Sour Mash in BM

How to get most out of brewing with your Braumeister? Help others and share your tips/best practices.

Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby dinnerstick » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:58 pm

took swiggingpig's advice, got these 1kg purees. although they are also 10% sugar. no problem though! 4kg going into the conical shortly.... and a box for the cat to destroy
IMG_8619.jpeg
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby Beerkench » Tue May 05, 2015 6:49 pm

Hi Dinnerstick,

I've got the sourbug and I'm up for doing a sour wort in the BM. I reckon this possibility using the BM is one of its hidden secrets.
I'm just wondering if you've changed your method or have any other tips you didn't mention in your post?
Did the clingfilm cover the wort ok?
I'm probably going to purge the space with Co2 and cover the rim of the BM instead of placing the clingfilm directly on the wort.
Wondered also if you used the pump when doing the 2 day rest?
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby dinnerstick » Tue May 05, 2015 7:45 pm

Hi, I've done it a few times now, and haven't changed the procedure much. The cling film trick seems to work pretty well for me, at least I don't get the nasty foot/cheese smells that enteric/aerobic bacteria can conjure up. Of course it can't hurt to purge with CO2 as well. I don't run the pump, don't see any reason to do so. I just keep it wrapped in the thermal jacket and some towels and the temp is uniform enough.
The only other thing I'd say about sour-wort/kettle-sour beer in general, is- think about the final balance of flavors in advance, and how sour you want it. If you want a little tartness to balance a malt backbone, or to sing along with some interesting hops, it's pretty easy to overdo it. Monitor the pH and taste (carefully, as nasty things can be growing in there; I taste and spit) often. On the other hand if you want screaming sour lactic acid, then go for it, you'll get it! Good luck and please report back.
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby Beerkench » Tue May 05, 2015 8:07 pm

dinnerstick wrote:Hi, I've done it a few times now, and haven't changed the procedure much. The cling film trick seems to work pretty well for me, at least I don't get the nasty foot/cheese smells that enteric/aerobic bacteria can conjure up. Of course it can't hurt to purge with CO2 as well. I don't run the pump, don't see any reason to do so. I just keep it wrapped in the thermal jacket and some towels and the temp is uniform enough.
The only other thing I'd say about sour-wort/kettle-sour beer in general, is- think about the final balance of flavors in advance, and how sour you want it. If you want a little tartness to balance a malt backbone, or to sing along with some interesting hops, it's pretty easy to overdo it. Monitor the pH and taste (carefully, as nasty things can be growing in there; I taste and spit) often. On the other hand if you want screaming sour lactic acid, then go for it, you'll get it! Good luck and please report back.


This is going to be my first home brewed sour beer so I can't really think about the final balance as I can't use any of my own references.
Of course I would prefer to have a balanced sour without going too crazy. Do you have any rough recommendations regarding the final wort pH?

Another question, is the BM ok going for 2-3 days at 50c without shortening its life?
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby dinnerstick » Wed May 06, 2015 6:24 am

of course pH won't be the sole determinate of the perception of sourness you get from any beer, that depends also on the other 'supporting' flavors. in the same way a given number of IBU tastes harshly bitter in a thin pilsener but balanced in a barley wine. But in general, from my admittedly limited experience, a final wort pH in the high 3's is pretty tart, whereas low 3's is strongly sour. Anything in the 2's is puckeringly sour. My last kettle sour was a dry hopped beer where i wanted a little bit of malt, fair amount of tartness, and big fruity dry hop, in a 5% abv beer. For this i stopped at about 3.5, and it tasted good to me!
I don't see how leaving the computer on (and heating element switching on very occasionally) for a few days can hurt, but that's not really my specialty.
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby Beerkench » Wed May 06, 2015 9:19 pm

I've read elsewhere too that 3.5 is about right so will shoot for that so I can bare in mind for future batches.
Did you lower your wort pH after mash out? I've read of some lowering it to around 4.5.
Also how much malt did you use to innoculate? Is a 'handfull' ok or did you use an exact amout?

Thanks for your time.
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby dinnerstick » Thu May 07, 2015 6:14 am

i use a 'handful' of base malt, in a hop bag. it's really the amount i can grab with one hand. loose grain is fine but it's horrible to clean, it sticks in the pump and the grains swell up massively, and then you can't run the pump to cool after boiling.
if i'm not mistaken the logic behind pre-acidifying is to preserve head-forming proteins, which can be degraded in the 4.5-5.5 range by enzymes in the bacteria at those temperatures, or something along those lines (it's in the tonsmeier book), i did it the last time just to try it (with 80% lactic acid), but then i didn't have a problem with foam when i didn't do it, so i can't really say much.
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby Beerkench » Sat May 09, 2015 8:23 pm

Hi Dinnerstick,
Took your advice onboard and I'm now 2 days into souring my wort!
Did a double brew day starting with an IPA, followed by the sour wort. It's quite a good way to get 2 brews into one day without it taking the time it would have taken, had I boiled and chilled the 2nd.
All went well except that I replaced the pilsner with pale ale malt and then at the last minute realised that I didn't have much of wheat malt so I added some dark wheat with it.
Used 3.0kg pale ale malt, 1.30 wheat and 0.40 dark wheat, all from Weyermanns. OG turned out at 1.043, Colour 4.4 SRM.
Not a true Berliner Weisse but who cares!
Used your method with the cling film and added some more to the mouth of the BM and purged the space in between.
So far the pH is at 3.9 so I'm hoping it will have dropped enough tomorrow to boil. I'm really surprised at how good it smells as I was expecting much more barn smell. It smells and taste quite clean actually which I guess is a good sign.
I'm going to ferment it with US-05.
Thinking about throwing some fruit in at fermentation. Is this something you have played with?
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby dinnerstick » Sun May 10, 2015 6:18 am

Yes, raspberry! I ferment with brettanomyces bruxellensis, add raspberry puree after fermentation. just poured 3 kegs of it at a festival, it was very popular.
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby HopSong » Sun May 10, 2015 2:41 pm

So, with this process of souring in kettle.. there is no cause for fear of permanent contamination for non sour beers? I was always under the impression you had to keep the sour side of the "house" far separated from the regular beer side. Separate equipment, etc. I'm guessing that the boiling and steam for future brews kills all of the "bad" bugs?

I'm really wanting to do a Berlinner Weisse and/or Gose.. but the fears keep creeping in.
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby dinnerstick » Sun May 10, 2015 2:55 pm

hbgbill, you answered your own question. the boil kills everything. if you don't want lactic acid bacteria in your brewery, keep all malted grains out of the brewery, as they're coated with the stuff!
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby HopSong » Sun May 10, 2015 3:03 pm

Wow, live and learn. I though only Acid Malts had sprayed on them.
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby Beerkench » Sun May 10, 2015 6:15 pm

dinnerstick wrote:Yes, raspberry! I ferment with brettanomyces bruxellensis, add raspberry puree after fermentation. just poured 3 kegs of it at a festival, it was very popular.


Do you have to have Brett only equipment, i.e hoses, kegs, etc?
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby dinnerstick » Sun May 10, 2015 7:30 pm

Beerkench wrote:
dinnerstick wrote:Yes, raspberry! I ferment with brettanomyces bruxellensis, add raspberry puree after fermentation. just poured 3 kegs of it at a festival, it was very popular.


Do you have to have Brett only equipment, i.e hoses, kegs, etc?


no! well, only things that are likely to be contaminated, like autosiphon. but everything else i share between brett and sacc.
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Re: Sour Mash in BM

Unread postby Beerkench » Wed May 13, 2015 9:18 pm

It took 5 days to get down to 3.5pH. I'm wondering if it's because I only threw the malt sock in for half an hour.I will maybe try leaving it in next time for the whole duration. Is that what you do?
Pitched US-05 and now it seems to be chugging away at the back end of fermentation. Exciting stuff!
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