Sour Mashing?

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boodyrischous

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I have been reading about the sour mash technique. Does anyone know if (when done properly) sour mashing can reduce the very long secondary fermentation required for Brett/ Lacto in Flanders Reds, Old Ales, etc.? If so, how long do you let the secondary go? Thanks!
 
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boodyrischous

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Bump: Anybody ever tried to use sour mashing to replicate the extended Brett aging? I know it won't be as good, but has anybody tried it?
 

Edcculus

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A sour mash and brett have absolutely nothing in common. A sour mash takes advantage of lactobacillus, which creates lactic acid. That will add a distinct tartness to the beer. Souring a beer this way will not give the same results as a wild ferment. Brett does not necessarily add any sourness. It contributes the "barnyard" aromas and flavors. It also dries out a beer, since it is considered "superattenuative".
 

Shawn Hargreaves

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Sour mashing can get you somewhat approximately close to beers whos flavor profile are dominated by lactic acid bacteria, such as Berliner Weiss, but it won't be anywhere near the flavor of a brett beer.

The general consensus seems to be that while sour mashing does produce lactic sourness, it is a less interesting and rounded flavor than you get from a proper fermentation with lactobacillus.
 

CBBaron

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Havn't done doth to compare but lets look at the differences.

Sour mash. Lacto are allowed to grow in the mash after starch conversion. They produce Lactic acid which lowers the ph of the mash and wort. Then you sparge and boil killing the lactic. Then the yeast are added to eat the sugars and produce alcohol.

Lacto sour ferment. Lacto are allowed to grow in the finished beer. The simple sugars have been consumed by the yeast leaving more complex sugars for the slower organisms like lacto. The lacto remain active in the beer until they can no longer find food. They they go dormant. The ph of the beer is lower.

The first will affect the boil and ferment as the ph is somewhat lower. The acidification happens quickly without competition. Then the wort is put through its boiling process. Should add some lactic sourness but you will be limited by how much you can lower it without affecting the ferment. Also the lacto will not lower the FG of the beer as they are no longer active.

So it seems like a cheap and easy way to get a sour, but may be simpler in flavor and limited in extent.

Craig
 

Shawn Hargreaves

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Another thing to consider is that with a sour mash, you're pretty much guessing as to how long you should leave this to reach the desired level of sourness. Too short, and your beer isn't sour enough. Too long, and it either tastes like vinegar, or won't ferment at all because you've made the pH too low for the regular yeast.

Wheras with a lacto fermentation, it gets gradually sourer over the course of many months. This gives easy and finely tuned control: just drink it once it gets to the flavor you like! Plus you can hang onto a couple of bottles to experiment with higher levels of sour.
 
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boodyrischous

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I was planning on experimenting and making a really sour mash, then blending it with a non-soured mash. Or sour mashing a beer, and blending it post-ferment with an unsoured beer post-ferment. I know it will probably be a simpler flavor, but hey, a quick and easy test to see how the flavor turns out.
 

noisy123

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Another thing to consider is that with a sour mash, you're pretty much guessing as to how long you should leave this to reach the desired level of sourness. Too short, and your beer isn't sour enough. Too long, and it either tastes like vinegar, or won't ferment at all because you've made the pH too low for the regular yeast.

Wheras with a lacto fermentation, it gets gradually sourer over the course of many months. This gives easy and finely tuned control: just drink it once it gets to the flavor you like! Plus you can hang onto a couple of bottles to experiment with higher levels of sour.
I thought vinegar tastes came from acetobacteria, not lactic-acid producing ones.

I did a sour mash and tasted it regularly after around 18 hours. In that way you can control the sourness.
 
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