Aunt Sally Clone + How to Sour for Dummies

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by ssam, Jan 3, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (284) Dec 2, 2008 California

    I don't have much time to brew these days. I think I'll get one batch this year (sad yes). I could do the ole house recipe but I was thinking if there was a way to do an easy sour with minimal to no new equipment that would be cool. I've never done a sour except for a spontaneous 1 gallon batch many years ago that was decent but not repeatable. My current system is a small BIAB that I get up to 5gal batch size with extract and partial boil.

    Lagunitas Aunt Sally is basically what I'd like to brew. I think this is a kettle soured brew, which sounds like I don't need anything other than my kettle.

    What's the method?

    Is it easy and/or timeconsuming?

    Anyone have a clone recipe or idea for one?

  2. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,050) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Do you have CO2? I've heard that the secret to successful kettle sours involves purging the kettle head space. I could be completely wrong as this is anecdotal hearsay.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  3. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,941) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    If you are using grain to kettle sour, there is something to this. Grain contains mixed colonies of bacteria, some of which will produce off-flavors. Many are encouraged by oxygen. Instead, if you use a culture of lacto, like what you can get from the yeast labs, you don't need to worry about about the off flavors. MTF wiki suggests some lacto strains are sensitive to oxygen, and therefore won't sour as much, I guess, but I never needed to take special measures with an any of them, other than skipping te wort oxidation step during souring.

    @ssam visit the MTF wiki page on lacto. I would suggest something like the approach described by Jesse Caudil, formerly of Wyeast, for making Berliner Weiss:

    1. Use 5335.
    2. If using our 5335, don’t use ANY hops. You can always blend in some IPA or hopped wort after souring takes place if you really need some bitterness or hop flavor/aroma in the beer.
    3. From one 5335 pack, make a 1L starter with 1.020 DME sterile wort. No O2! Incubate at 90°F if possible for 5-7 days.
    4. Brew your 5 gallons of wort. Again… no hops. Sterilize the wort. (No need for sour mashes). Cool to 90°F and add 1L 5335 starter. No O2. Try to maintain 90°F for 5-7 days depending on how sour you want the beer.
    5. After 5-7 days, cool wort to around 68. Pitch with a low pH tolerant strain such as 1007 or 2124. No O2. Ferment for around 1-2 weeks… until you hit terminal.
    6. Package beer. If bottle conditioning, use 4021 as a bottling strains. Very tolerant to low pH.

    Now, this isn't a kettle sour, at least in the sense that I think of it. If at step 5, you boiled the wort and than pitched that sacch strain, you would kill the lacto, stop the sour, and sacch would do the rest of the work. This is a way to control just how sour it gets. And when you boil, you could then hop according to however you liked. Another thing you could do instead of boiling is try to suppress the lacto by adding some hops when you add the sacch. I can't tell you how to make my dear Aunt Sally, but if I were trying, I might chose something like this. Not necessarily with the same sacch and lacto strains. For sacch, I'd probably use one of my go to dry yeasts, like US05 or Notty, seeing no need to complicate a batch like this in search of subtle (or over the top) esters and phenols that you might be able to coax out of some fancier liquid yeasts. For lacto, I have had success with 5335, but there are lots of options I have never tried. I have not had great success with WLP667, at least if success is defined by sour intensity.
  4. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    All that purging the headspace does is cause positive pressure. It doesn't protect your beer from off-flavors or off-aromas, as stuff like butyric acid and isovaleric acid are created mostly by Clostridium sp., which are obligate anaerobes, so they actually need an oxygen free environment. You simply need to clean your souring vessel well and not let ambient microbes into it. That last bit is where the positive pressure helps.
  5. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Google "Milk the Funk wiki". Go to "Table of Contents". Next to "Alternative Bacterial Sources" under "Brewing Techniques". Then to "MTF Reverse Kettle Sour".

    Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
    thebriansmaude and MarkGP like this.
  6. wasatchback

    wasatchback Devotee (411) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan

    Don’t bother buying a culture of Lacto for a kettle sour IMHO. Just use a half a carton of well shook up Mango Good Belly for 5 gallons. If you get your wort to 4.5 PH before dumping in the GB and can keep it at around 95 you’ll get a nice sour wort around 3.5 PH in less than 24 hours. (Only had Aunt Sally once, can’t remember how sour it is, maybe not quite that sour)

    Pitch a LOT of yeast. More than you normally would, between ale and lager rates. I generally use 1007 but 1056 works great.

    Read the Milk the funk wiki on kettle sours. It’s really really easy if you just do a few key things right.
    Gsulliv2 likes this.
  7. Beerswimmer

    Beerswimmer Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2013 Texas

    ^^^ Basically what I do. I don't drop the PH or do a C02 cap, no off flavors in many batches. I do it in the fermentor instead of the kettle. You can then rack out a gallon or so and do a small boil in a pot and hop it, then add it back to stop the souring.
  8. bigdawg86

    bigdawg86 Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2017 California

    When you kettle sour do a flash boil to wort first, chill to pitching temp, pick up some lactic acid and add whatever it takes to get pH to 4.5 to help prevent any spontatneous fermentation, and figure out a way to hold temp 80-90 degrees (fermwrap and inkbird heater worked well for me). I had trouble getting 5335 to do anything my last batch. I did a starter x 3 days and pitched into wort, held at 94° and had ZERO pH drop after 72 hours. I ended up doing a emergency pitch of "Swansons Lacto Plantarum" probiotic capsules... brought it down to 3.6 within 24 hours but decided to boil as I was getting a gnarly pedicle. Beer came out good but not as tart as I would have liked.

    My best success was with OYL605... but the swanson tablets are cheap and work well.

    Biggest tip, DO NOT use pH paper... it's not accurate enough. Get a digital meter from amazon. Don't have to get crazy, just get one in the 20 dollar range.
  9. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,941) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    You mean none of those aerobic bugs make off flavors? Then I got that part wrong. In any event, the bugs that, umm, bug me are the ones making butyric and isovaleric. Even more reason to skip the grains as a souring agent, if you ask me
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  10. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    You didn't get it wrong, per se, it's just "more right" the way I said it. :wink:
    pweis909 likes this.
  11. wasatchback

    wasatchback Devotee (411) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan

    Looks like 5335 takes 5-7 days to develop a substantial amount of acidity. Plantarum and Brevis I believe are the easiest to get and fastest workers for kettle sours. I haven’t done one in a while but I think last one went from 4.4 to 3.5 in 16 hours last time. 6 gallons unhopped wort at 95* with a half carton of Mango GB.

    TYB has a new beta release Brevis strain that might be that fast at even lower temps if you can’t maintain 90s.
  12. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (123) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    It was my first sour beer. It was also the sour beer that made it clear for them that I would never buy a 6 pack of sour beer ever again. Granted, I am told I have a VERY low tolerance for sour.
  13. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,941) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    In retrospect, could the precautions about eliminating O2 be based on the oxidative productive of acetic acid? Culprits could be brett or wild yeasts and acetobacter. It could be a problem with mixed fermentations, but I'm not sure those problems are likely to be significant in a short kettle sour, e.g., 3 or so days before knocking the bugs back with a boil.
  14. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Looks like you answered your own question there, man. :slight_smile:

    Lactobacillus sp. are not acetic acid producers, so you'd need contamination of your kettle sour to cause issues, as you said.
  15. MBurgat

    MBurgat Initiate (32) May 3, 2018 New York

    I’m drinking a clone of Aunt Sally that I bottle
    Conditioned now and it’s really nice. Check
    Out this thread for an easy recipe.

    For the souring I transferred the wort to a carboy and used Goodbelly straight shot. I put the carboy in my fermentation chamber (chest freezer) with a reptile heating lamp, a dimmer, and a thermometer and kept it at 100° for 48 hours. Then boiled and finished as usual. Next time I will sour for only 24 hours (fermentation reduces the sugar and sweetness of the wort) and add 50-100% more hops for more aroma.
    Good luck!
    ssam and deadwolfbones like this.
  16. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

  17. minderbender

    minderbender Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    MBurgat might have just meant that the wort's sweetness masked its sourness and so MBurgat overshot on the souring. You really can't go by taste at that stage, as the sourness will seem much stronger when the sugar is gone.
    MBurgat likes this.
  18. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I was kinda wondering what he was going for with that statement, but I just went with it.
  19. MBurgat

    MBurgat Initiate (32) May 3, 2018 New York

    Thanks for the clarification. That’s exactly what I meant. Even overshooting as I did it’s still pretty close and the response has been really positive.
  20. CADETS3

    CADETS3 Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 Texas

    OP: I have made a Berliner using the unmilled grain method to help introduce lacto in the mash and then transfer to the boil kettle where it sat in my hot garage for 3 days at 90-95 degrees. I did use some co2 to drive out as much oxygen as I could and then placed some saran wrap over the opening of the kettle to prevent oxygen from getting in. I had amazing results with this method. Boiled for 10 minutes after 3 days to stop the souring process and not have to worry about contaminating any equipment.
  21. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (284) Dec 2, 2008 California

    Thanks for bumping this right in time for me to make some brewing decisions.

    Hot garage would be great but it will get cold at night where I'm at. Would that be a big problem? Anyone have an idea for 100 degrees for 2-3 days with no equipment like no heat lamp or thermblanket? What if I parked in the sun and put it in my front seat?

    Its pretty temperate where I'm at.
  22. wasatchback

    wasatchback Devotee (411) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan

    You don’t need to keep it hot for plantarum... pitch at 100 and maybe insulate it as best you can but it will still Sour pretty effectively even as the wort cools. There are strains that will sour effectively in the 70s as well. The Yeast Bay has a Brevis strain that drops PH quickly at low temps.
  23. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (284) Dec 2, 2008 California

    Cool, so I can pitch a good belly thing at 100, insulate, and be good? I might try that.
  24. wasatchback

    wasatchback Devotee (411) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan

    I think so.. might take a little longer but it should get to where you want it. Just do your best ghetto insulation job to try to keep it as warm as possible for the longest period of time
  25. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (284) Dec 2, 2008 California

    Thanks, I'll translate this to partial mash for my attempt. One thing confused me on the recipe sheet... Do you add lactic acid as well as the Good Belly, or is it a one or the other thing?
  26. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (284) Dec 2, 2008 California

    One more thing.

    Since I'm doing a partial boil, should I use all the sugars with the Good Belly pitch, or just the mashed sugars? It will be a little less than 2x concentrated with the extract added.
  27. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (284) Dec 2, 2008 California

    Thanks! My partial mash version is ready now and pretty good!

    I used some lactic acid and pitched a goodbelly straight shot and insulated for around 36 hours in room ambient temp. The sourness is very mild, its a lot like Aunt Sally!

    I dry hopped with Citra and Mosaic 2oz each.

    This was fun. I'm going to nail this recipe down and dial it in.

    Here's a pic before I put a winter jacket on it, lol. My housemates were confused.

    #27 ssam, Jul 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
    deadwolfbones likes this.
  28. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Devotee (454) Jun 21, 2014 Oregon

    Glad to hear this came out ok for you, ssam!

    I'm the guy who cobbled together the recipe in the HBT thread. The reason you add a little lactic acid is that it drops the pH, which hopefully prevents spoilage while the lacto gets going. It's probably not 100% necessary, but a good preventative measure.
    ssam likes this.
  29. chrunck

    chrunck Initiate (0) Jun 12, 2013 New Mexico

    I added lactic acid for several batches because I read the same thing, that lowering the pH will prevent bad bugs from growing. After someone on here (vikeman maybe) said it wasn't necessary, I I stopped and have had great results on my recent batches. YMMV, but I don't bother with adding lactic acid before pitching Goodbelly anymore. Comes out just as sour , just as clean, and it's a step I don't have to think about anymore.
    deadwolfbones likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.