Beer School: How is Sour Beer Made?

Sour beers are just that. Sour. They’re an acquired taste but one seriously worth acquiring. Some are flavored with fruit to become subtle and balanced. While some just straight hit you in the face. In the world of big bitter beers, sours are a breath of fresh air.

If you want to try making one yourself check our Brew a Spontaneous Sour Beer.

It is all about the yeast

A half full glass of sour beer standing on a wooden barrel.
Credit: https://learn.kegerator.com/brewing-sour-beer/

It’s all down to the yeast. Sours are produced by brewers all over the world. But the yeast that they use is all based on the traditional methods. The lambic brewers instead of adding dry or wet yeast to their wort. They will giant open pools with beer and let it get infected by the wild yeast and fauna in the air.

The wort is siphoned into giant oak barrels and then left for at least a year or up to three years to create a basic lambic.

Blending the different beers

Two mugs of sour beer standing next  to an oak barrel
Credit: https://upserve.com/restaurant-insider/need-know-pairing-sour-beer/

In the barrel, those wild yeasts get to work. Some of which produce lactic acid which turns the beer sour. but the process doesn’t end there.

Usually, these different aged lambics are then blended. Blending the beers balances out the sweetness and the sourness to create a cider that’s really refreshing in the summer. But that’s not the only thing you can do with lamibic. Some vintages and blends are aged in the barrels with fruit to create fruit beers.

Creating your own first sour ber could be an experience you will never forget. Not to mention that the process will be very much different than everything else you have done before. The point is that you will not know how successful you are until the beer has aged. And for that, you will need to will need at least a year. So if you don’t feel particularly patient maybe you want to skip this one. But if you are brave and feel confident in your skills go ahead. We promise you that the process enough will feel rewarding. Cheers.

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