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Brewing Sour Beers

Brewing Sour Beers

A brief overview of how you make different styles of sour beer, in preparation for our club competition (the Haysenbrau) next year, presented by Jacques Marais at our November (2023) online meeting.

London Amateur Brewers

November 20, 2023

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  1. Topics What makes a beer sour? Styles Yeast and Bugs

    Process • Lactic acid beers • Mixed fermentation • Brettanomyces • Philly sour
  2. What makes a beer sour? Lactic Acid Clean, soft sourness

    Bitingly sour in high levels Acetic Acid Vinegar-like, coats the palate Ph 4.0 mildly sour 3.6-4.0 medium 3.3-3.5 Most sour beers 3.0 Very sour! Offsetting flavours
  3. Styles Lacto 23A – Berliner Weisse 23G – Gose 28D

    – Straight Sour beer Catharina sour (fruit) Lichtenhainer (smoked) Mixed Fermentation 23D – Lambic 23E – Gueuze 23F – Fruit Lambic 28B – Mixed Fermentation Sour beer Sour version of base style 28C – Wild Speciality beer Added fruit, spice, herbs or other Ascetic 23B – Flanders Red 23C – Oud Bruin 28A – Brett Beer
  4. Yeast and bugs Lactobacillus Lactic acid only - Optimum temp:

    35-50C Hops intolerant, high growth rate Types: Buchneri, Brevis, Delbrueckii, Plantarum Brettanomyces Acetic acid only (with oxygen) Optimum temp: 25-35C Funky complex flavours, high attenuation Slow – 3 months for funkiness Types: bruxellensis , anomulus (Claussenni) Pediococcus Slow to start, high lactic acid Optimum temp: 12-30C Ropiness – combine with Brett Types: damnossus Philly sour Yeast that creates Lactic acid Sours first, then ferments Acetobactor Acetic acid only
  5. Other considerations • Sweetness / Balance • How sour? •

    Body and attenuation • Head retention • Other ingredients • e.g. Fruit • Water • Time available
  6. Process Lactic acid only • Sour mash • Kettle souring

    • Lacto in the fermenter • Philly Sour Brett acetic beers • Straight Brett beer • Brett in secondary • Mixed fermentation • Brett + Lacto • Brett + Lacto + Pedio Wild fermentation Sources of Lactobacillus • Sachets • Grain • Milk/yoghurt
  7. • No need to pre-sour the wort and you can

    brew and ferment just like an ale. • Great alternative if you don’t want to intentionally add lactobacillus to your beer for fear of cross contamination. • Contamination risk is low with Philly Sour because it is not a bacteria and it is easily outperformed by other yeasts. • Your equipment should be fine with your normal cleaning and sanitizing regime
  8. • Yeast Features: • Aroma: Sour, red apple, stone fruit,

    peach • Temp Range: 22°C - 30°C (25°C seems to be optimal) • pH Range: 3.2 - 3.5 (higher lactic acid levels will be achieved in worts that are higher in glucose) • High Alcohol Tolerance: 9% ABV • Fermentation can be completed in 10 days. • To prevent stuck/sluggish fermentation and under-attenuation: • Avoid low fermentation temp. • Avoid high mash temp and mash below 65c.
  9. Fermentation and pH profile Terminal acidity in 4-5 days Terminal

    gravity in 10 days (slower than ale strains)
  10. Malt forward beers lean towards red apple. Glucose accentuates peach

    character. Good starting point for amount of glucose is 2% of the malt bill. PHILLY SOUR FLAVOUR PROFILE
  11. Philly Sour likes fruit When you add the fruit will

    • Impact the flavor • Impact the aroma • Impact the acidity vs alcohol Fruit help drive fermentation and rouse yeast mid-fermentation Best time to add fruit seems to be around day 4-5 of the fruit addition