If you’re in the market for something a little different from an IPA, might we suggest crafting your own sour? The WildBrew Philly Sour has been getting a lot of hype over the past few months, and we can see why!
For this reason, we’re excited to share with you a fruity sour recipe that you can make in your own home in as little as 8 to 10 days.
All you need is some Philly Sour and some time to get creative!
What Is A Sour Ale?
A sour ale is exactly what it sounds like – a beer that’s fermented to leave it with an intentionally sour flavor.
It can be acidic and tart, but many people prefer a sour to a traditional-tasting ale.
There is a big difference between intentionally sour ales and ales that have gone bad.
The former has been made with a yeast with more lactic acid in it to give that acidic flavor. The latter will have been stored incorrectly or left for too long.
Some people can’t distinguish between sour ales and beer gone bad, but an avid sour drinker will be able to tell you the difference straight away.
The main bacteria used to give sour ales their distinct taste are Lactobacillus and Pediococcus.
They are added within the fermentation process to make the ale taste acidic and tart.
We love a good sour ale, but there comes a point when we think that some are too sour.
There’s nothing wrong with a super sour ale, but there’s also nothing wrong with drawing it back a little bit.
So, we decided to look for a recipe that gave us the best of both worlds. Enter the raspberry sour with Philly Sour.
What Is Philly Sour?
WildBrew Philly Sour is a Lachancean-originated species of yeast that produces both lactic acid and ethanol as it works.
This means that it can both ferment and sour a beer, despite the amount of hops.
This yeast is excellent for NEIPAS, but it can be used for other types of beer as well.
Philly Sour is a relatively new yeast when it comes to the sour market, and it resembles the method of kettle souring.
However, you don’t have to worry about the sour mash step with Philly Sour, so that’s something.
The brewing process is exactly the same as it would be for any other ale, which makes it an ideal option for beginners looking to get into the world of brewing sours quickly.
Another benefit is that this yeast is not a bacteria and therefore won’t infect your brewing equipment, making it safe for home setups.
The taste of this yeast leaves the sour ale with a smooth and tart one, without giving you too much of a lemon face.
Again, the taste is very similar to that of a kettle sour, although it might be slightly more mellow.
The flavor of the yeast is reminiscent of a red apple, and it is very fruity and fresh.
Some would even describe the flavor as that of a cider, so this is an ideal option for people who love the tart flavor of a hard cider.
As the ale begins to ferment using the Philly Sour, activity will be seen around the 21-hour mark.
It ferments the beer for around a day until it appears to level out and remain dormant for another 22 hours.
However, it won’t reach its full attenuation until day 6 to 7. Here is when you’d add your fruit of choice.
Making Your Own Sour Ale At Home
If you’re an avid ale drinker, you might already have your own setup at home to make your own beers and ales.
The steps to making your sour ale are quite simple, even for beginners, but you will need some equipment to get you started.
The first step you’re going to need to complete is to make your mash from your grains and heat your sparge water.
Once this is done you can boil your wort before adding the bacteria to the liquid. The best bacteria for making a sour will either be Lactobacillus or Pediococcus.
Now you’ll need to add your yeast, in this case Philly Sour, before adding the Brettanomyces.
Finally you can store your sour ale for fermentation before testing it for taste.
Here you’ll be able to determine whether it’s done fermenting or needs a few more days.
How Tart Do You Like Your Sour?
If you like a really tart sour, then go ahead and use a low mash with added corn sugar to the yeast.
This will really enhance the production of lactic acid, making the ale even more sour.
If you want to get the most out of the yeast as possible, then this is definitely the way to go about it.
However, we will say that using corn sugar can come at a price – and that is a less dry beer.
If you want a dry sour, then you might want to avoid using corn sugar and going without.
This will still produce a sour that is dry, but it won’t be as sour as if you used a corn sugar.
The recipe that we’re sharing today, though, will definitely benefit from the added sweetness.
If you’re really not a fan of sweeter sours, though, you can skip this altogether and use the dry sour in the recipe.
Our ale went into the fermentor at a 5.18 pH and the final result came in at 3.22 pH.
This is a similar result to most fermentation results, so this sour yeast can be considered similar to most others on the market in terms of the fermenting process.
Fruit Puree – Which Is Best?
Aside from the sour beer, the next most important ingredient in this recipe is the fruit puree.
You could use fresh fruit, but you’d need a lot of it to make an impact on the flavor and this could end up costing a lot of money.
Instead, a can of fruit puree can do the trick for much less.
Anyway, we used Oregon Fruit Puree which is used by many brewers, so we felt like we were in trusted hands.
We also liked that this puree was probably the closest that we could find to actually preparing the fruit ourselves, so it would be like we actually put as much work as possible into the brewing process.
However, the puree allows you the peace of mind that there are no bugs or bacteria in your beer.
If you wanted to use fresh fruit, though, you could do this by freezing it, crushing then heating it to break down all of the bacteria and cell walls.
The fruit puree that we used came with no preparation necessary, so we opened the can and poured it directly into the batch of sour.
We used two 49-ounce cans of red raspberry puree. This was the perfect amount of fruit to be refreshing without masking the flavor of the sour.
You can use a little less puree if you want a more subdued flavor, or a little more for a more pronounced flavor.
We’d suggest allowing the fruit plenty of time to sit with the sour before tasting it. Think somewhere between 4 and 7 days to really get the full effect.
There is a drawback to using fruit puree – the price.
These cans that we used were between $25 and $35 a piece, so they’re the more expensive alternative to using fresh fruit.
However, you’re paying for the convenience, so you’re going to have to decide whether you’d prefer to cut costs or convenience.
Don’t Forget Your Wood Spirals
Wood spirals are often added to the fermentation process to give the beer a nutty taste.
We used oak spirals for this recipe and added two 8-inch lightly toasted American spirals at the same time as the fruit.
This will give it between 4 and 7 days to really enhance the flavor of your sour.
You could also use one or three spirals if you wanted a less or more powerful wooden taste.
Make sure that you boil your wood spirals before putting them into the fermentor to sanitize them and kill any bacteria living on them.
Fruited Raspberry Sour Recipe
Now for what you’ve all been waiting for – the recipe! This beer was a winner with our friends and family who tried it over summer, and we can’t say that we blame them.
The sour perfectly contradicts the sweetness of the raspberries, and the woody notes are a great afterthought.
The best thing about this recipe is that you can tweak it however you prefer the next time you brew it (and believe us, there will be a next time!).
We would add slightly more raspberry puree and slightly less wood spirals.
– Method: All-grain
– Batch size: 5.5 gallons
– Efficiency: 70%
– OG: 1.057
– FG: 1.009
– ABV: 6.3%
– IBU: 11
– SRM: 4.6
– Target Mash pH: 5.2 (adjust with lactic acid)
– Mash Temp: 149°F – 60 minutes
– Boil: 60 minutes
– Fermentation Temp: 75°F
– 5 lb (36.6%) Pale Ale Malt 2-Row 3.5 °L
– 4 lb (29.3%) Wheat White Malt 2.3 °L
– 1 lb (7.3%) Oats, Flaked 1.6 °L
– 8 oz (3.7%) Acidulated 2.8 °L
– 1 pack of WildBrew Philly Sour
– 1 oz Tettang 4.5% 30 mins
– 2 49 oz cans Raspberry Puree (added on day 5)
– 2 oak spirals (added on day 5)
– 8 oz corn sugar – 15 minutes
– Whirlfloc – 15 minutes
– Ca2+ 50
– Mg2+ 5
– Na+ 51
– Cl– 133
– SO42- 22
– HCO3– 90
As we mentioned earlier, Philly Sour produces lactic acid which gives it that sour taste.
This will likely happen before the fermentation process starts, so don’t be alarmed if you’re getting the sour taste before any of the hops come into play.
We used a maximum temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and remained there the entire process.
We enjoyed the results, so we’d recommend that you try this too.
Add the fruit and wood on day five when you’re almost at terminal. Allow it to sit within the sour between 5 and 7 days for maximum results.
Cold crash your beer for 24 to 48 hours before transferring it from the fermentor.
You can add some biofine to your sour to help the pulp settle if you’d prefer. We didn’t bother but this is a personal preference.
You might also consider adding in lactose at the end of the boil if you want a sweeter end result.
This is an easy recipe to follow and has many variations that you can opt for. If you like sours, then you’ll love this recipe.
It’s a perfect addition to your home brewing repertoire and makes a great gift for those who enjoy craft beers.
The end result is a hazy ale with a delicious creamy head.
It is sweet thanks to the fruit, but you can make it drier if you’d prefer by ditching the corn sugar.
You can also add more or less fruit and wood to make your perfect flavor palette.
No matter what you do with it, we can all agree that Philly Sour is an impressive yeast that makes a delicious sour ale.
What to do with it next – well, that’s up to you!
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