Last night a question popped up about sour beers and how to make a portion of one sour after fermentation. The group pretty much agreed it would be better to start out with that as a goal rather than taking a portion and trying to sour after fermentation is complete. We didn’t have time to dig into the flavors the person was after, but I thought of a good exercise on the way home which may have helped him narrow down what they liked and what they do not. My thought was they could make up several acids as mead makers often do to complete their meads. They could make up small amounts of malic, acetic, citric, tartaric, lactic, acid blend, etc. and put them with an eye dropper into an ounce or so of beer to taste and learn what flavors they would like to create in his beer. Once they find the flavors they prefer they could then balance them as desired and even dose the batch if they find a perfect balance. They could even create an acid additive blend and then add to taste as they sever the beer.
People have a hard time describing sour beers and the flavors they are after, with this exercise they may be able to pinpoint exactly what they are after and then devise a means to achieve that through yeast/bacteria selection and potentially adding acids to the beer for the final product.