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Mike T
07/05/07 11:41 AM  
Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) malt y
I made my second attempt to recreate Pizza Portís Moí Betta Bretta yesterday (yes, a clone). There were only two major deviations from my first attempt. I changed the strain of brettanomyces from claussenii to anomalus, (anomalus is the strain the original uses, so a no-brainer there).

The original beer gets some wort soured by lactobacillus in a side bucket while the main wort boils, and then the sour wort is added near the end of the boil. To recreate this I changed my procedure for adding the acid malt (which seems more controllable then using lactobacillus).

Last time I added a Ĺ pound of acid malt at the start of the sparge, I didnít think that this gave me enough acidity. So this time I upped it to 1 pound, and instead of adding it to the main mash I did a separate mash. The resulting ďwortĒ from the acid malt was very cloudy not sure if it was because of a poor vorlauf (I did it through a strainer) or if conversion didnít happen (either due to lack of enzymes or the ultra low pH). Regardless, the Ĺ gallon of sour wort (which tasted like liquefied sourdough bread) was added with 5 minutes left in the boil to sanitize.

What is the groupís opinion on what happened in my acid malt mash? Iím a little worried about starch because the Brett will consume it in the long term (possibly after bottling).

The finished wort had only a mild acidic twang. Does anyone know what the volatility of lactic acid is in the boil? I could certainly smell it during the last 5 minutes of the boil.

Half of this batch will get the cherry and wine treeatment that my Brett Swap beer got, but this time I'll use fresh sour cherries if I can find them.

Sean White
07/06/07 01:55 PM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma
First off, if you haven't yet, listen to the interview with Peter Boukaert on basicbrewingradio.com from 10/29/06. He talks about brewing the Mo Betta there, as well as many other really informative points on brewing with bugs.

The lactic acid, according to him, will not boil off, but acetic acid will. Also, the lacto is just there to provide a base for the brett to produce ethyl lactate, so if you're doing this by using sour malt I would not bother mashing it seperately. And I don't think it's a converted grain, so you do need to mash it.

Mike T
07/06/07 03:27 PM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma
Thanks for the response, I was starting to think I was being ignored :)

Yeah, that interview is exactly where I got the idea for doing this (although I havenít listened to it recently). Iím glad to hear that the concensus is that lactic acid wonít boil off, on another site I was told that its boiling point is 122C.

The first time I did this recipe it turned out well, but I didnít think much of the lactic acid made it through the mash because I didnít get much fruity ethyl lactate (at least to my pallet). I was considering just upping the amount of acid malt in the mash, but thought that the new method I tried might avoid the hassle of dealing with pH issues in the mash.

I guess all that is left to do is wait this one out and hope for the best. Fermentation was bubbling along happily at 65 degrees ambient when I left for work this morning.

07/06/07 03:53 PM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma
How does one improve their technique when it comes to sour beers and you have to wait for two years to see how things turn out? Once you make adjustments, you have to wait again and now you're four years out from when you started.


Mike T
07/06/07 04:27 PM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma
Thatís the great this about 100% Brett beers. I made my first batch of this in early February, bottled early March and started drinking it in mid March. I have a couple of other sour beers that are taking years, but Iíve gotten really hooked on using just Brett because of the short turn around time.
07/06/07 04:31 PM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma
I have found that too. I followed up my Berliner last January with a more saisony-based beer that is extremely drinkable right now. And brett is supposed to be the slow one!!
07/06/07 06:27 PM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma
Lets say one wanted to homebrew something like a Gueze.

Would that be a beer that you could learn from? If so, how? And how do the largescale brewers themselves learn through time?

I'm intrigued by the Brett. Do you need separate equipment for these strains?

07/06/07 10:48 PM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma
>>Would that be a beer that you could learn from?<<

As someone who made his first lambic-type beer 12 years ago - and I may get a little beat up from this - IMO the general answer is no. There is just too much time separating cause and effect. It should be mentioned thought that some brewers have actually pulled this off.

>>If so, how? And how do the largescale brewers themselves learn through time?<<

Its amazing what one can accomplish with 500 years of heritage behind them.

I've made a few beers that could be loosely described as gueuze-like, won a few medals with one if you care about that sort of thing. Its a question and subject near to my heart. It is my belief that you can make beers that capture SOME of the dimension of gueuze via faster, easier means. So let me ask, when you say "something like a Gueze", would you count something like RR Temptation? I think that is a good example of a beer that captures some of the more favorable aspects of gueuze while being generally less complex than an authentic one.

07/07/07 07:17 AM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma

I think you actually already answered my question with your honest "no". But for the record, sure, I'd say that RR Temptation is a beer that I'd love to be shoot for (yeah right). Procedurally, how is this type of beer made at home without barrels or RR bugs? (we couldn't all get chips from Vinnie eh?).

07/07/07 10:08 AM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma
I have one more poutch to spare if you'd like it. Answers on proceedure may be forthcoming. I make something cut from the same cloth as Temptation via ambient fermentation. The timing is critical, I need to make it in November. Earlier and acetic bacteria will turn it into vinegar. Later and it won't be far enough along when acetic bacteria season returns. I made one last November that is delightful right now, a little sour, a hair vinegary, fruity, it definately comes across as a somewhat "dumbed down" lambic.

The fun part is that I transfered it to keg a few weeks ago and passed of the stuff that fell out to Al Wednesday. Since it is 100% spontaneously (I like to say "ambient") fermented I really don't know whats in there. But whatever it is can make a really nice beer in 8ish months. I'm curious to see what Al can isolate from it and if that can be worked into a pitchable form...

07/07/07 11:34 AM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma

Before seeing the above response I posted to your sour swap post. Thats a very nice offer. I'd love whatever you're willing to give. I am leaving for France on tuesday and won't be back till mid August. Are these cultures safe at ambient if I have my house-sitter put them inside somewhere?

can I contact you by email somehow?

thanks again


07/07/07 12:38 PM  
Re: Opinions on the odd way I used Acid (Sauer) ma
Ryan, the "contact us" link on the left menu goes to me. I don't really have any idea about storage, I'm going off the assumption that these things are survivors. Bon Voyage!
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