Only a "little sour" Sour Beers

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
Lots of questions here. I'm really anxious to hear how it works out for you.
This is a totally unguided experiment from a relatively new BIAB brewer, so take it for what it is. I bear no responsibility for the success or failure of mine, yours, or anyone else's brew! ;)

Ok, now that I've absolved myself:

I had read in a reddit thread that if I pitch the Philly and the US-05 together, the US-05 will definitely out-compete the Philly, and it won't sour. Philly apparently sours first, then slowly starts to work on the sugars. I'm going to monitor it closely to see when it's really close to finishing before pitching the US-05. Apparently, the "sour" part of the yeast goes after simple sugars first (like the candi syrup) and the rest goes after the more complex ones.

I hadn't considered another yeast - I've been liking US-05 for the German ales lately, as it clears up pretty nicely after a quick cold crash. I think it pairs well with the Hellertauer and Mosaic I'm sprinkling in.

Based on @Beenym88 advice, I might wait until the US-05 is finished to pitch the blood orange, then wait another week before racking.

I don't have my numbers in front of me, but based on the size of the grain bill, the added candi, and the finishing puree, I suspect his one is going to finish with a relatively high ABV for the style. The idea is, if I don't like the sour (I probably won't), it will at least get me drunk enough fast so I don't mind the taste. :cool:

I'll definitely keep everyone posted. There seems to be a lot of unanswered questions about this new yeast. I don't mind being the guinea pig.

Cheers.
 

Brooothru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
1,161
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
This is a totally unguided experiment from a relatively new BIAB brewer, so take it for what it is. I bear no responsibility for the success or failure of mine, yours, or anyone else's brew! ;)

Ok, now that I've absolved myself:

I had read in a reddit thread that if I pitch the Philly and the US-05 together, the US-05 will definitely out-compete the Philly, and it won't sour. Philly apparently sours first, then slowly starts to work on the sugars. I'm going to monitor it closely to see when it's really close to finishing before pitching the US-05. Apparently, the "sour" part of the yeast goes after simple sugars first (like the candi syrup) and the rest goes after the more complex ones.

I hadn't considered another yeast - I've been liking US-05 for the German ales lately, as it clears up pretty nicely after a quick cold crash. I think it pairs well with the Hellertauer and Mosaic I'm sprinkling in.

Based on @Beenym88 advice, I might wait until the US-05 is finished to pitch the blood orange, then wait another week before racking.

I don't have my numbers in front of me, but based on the size of the grain bill, the added candi, and the finishing puree, I suspect his one is going to finish with a relatively high ABV for the style. The idea is, if I don't like the sour (I probably won't), it will at least get me drunk enough fast so I don't mind the taste. :cool:

I'll definitely keep everyone posted. There seems to be a lot of unanswered questions about this new yeast. I don't mind being the guinea pig.

Cheers.
I hear ya'. My guinea pigs will be my son and son-in-law at the beach this summer, They'll drink anything. My wife doesn't like beer of any sort, so I'm not worried about her critique. My daughter-in-law is 'with child' #3 so she's out. My daughter is probably my most critical and accurate taster, so she'll be the one whose opinion I take seriously. And she can be brutal.

I think @Beenym88 has it right about the puree, and I'm second-guessing the Belgian Candi since the syrup I have is dark and I don't want any molasses tastes muddying the mix. Also don't want it to be an alcohol bomb so the sugars may get throttled back a little.

Really getting excited about trying this out, but it'll have to be #4 on the "to do" list. #1 is the beach IPA which HAS to get done before any others, #2 & #3 are parallel re-brews of my Best in Show winner from two years ago for the brewery that's going to make it for this year's competition promotion. Last year's comp got cancelled due to Covid. They had suggested some modifications (no step mash, subbing 2-row for 6-row, a subtle change in hops and bittering), mostly to accommodate their end of the process. I told them I'd brew it my way and their way to compare if there are any significant changes, so that's brews 2&3. The sour will be #4, ahead of any fizzy yellow lawn mower beers, I guess.

Keep us/me advised of how it works out with the recipe.
 

maxr

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
101
Reaction score
31
Location
Davis
If you're just after sour without the complexity of a mixed fermentation, you can just add lactic acid to suit your preference. Philly sour does produce a nice tartness, and the sourness can be controlled with pitching rate. Over- and under-pitching both produce less sourness. I think that the overall character produced by this yeast is less desirable and you might prefer to use an ale yeast like US-05 and sour via lactic acid and/or an addition of acidulated malt.
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
#2 & #3 are parallel re-brews of my Best in Show winner
Super cool! What style are #2-3? That's awesome you're going to get to go full-scale with one of your beers. That's a great prize for winning a competition!

I promise to keep you posted.

If you're just after sour without the complexity of a mixed fermentation, you can just add lactic acid to suit your preference. Philly sour does produce a nice tartness, and the sourness can be controlled with pitching rate. Over- and under-pitching both produce less sourness. I think that the overall character produced by this yeast is less desirable and you might prefer to use an ale yeast like US-05 and sour via lactic acid and/or an addition of acidulated malt.
I'm definitely not a sour guy. I don't even know why I'm doing this beer. I started daydreaming about it, and bought the ingredients before I even really thought about the fact that I might end up with 5 gallons of something I don't like, and maybe can't even pawn off to friends. The yeast will be perfect for some crisp tartness, because I definitely don't want ay more than that.
 

Beenym88

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
171
Reaction score
86
This is my first attempt with using Philly sour I finally have krasuen yay! But I have to very much disagree with just spiking beer with lactic acid I don’t know how the philly sour will turn out but if I don’t like it I’ll just continue to kettle sour. Spiking with lactic acid in my opinion is not a good taste but I also love sour beers.
 

maxr

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
101
Reaction score
31
Location
Davis
This is my first attempt with using Philly sour I finally have krasuen yay! But I have to very much disagree with just spiking beer with lactic acid I don’t know how the philly sour will turn out but if I don’t like it I’ll just continue to kettle sour. Spiking with lactic acid in my opinion is not a good taste but I also love sour beers.
My experience with philly sour is that it produces some undesirable fermentation characteristics including apple flavor that could clash with other fruit flavors. I really do not care for any apple flavor or aroma in beer.

I suggest adding lactic to the OP in this fruited beer because there is enough going on in this beer that a clean lactic sourness may be acceptable. FWIW I have used lactic additions in the keg for ribbon-winning gose.
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
My experience with philly sour is that it produces some undesirable fermentation characteristics including apple flavor that could clash with other fruit flavors. I really do not care for any apple flavor or aroma in beer.

I suggest adding lactic to the OP in this fruited beer because there is enough going on in this beer that a clean lactic sourness may be acceptable. FWIW I have used lactic additions in the keg for ribbon-winning gose.
I might give it a go eventually, but without a pH meter, and a good understanding of additions per volume, I’m very reluctant.
Next time might try more acidulated malt to drop the pH at the end of the mash.
 

maxr

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
101
Reaction score
31
Location
Davis
You don't need a pH meter. You can just dose a known volume of beer (e.g. 100 mL) in a glass and then multiply by the appropriate ratio to determine the dose for the batch that suits your preferences.
 

Brooothru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
1,161
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
Super cool! What style are #2-3? That's awesome you're going to get to go full-scale with one of your beers. That's a great prize for winning a competition!

I promise to keep you posted.



I'm definitely not a sour guy. I don't even know why I'm doing this beer. I started daydreaming about it, and bought the ingredients before I even really thought about the fact that I might end up with 5 gallons of something I don't like, and maybe can't even pawn off to friends. The yeast will be perfect for some crisp tartness, because I definitely don't want ay more than that.
The BoS was a Pre-Prohibition lager that I've worked on and off trying to perfect for at least 10 years. I've won several ribbons over that time but never scored high enough or 'wowed' the judges enough to score a Bestie. We were going to brew it about a year ago, but that didn't work out so well. I fell behind in my brewing since both beers should be lagering already! The best part about winning was the fact that I won with a more traditional beer, rather than the fancy new beers (do we really need nearly a dozen sub-categories for IPAs?). I mean, I like variety as much as anyone else, but winning a large competition with an American lager??!??

As for Sours, at least they've been around for a while. I agree, it's not my favorite style, though I did take a bit of a liking to Dogfish Head's "Sea Quench" a couple of years ago as a nice beach beer, though it was more of a gose. I'm thinking I'll brew this one under Category 4X (Provisional) guidelines for a Catherina Sour beer.
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
Awesome awesome awesome. Congratulations on your win with a traditional beer. Keep it up!!
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
So, I pitched the Philly Sour on Sunday afternoon. Temp was about 68F, but a day after pitching (and not having the heat on in the house) the temp had dropped to 63.5F. I put my inkbird and heating mat on it, set to 69F, and covered with a layer of reflectix and a blanket on top. By Tuesday evening it had risen to about 68F again, and there was a healthy white krausen on top. My CO2 bladder was also filled up.

I plan on letting it go until about Thursday evening, when I'll pitch the US-05 to stop the lactic fermentation (if it hasn't already stopped). I'm heading out of town for the weekend, and will ask the wife to keep an eye on it, but I expect to come home to a completed fermentation.

I'll continue to keep you posted.

Cheers!!
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
Pitched the US-05 on Thursday evening - it's Tuesday today.

I plan to get the blood orange puree going soon, but am thinking better of just dumping it into the primary (which I might end up doing anyway).

Is there a better method that won't increase the risk of oxidizing? I can't do a closed transfer with my setup yet, and don't want to waste CO2 trying to purge a secondary.

Thanks for your thoughts.....
 

k-os

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
345
Reaction score
179
Location
Wisconsin
Pitched the US-05 on Thursday evening - it's Tuesday today.

I plan to get the blood orange puree going soon, but am thinking better of just dumping it into the primary (which I might end up doing anyway).

Is there a better method that won't increase the risk of oxidizing? I can't do a closed transfer with my setup yet, and don't want to waste CO2 trying to purge a secondary.

Thanks for your thoughts.....
What kind of fermenter are you using?
 

k-os

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
345
Reaction score
179
Location
Wisconsin
It's a Big Mouth Bubbler.
Oxidation won't be much of a concern since fermentation will start up again when adding the fruit puree (assuming you're letting it ferment out). You could always feed low pressure CO2 from your tank in to the fermenter as you pour the puree in through a funnel. I do similar when I dry hop at terminal in my Flex+ fermenters. I feed CO2 through my gas post at around 2-3 PSI as I open the center lid and add my dry hops.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
25,337
Reaction score
4,381
Location
Whitehouse Station
I think the idea of delaying the addition of fruit to retain flavor is corrupt. If you let the beer ferment all the way out, then add the fruit, fermentation will still fire back up again and drive flavors and aromas away. You're not going to stop yeast from consuming sugars unless they are approaching alcohol poisoning. It's a different product, but all the top mead makers make their melomels with the fruit added on day one.

In any case, whether adding fruit or dry hops, I always add it carefully and purge with CO2 for a couple minutes after.

It's water under the bridge at this point, but the key with sours is to consider the overall balance. When adding acidic fruits like some berries and all citrus, you need to back off on IBUs and/or kettle souring. Fruit acids, Lactic Acid from souring, and hop IBUs are all on the same team that counteract residual sweetness. If you have all three in a beer, they all better be minimal if you don't want your face to implode.
 

Snuffy

Airlock Sniffer
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
707
Reaction score
851
The only souring method I’ve used is the co-souring one I got from the thread here at HBT. If you want a mild sour that brews dependably like you would expect with normal yeast action, it does the job. I let it ferment normally for about 5 days and then hop to stop. And the Swansons lacto capsules are by far the least expensive way to go. 8 bucks from Amazon and I will never use them all. Only needs one per batch. As long as you don’t need much hop action, you are good. I have tried hop teas made several ways combined with dry hopping and I have come to the conclusion that I will never get a hoppy sour with this method - but that’s ok. I also gave up on adding a fruit character to beer with actual fruit some time ago. Once you’ve fermented the sugar out of a fruit, what’s left is not what you expected in every attempt I’ve made. Cherries and raspberries get close, but it’s like trying to imagine a flavor from nothing but an aroma and a residual tartness. The flavor concentrates added before bottling are the only way I’ve ever added a recognizable fruit character to a beer. I’m pretty much over that whole fruit beer phase now anyway. Just brew for a limited number of hardtails anymore so flavors are out - but I do enjoy a good sour.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,320
Reaction score
2,758
Location
Bremen
The only souring method I’ve used is the co-souring one I got from the thread here at HBT. If you want a mild sour that brews dependably like you would expect with normal yeast action, it does the job. I let it ferment normally for about 5 days and then hop to stop. And the Swansons lacto capsules are by far the least expensive way to go. 8 bucks from Amazon and I will never use them all. Only needs one per batch. As long as you don’t need much hop action, you are good. I have tried hop teas made several ways combined with dry hopping and I have come to the conclusion that I will never get a hoppy sour with this method - but that’s ok. I also gave up on adding a fruit character to beer with actual fruit some time ago. Once you’ve fermented the sugar out of a fruit, what’s left is not what you expected in every attempt I’ve made. Cherries and raspberries get close, but it’s like trying to imagine a flavor from nothing but an aroma and a residual tartness. The flavor concentrates added before bottling are the only way I’ve ever added a recognizable fruit character to a beer. I’m pretty much over that whole fruit beer phase now anyway. Just brew for a limited number of hardtails anymore so flavors are out - but I do enjoy a good sour.
You have to have an adequate volume of water to get the desired amount of ibus into solution, if you want it really hoppy. It certainly is possible to get it really hoppy this way, I once overhopped a beer this way by accident. A quarter of the total final beer volume should be enough to dissolve all the ibus you need. Just keep everything else out of it, except for water and hops.
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
I think the idea of delaying the addition of fruit to retain flavor is corrupt. If you let the beer ferment all the way out, then add the fruit, fermentation will still fire back up again and drive flavors and aromas away. You're not going to stop yeast from consuming sugars unless they are approaching alcohol poisoning. It's a different product, but all the top mead makers make their melomels with the fruit added on day one.

In any case, whether adding fruit or dry hops, I always add it carefully and purge with CO2 for a couple minutes after.

It's water under the bridge at this point, but the key with sours is to consider the overall balance. When adding acidic fruits like some berries and all citrus, you need to back off on IBUs and/or kettle souring. Fruit acids, Lactic Acid from souring, and hop IBUs are all on the same team that counteract residual sweetness. If you have all three in a beer, they all better be minimal if you don't want your face to implode.
I did actually try to take this into account when "designing" the recipe.

It was a malty grain bill, I used a minimal amount of bittering hops, only pitched one packet of Philly Sour (then the US-05 to stop the lactic acid production), and am adding the citrus late so the sweet comes through more than the bitter/acid.

First time with a sour, and really even adding fruit to a beer, so I'm hoping the result matches with my imagination.

But, truth be told, I think it's already going to be too sour for my liking. I burped my CO2 reservoir last night, and the smell that came out was decidedly sour. I'm hoping against hope it doesn't give too much of a pucker.
 

Beenym88

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
171
Reaction score
86
Adding fruit to beer really isn’t hard you just need a lot to get the flavor. Wait until very close to the end of fermentation or until it’s over and use no less than 1 pound per gallon if your want real fruit flavor. I just dump frozen fruit right in and it works like a charm. I’ve also bought purées online that are super easy to use but frozen is slightly cheaper and you just run to the grocery store.
 

kingmatt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
1,278
Reaction score
860
Adding fruit to beer really isn’t hard you just need a lot to get the flavor. Wait until very close to the end of fermentation or until it’s over and use no less than 1 pound per gallon if your want real fruit flavor. I just dump frozen fruit right in and it works like a charm. I’ve also bought purées online that are super easy to use but frozen is slightly cheaper and you just run to the grocery store.
I agree. I've had good luck with these Goya fruit purees and they are very cheap, compared to the canned puree from my LHBS:
10041331090862.jpg


I just used some passion fruit in my latest Catharina Sour and it turned out fantastic.
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
Adding fruit to beer really isn’t hard you just need a lot to get the flavor. Wait until very close to the end of fermentation or until it’s over and use no less than 1 pound per gallon if your want real fruit flavor. I just dump frozen fruit right in and it works like a charm. I’ve also bought purées online that are super easy to use but frozen is slightly cheaper and you just run to the grocery store.
I'm using the vintner's harvest blood orange puree. It's a 49oz can, which will go into about 5.5 gallons of beer. It may not be quite enough, but from what I've read, too much fruit can really dry out the beer. I definitely don't want to end up with something sour and too dry, so I'm limiting the amount of fruit. My guess is I'd have to use your suggestion of 1 Lb. or more per G to get the taste, and make it more forward than the sour profile.

Also hoping the 49oz. gives it just a tint of color. I'm imagining a pinkish, tart beer. We'll see soon, as I'm pitching the Blood Orange tonight.
 

Beenym88

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
171
Reaction score
86
The beer takes on color really easily it’s all a matter of taste and some trial and error the purées are going to give flavor easier since it’s crushed. For my gose beers I use whole fruit and go for a touch of flavor for my smoothie sours i actually blend up roughly ten pounds of frozen fruit and go nuts with it.
 

Snuffy

Airlock Sniffer
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
707
Reaction score
851
You have to have an adequate volume of water to get the desired amount of ibus into solution, if you want it really hoppy. It certainly is possible to get it really hoppy this way, I once overhopped a beer this way by accident. A quarter of the total final beer volume should be enough to dissolve all the ibus you need. Just keep everything else out of it, except for water and hops.
Are you upping the quantity of hops beyond what the recipe called for if it were brewed normally? I usually use kits, so I am only attempting to incorporate the amount of hops provided in the original recipe. Bittering hops I usually make tea with. Late addition hops I dry hop. I've mixed that up a bit and tried to recreate the original boil schedule when creating the tea - and you can tell there's hops involved, just nothing like what you would expect with the original ale. I think the sour masks the hop bitterness up to a point as well.
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
I pitched the blood orange puree last night.

It's my first time using it, and it did not look like I expected.

It looked like pale orange juice. I thought it was supposed to have a more ruby-red appearance.

My can as a bit dented - you think I got an old batch?
 

Beenym88

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
171
Reaction score
86
I think it’s totally fine you just don’t know what to expect the first time ordering something.
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
I think it’s totally fine you just don’t know what to expect the first time ordering something.
Thanks.

But I was kinda hoping it would give some color to the beer. I was imagining a reddish-clear sour with a crisp white head.

Oh well. Maybe if I do another one I'll go with raspberries.
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
Hello Everyone,
I haven't forgotten to update you - I'm sorry.
I wanted to give the fruit some time to infuse, and also had to finish the previous keg before this fermenter could be cold crashed.
The Blood Orange Gose with Philly Sour and US-05 is going into the keg tonight, and I'll force-carb over the next few days at 30 psi. Should be ready for a taste on Sunday night.
I'll report back soon!
 
OP
Monmouth00

Monmouth00

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
164
Reaction score
94
So, I tapped the keg of the Blood Orange Gose last night!
I did a quick force carb under 30 psi for about 24 hours, so it was a little flat, but I got some head and a few bubbles. Enough to see what will be when it finishes under the 10psi serving pressure over the next few days.
So, it’s beer, and it’s a little sour. Not overwhelming sour, thankfully. The hint of saltiness and a bit of bite from the coriander mixes well with the tart sourness and light sweetness from the blood orange. I think it’s pretty well balanced. It’s a bit higher ABV than the style at about 5.8%, but I always tend to aim for a higher AVB on everything. I think it’s a pretty good example of a Gose.

But here’s the thing - I don’t really like sour beers! I didn’t really think this one through before I bought ingredients. Now I’ve got 5 gallons of beer that’s ok, but far from my favorite. I’m going to have to find some friends who like sours to pawn it off on, one growler at a time.

Anyone local in NJ who likes sours and wants to give it a shot? 😂
 
Top