Author Topic: First sour - fermentation plan  (Read 2972 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2015, 11:05:24 pm »
Well, not sure in your area. Its similar ish to Logsdon Cerasus, minus the cherry and a bit more sour. Tasting notes from NHC where it got a 30 while being way out of style, said it was very tart with pineapple and cherry pie notes. It was over carbonated and the hops weren't cheesy enough, and not enough barnyard to be in style for a straight lambic. That's why I'm looking forward to the new guidelines. Too many modern west coast sours don't fit the historical euro sours.

I don't get pineapple per se, more of a fermented cherry pie thing. Not horse barnyard like Bret b. Bret lambicus is a flavor all its own. See if you can find logsdon farmhouse beers, like pech n Brett, or cerasus.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2015, 11:15:28 pm »
The beer I've been talking about is my quick sour. I've done a couple the slow way with roselare and they are great too. I'm learning there are lots of right answers with sour beers.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2015, 11:20:07 pm »
By the way, mchrispen will be getting one of my quick sours soon. We'll see what he thinks before too long.

Offline JT

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2015, 11:20:54 pm »
The beer I've been talking about is my quick sour. I've done a couple the slow way with roselare and they are great too. I'm learning there are lots of right answers with sour beers.
This is my hope with my beer currently in the fermenter.  Next time I will certainly make a sizeable Lacto starter first if I use this current schedule again.  I've got a 1 liter WY1007 starter underway while I'm crashing my carboy down to 67 degrees.  Will pitch it tomorrow.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2015, 11:27:48 pm »
Two things. Avoid oxygen exposure. Be patient. You'll do fine.

Offline JT

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2015, 11:33:43 pm »
Two things. Avoid oxygen exposure. Be patient. You'll do fine.
I was planning on hitting it with o2 immediately prior to pitching my active WY1007.  It will have been sitting 3 days with WY5335, though my pH isn't really budging. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2015, 11:40:08 pm »
Ya I'm no expert. Especially not with lacto and sac yeast. I know Bret will throw some acetic if O2 is present. And nothing cleans up acetic.

Someone else may be able to chime in on that. But if it were me with no other suggestions, I'd build a huge pitch and toss it in without oxygenation

What temp has the lacto been at?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 12:05:52 am by klickitat jim »

Offline JT

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2015, 04:39:22 am »
Ya I'm no expert. Especially not with lacto and sac yeast. I know Bret will throw some acetic if O2 is present. And nothing cleans up acetic.

Someone else may be able to chime in on that. But if it were me with no other suggestions, I'd build a huge pitch and toss it in without oxygenation

What temp has the lacto been at?
The Lacto was direct pitched at 85° F for around 52 hours.  Since my pH isn't moving, I chilled the beer last night to 67° and will pitch my starter today at high krausen and had planned on hitting beer with o2 first.  This schedule was recently recommended by Matt Miller (aka Dr. Lambic) on a Basic Brewing podcast in Jan.  I'll listen again today and reference American Sour Beers first.
I know you definitely want to avoid o2 with Brett, but there isn't any in there (yet).

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2015, 04:56:13 am »
Ya I'm no expert. Especially not with lacto and sac yeast. I know Bret will throw some acetic if O2 is present. And nothing cleans up acetic.

Someone else may be able to chime in on that. But if it were me with no other suggestions, I'd build a huge pitch and toss it in without oxygenation

What temp has the lacto been at?
The Lacto was direct pitched at 85° F for around 52 hours.  Since my pH isn't moving, I chilled the beer last night to 67° and will pitch my starter today at high krausen and had planned on hitting beer with o2 first.  This schedule was recently recommended by Matt Miller (aka Dr. Lambic) on a Basic Brewing podcast in Jan.  I'll listen again today and reference American Sour Beers first.
I know you definitely want to avoid o2 with Brett, but there isn't any in there (yet).
My concern would be what else is in there that may react to oxygen. I'd be more confident oxygenating after a 15 minute boil to kill off whatever may have taken hold. You'll probably be fine though.

Offline brewday

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2015, 06:16:19 am »
I hit with O2 just prior to the yeast pitch - basically after 5335 has had its run I treat fermentation as I normally would.  Then I'll throw in Brett L. around 3 days after the 1007 pitch.
Jon Weaver

Offline mabrungard

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2015, 07:24:33 am »
Wow! Sounds like trouble.

I just finished a Berliner that was created via the handful of malt method that is incredible. There is a lot to be said for using more than a monoculture in your sour beer. Here is what I did:

1.5L of 1.030 starter wort in 2L erhlenmeyer flask.
Pitched with handful of Best Pils malt (whole).
Capped with tightly fitting sheet of aluminum foil (didn't have a stopper to fit the flask!)
Wrapped with heating pad and kept at around 100F.
Smelled pretty funky for a few days
Dusty, chalky looking pellicle formed. Was easily swirled away with agitation.
Became nicely smooth and tart smelling after about 5 days
Final pH: 3.1

Created 5 gal of 50/50 Pils/Wheat wort with single step at 154F
Ran off hot wort into 5 gal corny keg.
Installed keg lid and allowed to cool to 100F overnight.
Pitched entire starter (above) and replaced lid.
Wrapped heating pad and blanket around keg and kept at around 100F
Vented keg daily, lacto does NOT produce much CO2, so the venting was minimal.
Smelled like a sewer...funky for a couple of days.
Cleaned up to a smooth and tart aroma after about 5 days
Final pH: 3.1

Poured soured wort into kettle, produced a huge, dense head.
Boiled the 5 gal of soured wort for 1 hour, wanted to make sure DMS from Pils was gone.
Very fruity, pleasing aroma throughout.
About 10 IBU of early hopping applied.
Transferred hot wort directly into fermenter and allowed to cool overnight
Direct pitched packet of US-05 yeast into fermenter at 68F.
Took about 12 hours to show signs of airlock activity.
Fermented slowly for about 5 days...low pH and low gravity probably the reason.
Finished around 1.010, didn't want to let it go too low since I figured the beer needed a little sweetness to counter the acidity.

Very nice, multi-dimensional flavor, very clean and tart. Met with high regard from my club's National and Master judges. By my palate, this was equal to the Berliner's that I've tasted from Fritz Briem 1854 and Berliner Kindle. Mission accomplished!

I feel that an important lesson here is that it is VERY important to prevent oxygen contact with the bacterial culture since that can invite truly funky and off aroma and flavor. Give the culture time and the lacto will eventually out-compete the other organisms and severely limit their activity via the low pH from their lactic acid production. Note that the keg of wort hit with the lacto starter still went funky, so those other organisms were still lurking in that starter. The lacto still out-competed them and produced a great result.

I've tasted the Wyeast Berliner's at the past couple of AHA conferences and have to say that they are quite bland and uninspiring. This multi-organism starter definitely helps avoid that problem. Those of you that have read the Bru'n Water Facebook page know that you can improve the depth of a Berliner's acid flavor by adding distilled vinegar to infuse a low level of acetic acid that is present in a good Berliner. But I'd say that this 'natural' approach does produce a more pleasing complexity and depth.

By starting with a starter, you can avoid wasting a whole batch of beer. Just let that thing go through it's funky phases and eventually it should develop that pleasing sourness and smooth tartness from lactic acid. As noted, this is not a terribly rapid process, but it does work and the result can be outstanding.
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Offline brewday

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2015, 09:12:50 am »
The beer I've been talking about is my quick sour. I've done a couple the slow way with roselare and they are great too. I'm learning there are lots of right answers with sour beers.
This is my hope with my beer currently in the fermenter.  Next time I will certainly make a sizeable Lacto starter first if I use this current schedule again.  I've got a 1 liter WY1007 starter underway while I'm crashing my carboy down to 67 degrees.  Will pitch it tomorrow.

One thing you could do at this point is proceed as planned and start a smaller Berliner taking a different approach, and then blend to taste.  Time is your friend here!
Jon Weaver

Offline JT

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2015, 05:39:56 pm »
With my WY1007 starter ready I checked the beer again and this time pulled a full size sample: pH still at 5.3 and gravity still at 1.034. 
This was a good news / bad news scenario IMO.  On one hand my Lacto isn't Lacto-ing, but on the other hand nothing else seems to be at work either.  This was almost exactly 72 hours in.  I aerated with pure o2 at 1LPM for 60 seconds and pitched my full  (almost 1 liter) and active starter which I made with o2 and no stir plate.  Five hours in and I'm seeing airlock activity and krausen.  The plan is to proceed as if I were on track and see what the Brett and cherries bring, although I will of course taste after primary fermentation. 
When using a Lacto culture again, I'll be sure to make a good starter first.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2015, 05:42:18 pm »
Martin, that Full Sail berliner was timid and one dimensional for sure. Im not so sure they didnt sour it with 88%. That being said, it was a drinkable intro to sour beer that was only $4 a bomber. If a sour virgin liked that, they could head south 10 miles and try some World Beer Cup gold medal winning sours and see the difference between $4 bomber and a $25 750ml.

I agree that I prefer the complexity. But clean and straight forward has a place too.

Offline JT

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Re: First sour - fermentation plan
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2015, 05:57:45 am »
Gotta love the pre-work scramble to install a blowoff tube!  I heard WY1007 was a climber but thought I was safe with my 1.034 gravity.