Steeping Hops and Utilization

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El_Exorcisto

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I am now on a quest to brew something truly unique with my harvested wild yeast. I want to do my first sour beer ala Berliner Weisse, but I don't want to be tied down to a low alcohol, low flavor brew that revolves around the sour. I want to brew something of a farmhouse ale using traditional methods, one of which being a no-boil brew.

The grains will be sparged, careful to keep the temps below 160*F. The wild bacteria, primarily lactobacillus, will inoculate the wort upon sparging and a sour brew is born. Let that sit for 2 days at 80*F then pitch my wild yeast starter.

My dilemma is, I would really like some Sorachi Ace or Cascade flavors to poke through. I'd actually like the flavor to poke through in a pretty big way, but without adding bitterness to counter or amplify the sour. I also need to keep alpha acids low to keep the lactobacillus alive. I have read mash hopping is common, as is first wort hopping. However, the numbers of utilization get all screwy when you take the boil out of the equation.

Anyone know what kind of AA utilization I would get when steeping an ounce of 14.9% aces or 5.5% cascades for an hour in 155* wort? From what I have read, I really need to keep my IBUs in the neighborhood of 10 or the lactobacillus starts dying off. I am also not interested in playing with brettanomyces or pediococcus (at least not intentionally).
 

Calder

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I think you will get almost zero AAs. Without boiling they will not mix with the wort, but you will get the flavor you seek.

Good luck with the brew, personally I think you are crazy, and will end up with something completely undrinkable. But I've never tried it, so I really don'y know what you will get. Hope it turns out well for you.
 
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El_Exorcisto

El_Exorcisto

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Why do you think it will end up undrinkable? I'm not doing much different than the brewers of Berliner weisse, except I am asking about adding more hops. Berliner weisse is still brewed in Berlin in exactly the manner described... I hear it is quite popular, too.

Back to the topic... Since I am without an answer from someone with any experience, I'm brewing tonight. I'll report back on perceived bitterness, perceived flavor, and how well my lactobacillus worked.
 

Captain Damage

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I think you could boil the hops in a small ammount of water to isomerize the alpha acids and then add your bitter "tea" to your fermenting beer.
 
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El_Exorcisto

El_Exorcisto

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Captain, the point is NOT to isomerize any AAs. I need to keep my lactobacillus alive. The point isn't a no-boil brew as much as it is keeping the lactobacillus kicking.
 
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