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Evolution of Homebrewing a Sour Beer

I documented a 2+ year sour brewing experiment where I brewed several beers with dregs from commercial sour beers. I was interviewed by BasicBrewing Radio along the way, and found a low risk brewing method that starts with 1 gallon batches, and ends in 5+ gallon Solera batches. Cheers! ... CZZwahsceQ

Just viewed the series. Pretty interesting and informative on sour brewing. I brewed a Caribou Slobber that somehow got an infection. After some research and watching it develop, it looks to be Brett L. I think it was already in the secondary bucket that I used. I bought it at my LHBS at a discount. They said it was used only once and this was the first time I used it. Plus, I reused the yeast from that batch (before the pellicle formed) and still have some bottles of that brew with no ill effects.

is the link to my original thread. I decided to take the advice to let it ride and see if I can get a brown sour or Oud Bruin. I wasn’t going to use that bucket again anyway! It’s sitting in a closet still.

I opened the bucket a couple of months ago (about six months after brewing) and it had the nasty looking bubbles covering the surface. I thought about tasting but didn’t want to disturb the pellicle. I think at about one year from the brew date, I’ll get the nerve to try it. I’ll keep looking out for updates on your experiment.

Cool series. Thanks for posting it. I’m going to try and watch it after work tonight ;D

Thanks, guys. :slight_smile:


Question… After primary fermentation for 2 months in plastic fermentor. Is this bucket now ruined for beers other than lambic?

Hey Dale, I haven’t watched your vid yet (blocked @ work), but I plan to tonight.

Do you know anything about this method? Maybe this is similar to yours?


Thank you for the post.

The conventional wisdom is yes, the bucket can only be used for lambics in the future. However, plastic is not like wooden barrels where the microbes can insert themselves right into the grain. I would strongly suspect that if the bucket was washed well then sanitized thoroughly, it would be fine. I’ve got a bucket with a lambic in it now, and maybe I’ll try to use if for a blond ale or similar when the lambic is done. If successful, that will totally put to bed the “plastics can’t be cleaned” argument you hear so often from brewers who only use glass or stainless.

[quote=“Pietro”]Hey Dale, I haven’t watched your vid yet (blocked @ work), but I plan to tonight.

Do you know anything about this method? Maybe this is similar to yours?


I’ve used this method for a Berliner Weisse, but not other styles of sour beers. I have been thinking about it a lot for the last few months, but I don’t have the space for another batch of sour beer. I believe it is a good idea though based on what I know and my experience with making a Berliner Weisse with this method. The method is somewhat similar to pitching onto an old sour yeast cake in that the bacteria has more time with the simple sugars before the Sacch swoops in and consumes the sugars (the Sacch is dead when you pitch new wort onto an old sour yeast cake).

I have read Mike Tonsmeier from The Mad Fermentationist recommend against using this method, however. The risk that you take when you pitch Lacto before Sacch is that if the wort gets too low of a pH (< 3.4), the Sacch may be extremely stressed. However, if people have had a lot of success using this method to make very sour Berliner Weisse, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work to make a very sour Flanders Brown or Lambic. Owning a good pH meter would be a good idea to make sure this doesn’t happen. If it does happen though, then you can primary with a large starter of Brettanomyces.

I want to try pre-souring the wort with this method using the Wyeast Lacto (more tart, doesn’t consume as much sugar as the White Labs Lacto), and then pitch Roselare after 5-7 days. I would then let it age 1-2 years as normal.

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