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October 4, 2022
Last updated

Heavily Fruited Sour Beer Recipe

Owner of Clawhammer Supply

Sour beers have been around since the beginning of beer brewing, thousands of years ago. This is because sour beer is made by naturally occurring organisms which are quite prevalent in nature. In the absence of hops (which prevent the growth of many souring bacteria) beer can naturally turn sour. However, there are ways to intentionally create sour beer, and that's what we'll demonstrate here.

This sour beer recipe is actually for "heavily fruited sour" style that features raspberry and blackberry fruit which is added before AND after fermentation. Making the beer this way willl really bring the fruit character to the forefront. However, it comes with a risk. The second charge of fruit will be unfermented and it needs to stay that way. In other words, this beer must remain refrigerated until it is drank to avoid secondary fermentation and potential over-pressurization of its packaging.

The base for this fruited sour was originally a black lager that' was super roasty but was also super light in body. We achieved this vibe by using an absurd amount of black patent malt and a ton of black rice. This is a recipe for a 10 gallon batch of beer and it's tailored for our 20 gallon 240 volt brewing system. Here's the full recipe

How to Make Sour Beer

Sour Beer Ingredients

  • 15.24 gallons of city water treated with one campden tablet
  • 12 pounds of 2 row pilsner malt
  • 7 pounds of black rice
  • 3 pounds of vienna malt
  • 2 pounds of black patent malt
  • 1 pound of crystal 60 malt
  • 3 ounces of Rakau hops
  • 2 packages of Saflager 34/70 yeast

Sour Beer Mash Steps

    1. Fill the kettle with 5 gallons of water and add the rice.
    2. Boil for 60 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.
    3. Once rice is cooked, add 3 gallons of water and heat (or cool) to 158F.
    4. Add the remainder of the grains (make sure to finely crush) and mash at 158F for 60 minutes.
    5. Elevate grains and allow to drain for 10 minutes.
    6. Toss grains in a compost bin.

      Kettle Souring Steps

        1. Drop pH to 4.3 using lactic acid.
        2. Chill the wort to to about 100F.
        3. Add lactobacillus bacteria.
        4. Cover and leave sit until pH drops to 3.5 or until desired level of sourness has been achieved.

          Sour Beer Brewing Steps

            1. Heat kettle to a boil.
            2. Once boiling, add 1 ounce of Rakau hops and set a timer for 60 minutes.
            3. Once the timer expires, cut the heat and add the remainder (2 ounces) of Rakau hops.

            Sour Beer Fermentation Steps

              1. Chill wort to 70F,
              2. Transfer to a sanitized fermenter.
              3. Pitch 2 packages of Saflager 34/70.
              4. Add 4 lbs of fruit raspberry fruit puree
              5. Pressure ferment at 10psi at room temperature for 14 days
              6. Cold crashing at 33F for 3 days
              7. Transfer to keg, carbonate, and serve at 40F.
              We fermented this using one of our new keg fermenters with a tri clamp spunding valve - you can pre order one of these kegs here.

                Heavily Fruited Sour Steps

                Stopping at the last step will make for a mighty fine beer. However, if you wish to pus the limits and veer into "heavily fruited" territory, then follow these additional steps:

                  1. After fermentation is finished, add 4lbs of raspberry or blackberry fruit puree
                  2. KEEP COLD (38F) from here on out so fermentation does not begin again

                    If you like this recipe, we recommend you check out our Japanese Rice Lager recipe, our funky Mexican Lager recipe, and our Chocolate Lager recipe.

                    Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

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