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How do you ferment your sour beers?


read 2973 times • 94 replies • posted 12/10/2013 9:19:09 AM

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JulienHuxley 3158:262
Actually, yes. Different but the same, the hops actually smelled rotting/fermented as opposed to just freezer aged. They were also very yellow and not in very good shape (pulpy and falling apart). I would love to be debunked on this, but that was my experience.
12/10/2013 11:58:05 AM

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HornyDevil
Originally posted by t0rin0
Originally posted by HornyDevil
Originally posted by ekoerper
the aged hops do keep undesirable microbes at bay.


Do they?

How do they do that if their acids have completely degraded and that is the only way that hops are anti-microbial? Additionally, how does one inhibit only the undesirable microbes, leaving only the ones which are desirable? The answer is that you donít.

Adding hops to a sour beer is silly. All that they do is inhibit the one microbe that you actually WANT to proliferate in your beer. Lactobacillus. Which is VERY sensitive to both alpha & beta acids and alcohol content, which is the reason that aged hops are used in the first place, because aged hops donít have any acids and, therefor, donít have any anti-microbial properties.



Its the alpha acids vs beta acids thing. Alpha degrades over time, beta does not. Thatís why the lambic brewers use the old hops, even if they didnt know exactly what was going on when they started. The point was to get the acid without getting the flavor or bitterness. Hopefully someone has a link (with some actual scientific data) they can provide because I dont.


From John Palmer:

Alpha acids do not actually contribute to bitterness until boiled in wort (or water even). At this time the acids change form, lining up to become isomerized alpha acid. The process takes time, which is why bittering hops are boiled for at least 60 minutes. iso-alpha acid is the main component of the bitter flavor in beer.

Beta acid, like alpha, almost immediately dissolves into solution when added to boiling wort. However, unlike alpha acid, it does not isomerize and passes into the finished product unchanged. In this form they do not contribute to beerís bitterness, but do lend aroma.

During storage and aging (and in fermentation) the beer is exposed, to some degree, to oxygen. Under these circumstances iso-alpha acid degrades and loses bitterness. When beta acid oxidizes it transforms into a bitter-tasting compound. On-balance the beer looses bitterness
.
12/10/2013 12:00:33 PM

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CLevar 376:10
The more reading I do (scientific literature relating to the bio-transformation of hop derived compounds, microbial activity in the presence/absence of hop derived compounds, etc), and the more sours that I brew and consume, I have become convinced that hops play a role in the fermentation profile, flavor and aroma characteristics, etc. of sour beers.

If you have access to J Inst Brew I can point you to a number of papers that support the oft reported claims of hop associated preservation (decreasing with age of the hops, but then again, itís a significant quantity of these hops that are added), various bio-transformations of hop derived compounds by yeast and bacteria, and other fun things worth reading.

With hop derived preservation in mind, I do think that this may be much more an issue with "spontaneously" inoculated wort, or wort inoculated with an "unknown" pitch, due to the potential presence of various undesirables. When pitching only Lacto. del. sp bulgaricus, Pedio damnosus, and various Brettanomyces isolates, this may not be as much of an issue, and hops may be completely undesirable due to the sensitivity of many commercial Lacto. del. to hops

Good enough for you?

12/10/2013 12:01:01 PM

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CLevar 376:10
Iím pretty sure that beta can decrease over time, especially in the presence of o2. Iíll try to dig up that paper again.

EDIT: Found it, see below

From the abstract of "Assessment of changes in hop resins and polyphenols during long-term storage" Alexandr Mikyöka1, Karel Krofta, JInstBrew

"Negligible effects on the a- and Ŗ-acids were detected during storage without air access at +2įC. Storage at +20įC resulted in a final loss of 20Ė25% a-acids, but the content of Ŗ-acids did not change significantly. Large decreases in a-acids (64Ė88%) and in Ŗ-acids (51Ė83%) were found in hops stored with access to air at +20įC." The rate of decline accelerated markedly after 6 months of storage."
12/10/2013 12:08:30 PM

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CLevar 376:10
^^That paper is really cool by the way. Lots of information regarding the various compounds present in aged hops, and good references to look at as well.
12/10/2013 12:11:00 PM

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MatSciGuy 907:
Originally posted by CLevar
The more reading I do (scientific literature relating to the bio-transformation of hop derived compounds, microbial activity in the presence/absence of hop derived compounds, etc), and the more sours that I brew and consume, I have become convinced that hops play a role in the fermentation profile, flavor and aroma characteristics, etc. of sour beers.

If you have access to J Inst Brew I can point you to a number of papers that support the oft reported claims of hop associated preservation (decreasing with age of the hops, but then again, itís a significant quantity of these hops that are added), various bio-transformations of hop derived compounds by yeast and bacteria, and other fun things worth reading.

With hop derived preservation in mind, I do think that this may be much more an issue with "spontaneously" inoculated wort, or wort inoculated with an "unknown" pitch, due to the potential presence of various undesirables. When pitching only Lacto. del. sp bulgaricus, Pedio damnosus, and various Brettanomyces isolates, this may not be as much of an issue, and hops may be completely undesirable due to the sensitivity of many commercial Lacto. del. to hops

Good enough for you?




Doubt it.

HornyDevil - have you actually smelled or used 3-4 year aged hops before? You have some pretty strong opinions, and you cite information from respected sources that donít exactly support the claim you are making, but how much personal experience do you have using them? Please go smell a bag of aged hops and then stick your nose in a glass of geuze and try to tell us again that there is no reason to use hops in a sour beer.

There is a lot of good information in Guinardís Lambic book that touts the flavor and aroma contribution to finished lambic. Once you smell them when you open the hop bag, drop them into the boiling wort, and taste it while the beer is maturing, you will understand.
12/10/2013 12:12:41 PM

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t0rin0 65:1354
Originally posted by HornyDevil


So other than saying that beta acids CAN degrade, how is this disproving anything I said? I suppose if they oxidize enough they might taste bitter which would contradict the one part about the reasoning for using them in lambic but it says nothing about how fast alpha degrades vs beta. In your quote it doesnít say anything about what the beta acid actually turns into. Maybe that "bitter tasting compound" still has plenty of preservative qualities.
12/10/2013 12:13:53 PM

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MatSciGuy 907:
That being said, not all sour beers are lambics, so whether or not you should use aged hops depends on what youíre going for, obviously.
12/10/2013 12:15:57 PM

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HornyDevil
Originally posted by MatSciGuy
HornyDevil - have you actually smelled or used 3-4 year aged hops before? You have some pretty strong opinions, and you cite information from respected sources that donít exactly support the claim you are making, but how much personal experience do you have using them? Please go smell a bag of aged hops and then stick your nose in a glass of geuze and try to tell us again that there is no reason to use hops in a sour beer.


I have, indeed, smelled and used aged hops. Admittedly, only in 3 sour beers, but I quickly realized that they had no place in the finished beer. This may, indeed, be my personal preference, but, then again, the topic of the thread is "How do you ferment your beers?"

Originally posted by MatSciGuy
There is a lot of good information in Guinardís Lambic book that touts the flavor and aroma contribution to finished lambic. Once you smell them when you open the hop bag, drop them into the boiling wort, and taste it while the beer is maturing, you will understand.


This makes me laugh. It is common knowledge that in every other beer that it only takes a short period of time for hop flavor and aroma to fade, but in a Lambic which is aged for multiple years and brewed with already degraded hops, the hop character persists. Ridiculous.
12/10/2013 12:40:20 PM

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CLevar 376:10
Originally posted by HornyDevil
All that they do is inhibit the one microbe that you actually WANT to proliferate in your beer. Lactobacillus.


Actually, that statement is decidedly false, at least in the broad sense that you have claimed here. Not all species of Lactobacillus are hop sensitive.
12/10/2013 12:48:44 PM

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