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.


















oxygen, thus partially reducing oxidation. Bulk pasteurization. To bulk pasteurize, transfer the beer to your kettle and slowly heat it to 150°F (66°C). Ethanol does not boil until it reaches 172°F (78°C), but molecules will begin to evaporate before this temperature is reached (in the same way that an uncovered bowl of water will slowly evaporate without coming to a boil). Work in a well-ventilated area to eliminate the risk of the alcohol vapor igniting. As the beer heats you will notice

brewery. Everyone I spoke to was generous with their time, details of their production, and opinions. I feel that the production method each brewery employs is more valuable than the specifics of the grains and hops used to produce the wort. If you like the sour beers brewed by one of these breweries then design your own recipe, but brew and ferment it with that brewer’s techniques. Do not feel that these are the only possible souring methods, or that you must follow one of them to the letter

in beer because I understood the term to refer exclusively to bland, overcarbonated, pale lagers. After tasting the range between beers like Ommegang Hennepin and Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, I made it my mission to sample every style. Luckily, back in Pittsburgh, I discovered D’s SixPax & Dogz, a bar that stocked a huge variety of single bottles that could be purchased to go (Pennsylvania beer distributors on the other hand are required to sell beer by the case). I went to work, consulting

website reviews to find a well-regarded example of each style. When my quest arrived at fruit lambic I picked the least expensive, Lindemans Kriek. It was slightly tart, but the primary flavors were fruity and sweet. While certainly drinkable, it was not nearly as sour as I expected from descriptions of lambic. A few weeks later I splurged on a 375 mL bottle of Cantillon Kriek 100% Lambic. The acidity was bracing; over the two hours it took me to consume the bottle, all I could do was wonder why

from brokers.17 Preparing Barrels for First-Use When you purchase barrels, you should have already brewed, or at a minimum be ready to brew, the beer that will be filling them. This will ensure that the barrel does not dry out or grow bacteria or mold over a prolonged idle period waiting for your beer. This is less critical for spirit barrels, but wine or beer barrels can quickly turn acetic if stored without being rinsed. There will always be another opportunity to procure a barrel—do not buy

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