Anyone brewing sours

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brew Cat, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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  2. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    There's bit and pieces going on, but not really a focus so far that I've seen.

    I'm trying to work out how to experiment with mixed bugs for fermentation with limited space. Got a few 20 litre fermenters going for six months now, but I keep hearing how the limited volumes really increase the oxidation unless they're in glass or steel. So thinking I'm going to move to more experiments in 5 litre glass fermenters.

    I'll then move the most flexible blond and red into a 23 litre glass fermenter to use as a base for blending. Hopefully that will let me have things bottled regularly, mainly for home with a few for friends and some variety.
     
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  3. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    Are you using commercial strains or pitching dregs ? I have a solera keg of Brett C that I purchased. But what I'm working with now is a repitch of a mix of WY3711/crooked stave dregs.
     
  4. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Sour chatter here is pretty sparse. I'm still working on getting my sour program going and actually just biting the bullet and committing. I'm collecting commercial dregs now. So far I've got some wild and brett dregs from Crooked Stave, and some Russian River (Consecration).
    Crooked Stave is actually opening a new facility here in Ft Collins and the owner is part of the CSU fermentation program. There may be opportunities there with yeast :D
    I obtained some 3711 from Funkwerks for a saison several years ago, but saved none of it. I'm not sure if that is still an option, but back then, I took in a sterilized canning jar and they filled it!
     
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  5. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    The first sour I made with the crooked stave came out very well. I pitched the dregs to a secondary with a 1/2 gallon of cranberry juice. The one I'm making now I pitched it to a primary. All of the sours I've made before were kettle sours. Although one kettle sour gose I made developed a pellicle during secondary from the fruit I added and it came out good
     
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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    To me, most sours taste like spoiled beer. I recently did a kettle soured Gose that turned out good and have nothing against sour flavors but all that goes with it, (shudder). Homebrew sours in particular take the spoiled beer thing to the next level. The answer to "is it supposed to taste like that?" Is generally no. If you have to convince yourself it tastes good, it doesn't. I've tasted a few good ones but they're rare even at professional level.

    End rant. There's a reason why pure culture procedures took off: in general they tasted better.
     
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  7. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    #7 thunderwagn, Dec 29, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
    Guess it comes down to personal tastes and preference. I'll admit, I've had some pretty bad ones, but properly done, well executed sours are imo, excellent, and homebrewed sours can be some of the best out there.
    Perhaps I got lucky on my latest lacto no boil berliner, but it's a fabulous beer. Just like any other style, you learn to pick out flavors and profiles.
    Sours aren't for everyone for sure, and for me it's a whole new/different brewing world.
    I read through "American Sour Beer, Innovative Techniques for Mixed Fermentations – Michael Tonsmeire" and find it fascinatingly different and refreshing.
     
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  8. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Does unintentionally count? Just kidding. Never had an unintentional sour that tasted even ok. Kills me when people get an infected batch and just call it a "Belgian"
     
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  9. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I’ve tried several sour beers, both commercial and home brews and I’ve not found one that I even remotely like. Sorry for drift off subject.
     
  10. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    It sounds like some on here live where they can't get good sours. I use to think that way but luckily I live down the road from OEC brewery. I have friends who only used to drink IPA and said they hated sours they have all come around. And yes you can brew a good sour at the Homebrew level
     
  11. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    That must be why bud lit is one of the most popular beer. Just teasing. I like brewing a clean pilsner as well as a funky sour to me it is another level of brewing. Controling a wild fermentation is a challenge for sure.
     
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  12. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to see where I get with the first few bottlings of the commercial strains and then move things via bottle dregs or mixing the commercial strains. Also need to play around with how the beers change their character based on the various temperatures where I can store them.
     
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  13. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Ha. Pure cultures are just part of that picture. There's also the economics of more industrialised brewing starting a little before pure cultures. Then the economies of scale that come from that industrialisation allow beer to travel further than it had ever gone before Then with all that capital becoming involved comes the standardisation of taste to the most acceptable beer that can travel (or is that lowest common denominator?).

    While the pendulum is swinging back to taste and local at the moment, I doubt it will ever be much more than nibbling at the single figure percentages of the market size.
     
  14. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    Of course your right we live in a monoculture society which is why at first taste of a craft IPA people used to drinking American light lager thought it to bitter. We have to keep pushing the edge lest we come to believe all craft beer is the IPA. We are getting close to that now. Is it supposed to taste like that is actually a good question
     
  15. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    I was to a local brewery that only does wild ales one of the bottles I brought home was inoculated in their coolship. The brewery is down the road so should be a local fauna. Now I've collected wild yeast from my orchard and brewed with it and made some interesting beer. The first one came out well but it mutated with subsequent pitches. It may be a one and done. Interesting to see how the stuff from their coolship repitches
     
  16. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Just make sure it not a yeast used just to carb up the bottles. Some breweries do that to protect their strains
     
  17. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    #17 Brew Cat, Dec 30, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
    I don't think that is the reason breweries add bottling yeast. It's not like you can replicate a beer. Most of their beers they can't even replicate. They are numbered and batch specific.http://wp.oecbrewing.com/barrel-aging-blending/
     
  18. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    You can get a lot closer if you have their proprietary yeast strain. I’m not saying all do that, but some do.
     
  19. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    If it's from their coolship, and the reputable brewer said it was, I wouldn't doubt that it came from the coolship vessel. If they have something the want to protect, they would simply say no or just not give it out. From what I've experienced, most breweries say yes or no, and most say give adequate notice.
     
  20. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    I'm not trying to replicate anything just want to play
     

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