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Newbie Kettle Sour Questions

Started by bighoppapump, March 10, 2020, 10:16:43 AM

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bighoppapump

I'm going to try my first sour, a Berliner Weisse from Brewing Classic Styles. I read a thread here on using Bio-Kult probiotics for my sour of lactobacillus and plan on doing this. I have a few questions though:

1. The thread I read on this forum mentioned using Bio-Kult but then doing a caustic boil after to kill any spores produced. What is a caustic boil? Am I ok to do this in a Peco boiler?
2. How critical is it to maintain the 38-40 degree temperature for 24-48 hours. If I let it sit at room temperature during this time what problems will it cause?
3. The recipe mentions carbonating the finished beer to 3.5 - 4 volumes CO2. I think this is too much for bottles to handle and I don't have kegs. Any suggestions on what to do here?

Cheers

ac13

1. The thread I read on this forum mentioned using Bio-Kult but then doing a caustic boil after to kill any spores produced. What is a caustic boil? Am I ok to do this in a Peco boiler?

Unsure what is meant specifically by caustic boil but I generally just boil the wort in the vessel to kill the lacto, I have successfully kettle soured in a peco using this method with no resultant contamination.

2. How critical is it to maintain the 38-40 degree temperature for 24-48 hours. If I let it sit at room temperature during this time what problems will it cause?

It will work but can sour slower in my experience, I pre-acidify my wort when doing this to try to prevent anything unwanted growing in there.

http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Wort_Souring#How_to_Pre-Acidify


eoghanr

I found the biokult very slow to sour. It's a mixture of cultures, some sour the wort better than others. L.plantarum is especially good at producing lactic acid at room temperatures. I used this product and found it worked quite well:

Quest L Plantarum 45 Capsules https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005DE6N86/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_gQ6zEbDAAE6BE

bighoppapump

Cheers for the info lads, finally getting around to try this tomorrow! I bought some of the L Plantarum tablets you mentioned eoghanr so going to give them a whirl. I've found all sorts of recommended pitching rates for this and MTF recommends about 100-125 billion cells for a 5 gallon batch. The tablets are 2 billion cells each so I'm thinking of throwing together a 500ml starter with about 10 tablets (some sites have used about 3, some about 20) so I feel this is a decent medium. How did you go about using the tabs?

eoghanr

I pre-acidified to 4.something and threw in the contents of 15 capsules directly into the wort. Kept it at around 38 degrees and it got down to 3.4 in a few days.

bighoppapump

Cool, I may just do the direct pitch method then too. If I get time I will make up a small starter which will hopefully speed things along!

bighoppapump

Brewed this up at the weekend and the Quest tablets worked a treat - too well in fact!
I made a 1L starter using 10 tablets and let this sit at room temp for 48 hours.
I done my mash as normal and boiled the wort for about 5 minutes before chilling it with an ice bath as much as possible and leaving overnight in a sealed container (I need a wort chiller!) until it reached about 30C.
I then pre-acidified the wort using lactic acid, reaching a PH of about 4.45, pitched my L Plantarum starter and covered the surface with cling film.
I checked the pH 18 hours later and it had already fallen to 3 so I quickly boiled it, added small amount of hops, chilled it and pitched yeast.

eoghanr

Good result! I always have difficulty getting it below 3.3 with my method, starter definitely seems the way to go.

bighoppapump

Cheers again for pointing me towards the tablets! Next time I'll monitor pH more regularly to get it to a less lip puckering level but its still shaping up to be a great beer. Going to sit half of it on passionfruit puree too

cromac

Quote from: bighoppapump on April 27, 2020, 11:00:35 AMI made a 1L starter using 10 tablets and let this sit at room temp for 48 hours.
Did you add anything else to the starter?
Planning something similar.

bighoppapump

Quote from: cromac on April 08, 2021, 11:35:54 AM
Quote from: bighoppapump on April 27, 2020, 11:00:35 AMI made a 1L starter using 10 tablets and let this sit at room temp for 48 hours.
Did you add anything else to the starter?
Planning something similar.

No, I made the starter with some DME and let it sit. I have since done about 5 or 6 kettle sours some with starters and some without. The main difference I've found between using a starter or not is that the starter method causes the wort to sour much faster than not using a starter (with an even amount of tablets). I've also gotten away with using less tablets both directly and with a starter so you can get away with using 6 or so if you'd like to max out the number of brews you can get out of them.

When I used a starter, the wort soured in 18-24 hours and when I added the tablets directly to the wort (no starter) it took about 48 hours to reach the same ph. No matter what method you use I'd advise checking the ph (if possible) every few hours to ensure you get it to a level of sourness you'd enjoy.