American Sour Beers

American Sour Beers

Michael Tonsmeire

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 1938469119

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

One of the most exciting and dynamic segments of today’s craft brewing scene , American-brewed sour beers are designed intentionally to be tart and may be inoculated with souring bacteria, fermented with wild yeast or fruit, aged in barrels or blended with younger beer. Craft brewers and homebrewers have adapted traditional European techniques to create some of the world’s most distinctive and experimental styles. This book details the wide array of processes and ingredients in American sour beer production, with actionable advice for each stage of the process. Inspiration, education and practical applications for brewers of all levels are provided by some of the country’s best known sour beer brewers.

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adding unpasteurized fruit on the cool side because of the presence of wild microbes living on the fruit. However, this is not a major concern with sour beer because various non-Saccharomyces microbes are already at work. The sugar loving yeast and bacteria present on the fruit skins may even prove to be beneficial for some beers. In fact, there are breweries that add fruit to the beer at the same time the cultures are pitched to allow the wild microbes living on the skin the best chance to

also reminds me of all the different hops and hop combinations I discovered early on. It was all a bit overwhelming at the time, but eventually I learned which hops I preferred for bittering and which ones I preferred for aroma. Learning about sour beer production was easily just as intimidating, if not more so. In 2005 our first batch of Beatification was already in barrels. This batch would end up being the only batch of Beatification into which we pitched yeast and bacteria. All subsequent

Lost Abbey had to buy as they increased production. Even after more than 10 years, Arthur still uses some of his original barrels to brew sours because of their mellow oak contribution. In addition to whole fruit, several of The Lost Abbey’s sour beers (e.g., Cuvée de Tomme, Red Poppy, Framboise de Amorosa) have also received 100% fruit juice concentrate at packaging. Arthur feels that this final dose of fruit allows the beer to trap more ephemeral fruit flavors that are usually driven off by

barrels, a tiny percentage, do not benefit from blending. If you opt for a coolship, it is not just a single purpose vessel. At Peekskill Brewery, Jeff O’Neil uses his coolship on the third floor for more than just introducing wild microbes into beers destined for the cellar. It also serves as a hot liquor tank, a settling tank (a replacement for whirlpooling), and even a primary fermentor for top cropping yeasts like hefeweizen, saison, and English beers.12 American Wild Ales Breweries in

count, especially if you are a homebrewer starting from a White Labs Brettanomyces culture, which contains far fewer cells than their brewer’s yeast (homebrewers can expect 1.8–2.7 billion cells per tube compared to around 100 billion for brewer’s yeast). Patrick Rue of the Bruery suggests homebrewers step up White Labs Brettanomyces cultures first to 50 mL and then to 150 mL when prepping for a five gallon batch.12 A Brettanomyces starter culture can be created and stepped up using similar

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