Author Topic: First Sour  (Read 1018 times)

Offline flbrewer

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First Sour
« on: February 12, 2016, 04:56:15 PM »
After listening to a recent experimental brewing podcast I think I'm going to go ahead and try their suggestion of a 1 gallon sour batch pulled from a larger batch of malty beer. Has anyone tried this before? I am brewing a mild shortly I'm wondering if that would be malty enough to pull off a gallon and give this a try.

I like the idea of the 1 gallon batch in this sense because I can isolate my equipment as well as start to build up a sour starter for future beers. FWIW, I'm planning on using dreggs from a bottle that has Brett and bacteria, Jolly Pumpkin most likely.


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« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 06:10:07 PM by flbrewer »

Offline erockrph

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2016, 06:57:46 PM »
A mild should be fine. A 1.035 mild will end up at 4.5ish ABV. Just keep the IBU's low on the beer you want to use for your sour so you don't inhibit the lacto.

In the past I've done a split saison/sour batch, where I made one main all-grain batch that was as large as my equipment allowed. The two recipes weren't exactly the same, so I topped off the sour with some concentrated extract wort to boost the OG and diluted the saison with lower-gravity hopped wort to boost the IBU's. So if your recipe is close but not exactly where you want it, you can always top off with a little extract wort to hit the exact numbers you are looking for.
Eric B.

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Offline brewinhard

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2016, 07:09:14 PM »
Your mild is a perfect beer for your first souring go round. If possible, flush your gallon jug with CO2, then carefully rack your mild into the jug and add your brett/bacteria blend. Don't leave too much headspace and place an airlock on it.  Keep it around 60-70F and let it sour up.  You can even throw a few oak cubes in there a few mos down the road and repitch the oak cubes into another beer later on as they will be populated with your microorgansims at that point. Good way to keep a rotation of sour beers going.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2016, 10:53:40 PM »
A mild should be fine. A 1.035 mild will end up at 4.5ish ABV. Just keep the IBU's low on the beer you want to use for your sour so you don't inhibit the lacto.

In the past I've done a split saison/sour batch, where I made one main all-grain batch that was as large as my equipment allowed. The two recipes weren't exactly the same, so I topped off the sour with some concentrated extract wort to boost the OG and diluted the saison with lower-gravity hopped wort to boost the IBU's. So if your recipe is close but not exactly where you want it, you can always top off with a little extract wort to hit the exact numbers you are looking for.

No lacto in this AFAIK. The 1.035= 4.5'ish you mentioned....oddly enough in BeerSmith, I am planning a 1.036 OG Mild, but this is showing 3.4% ABV  ???

Offline erockrph

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2016, 01:29:04 AM »
A mild should be fine. A 1.035 mild will end up at 4.5ish ABV. Just keep the IBU's low on the beer you want to use for your sour so you don't inhibit the lacto.

In the past I've done a split saison/sour batch, where I made one main all-grain batch that was as large as my equipment allowed. The two recipes weren't exactly the same, so I topped off the sour with some concentrated extract wort to boost the OG and diluted the saison with lower-gravity hopped wort to boost the IBU's. So if your recipe is close but not exactly where you want it, you can always top off with a little extract wort to hit the exact numbers you are looking for.
No lacto in this AFAIK. The 1.035= 4.5'ish you mentioned....oddly enough in BeerSmith, I am planning a 1.036 OG Mild, but this is showing 3.4% ABV  ???
That is right for the Mild, but the sour will finish close to 1.000 and end up at a higher ABV than a typical Sacc ferment. A sour would typically end up with 1-2% extra ABV than a non-wild beer at the same OG because of the extra attenuation.

I haven't used JP dregs yet, so I'm not sure what the bugs are. But if the beer you are pitching from is actually sour (as opposed to just Brett/funk), then there is a good chance that there is some lactobacillus in the culture.
Eric B.

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Offline wingnut

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 12:39:27 PM »
A couple notes that I have, as I have been looking to do someting similar on a 5 gallon batch.

-JP bugs do include Lacto.  In tasting, Bam Biere (they list as "Farmhouse Style") has a much more pronounced Lacto note than La Roja (more Flanders Style.  La Roja has always struck me as being more Lacto in flavor compared to other Flanders Styles... and I am looking to find processes that allow me to bring out more Lacto flavor in my Flanders.

- ""I think"" it is roughly the same culture for both beers.  It is more recipe that changes the flavors of the two.  (this is not based on any facts what so ever, just my perception that I thinking I taste the same fermentation products in both beers, just in different intensities)

- Bam Biere has a IBU of less than 5.   La Roja is something like 22 IBU.  The Lacto flavor is much more supressed in La Roja (possibly just hidden behind other fermentation byproducts), and on the Milk the Funk Wiki, many of the lacto strains they have listed are known to not perform well above about 10 IBU..many have isses above 2 to 5 IBU.   So I am thinking a mixture of alcohol and IBU supresses Lactic acid production.

- The best luck I have had with dregs from sour beers, is to grow them in a starter with no hops, and let them do their thing for about 1.5  months.  (Dregs into 250ml... then 3 weeks later dump that into a half liter or liter starter).  This seems to yield more consistent results, and (subjectively) I think better results.  Keeping oxygen at bay is key to keep acetic production at bay.

-When I put the dregs into a beer, I lower the PH of the beer before dumping in the dregs to 4.0 to 4.2 PH with lactic acid.  This supresses some of the less desireable things that may be in the dregs.   

- Note, I am dumping 1 liter into 5 gallons, if you are doing 1 gallon, I would just do the small 250 ml starter, and dump that into the gallon. 


This all may be way overkill... but it what my process has evolved to over the past couple years. 

Good luck!
-- Wingnut - Cheers!

Offline brewinhard

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 07:34:37 PM »
Jolly Pumpkin ages their beers in barrels for a minimum of 2 wks prior to bottling.  This is where most of their wild innoculation occurs.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2016, 07:57:12 PM »
So if I decide just to grow this up in a starter for now...how long can I keep it in the starter at room temp? I would assume I'd need to keep feeding the yeast?

I am going to skip adding it to any existing beer for now and just play around w. a starter.

Offline dilluh98

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2016, 08:40:26 PM »
- The best luck I have had with dregs from sour beers, is to grow them in a starter with no hops, and let them do their thing for about 1.5  months.  (Dregs into 250ml... then 3 weeks later dump that into a half liter or liter starter).  This seems to yield more consistent results, and (subjectively) I think better results.  Keeping oxygen at bay is key to keep acetic production at bay.

-When I put the dregs into a beer, I lower the PH of the beer before dumping in the dregs to 4.0 to 4.2 PH with lactic acid.  This supresses some of the less desireable things that may be in the dregs.   


I'm also a total noob to sour beer brewing and looking to give a small batch a try. Are you pitching the sour starter in with the wort and clean yeast right off the bat or waiting until sacc. does it's thing and then pitching this starter?

Offline brewinhard

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2016, 09:33:14 PM »
So if I decide just to grow this up in a starter for now...how long can I keep it in the starter at room temp? I would assume I'd need to keep feeding the yeast?

I am going to skip adding it to any existing beer for now and just play around w. a starter.

You can keep it at room temps.  Probably want to feed it every 4-6 wks.  Always keep an airlock on sour cultures to minimize acetobacter formation which can create vinegar notes in the presence of oxygen.

Offline wingnut

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2016, 01:53:20 AM »
Quote

I'm also a total noob to sour beer brewing and looking to give a small batch a try. Are you pitching the sour starter in with the wort and clean yeast right off the bat or waiting until sacc. does it's thing and then pitching this starter?

Both are good options, but all the versions I have done... Are a sac fermentation followed by a sour fermentation.    I like the strategy better. 

Ferment clean.  Transfer off the yeast and into a vessel with a sour culture.   It gives some ability to consistently tweak flavors one way or another.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2016, 02:18:52 PM »
Quote

I'm also a total noob to sour beer brewing and looking to give a small batch a try. Are you pitching the sour starter in with the wort and clean yeast right off the bat or waiting until sacc. does it's thing and then pitching this starter?

Both are good options, but all the versions I have done... Are a sac fermentation followed by a sour fermentation.    I like the strategy better. 

Ferment clean.  Transfer off the yeast and into a vessel with a sour culture.   It gives some ability to consistently tweak flavors one way or another.

Yes, but it can also limit the amount of acidity and funk as the sacch. have most of the chance to eat up initial sugars in the batch that your wild ones could be doing their work on.  You could also try pitching a smaller pitch of ale yeast along WITH your souring microbes.

Offline Al Hounos

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2016, 12:56:59 AM »
Have you looked into kettle souring? It requires significantly less time investment and less expereince. It is a good option for getting your feet wet with sours. I just did my first Berliner Weisse using that method and it turned out smashingly.

I do plan to graduate to traditional mixed ferment or post ferment souring, but this was a great way to get a feel for making a clean sour.

Offline danpixley

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2016, 07:13:37 PM »
Quote

I'm also a total noob to sour beer brewing and looking to give a small batch a try. Are you pitching the sour starter in with the wort and clean yeast right off the bat or waiting until sacc. does it's thing and then pitching this starter?

Both are good options, but all the versions I have done... Are a sac fermentation followed by a sour fermentation.    I like the strategy better. 

Ferment clean.  Transfer off the yeast and into a vessel with a sour culture.   It gives some ability to consistently tweak flavors one way or another.

Yes, but it can also limit the amount of acidity and funk as the sacch. have most of the chance to eat up initial sugars in the batch that your wild ones could be doing their work on.  You could also try pitching a smaller pitch of ale yeast along WITH your souring microbes.

For me it all depends on the cultures you are using, and unfortunately the only way to know what the cultures will do is to use them!  I always start off generally favoring the lactic acid bacteria. A lot of the strains in commercial cultures are very sensitive to hops, not the most alcohol tolerant, and don't compete well with Saccharomyces.  That isn't always the case, but it's the assumption I make until proven otherwise.  If the beer turns out too sour, then I adjust the next time I use that culture. It's just like tweeking a recipe or a pitching rate from batch to batch for a clean beer.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: First Sour
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2016, 08:33:37 PM »
Looking around at various resources, it seems the 1.020 starter number (100 ml of wort) is a good first step for dregs.

My question is once I see this actually worked, how quickly should I step this up to a larger starter and how many times should I do this prior to actually pitching into some beer?