Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quick Sour?

I've wanted to get into brewing sours for a long time now but haven't been able to talk myself into it because I've always been 1 year within moving.  I'll finally be moving somewhere somewhat permanent in 6 months, but until then, I still have the sour bug eating away at me.  

Roselare or other commercial bug blends take a long time to get a delicious, sour beer but I just don't have that much time.  What I do have is the experience of souring with lacto, and a lot of sour beers with dregs in them.  My plan then is a combination of these techniques.  I'm going to brew up a brown-ish ale base, sour it with lacto from grain, ferment with dry ale yeast and some dregs, then add dregs for the next 5 months until I move and bottle it up then.  

Sour Brown
3.5 gallon

2.5 lb Munich 10L
2.5 lb Pilsner
2.5 lb Vienna
0.5 lb CaraAroma
0.5 lb C60
0.5 lb Wheat

1.5 oz Hallertauer (15 min)


Mash at 156F for 60 min.  Save a handful of grain to pitch post mash at 110F and sour for 2-3 days.  After souring is complete, bring to a boil for 15 mins to kill the lacto, get some IBUs from the hops and add DME to increase the OG if needed (when lacto sours, it lowers the gravity but doesn't necessarily add to ABV).  Then I'm going to cool and pitch a pack of dry US-05 and some bottle dregs (most likely from Sierra Nevada/Russian River BRUX and a Russian River sour or Jolly Pumpkin sour).  Then over the course of the next few months, anytime I drink a beer with bug dregs in it, I'll pitch it also. 

OG 1.060
FG 1.015
IBU 19.9
ABV 5.9%

My goal for this beer is to end up with a nicely sour beer that isn't as one-dimensional as the berliners I make (not that that's bad, just different).

8/12/13: Brewday.  Actual OG 1.071.  More boil off then expected.  Fermented in a swamp cooler.  Pitched rehydrated yeast, lacto grain starter, BRUX dregs, Monk's Cafe Flemish Red and Petrus Oud Bruin dregs.
8/17/13: Pitched Boulevard's Saison Brett dregs, pellicle forming.
8/21/13: Pitched Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabeza for the last of my dregs.  Some light spotty pellicle forming.  Will re-visit in 3 months.
9/23/13: Huge white, powerdy pellicle formed.  Gravity sample read 1.011.  Tasted of a flemish red/oud bruin with some nice lingering sourness.
1/5/13: Tested gravity, 1.011.  Despite what I have read about not bottling with this high of a gravity, I'm looking to bottle soon due to time constraints.
1/18/13: Bottled.


It's hot in Florida.  It says 92 on the thermometer but with the humidity outside it feel like 100+.  Since this weather will last until October/November, I wanted to brew up something refreshing, crushable and with a decent ABV to help combat the heat.  Also, I wanted to do 3 gallons, but since I can't fit that in my mini fridge, I need something that will be content with room temp fermentation temperatures, ala a saison and the wonderful White Labs 565 which is suggested to ramp up to 90F!

This recipe is a mixmash of an award winning saison on HBT and then some different ideas from Swamp Head's Saison du Swamp (very loosely).  

3 gallon volume

5 lb Pilsner
2 lb Rye
0.5 lb Flaked wheat

0.75 oz Hallertau (60 min)
0.5 lb Honey (5 min)

Mash at 148F for 90 min.

WLP 565

OG 1.064
FG 1.012
IBU 23.7
ABV 6.9%

I plan on pitching as cool as possible (65F), then letting it free rise to ambient (~74F).  After 3-4 days of that I'm going to bump the temperature up by adding a heating pad and try to get it to finish at a temperature up around 90F.

8/15/13 - Brewday.  Actual OG: 1.068.  Pitched WLP 565 around 70F and fermented in swamp cooler for 2 days.  Put on heating pad 8/18/13.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Berliner Weisse Treatments

I recently did a 3 gallon batch of Berliner Weisse, souring it by keeping it in a cooler at room temp with twice daily additions of boiling water.  I fermented it in an ice bucket with washed kolsch yeast.  I then split it three ways and did the following:

1 gallon with 1 pineapple cubed and frozen
1 gallon with 6 mangoes cubed and frozen
1 gallon with 3 packets of frozen passion fruit

They were left at room temp for a week and yesterday I tasted them and bottled them.  The passion fruit is intensely aromatic and sour.  Passion fruit is naturally very tart and along with the berliner base beer it is quite a mouth puckering experience.  Pineapple gave off a great aroma but pineapple doesn't seem to lend itself well to giving off a great fruit taste as well.  The best I can describe it is light.  It has some pineapple fruit taste upfront but otherwise is a little muted.  I think I got an infection in my mango batch because it has a harsh aroma.  I might bottle it in a few days but for now I'm letting it ride.