Kettle Souring at the Brew House

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JamesFaircloth
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Kettle Souring at the Brew House

Hi all,

I have a brew in my que that's a kettle sour.  I'll probably need 24-36hrs in a pot with Lacto.

Any suggestions on how to plan this?   Part 1 is about a 1hr brew day, mash and add lacto.

Then 24-48hrs will need constant heat to maintain 80 degrees.  I can do this with a heat blanket.

The following brew day runs like a regular 5hr brew day. 

My concern is tying up a brew station or a pot for 24-36hrs.

Let me know what you think.  I'm also happy to coach anyone interested in the American Gose style and happy to have anyone along that wants to watch.

 

 

 

 

JonP
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Hi James,

Hi James,

  I'd definitely like to take you up on your offer to get some coaching on how to brew this style as I've been trying to read up on them and Berliner Weisses with Spring and Summer coming up.  I was planning on "cheating" with my first attempt at a Gose and just adding some lactic and citric acids at bottling/kegging to acheive the sourness/acidity.

  I'm sure I'm missing something, but, is there any reason you couldn't transfer the wort to a fermenter and then use a heat source (e.g. and electric blanket)  to keep the fermenter at the desired temp instead of the kettle?  ("fermenter souring"?)  Going off of THIS  article on brewing Berliners I found on BeerSmith.

Jon

Kyle N
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There are smaller kettles (5

There are smaller kettles (5 gal and 10 gal, I believe) that shouldn't adversely effect the brewhouse operations if they are tied up. When I did mine, I transferred from the 20 gallons (after bringing up to 170, then briefly cooling to 100) to a 10 gallon pot (for a 10 gallon batch). I adjusted pH, then put the lid on and saran-wrapped it. I think labeled it very clearly that it shouldn't be touched, and kept it on the floor by brew station #1 and the ferm room. Putting it on the top of the lager fermenting fridge would also work, if someone is there to help you move it. The saran-wrap isn't so much to keep O2 out as it was to act as another visual cue for people to not look inside/take the top off. 

With the Omega, keeping it warm isn't super necessary, either, but with the recent dips down into these cooler temps, I understand wanting to keep the temp semi-elevated. 

@Jon: Two points:

1. "Faking" it generally doesn't work out as there are other compounds created in lactic-fermentation that remain in the beer and effect the finished taste. In my opinion, a naturally fermented/kettle soured lactic beer has more a roundness/smoothness to the end product that you don't get from just adding lactic acid at the end (which I have done before to give an impression of tartness - so while it's still anecdotal, I'm not speaking with no experience). I wouldn't use citric, that would be a more puckering tartness than intended for the style (unless you're going for warheads beer, then by all means go for it!). 

2. The reason for keeping it in the kettle is to a) reduce O2 ingress that would occur with transferring (oxygen + lacto = possible butyric acid (aka vomit)) and b) ease to bring the beer back to the boil post -24/48 souring period. You could certainly transfer to a bucket fermentor (don't use a better bottle and definitely don't use glass), but I would bubble CO2 through afterward. And then of course your bucket is delegated to be the "lacto" bucket for the remainder of its life since you wouldn't be boiling in it to kill off the lactobacillus afterward. 

JamesFaircloth
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Ok,  I'll go search out a 10g

Ok,  I'll go search out a 10g pot at the brewhouse for the souring step and keep it on top of the smaller lager fridge with a heat blanket and a sign.

 

Jon, this is the preferred way to quick sour.  This brew day looks like it will happen Tuesday 3/21 and run into

Wednesday 3/22 if the wort sours in time.

 

PM me if you'd like to tag in.

--james

JonP
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Good stuff Kyle, thank you.

Good stuff Kyle, thank you.  I realize that that using the lacto was the way to go and my ultimate goal.  Thought I'd experiment with the cheated version until I watched/learned more about the kettle souring process. I was planning on having a whole completely separate "sour" set up with a dedicated fermentor, my own transfer tubing, etc.  

    I am wanting to achieve a pretty sour/acidic batch on the "cheated' Gose because I plan on aging it on tequilla barrel chips and don't want them to be too overpowering.  Going for a margarita inspired Gose for Cervesa de Mayo and thought the extra pucker effect may mimic the lime in a margarita ( I plan on using lime zest as well).  The first batch may strip the enamel off your teeth, but hoping to nail it at some point.  

thanks again,

Jon

  

Boollish
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@James, I have made a couple

@James, I have made a couple Goses and Berliner styles at the brewhouse, but as Kyle alluded to, my method involves sacrificing one of my carboys for the bugs, then wrapping it up and leaving it out in the brewhouse on a hot summer day. If you tag it with a "hot ferment 48 hours" or something to that effect it should be just fine. In my experience, the Omega yeast, while it claims to work fine at any temperature, goes pretty damn slow if its not in the 80s at least.

You are more than welcome to use one of my sour carboys for this purpose in the interest of not tying up an actual kettle. Just make sure to fill it up all the way to the top so that you keep oxygen headspace to a minimum (although the bacteria will protect itself with a pellicle).

I typically will mash in as normal, generally no-sparge out the wort, then give it a short 5 minute boil to kill any wild bugs on the bacteria (which also releases the residual oxygen from the solution). Then gently cool and transfer into your sacrifical carboy, making sure to fill it all the way to the top, and seal it with an airlock.

@Kyle Correct me if I"m wrong Kyle, but in my understanding, butyric acid production comes from contamination from various anaerobic bacteria, and therefore the proper procedure to avoid this is to pasteurize your wort before putting it into the carboy so that the only thing going into it is the lactic acid pitch (just make sure that you sanitize your equipment as normal).

@Jon It's generally recommended against using just straight lactic acid because it can give a weird buttery smell in certain quantities that is generally rounded out by the yeast. If you've ever bought the small 88% lactic vial from a homebrew shop give that a sniff.

JamesFaircloth
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Jon,  I have a pretty solid

Jon,  I have a pretty solid recipe for a Margarita Gose.  ;)  That will probably be the base recipe for 3/21-3/22.

 

--james

mike_struck
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Since the lager primary

Since the lager primary fridge is currently not working, you could always store the smaller kettle in there to buffer against swings in temperature, and keep it out of sight.

To further comment on faking it with addition of lactic acid, when we did the Berliner kit from Goose, they advised against doing that saying that it would impart a buttery off flavor. This is further supported by a post on Michael Tonsmeire's blog here, where he discusses adding different acids to finished beer.

JamesFaircloth
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Actually if I wanted to keep

Actually if I wanted to keep it heated I could keep it in the Primary Lager Fridge and

turn it on ;)

 

I have a appliance tech if you guys want me to call him out?  He does all of our

apartment building repairs on washer/dryers, fridges and stoves.

--james

Bernie.Brews
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James,

James,

If your concern is taking up space in the brewhouse, but I 'kettle soured' in a corny keg. I've only tried this once and it produced sketchy results at best. I wish I had read this before I tried this, but this link sort of describes what I did. 

http://sourbeerblog.com/fast-souring-lactobacillus/

Being one of our local award winning minds, maybe you could use this all as a reference point and refine the technique. Good luck bud!

Kyle N
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Here's a great resouce: 

Here's a great resouce: 

http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Wort_Souring

And yes, butyric is contamination, and flushing with CO2/keeping as much O2 out as possible is needed more for grain innoculation, but it's just another step to take to ensure a "clean" kettle soured beer, regardless of the innoculation medium. 

Also, if using a kettle, make sure it's SS :) Forgot that part. I don't think we have many/any Al kettles at the brewhouse, but yeah, don't use those for kettle souring. 

Steve3730
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Stick it in the broken lager

Stick it in the broken lager fridge. If you turn it on it hold a temperature of about 90 degrees.

JamesFaircloth
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I guess we have dedicated

I guess we have dedicated kettle souring chamber for a lil while ;) 

Turning Lemons into Lemonade.

 

--james

Kyle N
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*Turning lemons into lemon

*Turning lemons into lemon gose. 

Brandon Kessler
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@Kyle: what kind of results

@Kyle: what kind of results would you get by steeping a muslin bag of lightly crushed acidulated malt in your wort (before the boil) until you reached a pH of 3.6ish & then proceeding as normal? (Minus the lacto). 

JamesFaircloth
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Acidulated malt is malt

Acidulated malt is malt sprayed with lactic acid.  So the net effect would be the same as dosing a batch of wort with lactic acid via syringe at mash or before boil. I don't believe you will end up with the same quality of finished beer.

 

--james