Day 1 of the kettle souring was an introduction into the unknown for me. Since lactobacillus is a thermophile, a heat-loving bacteria, it was excited to receive some heat from my electric element.
Constant stirring was needed to maintain a temperature of 110*F, but the lacto was very cooperative and not fussy about the temperature.
In fact, it was downright happy, especially when I turned the kettle back on two days later.
The idea was to get a nice, clean lactic tang without any chance of infecting other brewing equipment. Lacto is common in breweries, grain dust is teeming with it. Although abundant, it can be contained (by separating the mill room and the brewery) and easily killed (temperature, sanitizer, alcohol).
Lacto is usually inoculated during the fermentation process. This will create an increasing amount of lactic acid sourness until the product is consumed. By arresting the development of the lacto (boiling it), the sourness is limited (prematurely cancelled).
Short, gentle boiling with a small amount of hops will depart this beer from the Berliner Weiss style, but hopefully it can grow into something of it’s own.
Part 3 coming soon.