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Making my beer sourer

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irontri7

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Long time reader, first time writer.

Giving it a crack at the whole sour "IPA." First time trying to sour. After reading a bunch of the posts on Omega OYL-605, I did the following:

- 1L starter 30 hours prior to pitching, kept around 72.
- Normal brew day, boiled for 10min to kill off anything.
- Dropped temp to 94, pH about 5.5 using cheap strips. 6.5 gal
- Pitched starter and temp gradually dropped to 70.

After 48 hours I've *only* dropped to about 3.7 (or whatever you think that strip reads). It's a little sour to taste, but kind of covered by the sweetness of the wort. Based on what I've read, the 605 does some real work and quick...less than 24hours.

I'm wanting to get it really sour...I'm guessing in the 3.1 range.

I figured I can:

a) wait it out
b) add something else (all I currently have is lactic 88% and I'm not sure how that would affect anything AFTER using the 605 or even how much to use.) I can obviously go get some L Plantarum tabs or goodbelly

Hoping for some input.
 

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jfolks

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Hard to say without a ph meter - let it go another day and check on it. 3.7 will still be nice and tart - you could always add another lacto strain (like goodbelly) and hope for more ph reduction. I’d shy away from adding straight acid to lower ph - not how quality sour beer is made
 
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irontri7

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Hard to say without a ph meter - let it go another day and check on it. 3.7 will still be nice and tart - you could always add another lacto strain (like goodbelly) and hope for more ph reduction. I’d shy away from adding straight acid to lower ph - not how quality sour beer is made
Thanks. I have a meter on order, just didn't think about it until it was too late. I'll try to add something else and see what happens.

I know I've seen people using lactic acid to drop pH to 4.5 before adding lacto for primary souring, but wasn't sure on using it after.
 

cactusgarrett

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Wait longer. Just be sure you have a sacc strain that can handle the low pH. If you add a different strain of lacto, you'll likely need to raise the temp, btw. Plantarum in 605 did me really well (and really sour) for 3 days at 70-80°F.
 
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irontri7

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@cactusgarrett I read people using US-05, which I've used a ton in the past. I have a starter going, which was 48 hours old too, so I put it in the fridge and will take it out and decant when ready.

I failed to mention that I checked this at 24 hours and it barely dropped from 24-48 hours. Again, this is with the strips, so who knows.
 

toddo97

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I would vote bumping up the temp a few degrees and/or adding goodbelly or L. Plantarum probiotics and give it another day or so.
 

RPh_Guy

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With my first kettle sour I was in pretty much the same spot you are in now.

Strips were reading around 3.6 ...got frustrated, went out and bought a meter which read 3.25. So I have no faith in the strips for testing wort pH. My strips were very accurate at reading cider pH which I verified with the meter, just not wort. YMMV.

Simply let it work longer and/or raise the temperature. OYL-605 should be OK; no need to pitch anything else (source).

I would not add lactic acid at this point. Adding it beforehand to lower pH to 4.5-4.0 is helpful to prevent infection and preserve head-retention.
 

FatDragon

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You say the sourness is covered by the sweetness of the wort. Well, it's not going to be very sweet after fermentation, so it might not be as bad as you think. In addition, there's no carbonic bite in a still wort sample. A slightly sour wort sample could easily become a very sour finished beer after fermentation and carbonation, even if the pH doesn't test where you think you want it to be.
 

radwizard

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I would just get it fermenting at this point. I just think that using those strips isn't going to give you enough accuracy to be certain. I would ferment it and taste it. If you still don't have the acidity you want you can still add bacteria into the fermented wort if you wanted to.
 
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irontri7

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@RPh_Guy that's the thread I was looking a lot at when figuring out what to do to sour the easiest. Glad to hear I'm not the only one frustrated by the strips. It seemed to move a little from 48-72 hours, but not much.

For now I've raised the temp from 70 up to 78ish and will let it sit until I get the pH meter tomorrow.
 
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