Only a "little sour" Sour Beers

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Monmouth00

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Hello All,

I'm kicking around the idea of a Blood Orange Gose. I'm thinking something fizzy, refreshing, sweet, tart, and salty would be good for lounging on a warm day after the lawn is cut, and the kids are playing.

I'll admit I am a little intimidated by sours. Not only the process, which I'm only mildly confident in pulling off, but also the taste. I've had sour beers, and I like them, but I'm not sure I want to end up with 5 gallons of something that puckers more than one part of my body.

I've been watchin videos, and reading up on kettle souring, which I think I can do with my eBIAB setup and Inkbird PID.

But, one aspect I haven't been able to grasp is how to limit the sourness of the beer. I only want something that's mildly tart - nothing like a liquid version of a sourpatch kid.

Does the amount of sour depend on the amount of lactobacillus that's pitched? Or do you stop the souring by bringing it up to a boil? I see most people are pitching and keeping the kettle at 95deg F for two days. If I only do that for one day, will it be less tart?

Thanks for any tips you can provide to limit sourness.

Many Thanks,

Monmouth00
 

k-os

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You would stop the souring by bringing it to a boil when it has reached your desired pH/sour-ness.
Yes, if held at temperature (or even room temp if using Lactobacillus Plantarum) it will not sour as much.

Definitely get a pH meter if you plan to make more sours in the future (they're also great for mash pH).
 

Ultryx

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Kettle sours are really easy and will be a breeze with your eBIAB setup. I do sours in my boil kettle with a fermwrap around it and they work fine.

You stop the souring by boiling so ideally you'll have a pH meter you can accurately measure this with. If not, you can always taste.

I have used Good Belly liquid to sour before, but I wasn't impressed with the process. I purchased a bottle of L. bacillus from Amazon and use 2-4 tablets of that instead. Works great and is a lot cheaper in the long run.
 

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Monmouth00

Monmouth00

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Definitely get a pH meter if you plan to make more sours in the future (they're also great for mash pH).
You stop the souring by boiling so ideally you'll have a pH meter you can accurately measure this with. If not, you can always taste.
Yes, I had planned to get pH meter just for fun anyway. Now I have an excuse.

So what's a good pH to shoot for when I want an only "slightly tangy" beer? Somewhere in the 4.0-4.5 range? Higher? I see some of the really sour stuff is in the 3.2-3.5 range.

Thanks!!
 

k-os

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Yes, I had planned to get pH meter just for fun anyway. Now I have an excuse.

So what's a good pH to shoot for when I want an only "slightly tangy" beer? Somewhere in the 4.0-4.5 range? Higher? I see some of the really sour stuff is in the 3.2-3.5 range.

Thanks!!
I would maybe plan on 3.8. A typical ale will usually be around 4.5, so I don't think you'd notice it much if you only soured to that.
 
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Monmouth00

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I would maybe plan on 3.8. A typical ale will usually be around 4.5, so I don't think you'd notice it much if you only soured to that.
That's interesting. I would have thought that a typical ale would have finished much closer to the 5.2 - 5.4 I aim for at the mash. I didn't know boiling/hopping/fermenting dropped it that much.

But, thanks, that gives me a pretty good frame of reference for what I should be shooting for.
 

HopsAreGood

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Just use philly sour, it’s fast, easy, doesn’t infect your equipment and has a pleasant sourness that isn’t full on sour
This. If you’re looking for simple and slightly sour it doesn’t get much easier than philly sour. If you’re not familiar, it’s a dry yeast that you pitch like any other yeast. It basically “sours” and creates alcohol all in one shot.
 

Qhrumphf

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Beer pH is pretty yeast dependent. Most beers will finish in the 4-4.5 range. Some really big beers and heavily dry hopped beers could be a little higher. Lagers will usually be upper end of the spectrum as well. Some beers can finish in the very upper 3s on their own (though wouldn't have the actual taste of lactic acid- pH isn't actually the best measure for sourness despite correlating, titratable acidity a more direct measurement of the amount of acid present. That said, pH is an easy and mostly reliable way to at least get ballpark.

Kettle souring (sour then boil to kill the bugs) is an easy method. Another is to use extremely hop intolerant bacteria (namely L. plantarum) in *unhopped* wort alongside a Saccharomyces strain. The beer can then be either dry hopped, a hop tea added, or hopped beer/wort blended in when the desired level of acidity has been reached. The hops will then halt the Lactobacillus in its tracks. Important though that the hop tolerance be considered. While Lacto is generally not very hop tolerant, it varies. L. plantarum won't sour if there are any hops at all present. L. delbrueckki on the other hand can work even in the presence of a relatively decent hop load (though that's a slow mover more appropriate in a barrel sour, I wouldn't do a quick sour with it).

The nice thing about co-fermentation is you don't even need a pH meter (though it's handy anyway), you can just taste it. With kettle souring the residual sugars in otherwise unfermented wort can make evaluating sourness a little tougher (though not impossible).

As said above, 3.7-3.8 is in my opinion a good starting target for a tart but not teeth strippingly sour beer.
 
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Qhrumphf

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Sourvisiae is also an option. It's a Sacch strain that's been genetically modified to produce lactic acid while behaving otherwise as normal domesticated beer yeast. I've never used either that or Philly Sour, but they're not the same. Can't speak to the above assertions about Philly Sour, but Sourvisiae has a reputation for being extremely sour if not pitched alongside another yeast to temper it.
 

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I used omega lacto for my latest gose it came out really good. I have tried many different ways I also had a fail using good belly shots nothing happened so I ended up going super old school and putting grain in Muslin bag which worked fine but isn’t super predictable. I really don’t think you have to worry about over souring I think under tends to be more of a problem for a gose my beer was good with the lacto pitch after 2 full days.
 
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Monmouth00

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Just use philly sour, it’s fast, easy, doesn’t infect your equipment and has a pleasant sourness that isn’t full on sour
Hmm. That's interesting - I had forgotten about this option. Glad to hear it's not full-on sour. Like I said, I'm not a sour beer guy, so the thought of having 5 gallons of something I'll have to choke down with gives me pause. Thanks!!
 

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Does the philly sour yeast have to fermenr warm? I have temp control to chill but not heat. So in my basement right now once stuff is done bubbling away it drops to around 65.
 
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Monmouth00

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Does the philly sour yeast have to fermenr warm? I have temp control to chill but not heat. So in my basement right now once stuff is done bubbling away it drops to around 65.
Good question - I know kettle souring is suggested at 90+F - A quick google search says the Philly Sour is best between 68-77F.
 

Beenym88

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I know I was just wondering if anyone tried it where they can’t keep it that warm for the entire time it’s fine during the first few days but then it’s just not going to stay I recently did a saison under these conditions and that seemed to come out fine
 
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Monmouth00

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I know I was just wondering if anyone tried it where they can’t keep it that warm for the entire time it’s fine during the first few days but then it’s just not going to stay I recently did a saison under these conditions and that seemed to come out fine
I just did a hefeweizen that spiked to 70F during fermentation, but dropped all the way to 63 after the big bubbles stopped. I just kegged it, so I don't know how it turned out - but it smelled really good! It also had a FG right where I expected it.
 
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Monmouth00

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I've decided to go with one pack of Philly Sour, and one pack of US-05.

LHBS was able to put my order together very quickly, but I have to wait for the yeast and blood orange slurry from Amazon. Hopefully going to brew this next weekend. I'll keep you updated.
 

HopsAreGood

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I've decided to go with one pack of Philly Sour, and one pack of US-05.

LHBS was able to put my order together very quickly, but I have to wait for the yeast and blood orange slurry from Amazon. Hopefully going to brew this next weekend. I'll keep you updated.
Why the US-05? Philly doesn’t require any additional yeast.
 
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Monmouth00

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Why the US-05? Philly doesn’t require any additional yeast.
First, because I don't want an overly sour beer. Second, because I don't think one pack of dry yeast will get it done. Third, I'm cheap and one pack of Philly Sour from Amazon cost be $11, while the US-05 from LHBS cost me less than $4
 

HopsAreGood

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First, because I don't want an overly sour beer. Second, because I don't think one pack of dry yeast will get it done. Third, I'm cheap and one pack of Philly Sour from Amazon cost be $11, while the US-05 from LHBS cost me less than $4
Gotcha. Part of the reason I love homebrewing so much is having the ability to experiment in exactly the same way you’re about to. If I recall correctly, I think Philly has an initial souring phase during the first few days, and then you notice the gravity starting to drop. So it’s almost like a two phase process where is sours first, and then eats the sugars second. If you pitch them both at the same time, it’s probable that the US-05 will start fermenting during the initial souring phase for the Philly. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out and how this affects the final beer. Good luck!
 
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Monmouth00

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Gotcha. Part of the reason I love homebrewing so much is having the ability to experiment in exactly the same way you’re about to. If I recall correctly, I think Philly has an initial souring phase during the first few days, and then you notice the gravity starting to drop. So it’s almost like a two phase process where is sours first, and then eats the sugars second. If you pitch them both at the same time, it’s probable that the US-05 will start fermenting during the initial souring phase for the Philly. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out and how this affects the final beer. Good luck!
However it turns out, I'm going to drink it.

Between $21 for the grain and hops, plus $41 for the yeast and blood orange puree, it's going to be an expensive brew.

I'm so cheap it would have to taste HORRIBLE for me to dump it.
 

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Just use philly sour, it’s fast, easy, doesn’t infect your equipment and has a pleasant sourness that isn’t full on sour
I second the motion!

What I wish someone would do is brew side-by-side sours using Philly Sour and traditional methodologies. I've had a Blood Orange sour on my radar for some time now, as well as a Key Lime sour (but SWMBO's commandeered the Key Limes, so that ship has sailed). I've got the ingredients and a sachet of Philly Sour, but would like some first hand reports from someone with experience before I pull the trigger.
 

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I did a Berliner Weiss recipe with philly sour. It’s very good, it doesn’t have the complexity of a BW brewed with Brett, lacto and ale yeast but it’s really nice on a hot day. And you don’t need to wait months, it took a out 10 days to be finished fermenting
 
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Monmouth00

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I second the motion!

What I wish someone would do is brew side-by-side sours using Philly Sour and traditional methodologies. I've had a Blood Orange sour on my radar for some time now, as well as a Key Lime sour (but SWMBO's commandeered the Key Limes, so that ship has sailed). I've got the ingredients and a sachet of Philly Sour, but would like some first hand reports from someone with experience before I pull the trigger.
I’ll keep you posted!
 

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I'm kicking around the idea of a Blood Orange Gose. I'm thinking something fizzy, refreshing, sweet, tart, and salty would be good for lounging on a warm day after the lawn is cut, and the kids are playing.
When I do a gose I just use 1 lb of acid malt. Really easy and repeatable and you can make it as sour as you want. You just don't want to put it all in the mash. Do a regular mash for say 45 mins then add in the Acid malt and go another 20-30 mins. Good luck. :mug:
 

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Drinking my Philly Sour faux-Belgian Kriek as I type this. First time using it and I was quite pleased. I made 6 gallons of wort (pre-boil) and added a gallon of tart cherry juice at the end of the boil. Needs more cherry, but otherwise quite drinkable at 3.3 ph.

The one mistake was made at bottling... The Lallemand spec sheet said to add bottling yeast. NOPE! I made bottle bombs, but was able to uncap/recap and save my beer. I did pitch 2 packets, and I think I had plenty of yeast in suspension to bottle my beers.

I'm going to make the beer again next week, and this time no bottling yeast. Plus some tart cherry concentrate in secondary.

Also going to see if I can raise the FG a bit. I hit 1.012, but looking for the "sweet" spot for non-sour drinkers to maybe like it too. Though I don't want to make one of those Lindeman's alco-pops!
 
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Gusso

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I agree, I would just pitch 2 packs of philly sour.. 1 wont do a 5gal batch.

Edit: Unless maybe really low original gravity.
Yeah, I first tried one packet. Fermentation started fine but slowed in the 30's. I guess I could have waited it out but I pitched another pack. That got things going quickly after that and it finished where expected. I'm not a sour fan. I made it for my wife. Now, at least, I can make a beer my wife likes thanks to Philly Sour. Also, it's nice to utilize A yeast from my roots! I'm a Philly guy at heart even though I left 20 years ago.
 
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I'm about an hour and a half from philly, also not a sour fan, made it for my sisters but had the same experience with 1 packet then a second.. we take the train from outside of Harrisburg to 30th street station, didn't get to visit this past year obviously but usually go a couple times.
 

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I'm about an hour and a half from philly, also not a sour fan, made it for my sisters but had the same experience with 1 packet then a second.. we take the train from outside of Harrisburg to 30th street station, didn't get to visit this past year obviously but usually go a couple times.
I grew up inner city - mostly Port Richmond, some Fishtown. If you're near Fishtown on your visits, check out Andy's Korean Chicken. Or Murph's, yes Murph's for great Italian.
 
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Last time I was in fishtown was about 5 years ago, during philly beer week... cant honestly say I remember everything from that event but I really enjoyed all the places we went... funny though, Murph's for Italian... I'll remember that.
 

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Last time I was in fishtown was about 5 years ago, during philly beer week... cant honestly say I remember everything from that event but I really enjoyed all the places we went... funny though, Murph's for Italian... I'll remember that.
That's funny, I thought the same thing. Irish bar with Italian food. Fantastic food.
 

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Unfortunately me thinking I had activity was misguided it bubbles slowly yesterday I checked today and absolutely nothing so I added some yeast nutrient. I’ve never had this happen before with other yeasts.
 
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Monmouth00

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So, if you're interested, here's the total plan - feel free to comment if you see a problem in the process:

Water, starting with Distilled, will have some additions to meet the following profile, using a yellow balanced Bru 'n Water profile:
Ca-64ppm, Sulfate-99ppm, CL-59ppm - making mash approx. 5.3 pH

4.5# pilsner
4.5# white wheat
35' Mash at 150F
15' Mash at 160F
10' Mash at 168F

60' Boil .5oz Hellertauer Hops
10' Boil .5oz Mosaic Hops
10" Boil 1 lbs. Belgian Candi Syrup
10' Boil .5 oz. sea salt

Pitch 1 packet Philly Sour at 68F - Day one
Pitch 1 packet US-05 at 65-68F - Day 5 (or when primary fermentation is close to done)
Pitch 49 oz. Blood Orange Puree - Day 5 (or same time as US-05)

Thoughts? Criticisms? General nasty comments directed towards my mother, or to the NY Giants (from you Philly guys)?

Thanks,

Monmouth
 

Beenym88

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If you pitch the blood orange at the same time the yeast will eat up most of the flavor. I’m currently considering giving up on mine it’s 2 days in there’s no activity for a gravity reading it didn’t move so if nothing by tomorrow morning I’m pitching 05 and it’s just going to be a fruited wheat beer. So far I’m not a fan of this yeast but hoping it turns around.
 

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So, if you're interested, here's the total plan - feel free to comment if you see a problem in the process:

Water, starting with Distilled, will have some additions to meet the following profile, using a yellow balanced Bru 'n Water profile:
Ca-64ppm, Sulfate-99ppm, CL-59ppm - making mash approx. 5.3 pH

4.5# pilsner
4.5# white wheat
35' Mash at 150F
15' Mash at 160F
10' Mash at 168F

60' Boil .5oz Hellertauer Hops
10' Boil .5oz Mosaic Hops
10" Boil 1 lbs. Belgian Candi Syrup
10' Boil .5 oz. sea salt

Pitch 1 packet Philly Sour at 68F - Day one
Pitch 1 packet US-05 at 65-68F - Day 5 (or when primary fermentation is close to done)
Pitch 49 oz. Blood Orange Puree - Day 5 (or same time as US-05)

Thoughts? Criticisms? General nasty comments directed towards my mother, or to the NY Giants (from you Philly guys)?

Thanks,

Monmouth
I literally have ALL the ingredients listed, right down to the 49 oz. Blood Orange puree and the Belgian Candi Syrup. The puree was for a Blood Orange pale ale (or American Wheat; never could decide on which one to brew, so.....), and the Belgian syrup was for "something" that also never got done. I'd planned to use the Philly Sour yeast for a Key Lime sour for this Summer's 'beach beer'. Gonna' have to reshuffle the line up I guess.

So, if I follow this thread, people are finding that the Philly isn't finishing the fermentation, or is it just not finishing fast enough? I thought it was supposed to do double duty as the souring yeast and the fully attenuating yeast. The process you outline looks like a traditional souring, which I view as "pre-souring" for a few days followed by a more traditional fermenting pitch. It almost seems like a co-pitch with US-05 might attenuate too much, given the amount of simple sugars in the puree and Belgian Candi.

I'm not sure if my thinking on this is correct, since I've never fermented with Philly Sour yeast, let alone ever brewed a sour. I'm wanting to give this type of beer a try but have shied away from it till now. I really like your recipe and think I'll brew it as is until day 5 of the "Philly ferment" to see how the attenuation is doing before pitching the US-05. Have you thought about other yeasts, like Nottingham? What sort of gravity are you anticipating on Day 5 when you co-pitch the US-05?

Lots of questions here. I'm really anxious to hear how it works out for you.
 

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So, if you're interested, here's the total plan - feel free to comment if you see a problem in the process:

Water, starting with Distilled, will have some additions to meet the following profile, using a yellow balanced Bru 'n Water profile:
Ca-64ppm, Sulfate-99ppm, CL-59ppm - making mash approx. 5.3 pH

4.5# pilsner
4.5# white wheat
35' Mash at 150F
15' Mash at 160F
10' Mash at 168F

60' Boil .5oz Hellertauer Hops
10' Boil .5oz Mosaic Hops
10" Boil 1 lbs. Belgian Candi Syrup
10' Boil .5 oz. sea salt

Pitch 1 packet Philly Sour at 68F - Day one
Pitch 1 packet US-05 at 65-68F - Day 5 (or when primary fermentation is close to done)
Pitch 49 oz. Blood Orange Puree - Day 5 (or same time as US-05)

Thoughts? Criticisms? General nasty comments directed towards my mother, or to the NY Giants (from you Philly guys)?

Thanks,

Monmouth
I agree with Beenym88 that if you pitch the 05 yeast and the fruit slurry at the same time, you will be reducing the flavor. (Might as well add the fruit at the end of the boil in this case.) But better results would probably come from waiting until both yeasts have finished, probably 10 - 14 days (Philly Sour is really slow). Then add the fruit. I would then let it condition for 2 weeks, but love to hear what others suggest.

Also, I'd just use cane sugar instead of the candi syrup. It's the same thing and a lot cheaper. I add mine at First Wort, though most folks seem to add it at the end of the boil. I have yet to read why it matters.... I just find it a lot easier to do at FW and it ensure it dissolves.

I'd also be interested in the premise that adding the 05 will reduce the total amount of sourness, as opposed to just using 2 packs of Philly Sour. Does that mean using 2 packets of Philly Sour produces more sourness and lower final ph? I would think not, but interested in what others think...
 
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Just a little that I learned from brewing with it, 2 packs of philly sour for a 5 gal batch is needed. When it starts working it produces the lactic which gives you the sour, then it will slow down and a couple days later it takes off again, this is the alcohol producing stage. I pitched 2 packs into about 5.5 gallon of wort, it took off and stopped in a day or 2 then took off again a couple days later... Super weird, I was worried on day 3 and 4 when nothing was happening. In the end it fermented down to 1.014 which was in a good fg range for me. I did not test the final ph and I dont like sours as mentioned above but the people who I gave the beer to said it is good and for my first attempt at a sour I cant complain. I did taste it and felt it wasn't overly sour, a little tart but not like eating a sour patch kid.
 

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