« on: July 24, 2012, 09:19:31 AM »
Update- The sour worting in the Iglo was a failure. To quote from my Facebook page, "The experiment smells like failure. Sophia walked into the garage and said she thought we had dirty diapers in a diaper genie. A bad sign since that's a smell associated with enterobacter. Not good. At a double header Futsal game will check it when I get home."
I definately had an enterobacter infection (the smell was more then horrible- think of super ripe diapers). The bad wort went down the gutter. On day two I didn't have any ph change so I threw some two row in. The ph was at 4.0 by the next morning but the infection had already taken hold. Who knows how I got it; just need to prevent it going forward.
What I've learned- the bad bugs can't reproduce below 4.3 ph, survive without oxygen, or with 2% alcohol present (all in Wild Brews; pg 115). When I pitched a single vial in 5 gallons I didn't pitch enough. Make a starter (give the lacto a head start). Chad Yacobson of Crooked Stave recommended bringing the wort up to 180 F for 15 minutes to give yourself a blank slate to work with (on the Brewing Network interview).
I will try again this week- big lacto starter, big yeast starter (Wild Brews states saccharomyces can't reproduce below 4.5 ph; pg 115). I will make a wort again, bring it to 180F for 15 minutes, drop to 110F, pitch the lacto starter, cover the wort with CO2, seal the fermenter with an air lock, place in my garage (over 100F right now), wait at least 48 hours to check ph and taste, if satisfied with souring pitch yeast after droping temp to 68F. I have added 10% acidulated malt to get the ph down as well in the grist. My grist is 50% pilsner/two row, 40% wheat malt, 10% acidulated (Wheat by Stan H is another good book with tips on BW and Gose). I will be adding raspberries if all goes well (haven't determined how much yet). This will not be to style since I expect a abv close to 6%; guess I will call it an Imperial. I plan on updating so others can get some ideas. By no means would I say this is the only way to sour a beer, so I wouldn't argue with all the other processes mentioned.
The question about the commercial brewery- This is a brew pub. They have a limited number of fermenters and all appeared to be in use. I didn't ask since I hadn't tried this yet about how long it ties up the equipment. I asked how long it took to get to where he wanted it and he said he checks using a wine tritrate kit and when its done he boils like a normal beer. I assume maybe a day or two. I think they must pitch a large amount of lacto to do the work. This beer beat Russian River Supplication and Allagash Mattina Rossa for the gold at the 2012 world beer cup in the American Sour Category.