Sour Mash

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cimirie

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So, I'm prepping to do a sour mash fruit beer in about a month (I've got the hops drying as we speak) and I'm a bit conflicted about sour mash technique. This will be my first attempt and I'm trying to maximize my efficiency. Here are the two techniques I'm kicking around for my sour mash...

#1 - Mash recipe as per normal. Sparge as per normal. Collect in boil pot, cool to 120* and add 2 lbs pale malt. Cover pot and insulate with sleeping bag for 15-18 hours. Boil as per normal.

#2 - Mini mash 1 lbs pale malt. Sparge and collect - allow to cool to 120. Add 1 pound pale malt. Insulate well and let sit 15-18 hours. Add to boil pot with wort from rest of grain bill.

What I know about sour mashing can fit into the palm of my hand, but it seems to me as if the first technique would allow the whole wort to sour. The advantage to the second technique is that I don't have a full batch of wort sitting around for a day and I can sour ahead of time - in essence, it saves me time (as I brew off site and could sour the mash at home so I wouldn't have to make two trips).

Does anybody know if there would be an appreciable difference in taste between the two techiques? If I decide to go with the second technique, I could put the entire sour mash in with the rest of the mash and that might in turn sour the entire thing. But would that run the risk of infecting my MLT with bugs?

As you can see, I've got alot of questions. Anybody who can tackle them, I'd appreciate it!
 
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cimirie

cimirie

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OK, same question version 2.0...

I've searched around the board and have read many anecdotal stories of how people have sour mashed their beers. It's usually "I took some of this and added that and left it for about a day or so..." This gives me some good direction. But here's how I think I'm going to proceed with my sour fruit beer.

Make a 7 gallon batch (expecting to lose 1 gallon on the fruit so I'll actually bottle 6) as per normal.

Pre-boil, take 3 quarts of the final wort. Let cool to around 125*, throw in 1/2 lb 2-row and seal in a gallon jug. I'll wrap it in a sleeping bag and place it in front of a sunny window (sorry it's Florida. I can't turn on the heat and use the heat vents). [QUESTION #1 How long should I let it sit? I've heard everything from 15 hours to 2 days. People say "taste it and you'll know." Problem is, I've never made a sour fruit ale before so I'm not sure I will know how much sour will balance the rest of the wort I'll be adding the sour wort to.]

After souring, strain out the grains and boil the sour mash for 30 minutes. Return this wort to it's wort family in the primary fermentor and proceed as normal.

Please comment on how you think this might work out in terms of quantities, time, temps, etc. As always, I'm humbled by the knowledge floating around this board!

For reference, I'm attempting a sweet 'n sour fruit ale in the fashion of a pLambic Lindeman's Framboise.
 

fink100

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I've been researching doing my first sour, I was wondering if you had success with this method, and if so, how long were your primary and secondary fermentations? Did you get mold growing on the top of the wort during souring? Any other comments, advice, tips, tricks, would be greatly appreciated.
 

Scut_Monkey

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Wow this thread never took off. I'm interested as well as I'm planning the same technique for the same type of beer.
 
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