Author Topic: Sour Worting  (Read 12425 times)

Offline s rails

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Sour Worting
« on: July 20, 2012, 12:28:00 AM »
On a recent vacation I met with a Head Brewer at a brewery that shall remain nameless (I didn't check if I could share his technique).  He was making a Lacto soured beer.  The technique is to keep the wort in the kettle holding the temp somewhere between 100 F and 120 F and innoculating with a Lacto culture from Wyeast.   Once he reaches his desired sourness he boils the wort and ferments it.  This way equipment is not in contact with a live Lacto culture.  I liked the idea so I decided to replicate it home brew style.  I mashed my Berliner Weiss tonight.  Ran it off into my kettle, held a temp of 180 F for 15 minutes (thank you Chad from Crooked Stave and the BN), cooled it to 120 F and then ran it into an extra 5 gallon round Igloo I had.  The Igloo is filled to the top, the temp is 117 F.  I pitched the White Labs WLP677.  I had read in Wild Brews that it is critical to keep oxygen levels as low as possible for Lacto or to prevent Acetobactor.  So I took plastic wrap and covered the wort; pushing the wrap down until it touches the wort.  I then placed the Iglo top securely on and left it.

Now my question-Will the Lacto produce a gas like CO2 that might build some pressure?  I'm concerned if it does it will blow the lid or something.  Long story short question. 
Sean Railing
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 08:00:13 AM »
IANAMB (I Am Not A Micro Biologist) but I think that lacto does not produce significant gasses. When I make yogurt it doesn't build any presure in the little cups.
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Offline s rails

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 08:07:58 AM »
I thought the same thing.  I have made yogurt before and had seen no gasses like a yeast fermentation creates.  I asked because I was on the Mad Fermantationist website and read about his 100% Lacto Berliner Weisse experiment.  It looked like there was a lot of CO2 coming out of the fermenter.

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2012/06/100-lactobacillus-berliner-weisse.html
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Offline s rails

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 08:19:04 AM »
I just sent the following email to White Labs

I inoculated  wort with WLP677 in a 5 gallon round Iglo water cooler last night.  I left very little head space and even placed plastic wrap across the wort to keep out oxygen.  I then securely placed the lid on.  The wort was at 117 F when I pitched the vial.  I am concerned about possible pressure build up in the closed system.  I wanted to know if WLP677 will produce any gas while creating lactic acid?  Should I be venting gas somehow to avoid blowing the lid off the Iglo or worse?

I will post the response.
Sean Railing
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Offline nateo

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 08:19:58 AM »
Lactobacillus makes CO2. Everything living I know of produces CO2 as part of its metabolism, but I'm not a biologist so I could be wrong. In any case, my sour worts appear to produce about as much CO2 as a yeast would.

EDIT: I forgot about plants. Those don't produce CO2.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 08:28:08 AM »
If I recall Wild Brews correctly, Lacto Delbruekii, which I assume is what you got, produces 1 molecule of CO2 for each molecule of lactic acid.  I'll try to remember to check at home.  Different lactos do different things so experience with yoghurt may not be that helpful.

Anyway Igloo coolers generally allow air in and out so you can drain cold water through the bottom tap.  So I wouldn't worry about the lid blowing off unless you did something to block the vent.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 08:59:51 AM »

EDIT: I forgot about plants. Those don't produce CO2.

Actually you were right the first time.  At night plants release CO2 because of cellular respiration.  But, it's less than they take in during active photosynthesis so it's a net negative but you were right that they do produce CO2.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 09:56:48 AM »
I thought the same thing.  I have made yogurt before and had seen no gasses like a yeast fermentation creates.  I asked because I was on the Mad Fermantationist website and read about his 100% Lacto Berliner Weisse experiment.  It looked like there was a lot of CO2 coming out of the fermenter.

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2012/06/100-lactobacillus-berliner-weisse.html

100% lacto? so it's non-alcoholic? just basically a lactic acid drink?

**EDIT** so I read the link.  I did not know that lacto could produce alcohol. learn something new every day!
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 09:58:32 AM by morticaixavier »
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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 06:50:20 AM »

EDIT: I forgot about plants. Those don't produce CO2.

Actually you were right the first time.  At night plants release CO2 because of cellular respiration.  But, it's less than they take in during active photosynthesis so it's a net negative but you were right that they do produce CO2.

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Offline nateo

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 07:44:13 AM »
If you haven't tried using wild lacto, it might be a good way to save a few bucks. Those lacto cultures from the yeast lab aren't cheap. I'll make a starter of 2-3L, add dextrose to 1.040 or so, then add 1/2 cup of base grain. If you keep it hot, it'll be sour in a day. Pitch that into the wort, then the wort will be tart in about 24 hours, sour in 48, and really sour in 72. That the procedure I use on all my sour beers. I haven't used a commercial culture, so I can't compare the two, but my way works "well enough" for me.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 09:08:53 AM »
I've been saying to myself "I'm not ready to jump into sour beers quite yet" for a while now, but I think this thread has changed my mind. It sounds like I can use this technique with no further equipment needed. Raspberry Berliner, here I come.

  Ran it off into my kettle, held a temp of 180 F for 15 minutes (thank you Chad from Crooked Stave and the BN), cooled it to 120 F and then ran it into an extra 5 gallon round Igloo I had.  The Igloo is filled to the top, the temp is 117 F.  I pitched the White Labs WLP677.

What is the purpose for bringing the temp up to 180? Do you really need to pasteurize the wort if you're planning on souring it anyways?

My thought was to simply pull the grain bag from my cooler after the mash was finished (I use BIAB in a 5-gallon cooler), add enough cool water to bring the temp to 120, then pitch the lacto. Once it hits the sourness level I like, I'd run off to my brew kettle and boil.
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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2012, 09:38:36 AM »
Mash temperatures are probably hot enough to kill all the lacto present but not other mean and terrible bugs. Given the proportions of grain in a mash there are probably plenty of them in there.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 10:55:54 AM »
I've read the horror stories of clostridium (sweaty socks / vomit) infections from sour-mashing. I don't know what's going on with those. The way I sour the wort after making a sour starter from grain has never given me any noticeable levels of anything unpleasant. I've done it that way about 10 times now, fwiw.

I just run-off my mash at whatever mash temp was (150 or so) then let it cool to 110-120, pitch my sour starter, then keep the bucket wrapped with a towel and a heater belt for 2-3 days.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 10:57:32 AM by nateo »
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Offline s rails

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2012, 07:23:32 AM »
Here's my question and then the answer I received from White Labs:

White Labs,

I inoculated  wort with WLP677 in a 5 gallon round Iglo water cooler last night.  I left very little head space and even placed plastic wrap across the wort to keep out oxygen.  I then securely placed the lid on.  The wort was at 117 F when I pitched the vial.  I am concerned about possible pressure build up in the closed system.  I wanted to know if WLP677 will produce any gas while creating lactic acid?  Should I be venting gas somehow to avoid blowing the lid off the Iglo or worse?

Hi Sean,

    Lactic acid production will produce some CO2 so it's probably best to have some sort of pressure relief in your Igloo cooler, or just put the lid on loosely so the CO2 can escape.  The last thing you want is a sour beer bomb in your house!
Sean Railing
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Sour Worting
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 07:47:59 AM »
The technique is to keep the wort in the kettle holding the temp somewhere between 100 F and 120 F and innoculating with a Lacto culture from Wyeast.   Once he reaches his desired sourness he boils the wort and ferments it. 

How long was he (and are you) tying up your kettle to get the desired sourness?

For a commercial brewery, that sounds like a really big drain on production time. Especially since they are already buying lactic cultures (not just relying on culturing lacto from the grain).
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