Author Topic: Sour Mash  (Read 4773 times)

Offline jimbo44

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Sour Mash
« on: May 25, 2010, 12:45:06 AM »
I recently (Kind Of) enjoyed a sour ale from Big Horse in Hood River.  On the notes, it says the brewer employed a sour mash to make the ale.  I have heard of sour mash four hard A, but not for brewing..   Can anyone explain this means in a beer brewing sense and the techniques used. 
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Offline b-hoppy

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 04:21:53 AM »
it's as easy as mashing a small portion of the mash a day or two before brew day.  once the mini-mash is mashed and cooled to about 100F, a handful of fresh malt is stirred in and the bacteria which cover the malt is allowed to reproduce for that time before the main mash.  (it's best to keep air away, and maintain the temp. for the duration of the mini-mash) on brew day, you can mix the 'soured mash' right in with the main mash.  there are plenty of other ways, but this, i find is the simplest.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 05:09:19 AM »
Yep, what he said.  Although I prefer to let the sour mash ferment for 3 or 4 days to make sure it's good and ripe by the time it gets into the main beer.  If you only wait 1 or 2 days, I don't think there would be enough strange stuff going on to make hardly any difference in your finished beer.  Yes, this is based on experience.  Look up "Kentucky Common" sometime to learn more about the style.
Dave

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Offline babalu87

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 05:44:24 AM »
I have a little 2 gallon Igloo beverage cooler ( my OLD mini-mash mash tun) that would be perfect for this.

I'm thinking in my attic (in a bigger container just in case  :o) should keep it nice and warm for 3 days or so.

Headspace should be reduced to almost nothing when sour mashing correct?
Jeff

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Offline akr71

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 05:55:07 AM »
What consitutes 'a small portion of the mash?'  A third of the grain bill?  A quarter?

Do you toss the entire sour mash in with the rest of your grain on brew day, or drain it into the kettle after you've mashed the remainder of the grains?
Andy

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Offline babalu87

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 06:23:33 AM »
What consitutes 'a small portion of the mash?'  A third of the grain bill?  A quarter?

Do you toss the entire sour mash in with the rest of your grain on brew day, or drain it into the kettle after you've mashed the remainder of the grains?

Mash goes with mash and then mash as normal is what I'm thinking.
About 1/4  is what I've gathered.
Jeff

On draught:
IIPA, Stout, Hefeweizen, Hallertau Pale Ale, Bitter

Primary:
Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 06:49:24 AM »
I used about 1/4 last time and I didn't think it was quite enough -- it was slightly funky, but not easy to detect.  Next time I'm going to go for a full 40% of the mash being sour.  I want it to have real obvious funk!
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline richardt

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 06:52:35 AM »
p.132 and 228 in New Brewing Lager Beer by Greg Noonan covers Lactic-Acidification of your mash in great detail.

Here's the "Cliff's Notes" version:

5-15 % of your grain bill should be prepared at least a day or two before brewing.  Heat it to 155 F x 1 hour then cover and let it cool to 125 F.  Then knead in "a small portion" of crushed dry malt (to introduce Lactobacillus delbruckii).

Keys are temp control and anaerobic conditions (keep above 125 F, sometimes even above 140 F and eliminate air space between the mash and its cover to prevent spoilage by other molds and bacteria).

Offline babalu87

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2010, 07:27:40 AM »
I used about 1/4 last time and I didn't think it was quite enough -- it was slightly funky, but not easy to detect.  Next time I'm going to go for a full 40% of the mash being sour.  I want it to have real obvious funk!

Thanks for that Dave
I'll go the 40% then

I've made a few Berliners and while nice beers they werent sour enough.
Made a starter for the Lacto both times but its MEH
Good beer, very refreshing but doesnt have as much sour as I hoped for.
Jeff

On draught:
IIPA, Stout, Hefeweizen, Hallertau Pale Ale, Bitter

Primary:
Hefeweizen,Berliner Weisse, Mead

Offline MrNate

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2010, 10:30:11 PM »
I use a crock pot with a temp controller to maintain temps - around 120-125. Open air. Funked for 2-3 days, usually 3.

1:10 in my porter is what I've been using, but I keep meaning to bump that up. The ratio will vary widely depending on how sour your sour mash is.
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Offline nofunsally

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2010, 11:37:13 AM »
I made a Kentucky Common recently:

I made wort from 1.5 lbs of grain (10% of the total grain bill). I mashed (covered) over night, sparged in the morning and then threw in 3 oz of uncrushed malt. I kept it at ~100F for about 4 days. This photo is from about 50 hours into the souring.  Some folks suggest putting plastic wrap atop the wort to prevent non-lacto critters at bay, I didn't, just used the pot lid.  It was a 3 gallon pot so there was plenty of air space.  Its aroma was not pleasant.  I skimmed the scum, boiled and added to the main mash. The resulting product has that refreshing sour character, but no where near the pucker achieved from a pure lactobacillus culture, like I used in a berlier weisse (this was never boiled however).  I couldn't find any image of  sour mash when I did it, perhaps you'll find it useful.  I always want to know what something is supposed to look like.

Cheers,
Mike

Sour Mash


Edit: Trying to get photos to work, no luck with img tags. Here instead is an URL link
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 11:40:56 AM by nofunsally »

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2010, 12:21:34 PM »
For my sour mash I've always just crushed 3-4 oz. and dumped it in pint jar with some warm tap water.  Put a canning lid and ring on the jar and set it on the water heater for 3 or 5 days.

It definitely comes through in the end product.  I thought my son was going hurl the first time he opened the jar and dumped it in the mash tun.

Paul
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Offline tankdeer

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2010, 03:15:14 PM »
If you want the beer to be really sour, then sour the whole thing. Of course if you want it to be really good then use a lactobacillus culture and forget the sour mash altogether. My 2 cents
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Offline MrNate

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2010, 08:41:21 PM »
If you want the beer to be really sour, then sour the whole thing. Of course if you want it to be really good then use a lactobacillus culture and forget the sour mash altogether. My 2 cents

You should try au natural sometime. Don't know how pure it really is, but it is firmly within the "really good" category.

Again, I ferment open. The conditions lacto thrive and reproduce under are somewhat inhospitable to other critters.
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Offline tankdeer

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Re: Sour Mash
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2010, 10:50:29 AM »
If you want the beer to be really sour, then sour the whole thing. Of course if you want it to be really good then use a lactobacillus culture and forget the sour mash altogether. My 2 cents

You should try au natural sometime. Don't know how pure it really is, but it is firmly within the "really good" category.

Again, I ferment open. The conditions lacto thrive and reproduce under are somewhat inhospitable to other critters.
If you're referring to a spontaneous fermentation then I've already got one going. Almost 18 months old and starting to get pretty nice.
No TV and no beer make Homer something something...