Author Topic: Sour ales  (Read 1106 times)

Offline astrivian

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Sour ales
« on: August 11, 2010, 03:58:20 PM »
I am going to try my hand at a small test batch of sour ale (1 gallon). I was thinking of using Wyeast 3278 - Belgian Lambic Blend.

Any general advice on dos/don'ts?

Thanks!
Never trust a skinny chef and never trust a sober brewer.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4524
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Sour ales
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 05:05:03 PM »
You don't give much other info, but here goes.

Do make a starter.
Do be patient as the bugs and critters work slow.
Do read "Wild Brews" by Jeff Sparrow.

Don't use the plastic you use for regualar beer after the sour.  Buy a new set, keep the other for sour funcified beer.
Don't let too much air in, or you get vinegar.

Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline ryang

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 429
  • Indian Hills CO
    • View Profile
Re: Sour ales
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 08:09:15 AM »
that's a long time to wait for just a gallon...

just sayin, it's probably worth it to do a bigger batch.  it would be interesting to see what the actual time difference is though between doing 5 gal sour and 1 gal sour.  I'm not so sure it would be much different. :-\

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Sour ales
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 03:05:12 PM »
Do make a starter.

I'm going to have to go with don't make a starter.  The yeast blends are proportioned to be pitched directly in to your wort, if you make a starter you will end up favoring one organism over another and can throw off the balance.  I never make a starter with my sours though, so I have nothing to compare it too, that's just what they recommend.

Tom Schmidlin

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1163
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Sour ales
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2010, 01:05:50 PM »
I also just tried my hand at sour beers... I brewed a flanders a few months ago.

Start with the lambic blend and/or Roselare, but make it an excuse to try some of those wonderful (but REALLY expensive) lambic/sours at your local beer store. Pitch the dregs of the ones you liked into this one and then reuse if your happy with the results.

Then you can tell all your beer/brewing buddies the reason they like your sours so much is because of the "house culture"...
@southhousebrew

Indianapolis, IN

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

Offline astrivian

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Re: Sour ales
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 08:55:31 PM »
Actually i might have missed something. I thought making these was basically the same as any other beer. How long to they take exactly?

I have heard that about the plastic. So it is not true for glass, right? I can use the glass for different beers?

I might have to read up on this before i try it. The reason i was shooting for 1 gallon is for experimentation. When i do a beer that i am not sure about i brew 1 gallon and see if it is any good. That way, if it sucks i didn't waste too much money.
Never trust a skinny chef and never trust a sober brewer.

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Sour ales
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2010, 10:08:48 PM »
Actually i might have missed something. I thought making these was basically the same as any other beer. How long to they take exactly?
They're done when they're done.  You'll have to rely on your taste buds to tell you when they've hit the level you want.  The Saccharomyces will be more or less done in a couple of weeks, the Brettanomyces generally takes longer to get the flavor development most people are going for.  The Lactobacillus can work pretty quickly, given the right conditions.  I've aged my Flanders for over 2 years at times, but you generally don't need to wait that long.  One year is enough time usually, and some people do well with 6 months or less.

I have heard that about the plastic. So it is not true for glass, right? I can use the glass for different beers?
The glass should sanitize fine.  The plastic should too if it's sound tubing, but it's really not worth the risk.  Invisible cracks are like canyons to the critters.
Tom Schmidlin