Quick Sour with Lactobacillus Hilgardii

The only quickly done sours (aka kettle sour) that tastes OK to me are the ones with lighter malt. For some reason, when the darker quick sours tastes really one dimensional and weird. Almost like someone just squeezed some lemon into a dark beer. I think it has something to do with the lack of complexity that quick sours can bring combined with the tannins dark malt can bring, even if it’s small amounts?

Thankfully, the blonde quick sour can still be made (at least for my palate) because I do love experimenting. White Labs has given the gift of experimentation with their Vault yeasts. Most of these are unreleased and when they hit a minimum order of 150, they ship it, and those who put in an order before the 150 will get it first before any other general release. Lactobacillus Hilgardii is one of those bacterias from The Vault.

The steps for this was my traditional quick sour method, except I didn’t mess with getting the pH to 4.5 or lower first before fermentation because I was dealing with commercial yeast/bacteria. That’s only in place to help kill any wild stuff from getting in using things like grains, yorgurt, probiotics or at an attempt at a wild sour capture (which would be vital to get the pH 4.5 or lower first).

I was also curious to see if this was a heterofermentative strain (produces C02 and ethanol), or homofermentative strain (just creates lactic acid). Though lactobacillus heterofermentative strains don’t ferment more than .02 in alcohol, it’s still an interesting experiment to see the results (I however did just recently find out that wild bacteria captures by White Labs can contain yeast, so this test may be skewed).

I say it more here:


Batch Size: 2 Gallons (split)
OG: 1.049
SRM: 4
Est ABV: 5%-ish
IBUs: 0
Boil Time: 15 Min

86% – 2-Row
7.7 oz (8%) – Flaked Barley
6.0 oz (6.5%) – Acid Malt (because of my water)

154F for 70 Minutes


WLP678 Lactobacillus Hilgardii
WLP648 Brux

Here’s what went down:

Brewed 7/30/17

8/3/17: pH at 3.3. Pasteurized at 200 for 10 minutes and added some WLP648 at 80F.

8/14/: Transferred to a secondary and added 1/2 lb (which was one peach) of peaches to a half of it.

8/24/17: Transferred off the peaches and cold crashed.

8/28/17: Bottled.

9/10/17 Tasting notes:

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