Brewing Beer from Sourdough Starter - 🍺 The Ultimate Yeast Experiment

Yes, you can absolutely use the 'hooch' from your sourdough starter to make beer! In fact, using sourdough hooch in beer brewing is a fantastic way to add unique flavors and complexity to your brews. Let me explain how it works.

What is sourdough hooch?

Sourdough hooch is the liquid that forms on top of your sourdough starter when it hasn't been fed for a while. It is a byproduct of the fermentation process and is often discarded. However, instead of throwing it away, you can repurpose it to make delicious homemade beer.

How does sourdough hooch enhance beer?

Sourdough hooch is rich in alcohol, acids, and other flavor compounds that develop during the fermentation of the sourdough starter. When you add it to your beer, it adds a unique tanginess and depth of flavor that is reminiscent of sourdough bread. It can also contribute to the overall alcohol content of your beer, depending on the amount used.

How to make beer with sourdough hooch?

To make beer with sourdough hooch, you will need to follow a basic beer brewing process. Here's a simplified step-by-step guide:

1. Gather your ingredients: Besides the sourdough hooch, you will need malt extract or grains, hops, yeast, and water. You can find these ingredients at your local homebrew supply store or online.

2. Prepare your malt extract or grains: If you're using malt extract, dissolve it in hot water according to the package instructions. If you're using grains, you'll need to steep them in hot water to extract the sugars.

3. Add hops: Hops add bitterness, flavor, and aroma to your beer. Add them to the boiling water and let them simmer for a while.

4. Cool the mixture: Once the hops have infused their flavors, cool the mixture to room temperature. You can use an ice bath or a wort chiller for this.

5. Add the sourdough hooch: Once the mixture has cooled, strain out any solids and transfer the liquid to a fermentation vessel. Add the sourdough hooch, which will contribute its unique flavors and alcohol content to the beer.

6. Pitch the yeast: Add the appropriate yeast strain to the fermentation vessel. The yeast will consume the sugars in the mixture and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.

7. Fermentation: Seal the fermentation vessel with an airlock and let the beer ferment for a few weeks. During this time, the yeast will convert the sugars into alcohol and the flavors will develop.

8. Bottle and carbonate: Once fermentation is complete, transfer the beer to bottles and add a small amount of priming sugar to carbonate the beer naturally. Let the bottles sit at room temperature for a week or two to carbonate.

9. Enjoy your homemade sourdough beer: After the carbonation period, your beer is ready to be enjoyed! Chill it in the refrigerator and pour it into a glass to savor the unique flavors of your homemade sourdough beer.

Experiment and have fun!

Making beer with sourdough hooch is a great way to experiment with flavors and get creative in your brewing process. You can adjust the amount of hooch used to achieve the desired level of sourness and alcohol content. Feel free to experiment with different hop varieties, malt profiles, and yeast strains to create your own unique sourdough beer recipes.

So, don't let that hooch go to waste! Give sourdough beer brewing a try and discover the wonderful flavors that can be achieved with your sourdough starter. Cheers to homemade sourdough beer!

Mason Levain
food science, research, cycling, playing the guitar

Mason Levain is a food scientist and sourdough aficionado who has dedicated his career to understanding the science behind sourdough fermentation. He has published numerous research papers on the topic and is often sought after for his expertise. Mason is also an avid home baker and enjoys experimenting with unique sourdough recipes.