Author Topic: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?  (Read 2691 times)

Offline pyrite

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Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« on: March 30, 2012, 05:38:12 PM »
I need help deciding whether I should sour a very high gravity beer? It would all go into a 10 gallon oak barrel that I use for aging my sour beers.

It's a Belgian Strong ale with a heavy amount of specialty malts and caramel malts.
IBU's =35
OG= 1.102
FG=1.025

The reason I ask is because I am uncertain about how a high gravity sour Belgian would taste like. I don't think I know of any commercial examples of big sour beers, or have tasted any.  Currently the beer tastes balanced with hops and malts.  However, if i do not sour it, the beer would still need some aging to let the flavors smooth out.

I can't decide, and any suggestion would be very appreciated. 
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Offline deepsouth

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 05:42:37 PM »
russian river consecration is 10% and awesome.  just sayin!
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 07:14:04 PM by deepsouth »
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 06:10:32 PM »
russian river consecrations is 10% and awesome.  just sayin!


I've had that beer about 3 times and I had no idea it was 10%. I thought it was much less. Thanks!
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Offline nateo

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 06:23:23 PM »
Do it! You could always split it in half and sour only one portion, then compare the two.
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Offline theoman

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 10:26:40 PM »
Rodenbach Vin de Cereale is amazing at 10%, but the sour is far from subtle.

Offline pyrite

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 06:12:26 PM »
Rodenbach Vin de Cereale is amazing at 10%, but the sour is far from subtle.

Thanks, I've never tried it.  I'm going to request a bottle from my local store.
 
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Offline deepsouth

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 07:16:06 PM »
lots of the russian river sours can get up there in abv, yet don't taste it at all...  i've got a consecration cold and now i'm pondering cracking it tonight.  batch 5.
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Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 01:39:43 AM »
It might be hard to sour a 10%+ ABV beer. Lacto bugs tend to croak at about 7% ABV. I'm not sure how Russian River makes their big sours. My guess is split batches and/or sour mashing.

Offline seajellie

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 06:02:38 AM »
I think it'd be hard to sour a beer with that much alcohol and IBUs too. Maybe the acetic bacteria could handle it with some O2 but I'd think the lactic would be stopped. I'm curious too how this is managed. Split batches and blending make sense. Probably a good way to go anyway, since the balance of flavors could be tricky. Sounds like an interesting experiment.

Offline nateo

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 06:08:13 AM »
It might be hard to sour a 10%+ ABV beer. Lacto bugs tend to croak at about 7% ABV. I'm not sure how Russian River makes their big sours. My guess is split batches and/or sour mashing.

It depends what kind of bugs they're using. The stuff from Wyeast / White Labs is pretty wussy. There are other types of lactic bacteria that can handle higher ABV and IBUs. Brett produces acid too, and is tolerant up to about 15% ABV.

FWIW I'm pretty sure Russian River pre-sours their wort, so IBU and ABV aren't issues.
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Offline deepsouth

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 06:27:52 AM »
because of this thread......

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 11:09:43 PM »
I was told by the brewer at Cascade Barrel House (Ron) that he uses exclusively lactobacillus post fermentation and that the published IBU and ABV maxes are not accurate.  He uses Wyeast lacto, barrel ages, and is patient.
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Should I sour a 1.102 gravity beer?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 07:32:22 AM »
I racked the 1.102 gravity beer into the 10gallon barrel this past weekend. The next day the beer began showing signs of secondary fermentation. (It's currently around 75-80F here in So. California. Also, there was a good amount of wild yeast sediment in the bottom of the barrel from the previous souring, so I used a portion of it.)

The 10gallon barrel has both WLP 655 sour mix and Wyeast roselare blend 3763.

I'm just concerned about how lacto souring of such a high gravity beer might taste. I hope it doesn't taste too dry.  I know Russian River Concencration is sour, but it doesn't taste that dry. 

I think I'm looking for more of the barn yard, brett characteristics, than the too much of the sour bite from the lacto.

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