Lactic acid into fermented beer to add sourness?

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deeve007

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Hey chaps,

I have a sour in the fermenter where fermentation is done, but it really doesn't taste sour at all even though pH is around 3.2. So I want to add just a little more using Lactic Acid, which I've heard can be done, but I can't find much info about it online, or about how much to add. Has anyone got any first and experience of this?

Cheers.
 

mabrungard

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Okay, 3.2 is almost certainly a low enough pH for a sour beer. I find that a pH of about 3.5 is where a sour is notable and moving a few tenths lower is okay. But how sure are you of the measurement? If you’re sure it’s correct, I would leave it alone for a week if it’s young.
 

11thStBrewing

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I just finished a Mango Philly sour and thought of doing the same thing when I got a sample after fermentation was complete.

After it carbed it seemed more sour and was very tasty. Maybe wait until after it's carbonated?

If it's still not sour enough maybe dose a glass to taste, calculate the amount needed for the batch and go from there?
 
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deeve007

deeve007

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I just finished a Mango Philly sour and thought of doing the same thing when I got a sample after fermentation was complete.

After it carbed it seemed more sour and was very tasty. Maybe wait until after it's carbonated?

If it's still not sour enough maybe dose a glass to taste, calculate the amount needed for the batch and go from there?
I am considering letting it ride and seeing if that occurs. Second time though using Philly Sour yeast, where as have had great results from using the co-pitching method previously, so it's a little frustrating!
 
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deeve007

deeve007

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Gotcha. The fruit addition timing(among other things) can affect lactic acid production. Have you seen this guide?

Hmm, interesting that adding fruit AFTER fermentation is done supposedly reduces full fermentation, logic would have suggested adding early would do so.

Guess I have some more experimenting to do with Philly Sour to see how it's best utilised.
 

superiorsat

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Hey chaps,

I have a sour in the fermenter where fermentation is done, but it really doesn't taste sour at all even though pH is around 3.2. So I want to add just a little more using Lactic Acid, which I've heard can be done, but I can't find much info about it online, or about how much to add. Has anyone got any first and experience of this?

Cheers.
Tried Philly Sour (ONCE) in an effort to skip kettle souring. Took 4 days to take off even with nutrients added. Mold took off before they yeast could win that competition. It was a split batch and in both mold took over. The only time I've ever had mold and had to dump the batches. So back to the old reliable kettle souring. I had a batch that I didn't do a lacto starter on and due to timing I had to start the boil before I wanted to. Maybe like 22 hours with no starter. The beer was not very sour so I added a VERY small amount of lactic acid and it really did immediately sour the keg, but as the keg went on we kind of felt like the "sour" flavor turned to kind of fake or "unearned" sour flavor.
 

Coastalbrew

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I'm curious if the op's idea of adding lactic acid to a beer fermented with standard ale yeast like wlp001 could take the place of kettle souring? I've gotten the sour bug recently and would like to try making my own, but don't want to mess with bugs in my gear. For the recipes that call for mixed fermentation, could you just do a standard ferment with the ale yeast and then add lactic acid to the finished beer to get it sour?
 
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deeve007

deeve007

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I'm curious if the op's idea of adding lactic acid to a beer fermented with standard ale yeast like wlp001 could take the place of kettle souring? I've gotten the sour bug recently and would like to try making my own, but don't want to mess with bugs in my gear. For the recipes that call for mixed fermentation, could you just do a standard ferment with the ale yeast and then add lactic acid to the finished beer to get it sour?
Definitely not. I am only considering to add a subtle more sour flavour as the Philly Sour yeast doesn't seem to have added enough, but using this yeast is what to do if you don't want to go the more traditional route. You can also look at adding a little Acidulated malt in your grain bill too.
 

11thStBrewing

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I'm curious if the op's idea of adding lactic acid to a beer fermented with standard ale yeast like wlp001 could take the place of kettle souring? I've gotten the sour bug recently and would like to try making my own, but don't want to mess with bugs in my gear. For the recipes that call for mixed fermentation, could you just do a standard ferment with the ale yeast and then add lactic acid to the finished beer to get it sour?
I've read about people doing this. Could always try dosing a glass of beer with a bit of lactic acid. Maybe with like a blonde ale or something not too bitter?
 

Coastalbrew

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Thanks folks. I suspected as much, but as always the hive mind has come through with good data and thoughtful input. I appreciate the advice.

Cheers!
 

superiorsat

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don't want to mess with bugs in my gear.
I had the same concern so that is why I chose kettle souring vs. mixed fermentation. When you kettle sour that is as far as the "bugs" ever make it. The finish of kettle souring is to boil as normal so nothing to live on for the fermenters.
 

Coastalbrew

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I had the same concern so that is why I chose kettle souring vs. mixed fermentation. When you kettle sour that is as far as the "bugs" ever make it. The finish of kettle souring is to boil as normal so nothing to live on for the fermenters.
What about in the ball valve on the kettle? Seems like it would be easy for a critter to hide in there. I take the valve apart and clean it but... There's plenty of hiding spots in there.
 

superiorsat

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I kill the boil and run the wort through the loop of counter flow chiller and herms/secondary chilling coil to sanitize before the wort ever heads to the fermenter. Never had any problems with this method. Definitely have never had a batch sour that wasn't intended. Philly sour yeast on the other hand I will never use it again due to late starting issues I mentioned earlier. The consensus I gathered on HBT is that you get a mild sour from Philly Sour anyway, and my wife likes her sours really sour.
 
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deeve007

deeve007

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I've done 6 or 7 co-pitching sours, where you pitch the yeast and your Lacto source into the fermenter at the same time, and then add hops once you're reached your desired pH level / taste. So long as you clean well and don't have any scratches in your fermenter (if plastic) it's also fairly safe, and I know of at least a couple of breweries who utilise this method (or have done in the past, maybe more are using the Philly Souy yeast now, I haven't revisted that question).
 

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