How To Make A Sour Mead Using the Sour Mash Method

After writing a few articles on Lambic and sour mead making for homebrew talk, I found myself exploring new ways to create sour meads. This recipe relates to one of the research batches I did for the homebrew talk article on Berliner style meads. One of those ways is to “sour mash” your mead to create a lactic sour character.

Berliner Mead 01

Ingredients:
Units for 1 gallon
1.75 Pounds Wildflower Honey
A Small handful of uncrushed malt
Yeast: Wild Lactobacillus from uncrushed grain, Red Star Champagne, and Dregs from White Birch Berliner Weisse
Starting Gravity:1.064
Final Gravity: 1.000
ABV: 8.4%




Process

First I heated my must up a bit to 110F. From there I added in 2 handfuls of uncrushed pilsner malt. I left it for 24 hours, keeping it under an airlock, filled to the top (to avoid oxygen), and warm as possible (to promote lactic acid growth).

1 Days:

The wild yeast and lactobacilllus made a bit of foamyness. I took the mead off of the grain. Next I pasteurized the mead by slowly bringing it to a boil, then killed the heat and cooled. Then I pitched champagne yeast.

14 Days

The gravity is down to 1.002. It’s not very sour at this point, so I added dregs of White Birch’s Berliner Weisse. It’s a great beer with both brett character and a balanced sourness.

4 Months

The mead is completely clear. There is also a renewed lambic fermentation from the dregs, and a minor pellicle has formed. I’ll probably top up the airlock and let it keep going for a while before tasting.

how ot make a sour mead - pellicle

6 Months

This is now in bottles. It is a very nice golden color. Very clear. The flavors are that of mild lacto sourness with a medium dose of hay / brettanomyces characteristics. If you are fond of brett flavors in sour beers, you’ll be a fan of this mead. It’s a sneaky 8.4 percent ABV. I’ll be updating the post with pictures of the finished product when I open one up. If you have any questions on how to make a sour mead, use the contact and connect page to reach me.

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