Best Practices: Lallemand Sour Solutions

Best Practices: Lallemand Sour Solutions

Strain selection for sour beer production is a growing challenge as brewers are faced with a greater variety of strains than ever before.

Lactic acid bacteria can be used for kettle and fermenter souring practices to provide depth of flavour along with mild to high levels of acidity depending on the strain. Both WildBrew Sour Pitch™ and WildBrew Helveticus Pitch™ offer consistent and reliable bacteria options for brewers looking to produce citrusy sour beers. WildBrew Sour Pitch™ (Lactobacillus plantarum) ferments at mildly warm temperatures and produces a medium level of lactic acid with hints of grapefruit. By comparison, WildBrew Helveticus Pitch™ (Lactobacillus helveticus) ferments at higher temperatures and produces higher levels of lactic acid with a lemony/sour candy flavour. 

Lactic acid producing yeast is relatively uncommon for brewing applications; however, in recent years they have started to gain more attention. The yeast of the genus Lachancea produce lactic acid as well as ethanol and CO2 in fermentation. The WildBrew Philly Sour™ strain is a unique Lachancea species that was selected from nature by the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, USA. It produces a mild level of lactic acid and ethanol in one simple fermentation step with flavours of apricot and stone fruit.


Whether performing a kettle sour with bacteria or souring in the fermenter using lactic acid producing yeast, the choice of souring strain has important implications for fermentation performance and the flavour and character of the beer. Bacteria fermentations require a secondary yeast strain to complete the alcoholic fermentation, whereas lactic acid producing yeast perform both functions (but can be co-pitched with other yeast to achieve desired results). 

A few tips from our team: Choose WildBrew Sour Pitch™ and WildBrew Philly Sour™ for sessionable sours, or WildBrew Helveticus Pitch™ for a more prominent lactic acid flavour. Hop tolerant lactic acid yeast are resistant to kettle hop additions and high IBUs, whereas the bacteria strains are highly sensitive to kettle hops as well as dry hopping. Whatever sour beer style you are brewing, there is a sour bacteria or yeast strain for you!


 Although fruit can be incorporated into practically any style of beer, it really finds a special home in sour beers. Most fruits are naturally acidic, and it is this fact that tends to make fruit flavors taste brighter and more natural in sour beers than the same fruits would taste in beers with a higher pH.

We are excited to provide our customers with a large array of products including but not limited to aseptic and frozen puree, juice concentrate, and frozen whole fruit.

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