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Made a sour milk stout. Now what?

  • xenon
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6 years 7 months ago #1743 by xenon
Made a sour milk stout. Now what? was created by xenon
So I didnt pitch any yeast and had to go away early in the week for work. I returned to a very vigorous fermentation. Funnily though, when I changed the air lock and lid. It smelt like beer. Fermentation had some funk, but not :sick: funk
I'm pretty confident that it is a wild sour beer now, but what are the chances of it catching some old S05? and do I bulk prime carb it in the bottle? When should I try it after bottling?


I can't find much on sour beers other than yeast types and what, where and how Belgian Lambics came about. How and when to catch desirable wild yeasts, but not much on the simple processes once you got one.

I haven't tested gravity yet. That will tell that. The taste will tell me if its a tipper or an acquired keeper. Certainly interested in bottling/trying.

Worlds First Milk Stout? probably a big call...

Cheers

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  • Gash
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6 years 7 months ago #1744 by Gash
Replied by Gash on topic Made a sour milk stout. Now what?
Interesting! hmmm why didn't you pitch yeast? I guess firstly you want to know how far it has fermented, what is it reading at now? I'll get the sour expert in here.. I 'll message him!

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  • xenon
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6 years 7 months ago #1745 by xenon
Replied by xenon on topic Made a sour milk stout. Now what?
Was doing the final cooling in the fridge Sunday night and the starter was finishing and settling out. The intention was to pitch early the next morning before work. That didn't happen. Came home later with the intention and family called. Went away for work next morning for 3 days. Home late Thursday. Friday night went out for dinner. Saturday....SHIT!!!!! blowing out!!!!

Long winded excuse for being an amateur :lol: Honestly thought it would be okay for a day or 2. Won't be doing that again. probably won't cheap out on a second packet of yeast either.

let me know what the sour expert says. I'll get back with a gravity reading but the krausen has dropped out. So i'd say it was fermenting from Tuesday.

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  • Arrogantbastardale
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6 years 7 months ago #1747 by Arrogantbastardale
Replied by Arrogantbastardale on topic Made a sour milk stout. Now what?
Hello! I am going to guess that there was some yeast in your fermenter that managed to ferment out the beer. It probably got going slowly though, and had a small pitch rate, which increases your chances for off flavors. If this was a true sour, you would want to age this beer at least for three months, but like I said I don't think that's what you have.

There is only one way to find out. Take a hydrometer sample, and give it a taste! If it doesn't taste ok, I would dump it out. Accidental sours are generally not good. Chances are, it will taste like a normal beer maybe with some off flavors that you can live with. If that is the case, bottle as normal if you can live with it.

If it does taste sour or funky, and you don't have any of the following flavors: vomit, fecal, high fusel alcohol, nail polish, or acetone, well then you have a sour beer on your hands that you could age. You want to age a sour at least three months, but normally much longer (1-2 years). The rule of thumb is that when you think it is ready, take a gravity reading two weeks in a row. If there is no change between readings, you can safely bottle.

When you bottle a sour that has aged that long, you need to reyeast with wine yeast because the Saccharomyces will be dead.

Sour brewing is a complicated subject. If you want to learn more about sour brewing, I recommend buying the book American Sour Beers by Michael Tonesmeire. Myself and a few others are also working on a wiki for Milk The Funk, an advanced group on Facebook for sour brewing: www.milkthefunk.com/wiki.

Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!

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  • xenon
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6 years 7 months ago #1749 by xenon
Replied by xenon on topic Made a sour milk stout. Now what?
Thanks, I had sterilized the fermenter before using pink stuff and then starsan for the entirety of the brew. I did however switch out the lid on a Hefe that had a bit of blow off and only washed and sanitized using starsan. So if what your saying is correct it will be a Hefe milk stout.

My fermenters are around a year old and I sterilize at least every second brew over night and if its a hoppy IPA then every time. I pay particular attention to not scratching them as well. So i'm guessing the lid.

I haven't checked gravity. I'm going to that tomorrow and i'll let you all know. Kinda hoping it is a drinkable wild.

If gravity isn't there and it tastes like a normal beer can I pitch some more yeast?

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  • Arrogantbastardale
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6 years 7 months ago - 6 years 7 months ago #1751 by Arrogantbastardale
Replied by Arrogantbastardale on topic Made a sour milk stout. Now what?
I hear ya. I know where you are coming from. We do everything we can to keep our beers clean. After spending some time in a group with microbiologists and other science types though, and hearing little things here and there from people like Jamil Zainasheff, Chad Yakobson, and other professional brewers who are experts in the area of yeast, I've realized that things are not nearly as sterile (sanitized is a better word to use) as we think.

A few months ago, people were finding Saccharomyces in vials of WLP677 Lactobacillus delbruekii from White Labs (this is a pure bacteria culture, or supposed to be). And that's just one story I've heard that would blow your mind about how we think that something is a completely pure culture, or that our equipment is completely sanitized, when the reality is much different. Jamil once said, "You would be shocked by who has infections in their beers," regarding commercial craft breweries here in the States. If White Labs and commercial brewers have trouble keeping cross contamination out of their cultures/beers, imagine how it is for us!

Really, that is the lesson that I've learned recently, and I think you have too through this experience. So even if the beer turns out bad, you've definitely learned something. If it turns out good, which I think it has a good chance to, then you learn something and you get a beer out of it too!

The truth is that a lot of beer is infected in one way or another, and we just never detect it. It could be a yeast from your previous batch, or a wild yeast/bacteria that got missed by the sanitation, or even an infection from the yeast company themselves. Homebrewers and craft brewers usually pitch enough yeast so that what they pitched out competes whatever else is in there, but if you were to analyze that beer under a microscope each day during the fermentation process and bottling process, chances are high that at some point you would find some unwanted organism even though you could never taste it. Sometimes those organisms live on in the beer, and that's when you get gushers and noticeably infected beers after months and months of aging. Other times the infecting organisms die off in the beer and never really have a big effect on the taste of the beer. Or, if they are a brewery's house yeast, their cell count is so low that their particular ester profiles are never expressed in the beer.

In regards to your question about pitching more yeast, yeah, if the attenuation isn't good, and the sample doesn't taste horrible, then pitch more yeast.
Last edit: 6 years 7 months ago by Arrogantbastardale.

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  • xenon
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6 years 6 months ago #1752 by xenon
Replied by xenon on topic Made a sour milk stout. Now what?
Bloody interesting post. I think there is probably a large part of experienced home brewers that would benefit form that info to.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Arrogantbastardale

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  • xenon
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6 years 5 months ago #1777 by xenon
Replied by xenon on topic Made a sour milk stout. Now what?
Sorry. I did take my sweet time as I had lost interest in this batch. I was hoping for some exotic sour of course. In the finish it tasted quite molasses-y and that barrel (although sanitized with pink stuff) had molasses in it in the last brew. I'm not sure if molasses has some natural yeasts or it was indeed some left over 05. I do know it tasted less than satisfying and instead of taking the extra time to bottle and store it until it was drinkable I tipped it.

Lesson here is; Don't forget to pitch yeast. Duh!

Cheers

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  • Arrogantbastardale
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6 years 5 months ago #1778 by Arrogantbastardale
Replied by Arrogantbastardale on topic Made a sour milk stout. Now what?
Yeah, I had a bad feeling it wouldn't turn out ok. The "molasses" could just be under attenuation. What was the final gravity? Thanks for the follow up!

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6 years 5 months ago #1780 by xenon
Replied by xenon on topic Made a sour milk stout. Now what?
I did check as I was interested to see how it had performed but I never bothered recording it and I can't remember the exact gravity. I do remember that it was way under attenuated something like 1.030. It had a whack of lactose in it so naturally it was going to be higher. Would have been interested to see just how much more in the finish.

I'll dig out the recipe and post. I'll have the OG recorded. The recipe was complex and mostly made up by me and tweaked by my lhbs.

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Drunken Ramblings

Finnroo's Avatar Finnroo - Wed 13 Oct - 15:17

Hope you are all staying safe and brewing hard out. If your in the south ,its hop growing time so treat them with some worm juice and manure. Cheers

Finnroo's Avatar Finnroo - Sat 18 Sep - 15:56

Nice Skid, haha enjoy your brew Trev. lol.

SkidBaxter's Avatar SkidBaxter - Thu 16 Sep - 13:57

Bottled up a milk stout today, then brewed a pale ale "Sailing the C of Three Ale." Enjoying a Goat Scrotum Porter now (see Charlie Papazian/Complete Joy of Homebrewing) and feeling the effects! lol

Cooper - Thu 26 Aug - 18:37

I am looking for the Brewzilla 35l profile to set up my Brewfather equipment setting correctly. Can someone point me in the right direction

SkidBaxter's Avatar SkidBaxter - Thu 5 Aug - 15:05

Packaged up a simple ale today with Idaho-7 and finished with Michigan Copper. Tasty!

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