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Sour beer can often take a year or more to make. That isn’t good news if you’re a homebrewer who wants to make sour beer. Delayed gratification is a thing of the past, instead of waiting to make sour beer we wouldn’t blame you for picking some up at your local bottle shop instead. Once we discovered Voss Kveik Yeast from Omega Yeast, we fortunately discovered that there was a quicker way to make sour beer. Using this yeast and a few other ingredients, we created a really weird recipe that makes a great tasting sour chocolate rye beer in just 3 days.
Full Brew Day Video
This video gives a quick summary of the recipe below
When we started making this recipe we were trying to use a bunch of leftover grains we had in our storage container. However, what we had turned out to be a great mixture of specialty grains combined with white wheat and 2-row as our base malts.
The grain bill for this recipe is as follows
- Chocolate Rye -?
- Crystal 20 - ?
- Crystal 60- ?
- 2-Row Barley- ?
- White Wheat - 4.5 lbs (2 kgs)
The chocolate rye gave a nice texture to our crushed grains
We mashed in at 159° F (70.5° C) and adjusted our PH 10 minutes in using lactic acid. We recommend you aim for a PH of 5.2.
10 minutes after PH adjustment we turned the pump and heat off to let our mash sit overnight. Doing an overnight mash is a great way to split your brew day up into two days and it won’t noticeably impact the flavor of the finished beer. Skeptical? Read this experiment that Brulosophy did.
The next day we came back and pulled the grain basket, hooked it onto our kettle, and let it drain for about 10 minutes before completely removing it.
Pulling grains is pretty easy with a friend. If you're brewing solo, we recommend you install a brewing pulley to save your back
We did not boil our wort after the mash and instead transferred it into a bucket in order to aerate it by shaking.
Transferring wort is as easy as opening the ball valve
We shook the wort for 1 minute before adding back to the kettle.
We took a starting gravity sample while transferring the wort and got a reading of 1.059.
Yeast & Fermentation
With our wort back in the kettle, we lowered the PH to 4.5 using lactic acid.
We just use the cap to measure out our lactic acid and then the Milwaukee MW102 PH Meter to measure the PH
In order to make this a sour beer, we pitched a tube of Lactobacillus from White Labs and poured half a carton of Goodbelly Probiotic Fruit Juice into the wort.
Adding a Goodbelly probiotic drink to the wort
Lactobacillus is a very common probiotic that is used to sour beer and many homebrewers recommend using the GoodBelly Probiotic Fruit Juice drink since it contains the same Lactobacillus that White Labs sells.
The yeast used for this beer is the most magical part. After pitching two kinds of Lactobacillus we pitched Sigmund’s Voss Kveik yeast into the wort.
Pitching Voss Kveik yeast into the wort
This is a strain of yeast that originates in Norway and it’s able to ferment extremely fast at high temperatures.
After pitching the yeast we fermented in the kettle at 100° F (37.8° C) for 3 days.
Setting our brewing controller to fermentation temperature
After 3 days of fermenting, this beer was completely fermented and we could have put it in a keg to carb it up and serve it. However, we decided to add 2 gallons of pomegranate juice which kicked off fermentation again.
One day after adding pomegranate juice, 4 days in total, the final gravity was at 1.010, so this beer was completely done.
Our 1.010 final gravity gave us an ABV of 6.43%
After letting the beer chill, settle, and carbonate in a keg it was ready to drink on the 6th day.
This beer finished with a dark brown color and a roasted chocolate aroma. Just like our aroma, the strongest flavor we got upon tasting it was a super sour chocolate flavor that was complemented by some spiciness and more subtle cherry flavors that become apparent once the beer warmed up. The beer didn’t taste bad by any means, but all these flavors definitely didn’t make it cohesive. Overall, our weird beer recipe turned out great and the keg didn’t last long at all. Check out the links and videos below for more sour beer recipes and videos we’ve made.