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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: jimbo44 on May 25, 2010, 07:45:06 AM

Title: Sour Mash
Post by: jimbo44 on May 25, 2010, 07:45:06 AM
I recently (Kind Of) enjoyed a sour ale from Big Horse in Hood River.  On the notes, it says the brewer employed a sour mash to make the ale.  I have heard of sour mash four hard A, but not for brewing..   Can anyone explain this means in a beer brewing sense and the techniques used. 
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: b-hoppy on May 25, 2010, 11:21:53 AM
it's as easy as mashing a small portion of the mash a day or two before brew day.  once the mini-mash is mashed and cooled to about 100F, a handful of fresh malt is stirred in and the bacteria which cover the malt is allowed to reproduce for that time before the main mash.  (it's best to keep air away, and maintain the temp. for the duration of the mini-mash) on brew day, you can mix the 'soured mash' right in with the main mash.  there are plenty of other ways, but this, i find is the simplest.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dmtaylor on May 25, 2010, 12:09:19 PM
Yep, what he said.  Although I prefer to let the sour mash ferment for 3 or 4 days to make sure it's good and ripe by the time it gets into the main beer.  If you only wait 1 or 2 days, I don't think there would be enough strange stuff going on to make hardly any difference in your finished beer.  Yes, this is based on experience.  Look up "Kentucky Common" sometime to learn more about the style.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: babalu87 on May 25, 2010, 12:44:24 PM
I have a little 2 gallon Igloo beverage cooler ( my OLD mini-mash mash tun) that would be perfect for this.

I'm thinking in my attic (in a bigger container just in case  :o) should keep it nice and warm for 3 days or so.

Headspace should be reduced to almost nothing when sour mashing correct?
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: akr71 on May 25, 2010, 12:55:07 PM
What consitutes 'a small portion of the mash?'  A third of the grain bill?  A quarter?

Do you toss the entire sour mash in with the rest of your grain on brew day, or drain it into the kettle after you've mashed the remainder of the grains?
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: babalu87 on May 25, 2010, 01:23:33 PM
What consitutes 'a small portion of the mash?'  A third of the grain bill?  A quarter?

Do you toss the entire sour mash in with the rest of your grain on brew day, or drain it into the kettle after you've mashed the remainder of the grains?

Mash goes with mash and then mash as normal is what I'm thinking.
About 1/4  is what I've gathered.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dmtaylor on May 25, 2010, 01:49:24 PM
I used about 1/4 last time and I didn't think it was quite enough -- it was slightly funky, but not easy to detect.  Next time I'm going to go for a full 40% of the mash being sour.  I want it to have real obvious funk!
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: richardt on May 25, 2010, 01:52:35 PM
p.132 and 228 in New Brewing Lager Beer by Greg Noonan covers Lactic-Acidification of your mash in great detail.

Here's the "Cliff's Notes" version:

5-15 % of your grain bill should be prepared at least a day or two before brewing.  Heat it to 155 F x 1 hour then cover and let it cool to 125 F.  Then knead in "a small portion" of crushed dry malt (to introduce Lactobacillus delbruckii).

Keys are temp control and anaerobic conditions (keep above 125 F, sometimes even above 140 F and eliminate air space between the mash and its cover to prevent spoilage by other molds and bacteria).
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: babalu87 on May 25, 2010, 02:27:40 PM
I used about 1/4 last time and I didn't think it was quite enough -- it was slightly funky, but not easy to detect.  Next time I'm going to go for a full 40% of the mash being sour.  I want it to have real obvious funk!

Thanks for that Dave
I'll go the 40% then

I've made a few Berliners and while nice beers they werent sour enough.
Made a starter for the Lacto both times but its MEH
Good beer, very refreshing but doesnt have as much sour as I hoped for.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: MrNate on May 26, 2010, 05:30:11 AM
I use a crock pot with a temp controller to maintain temps - around 120-125. Open air. Funked for 2-3 days, usually 3.

1:10 in my porter is what I've been using, but I keep meaning to bump that up. The ratio will vary widely depending on how sour your sour mash is.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: nofunsally on May 28, 2010, 06:37:13 PM
I made a Kentucky Common recently:

I made wort from 1.5 lbs of grain (10% of the total grain bill). I mashed (covered) over night, sparged in the morning and then threw in 3 oz of uncrushed malt. I kept it at ~100F for about 4 days. This photo is from about 50 hours into the souring.  Some folks suggest putting plastic wrap atop the wort to prevent non-lacto critters at bay, I didn't, just used the pot lid.  It was a 3 gallon pot so there was plenty of air space.  Its aroma was not pleasant.  I skimmed the scum, boiled and added to the main mash. The resulting product has that refreshing sour character, but no where near the pucker achieved from a pure lactobacillus culture, like I used in a berlier weisse (this was never boiled however).  I couldn't find any image of  sour mash when I did it, perhaps you'll find it useful.  I always want to know what something is supposed to look like.

Cheers,
Mike

Sour Mash (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_chS9TZrX5q8/S3c21ezEuNI/AAAAAAAAASM/hLRLpWHAcOQ/s1600-h/sourmash2.jpg)

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_chS9TZrX5q8/S3c21ezEuNI/AAAAAAAAASM/hLRLpWHAcOQ/s1600-h/sourmash2.jpg)
Edit: Trying to get photos to work, no luck with img tags. Here instead is an URL link
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: Slowbrew on May 28, 2010, 07:21:34 PM
For my sour mash I've always just crushed 3-4 oz. and dumped it in pint jar with some warm tap water.  Put a canning lid and ring on the jar and set it on the water heater for 3 or 5 days.

It definitely comes through in the end product.  I thought my son was going hurl the first time he opened the jar and dumped it in the mash tun.

Paul
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on May 28, 2010, 10:15:14 PM
If you want the beer to be really sour, then sour the whole thing. Of course if you want it to be really good then use a lactobacillus culture and forget the sour mash altogether. My 2 cents
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: MrNate on May 29, 2010, 03:41:21 AM
If you want the beer to be really sour, then sour the whole thing. Of course if you want it to be really good then use a lactobacillus culture and forget the sour mash altogether. My 2 cents

You should try au natural sometime. Don't know how pure it really is, but it is firmly within the "really good" category.

Again, I ferment open. The conditions lacto thrive and reproduce under are somewhat inhospitable to other critters.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on May 29, 2010, 05:50:29 PM
If you want the beer to be really sour, then sour the whole thing. Of course if you want it to be really good then use a lactobacillus culture and forget the sour mash altogether. My 2 cents

You should try au natural sometime. Don't know how pure it really is, but it is firmly within the "really good" category.

Again, I ferment open. The conditions lacto thrive and reproduce under are somewhat inhospitable to other critters.
If you're referring to a spontaneous fermentation then I've already got one going. Almost 18 months old and starting to get pretty nice.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: MrNate on May 31, 2010, 03:21:14 AM
yes and no... I'd say there's a difference between a spontaneous fermentation and a sour mash. Spontaneous fermentation to me means more of a wild yeast plus random critter fermentation.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on May 31, 2010, 03:56:02 AM
You're absolutely correct in that there is a difference. You said try it au natural and i was trying to figure out what you mean. I have in fact done several sour mashes and I much prefer using a lacto culture, which is why I mentioned that. It gives much better results without as much chance of your beer tasting like cheese afterwards.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tomsawyer on June 02, 2010, 04:35:29 PM
I am making a small batch (2gal) of sour mash beer right now, 50% wheat malt and 50% pale ale malt.  I let it sit overnight in the MLT, it had a skim of acetobacter on top the next evening.  I lautered it into a bucket and its sitting there for further souring.

I have a number of questions.

Should I boil this after it sours adequately?  There are no hops so far, I was thinking to at least boil a portion with some hops.

How do I know when it is sour enough?  Taste?  The stuff has a funky smell now but its not sour.

Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 02, 2010, 04:52:51 PM
Should I boil this after it sours adequately?  There are no hops so far, I was thinking to at least boil a portion with some hops.
Depends on if you want it to sour further. Boiling it will have the benefit of "setting" the sourness/funkiness at whatever level it's at now. Not boiling will allow the bugs to continue working until they decide to stop.

How do I know when it is sour enough?  Taste?  The stuff has a funky smell now but its not sour.
Taste is pretty much the only way. If it's not sour enough, let it sit longer.

That is the problem with sour mashes - sometimes you get nice clean sourness, sometimes you get intense funk and no sourness, and pretty much everything in between. It's too variable for me, which is why I stopped doing it.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tomsawyer on June 02, 2010, 07:20:13 PM
This batch is small enough that it won't be a great loss if it has to be dumped.  I did have some luck before with using whey to innoculate lactobacillus.  Come to think of it, I have some cheese culture starters in the fridge that might be useful.  I'll have to look into that.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: babalu87 on June 03, 2010, 03:54:50 PM
Just hoping I dont spill mine, friend and I were joking about that yesterday.

Yes, daddy still loves mommy but I spilled a sour mash and we had to go our seperate ways  ;D

I'm getting it to 120 or so and putting the 5 gallon drink cooler in the attic

Tin foil over the top should be sufficient correct?
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tomsawyer on June 03, 2010, 05:26:11 PM
Just hoping I dont spill mine, friend and I were joking about that yesterday.

Yes, daddy still loves mommy but I spilled a sour mash and we had to go our seperate ways  ;D

I'm getting it to 120 or so and putting the 5 gallon drink cooler in the attic

Tin foil over the top should be sufficient correct?

Yes you'll be poisoned long before the Alzheimers sets in.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: MrNate on June 03, 2010, 09:34:25 PM
That is the problem with sour mashes - sometimes you get nice clean sourness, sometimes you get intense funk and no sourness, and pretty much everything in between. It's too variable for me, which is why I stopped doing it.

I guess what I was saying is that I haven't run into that problem yet. Not with my beer method, anyway.

Interesting thing is that I took some sour mash to make a sourdough starter, and sitting out at room temps it varied quite a bit in sourness and leavening. I imagine the lacto and yeast were waging some massive turf wars. When conditions were right for yeast, it was yeasty. When they were right for lacto, it was sour. As far as I can tell, a lot of it depended on the thickness of the slurry.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 03, 2010, 10:45:47 PM
Sheesh... I was inspired to making a go at a sour beer... now I'm not so sure.   :-\
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 03, 2010, 10:52:51 PM
Sheesh... I was inspired to making a go at a sour beer... now I'm not so sure.   :-\
Don't let my b****ing stop you. Please, DO IT! The good thing about a sour mash is, you get a finished beer in roughly normal ale turnaround times. I'm just of the opinion, having done several different methods, that sour mashing is not for me. I much prefer the results that I get with other methods, both spontaneous and by pitching bugs. I say start with a sour mash and move on from there. It's easy and quick.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tomsawyer on June 04, 2010, 01:40:40 AM
I pulled a sample of my wort to check gravity, it is 1.042 which is about where I wanted (would have settled for 1.036).  Anyway I took a taste and it has a nice bit of sourness!  I don't know why I'm so surprised.

I also added a small amount of a mesophilic cheesemaking culture containing S lactis and S. cremoris.  I thought it would work like it does on milk, but since I added it I've decided it isn't the right stuff since there is no lactose in this wort.  I need lactobacillus, which apparently I had in the sour mash.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 04, 2010, 01:26:24 PM
tankdeer, it wasn't just your opinion but your opinion does sound pretty convincing.   :D  I'll try it anyway, I was just whining.   :D  ;)
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 04, 2010, 03:30:25 PM
As long as you are not just pouring lactic acid straight into your finished beer, I say go for it.  ;D
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 06, 2010, 02:37:31 PM
If doing a sour mash with no boil, how do you add bittering?  I was thinking of pulling a gallon or so and boiling an ounce of 7 AA to 8 AA hops for 20 minutes and then adding it back to the collected unboiled wort to get something in the high teens for BU's?  Something is afoot today... not sure what I'm gonna end up with but I'll see soon enough.

7.75 pound grain bill for 5.5 gallons of runnings/wort... sound about right to you guys?
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: babalu87 on June 06, 2010, 03:13:03 PM
Sour mash with wheat = STICKY STICKY STICKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hit my OG of 1.040 , yeast will be pitched later today
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tomsawyer on June 07, 2010, 02:33:36 PM
Dean I didn't add any hops to mine yet, its fermenting now.  I'm thinking I might just blend in some hopped beer later on if it tastes like it needs it.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 07, 2010, 03:49:30 PM
You could also do what is traditional in a Berliner Weisse mash (which is not a sour mash BTW) and pull a single decoction and hop that. You only want like 5-10 ibus on most sour beers anyways
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tygo on June 07, 2010, 04:14:39 PM
You only want like 5-10 ibus on most sour beers anyways

Is that regardless of gravity?
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 07, 2010, 04:47:42 PM
You only want like 5-10 ibus on most sour beers anyways

Is that regardless of gravity?
No, not really. But I'd say it's a fair assumption for anything between probably 1.030 and maybe 1.055 or even 1.060. Once you start getting bigger I'll push the IBUs up closer to 15 or maybe even 20. Two things to consider, first is that just in general sour and bitter are two flavors that kinda clash, and don't go well together, and second is that if lactobacillus is extremely hop sensitive, and will crap out on your if you've got too much hops.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: babalu87 on June 07, 2010, 04:51:20 PM
I dont know if I did a no no or not

Doughed in Friday AM to 120.
Put the mash tun in the attic.
Pulled it down and gave it a smell/taste
TASTES NICE...

Added boiling water to hit 149 and rested there for 90 minutes
Ran off and boiled

Two things
Hit my OG DEAD ON
Wort is REALLY MILKY stuff.

I've been reading that mashes are soured AFTER conversion............................?
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 07, 2010, 04:58:03 PM
I've been reading that mashes are soured AFTER conversion............................?
That is generally the way one would do it, because your mash pH was probably not in the ideal range. The milkiness would suggest a pretty significant starch presence in your wort. If you hadn't already planned on it, I'd pitch some brett to take care of that.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: babalu87 on June 07, 2010, 05:04:21 PM
I've been reading that mashes are soured AFTER conversion............................?
That is generally the way one would do it, because your mash pH was probably not in the ideal range. The milkiness would suggest a pretty significant starch presence in your wort. If you hadn't already planned on it, I'd pitch some brett to take care of that.

Dont want to wait for Brett
I want quick and sour ( I know that doesnt really compute but have heard it can be done)
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 07, 2010, 05:09:21 PM
I've been reading that mashes are soured AFTER conversion............................?
That is generally the way one would do it, because your mash pH was probably not in the ideal range. The milkiness would suggest a pretty significant starch presence in your wort. If you hadn't already planned on it, I'd pitch some brett to take care of that.

Dont want to wait for Brett
I want quick and sour ( I know that doesnt really compute but have heard it can be done)

You're right though. It CAN be done. Well, good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tygo on June 07, 2010, 06:47:43 PM
You only want like 5-10 ibus on most sour beers anyways

Is that regardless of gravity?
No, not really. But I'd say it's a fair assumption for anything between probably 1.030 and maybe 1.055 or even 1.060. Once you start getting bigger I'll push the IBUs up closer to 15 or maybe even 20. Two things to consider, first is that just in general sour and bitter are two flavors that kinda clash, and don't go well together, and second is that if lactobacillus is extremely hop sensitive, and will crap out on your if you've got too much hops.

Good to know, thanks. I'll be using lacto and the gravity will be up in the 1.080+ range and I'm planning about 18 IBU's if I recall correctly so that should be about right.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 07, 2010, 07:04:24 PM
18 should be ok, but I wouldn't push much past that. If this is a "true" sour beer (by which I mean a mixed fermentation and not a sour mash), then you may want to consider using some pediococcus as well. It has a much higher tolerance for iso alpha acids and produces a good amount of lactic acid
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 07, 2010, 07:31:03 PM
I mashed at 149 for an hour then tried adding a gallon of boiling water to mash out to lock the activity.  I ended up adding 3 gallons of boiling water and still couldn't hit 170?!  Yes, that was after stirring, three separate times with a gallon each time.   :(  167 to 168 was the best I could get.  So its still sitting in the MT, I pop the lid open and leave it open every so often for 10 minutes to half an hour.  I don't know what to expect but I'm pitching S-05 tomorrow or the next day once I've transferred to a carboy.  I haven't checked my gravity yet but I will when I pull a portion for boiling and hopping.  I know I'm not doing it the correct way but thats how its gonna roll.   :-\   Since there is no "real" boil the way I'm doing it, I'm wondering about DMS too.  I had plenty of bee's checking out the process yesterday... do those bugs count?  :D

The grain and mash smelled so good... I've got to make a regular beer now!    ;D
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 07, 2010, 07:38:14 PM
Contrary to common sense, I've never had a DMS issue in my no-boil berliners.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 07, 2010, 08:04:33 PM
I'll probably end up with a dumper, I'm doing almost everything contrary to what I normally would do.  I was just out in the shed, I passed some ferns along the way and I thought... what the heck, so there is a fern steeping in the mash too now.    :o :D

Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 07, 2010, 08:41:19 PM
Lol. What's a fern taste like anyways?
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 07, 2010, 10:31:22 PM
Well, believe it or not, if you pick them early in the spring while they are in the "fiddle" stage and cook them as you would asparagus they taste quite similar.  I wanted to pick some this year but I couldn't remember which ones are the edible ones.  I was taught by an an old friend long ago beside the fact that its been at least fifteen years since I've eaten them.  I believe it is the branched type that are known to carry cancer causing agents whereas the straight leaf type are edible at that stage.  BUT, as I said its been so long now that I may have that backwards, which wouldn't surprise me because Sumac is another plant that there are two types... one is branched and the other is straight stick type of plant... the branched Sumac is edible while the straight Sumac is poisonous.

When I was a kid I tried smoking fern stems... very Sour.   :D  Yeh.... tried cornsilk too... along with other plants.   ;D  Nothing beats a refreshing cup of corn squeez'ns out of a full silo though.   ;)  Honestly I just put it in there figuring there are probably some bacteria and yeast on the leaves of the fern though.  Although I haven't even drained the MT yet so I doubt its doing any good.... or bad?   :D
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 07, 2010, 10:49:22 PM
Ha ha ha. Well, at the very least it sounds interesting.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: babalu87 on June 07, 2010, 11:47:29 PM
Weird ass Weiss is fermenting like a bastard
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: MrNate on June 08, 2010, 01:38:00 PM
 Nothing beats a refreshing cup of corn squeez'ns out of a full silo though.   ;)

Man that takes me back. Ever notice how when you remember smells it's like you're standing right there in the memory?
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 10, 2010, 12:06:51 AM


Man that takes me back. Ever notice how when you remember smells it's like you're standing right there in the memory?

Yeh... this wort smells like an old barn full of sweaty horses or pigs!   :o  :D 

Just transferred from the MT into a carboy tonight... OG = 1.043 with no boil, my efficiency just jumped like a SOB!   :o   Boiled a gallon with some cluster pellet hops to add back to the main wort... hope it turns out. 
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 11, 2010, 12:47:27 PM
I just checked the sour mash batch its fermenting at 63 degrees, not extremely active but it has krauzen on top.  No airlock just tinfoil, I think I'm going to use tinfoil more often.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 11, 2010, 03:20:40 PM
I've been using tinfoil a lot just due to laziness. It works quite well.  :)
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 16, 2010, 01:40:52 PM
The sour smell is practically gone and it smells like an old horse saddle.  As of last night it still had a frothy krauzen on it and has me wondering how long and low brett ferments? 

I've been keeping the carboy in a tub 1/3 filled with water and putting 2L or 1 gallon jugs of ice in the water to help keep the temps down, on the 3rd and 4th mornings I found the temperature in the mid 70's.  I hope it didn't get too high.   :(  I should have put it in the creek like I did with the saison, its actually a bit too cool for that I think.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 18, 2010, 04:13:55 PM
Update in case anybody is wondering.  I pulled a sample and tested the gravity, its at 1.014 and it still has a small foam on the top.  Smell is musky and the taste is like a slightly musky tart lemonade with pepper and finishes with a slight hint of green floral taste.  I need to find my notes on this brew, I made it before I bought beersmith so its not on my computer.  Its definitely different. 

I think I'll pull it out of the tub of water to let it finish more.  I'm a bit concerned with transferring to a secondary and over oxygenating it, should I wait for it to finish more before I transfer to secondary?
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 18, 2010, 04:23:09 PM
Sounds nice. Yeah, I would wait for it to finish. There's no reason to transfer early.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on June 19, 2010, 01:54:14 AM
I recently (Kind Of) enjoyed a sour ale from Big Horse in Hood River.  On the notes, it says the brewer employed a sour mash to make the ale.  I have heard of sour mash four hard A, but not for brewing..   Can anyone explain this means in a beer brewing sense and the techniques used. 

I see you were in Hood River, so I assume you make it to Portland sometimes.  There's a bar in the Raleigh Hills neighborhood that "specializes" in sour beers.  It's called Raccoon Lodge http://www.raclodge.com/ .  They always have a variety of their own sour beers there and I really enjoy em.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 19, 2010, 05:32:44 AM
^ Cascade brewing. They make some fantastic sour beers.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on June 21, 2010, 02:49:51 PM
^ Cascade brewing. They make some fantastic sour beers.

That's them
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: sutorbrew on June 24, 2010, 03:58:20 PM
Should I boil this after it sours adequately?  There are no hops so far, I was thinking to at least boil a portion with some hops.
Depends on if you want it to sour further. Boiling it will have the benefit of "setting" the sourness/funkiness at whatever level it's at now. Not boiling will allow the bugs to continue working until they decide to stop.

How do I know when it is sour enough?  Taste?  The stuff has a funky smell now but its not sour.
Taste is pretty much the only way. If it's not sour enough, let it sit longer.

That is the problem with sour mashes - sometimes you get nice clean sourness, sometimes you get intense funk and no sourness, and pretty much everything in between. It's too variable for me, which is why I stopped doing it.

I'm with Tankdeer on this one. While it might be interesting to roll the dice on a sour mash if you are looking for consistently reproducible beers then making a monster lacto starter is the way to go. What has worked well for me to get my berliner out in 3 weeks (some of you might have tried at at the LAGERS booth at club night) is to make a 3-4 liter (20 gallon batch) starter of lacto a couple days ahead of time and lightly stir it on a stir plate @ 90 ish. Then do mash hopping, a single decoction and a no boil. Here is the trick I found. Only cool your wort down to the mid 90's and pitch your lacto first giving it a 8-12 hour head start before pitching the yeast. This give the little critters a big head start and you fill see an active CO2 release and can verify how far they have moved along by taking a PH reading. After that I pitch a Kolsch yeast and ferment in the mid to high 60's. You should have a nice clean sour in 3 weeks and can always secondary a little longer if you want the flavors to develop further.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 25, 2010, 12:07:15 PM
Here is a pic I took a couple of days ago, pellicle forming on top.  Its fuller now and looks like an arctic ice shelf, I'll try to get another pic today.

(http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k64/DeanD1/June2010020.jpg)


Just took these two pics...

(http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k64/DeanD1/June2010043.jpg)

(http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k64/DeanD1/June2010042.jpg)
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: richardt on June 25, 2010, 02:23:22 PM
Looks like stretch marks.
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: tankdeer on June 25, 2010, 03:57:48 PM
Looks like stretch marks.
Ha. Kinda does. But yeah, that's a pellicle allright. I'd say you're in for the long haul.  ;D
Title: Re: Sour Mash
Post by: dean on June 25, 2010, 06:59:59 PM
Looks like stretch marks.
Ha. Kinda does. But yeah, that's a pellicle allright. I'd say you're in for the long haul.  ;D

I've got an IPA that will be ready to transfer soon so I won't be short on beer.   :)   

A little over a year ago I made an IPA and while chilling the wort a sudden burst of rain fell that caused some sort of growth during the fermentation.  It looked like a jellyfish sort of, I thought that was a pellicle but now I'm not sure it was.  Either way the beer tasted good.   ;D  It sure was a weird looking creature though...  :o  :D