Sour beer with white koji

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beervoid

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Just read this article on making a quick sour within 1 hour by using 20 to 25% white koji in the mash and was wondering if there are any people here that have tried this method out and could share their experience with it.
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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FWIW, making quick sours is very easy without resorting to any tricks. Use no hops; add L plantarum with the yeast.
Thanks I will look into that. I love hops though.
Had great and fast souring with wild kveiks as well.
 

DrKnow

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I did a Brett saison with koji. Basically I grew the koji on steamed rice, and then went through the first few steps of making sake. (You can use the google machine if you aren’t familiar with that process). Once I had about 2 gallons of actively fermenting sake, I racked the saison on top of it (rice, lees, and all). I let that ferment for a month or two and it ended at a super dry .990! Not quick, nor is it a sour but it turned out really nice.
 

brownni5

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FWIW, making quick sours is very easy without resorting to any tricks. Use no hops; add L plantarum with the yeast.
Something to be said for trying new things, though.
 

RPh_Guy

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Is rice adjunct a new thing? I don't think rice adds much flavor, I though it was just for the LAB culture in this case?
 
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mashpaddled

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I had Paradox's Koji Bros yesterday which is made in a fairly similar manner with white koji. There is definitely a strong citrus flavor from it but not a beer I would describe as sour at all. It is very dry and the citrus flavors might trick you into thinking the beer is more acidic than it is but it is just mind games with the flavor.

If you want to make a sour beer using a koji or rice wine process you will need to add LAB along the way.
 
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beervoid

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I had Paradox's Koji Bros yesterday which is made in a fairly similar manner with white koji. There is definitely a strong citrus flavor from it but not a beer I would describe as sour at all. It is very dry and the citrus flavors might trick you into thinking the beer is more acidic than it is but it is just mind games with the flavor.

If you want to make a sour beer using a koji or rice wine process you will need to add LAB along the way.
I think it depends on how much % koji you use in the mash in terms of how sour it gets. The beer mentioned in the article dropped to a ph of 3.2 with 20-25% koji in the mash. Seems sour enough.
 

madscientist451

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I think I'll try it, I bought a tub of Koji rice on impulse a while back to try to make some sake, but the sake yeast is a seasonal item.
Basic plan is to aim for something like Paradox Koji Brothers.
-Inoculate Cal Rose short grain rice with the koji, but add my "house" American Saison blend yeast instead of sake yeast.
-Brew an American Saison with wheat, rye and oats.
-Blend together when fermentation is done.
-Bottle condition and see what develops.

Plan B is to keep it simple, brew a sake with lager yeast instead of sake yeast also brew and ferment a Pilsner and then blend at the end.
 
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mashpaddled

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I think it depends on how much % koji you use in the mash in terms of how sour it gets. The beer mentioned in the article dropped to a ph of 3.2 with 20-25% koji in the mash. Seems sour enough.
I am familiar with the article. We should distinguish that the author is not talking about using koji but using koji rice, as in rice already innoculated and partially fermented by koji. In that case the rice is a carrier for acids produced by the koji and less any flavor compounds. At that point you might as well kettle sour or add acids into the mash. Many of the people at the forefront of using koji to brew beer have found the vast majority of koji strains do not produce sufficient acidity to call a beer sour.
 
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beervoid

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I am familiar with the article. We should distinguish that the author is not talking about using koji but using koji rice, as in rice already innoculated and partially fermented by koji. In that case the rice is a carrier for acids produced by the koji and less any flavor compounds. At that point you might as well kettle sour or add acids into the mash. Many of the people at the forefront of using koji to brew beer have found the vast majority of koji strains do not produce sufficient acidity to call a beer sour.
Can you get a nice acidity from adding acids to the mash? I was mostly interested in this aproach as it seems a nice hack to get faster sours.
The article states that the acidiy from koji rice is nice.
If this is true it seems a nice and faster approach then waiting for a kettle sour to get to the right ph.
 

RPh_Guy

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You don't need a hack to get faster sours. Just use no hops and add L plantarum along with the yeast. You can dry hop or add hop tea after a few days of souring/fermentation. This eliminates the risk of contamination and the hassle of doing two brew days
Easy Peasy!
 
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beervoid

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You don't need a hack to get faster sours. Just use no hops and add L plantarum along with the yeast. You can dry hop or add hop tea after a few days of souring/fermentation. This eliminates the risk of contamination and the hassle of doing two brew days
Easy Peasy!
Im new to sours. Would this sour by L plantarum be of the same quality as the the koji rice sour?
Which is described as:
"White koji already contains the citric, lactic, and succinic acids, which impart a beautifully clean acidity to the beer,"
 

RPh_Guy

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Bacteria mainly produce lactic acid. Saccharomyces produces some succinic acid as a fermentation byproduct; this is how it adjusts pH, it's not enough acid to taste sour. Some yeast/bacteria can produce acetic acid if there is enough oxygen present and alcohol. Other organic acids come from plants.

Lactobacillus plantarum produces a clean and smooth lactic sourness. It's extremely easy to make delicious sour beer.
The kettle souring technique is a relic from when brewers were using wild bacteria to sour. L. plantarum is extremely hop-sensitive and doesn't form a biofilm, therefore it doesn't need to be killed because there's essentially no risk of contaminating future batches. It works quickly even at lower temperature (anywhere between 65°F to 100°F), so it's great for co-souring and post-souring, and it produces a nice sourness down to around 3.1 to 3.3 pH, which is plenty sour.

It's very easy to add other acids if you feel the need to supplement the acid profile. You can buy individual acids, lots of them are used in brewing and wine making -- citric, tartaric, malic, ascorbic, acetic, lactic, and phosphoric.
You also have other "natural" options to add acid, like lemon juice or Granny Smith apple peels.
In my opinion adding extra types of acids is generally unnecessary. You can add complexity from the yeast, malt, water, and/or hops (I'm a traditionalist in that regard). The Lacto blend I use also contributes a good flavor.

I haven't fermented rice, so I defer to the others about how much acid the white Koji rice actually contributes. I do find it hard to believe you could make a sour beer just with a rice addition.

I live and breathe sour beer; happy to answer any questions :)
 

mashpaddled

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Can you get a nice acidity from adding acids to the mash? I was mostly interested in this aproach as it seems a nice hack to get faster sours.
The article states that the acidiy from koji rice is nice.
If this is true it seems a nice and faster approach then waiting for a kettle sour to get to the right ph.
Most people don't like the results adding straight acids which is why you don't see it happen often but basically that is what you are doing here by adding koji rice.

For a shortcut koji rice might save you time but it is incredibly expensive to buy at the volume you need to make even a five gallon batch. You'll spend more on that rice than you will for all other ingredients in the beer combined.

There are lots of ways to make these quicker sours that are not difficult. That reverse lacto method Rph_guy describes is among the easiest and requires no real addition of time or process if you already know how to brew a beer and dry hop it.
 
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beervoid

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Bacteria mainly produce lactic acid. Saccharomyces produces some succinic acid as a fermentation byproduct; this is how it adjusts pH, it's not enough acid to taste sour. Some yeast/bacteria can produce acetic acid if there is enough oxygen present and alcohol. Other organic acids come from plants.

Lactobacillus plantarum produces a clean and smooth lactic sourness. It's extremely easy to make delicious sour beer.
The kettle souring technique is a relic from when brewers were using wild bacteria to sour. L. plantarum is extremely hop-sensitive and doesn't form a biofilm, therefore it doesn't need to be killed because there's essentially no risk of contaminating future batches. It works quickly even at lower temperature (anywhere between 65°F to 100°F), so it's great for co-souring and post-souring, and it produces a nice sourness down to around 3.1 to 3.3 pH, which is plenty sour.

It's very easy to add other acids if you feel the need to supplement the acid profile. You can buy individual acids, lots of them are used in brewing and wine making -- citric, tartaric, malic, ascorbic, acetic, lactic, and phosphoric.
You also have other "natural" options to add acid, like lemon juice or Granny Smith apple peels.
In my opinion adding extra types of acids is generally unnecessary. You can add complexity from the yeast, malt, water, and/or hops (I'm a traditionalist in that regard). The Lacto blend I use also contributes a good flavor.

I haven't fermented rice, so I defer to the others about how much acid the white Koji rice actually contributes. I do find it hard to believe you could make a sour beer just with a rice addition.

I live and breathe sour beer; happy to answer any questions :)
Great thanks for sharing that.

I feel like most sours I've tried are very one dimensional in flavor. I always preferred the Belgium lambic sours as they are more complex.
I speculated this is cause they take time to age and develop a more complex sour profile but as you describe it it's probably more to do with a right mix of yeast character and sour balance?
 

RPh_Guy

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I feel like most sours I've tried are very one dimensional in flavor.
I agree.

Almost all commercial sours are "kettle soured"....
They only use a 1-2 Lacto species.
Killing the Lacto removes almost all the Lacto flavor besides the acid and prevents it from adding complexity.
Souring the wort before pitching yeast (AKA pre-souring) suppresses almost all the yeast flavor.
They use a simple malt base and no hops.

So what's actually providing flavor? Just the acid with a bit of malt.
That's why most commercial sours also have overpowering fruit or other adjuncts, they make a very boring base beer.

I use a post-souring method -- adding the Lacto after a couple days of fermentation. Beer made with this method has flavor from both the Lacto and the yeast. I use a Lacto blend (Renew Life Ultimate Flora), which adds an interesting flavor. I also now use the low oxygen brewing method which adds awesome malt flavor, but you don't need that to make good sours.
Also, hop tea post-fermentation adds an amazing hop flavor with only a small amount of hops. I'm surprised more people aren't adding hop tea for non-sour beer. It's way better quality and more flavor than boil, whirlpool, or dry hop additions in my opinion/experience.

The sour wild kveik beer you made would be similar to post-souring other yeasts. I like WLP644 for sours.

All that said, Brettanomyces provides a wonderful unique flavor that simply can't be duplicated in a Lacto + Sacc sour. The traditional methods for making mixed Brett beer take a long time -- months to years. However, there are modern methods to produce a mixed sour with Brett suitable for bottling in only a few weeks.
Brett is the main flavor/aroma contributor of traditional Belgian sours.

Cheers
 
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Muad'Dibs

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For those who have rice soured, when do you add the rice in to start the souring process?
 

RPh_Guy

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For those who have rice soured, when do you add the rice in to start the souring process?
Hey, welcome to HBT!

I think there's literally no one that does this to make "sour" beer. It's not a good process.
I'm not sure what article they're referencing about Koji.

I've seen people make "sour" beer with a large percentage of acidulated malt. It's best to add it near or at the end of the mash (before mash-out), and allow to mash for maybe 15-30 minutes.
The issue with adding a huge amount of acid grain in the mash is that the grain starches need to be converted into fermentable sugar by the amylase enzymes, but the acid inhibits the enzyme activity needed to do that.
Also, as I mentioned, any method of pre-souring makes a pretty boring base beer, like a sour macro lager.

Using lactic acid bacteria is widely regarded as the best process for making quick sours, and the method I described above is quite simple and produces an excellent beer.

Hope this helps.
 
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beervoid

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Hey, welcome to HBT!

I think there's literally no one that does this to make "sour" beer. It's not a good process.
I'm not sure what article they're referencing about Koji.
Here is the article. It's a new development. It might be just another article to write cause they need new stuff to post.
https://beerandbrewing.com/sour-in-an-hour/
 
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beervoid

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If you try it, let us know how it is.
I'm actually trying to source it but its hard even we are far neighbours with japan.
I've set my mind to spontaneous fermentation instead.
 
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