wine/vinegar addition to brew

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wine/vinegar addition to brew

Postby mattmike » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:04 pm

hello. Was curious about something that piqued my interest from a convo i recently had with a winemaker. If this is off the wall or just plain dumb , please don't flame me :-P i wouldn't expect that from these forums as they always are friendly. Ok. What would adding wine of no particular kind or flavored vinegar to mash, primary or 2ndary? I cook with wine. Wondering if it would coagulate well with homebrew for that extra kick or dryness. Thanks.
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just my opinion

Postby Skier1 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:50 am

I just registered for the forum so this answer may be a bit late, but here goes:

A caveat first, I am not an expert in brewing by any means. I have been brewing all-grain for a couple of years and have learned by trial and error and reading. I am very intrigued by the idea of adding things like wine, vinegar, acids, fruits, etc. to a brew to create something new and unique. With that said, I see two potential issues with adding wine or vinegar to a brew.

1. pH -If added during the mash (I wouldn't recommend this from a flavor loss standpoint) you can negatively affect the pH of the mash and affect your mash efficiency. If too much is added to the primary or secondary (especially if it's vinegar) you could make the beer too sour to be enjoyable. I myself have wondered what the effects of pH are on yeast and their ability to work but I have not found any answers yet to that question.

2. Alchohol - If you add wine to the mash or boil you will boil off the alcohol and a lot the volatile compounds that contribute to the flavor of the wine so I wouldn't recommend adding it at those stages. If added to the primary or secondary you won't lose the flavor but you could potentially raise the alcohol to a level where the yeast may quit working and you will have an underfermented brew. If you use natural carbonation for your process and you add the wine at the time of bottling you will have the same problem as the fermentation only you will have beer that will not carbonate. The best thing I can think of is to add the wine to your brew in a keg and force carbonate, then bottle.

I hope this helps and is not too late to be useful. Let me know if you tried it and how it turned out.
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Postby mattmike » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:30 pm

Thanks, and I appreciate the replies, honestly.
I did try adding vinegar before I pitched the yeast and it started to ferment, yes it did but like vinegar ferments when making it from scratch. Mold and lots of it.
When making vinegar at home it requires constant stirring everyday to mix it up so the mold does not settle or have time to actually grow or become mold.
If I or anyone wanted to add it , yes it would most likely be just prior to kegging ie. after the yeast is pretty much done its job and dead.
So far we got something going about this, I hope more can put their 2cents in.
once again thank you.
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sour beers

Postby slothrob » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:24 pm

I've talked to brewers who use sour mashing techniques to make sour beers. Basically they let the mash sit for a couple days to let the native lactic acid bacteria make the wort sour, then boil and ferment with standard yeast.

Similarly, I've had Berliner Weißen that were made by allowing the same bacteria to ferment the beer.

Belgian sours are made with a variety of bacteria and wild yeasts that result in various combinations of Lactic and Acetic Acid in the beers as well as other wild and interesting flavors.
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