anyone had good experiences with emulating the sour style with acidulated in the mash? If so what percentage of the malt mill and what pH (if you measured it) after wort was chilled? Share your recipe!
Haven’t done it, but you need to try a sour mash or souring pre- boil in the kettle. I did the full add with a 6 month wait and it did not sour to the level I expected. With souring Preboil, you are more in control of the souring process, but YMMV!
I haven’t tried using acidulated malt to this level, but I do know a friend who struggled with souring his Berliner weisse and he ended up adding lactic acid directly to the finished beer on kegging day. The result tasted very tart, but in a very fake kind of way. Still, IF (and it’s a big IF) you plan on adding any raspberry or woodruff syrup later on, no one might really know or care, whether it came from acidulated malt or acid additions or a real Lacto culture, since the syrup tends to cover up everything else.
Using acid malt or directly adding lactic acid will give exactly the same results. If you want to go that route, using the acid solution is easier and can let to tune in the sour level to taste as you add it.
I brewed a BW this spring, and tried to use a traditional method: turbid mash (with an aged hop addition to a 15 minute mash liquid boil), no boil following the mash, and then threw a handful of malt into the fermenter when it was around 100F. Left it like that for a couple days (in a warm room, temp > 85F), then put it in a cooler room and pitched a neutral ale yeast.
Came out very good. Sourness is strong but not unpleasantly so. The flavor is surprisingly clean and fairly simple compared to most sour beers. I guess that’s because only the lactic acid bacteria really got at it, not the usual mix of bugs you find in Belgian styles - which up to then had been the only sours I had tried.
I don’t know using enough acidulated malt to effect a noticeable tartness might also be detrimental to the mash pH. I think the addition of lactic after the fact, might be the safer route.