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Sixth Street Sour Recipe

Two Rivers Brewing’s Josh Bushey and Weyerbacher’s Chris Wilson describe their first collaboration brew as a young bruin. They “quick” soured it with Lacto and cheated some of the long aging stuff with oak spirals and lots of fruit.

Josh Bushey December 27, 2016

Sixth Street Sour Recipe Primary Image

In 1995, Weyerbacher Brewing began brewing beer on Sixth Street in Easton, Pennsylvania. Twenty years later, Two Rivers Brewing Company began brewing two doors down from the original Weyerbacher Brewery. It is in honor of the street where it all started for both breweries that they named the first collaboration between Two Rivers Brewing’s Josh Bushey and Weyerbacher’s Chris Wilson. They describe this beer as a young bruin. They “quick” soured it with Lacto and cheated some of the long aging stuff with oak spirals and lots of fruit. “It came out pretty nice if I might say so myself,” says Two River’s Josh Bushey.

ALL-GRAIN

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
OG: (without fruit puree): 1.068
FG: 1.022
IBUs: 11
ABV:8.7% (including sugars from fruit)

MALT/GRAIN BILL

10 lb (4.5 kg) English pale malt
1.5 lb (680 g) wheat malt
12 oz (340 g) Caramunich III (60L)
8 oz (227 g) Special B
4 oz (113 g) aromatic malt
4 oz (113 g) Carafa I

HOPS SCHEDULE

0.75 oz (21 g) East Kent Goldings [5% AA] at 60 minutes (3.75 AAU)

YEAST

Swanson Lactobacillus Plantarum
Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 California Ale

DIRECTIONS

Mash at 153°F (67°C) and run off as usual. Bring the wort to 200°F (93°C) for 15 minutes. Cool the kettle down to 95°F (35°C). Add food-grade lactic acid to achieve a pH of 4.7. Pitch 8 pills of Swanson Lactobacillus Plantarum. If possible, bubble CO2 through the wort and blanket it with CO2. Our pH was at 3.69 16 hours later and at 3.30 (our target) 40 hours later.

Boil for 60 minutes, following the hops schedule. Add a French Oak infusion spiral (1" x 8", medium toast) to the primary fermentor and rack onto it at yeast pitch. Ferment at 68°F (20°C), and on day three add 1 pound (454 g) each of pureed raspberry and sour cherries.

Upon completion of fermentation, carbonate to 2.5 volumes of CO2. Final gravity may be a bit high (1.022 on the commercial batch), but fruit tannin and acidity should cut that quite a bit and prevent excessive sweetness.

BREWER’S NOTES

The raspberry and sour cherry puree will add approximately 37 points per pound per gallon, or 74 gravity points total. This increases the potential alcohol in 5 gallons (19 liters) by 14.2 points, or 1.8% ABV.

From Berliner Weisse to Gose and points in between, quick souring is rapidly becoming the time-constrained brewer’s choice for building pleasant tartness on a schedule. In Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®’s online course, Quick Souring Methods, Funkwerks Cofounder Gordon Schuck explains how to use Lactobacillus bacteria, experiment with sour mashing, test acidity levels, and more. Sign up today!

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