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Thread: Hoppy sour ale

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Montréal, QC
    Posts
    166

    Hoppy sour ale

    I find it harde to get nice hoppy aromas in my sour beers. Somehow, it's like our traditionnal method (WP + dry hop) doesn't impart what we would expect from fruity hops, leaving behind a rather bland flavour, no better fresh cut grass.

    We tried several times hopping a kettle soured beer fermented with US or BE yeast strains . We also tried blending NEIPA with lacto fermented beers and with kettle soured beers. We always end up the same results.

    We aim for a pH of 3.5-3.6, so that is not too sour, but I have this impression that there's something going wrong with "low" ph, hi level of lactic acid and aromatic oils.

    Any thoughts or experience you'd like to share?

    Cheers!

    ZB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    78

    Are you using lactic acid to lower the pH

    It looks like you said that you were using lactic acid to lower the pH?

    If this is the case - that is certainly the answer to your issue regarding hop flavor / aroma perception. We went months trying to figure out what the problem was with our NEIPA line, before discovering that lactic acid pretty much fucking eradicates hop flavor and aroma from volatile hop oils. It wasn't until we reduced our lactic acid substantially (to about half the flavor threshold - there is a white paper somewhere that discusses the flavor threshold of LA) that we were able to get our flavors back and "popping". We ended up using phosphoric acid to acidify our sparge, so that we could avoid using a bunch of lactic.

    NEIPAs and lactic acid do not mix.

    Good luck!
    Ryan
    Viridian Brewing Company
    [Brewery-In-Planning]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Montréal, QC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    It looks like you said that you were using lactic acid to lower the pH?
    kettle souring, so producing lactic acid with a strain lactobacillus



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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    78
    Correct. That is your problem. You need to use a different strain that for a sour/NEIPA style mesh.
    Ryan
    Viridian Brewing Company
    [Brewery-In-Planning]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    west coast
    Posts
    307
    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    Correct. That is your problem. You need to use a different strain that for a sour/NEIPA style mesh.
    What other strains are there that dont produce LA? The whole lacto family would be out, no? And i believe pedio also produces LA too. You got some sort of secret bug that spits out phosphoric or citric or something? Very curious.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    656
    The lower pH is effecting your hop oil extraction. Think of it this way, you are making your water more polar by acidifying it, therefore the oils in the hops are way less likely to be dissolved in the beer. You would need an emulsifier to change this. Pretty much cant make really hop forward aromatic beers with low pH, the chemistry just doesn't let it work

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    AUS
    Posts
    155
    Quote Originally Posted by jebzter View Post
    The lower pH is effecting your hop oil extraction. Think of it this way, you are making your water more polar by acidifying it, therefore the oils in the hops are way less likely to be dissolved in the beer. You would need an emulsifier to change this. Pretty much cant make really hop forward aromatic beers with low pH, the chemistry just doesn't let it work
    This is great to know. We have found the same when we have tried this style. I have yet to try a great hoppy sour ale. If they exist, let me know.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    656
    We have a sour IPA that we do, it just takes a lot of hops as a dry hop, and a good lacto ferment that has some fruity character to it. But it is still subtle.

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