Author Topic: Tips please: first sour beer with ECY01  (Read 1005 times)

Offline tony perkins

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Tips please: first sour beer with ECY01
« on: March 05, 2013, 10:44:56 PM »
I have some ECY01 (BugFarm) en route from New Jersey, and I'm in the process of putting together a recipe for my first sour ale.  I'd appreciate any tips you folks can offer.

I envision this as something like a sour Southern English Brown.  When it's ready, I plan to use a few bottles to inoculate the next sour beer, etc. etc.

My thinking in this has been influenced by Michael Tonsmire's "Brewing Sour Beers at Home" post:

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2009/11/brewing-sour-beer-at-home.html

Here's what I'm planning:

1.045 OG

60% Maris Otter
15% Munich
10% Wheat
10% Crystal 80
3% Flaked Barley
2% Carafa Special II

16 IBU from EKGs at 60 minutes.

I know I'll need to mash high.  Is 156F high enough?  Does the OG and the proportions of wheat, crystal, etc. look right?  Do you have any recommendations for fermentation temperature?  Anything else I should think about?

Thanks in advance!
Drinking:  Pale Sour, Maibock, APA
Primary:  Patersbier
Secondary:  Sour Brown
Conditioning:  Barleywine
Up Next:  BDSA

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Tips please: first sour beer with ECY01
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 09:15:04 AM »
The recipe is fine. We could all give you different ways to tinker with it but I think you'll produce an interesting beer.

156-158 is fine for mash temps. I would ferment at normal ale temperatures and then just let it age and sour at ambient temperatures unless your ambient temperatures are extremely warm or extremely cool. Anywhere mid-60s-80F will be fine. I let my sours go at ambient and over the course of a year it will swing from upper-60s to low 80s and I don't get any off flavors or undesirable flavor profiles.

Don't over think the beer. The bacteria and brett will do all the hard work over time. Remember, these bugs have been souring/infecting beers for thousands of years. They know what to do.

Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline tony perkins

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Re: Tips please: first sour beer with ECY01
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 01:42:34 PM »
Thanks, RAM.  How long do you let your sours sit in secondary?  I understand that I shouldn't bottle until gravity has been stable for over a month, and not above 1.010.  I'm just curious what is typical.

I would be inclined to leave this sour alone for almost a year, and only start drawing samples when I felt that bottling day might be 60 days or so away.  Is there a downside to letting it sour undisturbed for so long?  Would it be better to taste more frequently?

EDIT: I know you said not to over think this.  I'll stop soon.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 02:02:24 PM by tony perkins »
Drinking:  Pale Sour, Maibock, APA
Primary:  Patersbier
Secondary:  Sour Brown
Conditioning:  Barleywine
Up Next:  BDSA

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Tips please: first sour beer with ECY01
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 07:41:10 AM »
Some people really push the time table and will bottle sours as early as three months after pitching. It can be done that way (e.g. this is Jolly Pumpkin's usual timetable) but I think you have to really understand the flavor profile you seek and the residual sugars after primary fermentation that need to be broken down and fermented before the beer is stable.

I am not one who believes a faster turnaround on sours often makes a better beer than letting time do its thing. I usually let my sours go for a year, sometimes more. Even after all sugars and starches have been consumed there is still a lot of flavor to be developed as brett and pedio break down other elements of the beer and put them back together in different ways.

You might decide you like the taste of younger sours but for your first time I would encourage you to wait at least six months but I think you will probably be happier waiting closer to a year.

There's no downside to letting it sit undisturbed. You do not want to break the pellicle and taste it too frequently. The pellicle is a natural barrier to oxygen (although they can and do form in anaerobic conditions as well) and oxygen exposure will give fuel to any acetobacter in the beer to convert ethanol to acetic acid and create a sharply acidic beer rather than the softer acidity of lactic acid from lactobacillus and pediococcus.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline tony perkins

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Re: Tips please: first sour beer with ECY01
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 11:50:01 AM »
Thanks very much for your guidance.  That sounds like a plan.
Drinking:  Pale Sour, Maibock, APA
Primary:  Patersbier
Secondary:  Sour Brown
Conditioning:  Barleywine
Up Next:  BDSA