Author Topic: Souring Fermentation  (Read 1206 times)

Offline wilsonbt

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Souring Fermentation
« on: March 18, 2010, 01:46:57 PM »

I recently had the opportunity to tour the New Glarus Brewing Company as well as sample some of their beers.  I tried the Old English style porter and was shocked to the unusual sour taste.  Looking on their website, it says they performed a "souring fermentation."  I was curious is anyone knew what is meant by "souring fermentation" as I don't have a clue.


Offline MrNate

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2010, 08:56:21 PM »
Some critters (like Lactobacillus) make acids that create a sour flavor.
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Offline wilsonbt

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 03:44:02 PM »
So, would that be a bacteria they add?  Or is that something that is just a result of an open air fermentation?

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 04:50:56 PM »
What about adding lactic acid taste?  How much cheating would that be?

Kai

Offline majorvices

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2010, 06:24:00 PM »
Well, IMO, for an historic English ale you need a bretttanomyces strain. Brett isn't sour by itself but is essential in historic British styles and is also essential in rounding out true souring bacteria strains (such as pedio or lacto) because it helps eliminate diacetyl created by those bacterium.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2010, 06:27:20 PM »
What about adding lactic acid taste?  How much cheating would that be?

Seems to me that would be a sensible and more controlled way to accomplish the same thing (incrementally, until the desired result is reached), rather than letting wild bugs have at it over time. 
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Offline MrNate

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2010, 06:28:39 PM »
It's all about the profile, man! You wouldn't just chuck in some melanoidin and call it a decoction, now would you?

In all seriousness I've considered adding in a bit of distilled vinegar rather than going through the whole souring shtick, but there's a reason we still call it a hobby.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2010, 06:36:02 PM »
(With all due respect, Kai.) You guys who think that you can cheat by adding a little lactic acid don't know much about the complexities of controlled (if you can even call it that) souring. I have been experimenting for about 5 years and I can tell you, it simply ain't that simple! A lot of (hopefully) pleasant, complex flavors are created during the aging/souring that simply can;t be recreated by adding a bit of acid.

BTW: OP, the book you need to get is, without a doubt, is "Wild Brews" by Jeff Sparrow.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 06:39:31 PM by majorvices »
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2010, 06:56:05 PM »
Let me continue the topic of adding acid in a different thread. I'm thinking about an intesting subject.

Kai

Offline abraxas

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2010, 07:52:34 PM »
I was given a 4 pack of that for Christmas, it's interesting but just wasn't my thing. 

Interestingly, someone had brought over a six pack a few weeks later of the Cracked Wheat (I think, I just can't remember for sure) and it tasted like it had undergone some souring as well.  I've always heard there's some risks involved with brewing with Lactobacilli  and was wondering if it was an unintentional contamination. 


Offline euge

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Re: Souring Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2010, 11:43:33 AM »
Per my preferences I can't stand it. I can smell it in a fermenter and pick up the taste immediately. Really a disappointment when it happens- I'll pitch a batch out in a heartbeat if it has this characteristic.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman