Author Topic: sour IPA thoughts?  (Read 1906 times)

Offline shearej

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sour IPA thoughts?
« on: August 16, 2015, 01:51:47 AM »

Looking to brew a sour IPA as a side challenge for an upcoming competition.  I see there are a few craft breweries out there producing sour IPAs.  I don't mean dry hopped sour ales or IPAs fermented entirely with Brett.  I mean Lactobacillus soured IPA style beers with high IBUs.  Anyone ever tried it?  I don't live where I can find any commercial examples.  I'm guessing kettle souring is a must, then boil and brew as a normal IPA, otherwise the high IBUs would inhibit Lacto fermentation.  I've always been under the impression sour and bitterness don't mix but am now curious after hearing about a few commercial breweries trying it.  I'm thinking I'll try blending a sour ale and a regular IPA on a small scale first, just to experiment before committing to five gallons.  I'd appreciate any insight.

Cheers,

Jeff

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2015, 02:27:33 PM »
Yeah you need to kettle sour because the combination of high IBU and LAB doesn't produce acidity in most circumstances.

I'm not a fan of the sour IPA. It doesn't work IMO; the character clashes and you lose a lot of the hop character.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2015, 04:06:28 PM »
Yeah you need to kettle sour because the combination of high IBU and LAB doesn't produce acidity in most circumstances.

I'm not a fan of the sour IPA. It doesn't work IMO; the character clashes and you lose a lot of the hop character.

+1.  Sour and bitter I just do not enjoy together.  Try drinking a sour beer followed by a fresh IPA.  It's like brushing your teeth after you drink orange juice. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2015, 04:23:53 PM »
Its ok to try brewing one, but its also ok not to. I agree the two clash.

Offline erockrph

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2015, 05:31:11 PM »
I have plans to try something like this, but at very low IBU's. My plan is to do a sour wort, then bring it up to 170F to pastuerize. Once it gets there I'll do a hop stand with a whole bunch of hops, much like I'd do with a normal hoppy beer. At that temp there will be minimal isomerization but you will get a lot of hop flavor and aroma. This way there is less of a clash between bitter and sour flavors.

I'm thinking you'd want to stick with fruity/citrus hops rather than pine/earth/herbal. Citra, Galaxy, Meridian, Motueka, Nelson, etc. would be the route I'd go.
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Offline shearej

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2015, 08:00:42 PM »

Thanks for the insight.  I found a little more information I thought I'd share.  Trinity Brewing in CO was one of the craft breweries I was thinking of when I mentioned commercial sour IPA examples.  Their Red Swingline is 100 IBUs (theoretical) and 3.6 pH.  Check out this blog post: http://www.microbusbrewery.org/2014/09/super-juice-solution-trinity-brewing.html

Based on some info I found on Milk the Funk, a lower pH reduces hop utilization.  Thus, a 100 IBU beer doesn't taste quite as bitter when the pH is lower. 

I'll do some experimenting and see what I come up with.

Offline dannyjed

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2015, 08:01:35 PM »
I've had some decent ones fermented with Brett, but they're not really sour.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2015, 08:38:30 PM »
I've had some decent ones fermented with Brett, but they're not really sour.

+1.  Maybe even a tiny bit of tartness, but that is all. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2015, 11:17:02 PM »
Im a firm believer in brewers trying out whatever they can dream up. I also believe in giving yourself permission to not brew versions of IPAs. So, go for it and let us know how it goes. But brew a non hoppy one to compare it.

Offline heavydeadlifts

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2015, 11:22:51 PM »
I just tapped a 100% Brett brux (wyeast) 100% citra and 100% red wheat, the funk factor is huge with the estimated (beer smith) 133 IBU's taking a back seat in flavor

No sourness though, ph was 4.43 on the mw-102

I can only see a dry hopped sour working out, otherwise the hops will prevent any evident sourness
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Offline chezteth

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Re: sour IPA thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2015, 09:21:58 PM »
Hmm, this sounds rather interesting. My initial thoughts are that sour and high IBUs doesn't sound good together. However, I haven't had one either. It would be an interesting experiment. I say go ahead and give it a whirl. Perhaps do a small batch.