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  1. #21
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    Re: another reason for the sour mash process

    Not really Todd, this is precisely the sort of information I want to read. Thanks for taking the time to post.

  2. #22
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    Re: another reason for the sour mash process

    Quote Originally Posted by p_elliott View Post
    There was a great article in a past issue of Whisky Advocate magazine about the sour mash process. There is a whole lot more to it than just keeping the PH level down. Fascinating read if you can find it.
    Will have to source that one, it sounds like some fascinating reading.
    PS Not sure how long your avatar baseplate has been revised but I love it and the movie its from. Its a personal favourite of mine, nice reference.

    It is no secret that I love that elixir of the gods, bourbon.

  3. #23
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    Re: another reason for the sour mash process

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    Not really Todd, this is precisely the sort of information I want to read. Thanks for taking the time to post.
    Well, remember that I'm simply going from practical experience. I'm not running a University lab out here, so I'm reporting what I'm seeing, and nothing more. There may be other reasons for this foam calming that escapes my pay grade, as they say. I'm merely offering an opinion.

    I made hefeweizen for many years. It was about 60% malted wheat, and foamed aggressively. I had a kettle with both steam jackets and an internal colandria. I could calm it down by throttling back on the steam at the very start of the boil, or conversely, by hitting it hard with full steam, making it foam up to the top of the kettle---and then shutting the steam off. After this heavy foaming collapsed, I could proceed with the boil as I would any other beer, and the foaming was gone. The only conclusion I can reach is that the proteins are rearranged enough with that intense heating that heavy foaming was no longer an issue.

    And all this was before hops were added---hop oils change the surface tension of those foam bubbles, allowing them to collapse faster.

  4. #24
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    Re: another reason for the sour mash process

    Yes, I understand, not looking for instruction so much as information. The more I know about your product and how you make it the more interested I am in your's rather than your competitor's.

  5. #25
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    Dec 2013
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    San Diego, CA
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    Re: another reason for the sour mash process

    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold View Post
    It's this. A lower pH range actually stabilizes foam.

    The bacteria in sour beer consumes high molecular weight proteins, leading to very low terminal gravities, and poor foam and foam stability.

    The reason that sour mash helps with foaming is that these same proteins as well as beta glucans are broken up (not denatured) from the intense heat. When you're talking about a column still, you're talking about direct steam injection, which means very high temperatures coming in direct contact with mash--- higher than what you get from a simple pot still with a jacket. If you're running a pot still or a beer kettle, you can throttle back the heat to a very low level, giving the heat a chance to break up the proteins, and thereby settling down the foam. A continuous still does not allow for such a luxury----therefore, you want to add sour mash----mash that has ALREADY undergone this intense heating process, breaking down (not denaturing) proteins and beta glucans that lead to foam.

    More than you want to know. IMHO, of course.
    It's awesome that we've been able to get this down to a science and actually understand the why and the how of what the original inventors of bourbon just learned through practical experience. Travel back in time and talk to the founding distillers, if you spoke that paragraph to them, they'd look at you like you had three heads. But they were the ones who figured out what works. Today we finally know why.

 

 

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