I might want to do a sour mash, if it's easy. How's it done?

  • Gonna start distilling? Apr 23 '10 at 15:26
  • Just thinking of new ways to be lazy. Apr 25 '10 at 12:56

Make a mash with the base grains and hold the temp at 100F-110F for 1-3 days. Preferably you want to cover the top of the mash with some plastic wrap as the Lactobacillus prefers oxygen free environments. Inevitably there will be some permeation of O2 into the top of the mash, that will promote the growth of pedio and some others and it will smell horrible. You can scoop the first inch or two out to not add that to the beer.

Some people mash a small portion till its really sour, then add it to a larger mash at brew day. Its a personal preference thing and there are a couple ways to get there.

  • 1
    Regarding the second method; I've heard of people who are cloning Guiness to pour a bottle into an open bowl (covered with cloth to keep particles out) and leaving it out for ~2wks until there's nasty growth on top. The growth gets scooped off, and the rotten beer gets boiled for ~10 to sterilize, then it's added to the rest. Seems ballsy
    – STW
    Dec 1 '10 at 20:17

You can use acidulated malt (Sauermalz) to adjust the pH of your mash. That is a Pilsener-type malt that is put in contact with lactic acid before kiln-drying. I am not sure it will make your mash really sour but it will definitely help you to lower the pH.

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