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How To Make Sour Beer

Article Highlights

  • Making sour beer is one of the most rewarding experiences for experienced brewers
  • Sour beer is made with wild yeasts and bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, etc.
  • Sour beers have better-rounded flavors than their traditional ales counterparts and take less time to ferment
  • Equipment needed to make sour beer includes a fermenter with an airlock or blowoff tube, auto-siphon, and pH meter
  •  A step-by-step guide to making sour beer from adding base wort to the fermenter and pitching yeast, to bottling and serving

Are you ready for a sour beer journey? Making your own sour beer is one of the most rewarding experiences for experienced brewers. With the right approach and patience, you can make some delicious homemade sour beer.

Sour beer has become more and more popular among craft beer drinkers in recent years. There is something truly unique about trying to craft a unique tart flavor in your brews.

It’s like drinking a deliciously tart cocktail but with a hint of smooth, malty goodness. It requires patience, but when done properly, the rewards are well worth it!

Read on to learn more about what goes into making a refreshing batch of sour beer.

What Is Sour Beer?

Sour beer is made with wild yeasts and bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, etc., that create that fruity-sour taste while traditional ales are brewed with Saccharomyces yeast strains only.

This gives sour beers their signature flavor without overpowering the natural flavors of other ingredients added to the brew such as hops or fruit purees.

Benefits Of Sour Beer

Sour beers provide a range of benefits for those who like to savor the unique flavors created by this brewing process. Here are some of them:

  • Have better-rounded flavors than their traditional ales counterparts, making them more drinkable and enjoyable
  • Take less time to ferment compared to regular ales – sometimes only taking weeks rather than months
  • Perfect for summertime sipping as they’re generally light-bodied and low in alcohol content which makes them refreshingly drinkable and thirst-quenching

Equipment Needed To Make Sour Beer

To make sour beer you’ll need the right equipment:

  • Fermenter – You’ll want one with an airlock or blowoff tube that can withstand higher pressures caused by carbon dioxide buildup during fermentation
  • Auto Siphon – For efficient transfer of liquids within your setup without introducing oxygen
  • pH Meter – This will help you measure acidity levels so you know when your brew is at its perfect tartness level

Step-by-Step Guide To Making Sour Beer:

Ok, so here is a quick guide to make sour beer:

1. Add Base Wort to Fermenter & Pitch Yeast

The first step is to add base wort (unfermented liquid) from grains or store-bought wort into your fermenter and pitch your yeast strains (Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus bacterium & Brettanomyces cultures). This will help get the fermentation process started for your brew.

2. Create Fruity Flavor With Fruit Puree

You can create interesting new flavors by adding fruit puree instead of hops in your brew for added sweetness or tartness depending on what type of fruit puree you choose – from peaches and pomegranates to blueberries and black currants!

3. Separately Ferment With Lactobacillus Bacteria & Brettanomyces Yeast Cultures

After pitching yeast into your base wort mix it’s time to separate the different types of ferments ie., Lactobacillus bacteria culture & Brettanomyces brewers yeast culture using two different fermenters so they don’t interfere with each other’s processes while fermenting

4. Test pH Levels And Gravity Of The Beer Periodically

Monitor pH levels periodically throughout fermentation using a pH meter as this will help ensure that flavors are being produced correctly as acidity levels rise due to lactic acid production from Lactobacillus bacteria cultures during the fermentation process

5. Transfer To Secondary Fermenter & Age For A Minimum Of 8 Weeks

After fermentation has stopped (you’ll be able to tell because specific gravity reading won’t change over time) it’s time to transfer it into another clean secondary fermenter where it needs time for aging – minimum 8 weeks

6. Bottle The Beer & Serve it Cool

Bottle up your delicious finished product! All that’s left before tasting it is making sure bottles are cooled down so carbon dioxide builds pressure before serving – put them in refrigerator for 12 hrs before enjoying cool glassfuls


Making your own sour beer involves patience but yields sweet rewards when done correctly! As long as you have all the necessary ingredients, and equipment and take note of the tips mentioned in this guide you’ll be well on your way toward crafting perfect batches of homemade sour beers!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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