, continuing to boil that half as normal.
 
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mirthfuldragon

mirthfuldragon

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Most recently I decided to keep a batch warm while souring, and it finished at a higher pH than previous batches ...? So I won't be doing that again.
Finished at a higher pH (numerically lower)? I.e., more sour or less sour? I bought a cheap pH meter off of Amazon if only to ball-park the pH. Not sure where I am going to end up at, but being flexible right now. I am going to brew on Saturday, let it sour for ~48 hours, check it, and go with wherever it is.


Lactobacillus does not like hops. Typically the process is to add hops after souring. As such it will be difficult to make it a split batch... You could mash, bring all the wort to a boil, transfer half to a separate kettle (to sour it there), and then add hops to the pale ale half, continuing to boil that half as normal.
Thanks for the clarification, but I should have been more clear in my explanation. I'm going to do a combined mash, then start the boil, draw off a corny's worth of wort for souring, and then the remainder is going for the hallertau blanc pale. The kettle sour will be hop-free until after souring.
 

RPh_Guy

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Finished at a higher pH (numerically lower)? I.e., more sour or less sour?
Higher pH, less sour.

I can't say for sure the temperature was to blame, just my suspicion. It did finish exactly where I wanted, serendipitously.
The kettle sour will be hop-free until after souring.
Perfect!

You got some pH meter calibration solution (7 and 4) too?

One more thought: pre-acidification to ~4.5 is useful if you want some head retention.
 

bigdawg86

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I have a starter of L. Plantarum going right now for a kettle sour I am doing this weekend. Vermont has attenuated well for me in the past, and if you are concerned about drying the beer out a bit consider lower mash temp and addition of dextrose or replacing a small % of the grain bill with dextrose.

My plan is mash BIAB, pull grains, flash boil, chill to 90°, using lactic acid drop pH to 4.5, then pitch lacto starter... once down to pH I want I will then resume full boil and add hops as usual.
 
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mirthfuldragon

mirthfuldragon

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[...] if you are concerned about drying the beer out a bit consider lower mash temp and addition of dextrose or replacing a small % of the grain bill with dextrose.

My plan is mash BIAB, pull grains, flash boil, chill to 90°, using lactic acid drop pH to 4.5, then pitch lacto starter... once down to pH I want I will then resume full boil and add hops as usual.
Good points. My plan basically mirrored yours, and adding sugar to help attenuation is a good idea. I'm thinking an OG of ~1.040, with a FG ~1.008, so 4.2% ABV. That would be 80% attenuation, which is at the peak for Omega's DIPA yeast (Conan/Vermont Ale). Mash low, use some sugar, and call it good I think.

Thanks again!
 
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mirthfuldragon

mirthfuldragon

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Both beers are now in the fermentors. Final pH was 3.30 for the kettle sour. Still trying to work out the usually first try hiccups, but I am guardedly hopeful. Mashed at 148 for 90 minutes, so hopefully Conan will attenuate well. For the hallertau blanc pale ale, per my Tilt hydrometer, the OG is at 1.011, but the krausen and bio-transformation dry hop throw it for a loop. The kettle sour has a nice layer of krausen and is bubbling away, so time to let it do its thing for now.
 
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