Friday, October 31, 2014

Solera Blending/Golden Brett

I brewed my Solera about 3 months ago and I’m now going to start moving towards packaging it.  I did some test blending with my Golden base wort and found that 2/3 golden with 1/3 sour was very nice.  This will be put in a 1 gallon carboy and left for a little to blend together and mellow and eat up anything that is left.

I wanted to blend some more and add some fruit so I’m going to do another gallon carboy with 1/3 Golden base beer with 2/3 sour to up the sourness.  I bought 2 cans of tart cherries packaged in water to add also.  This will sit for up to a month before packaging.

The solera will be replaced with the Golden base beer up to 5 gallons in order to push out excess O2 and give the bugs more to chew on.  This evolving beer will be revisited again in a few months for more sour beer.

The remaining Golden base beer which should be around 3 gallons will be put in my 3 gallon better bottle sour fermenter.  Along with the beer I’m adding ~15 oak cubes which have been boiled to remove the tannins.  I’m pitching a vial of saved Yeast Bay Brussels Brett and I’m leaving this in the closet for a few months.  Walt from Wicked Weed gave me this advice after asking him how to get a beer as awesome as Serenity.  I also talked to the Mad Fermentationist about getting the most funk out of a beer and he recommended giving the brett a lot of phenols to play with and that’s why I open fermented my Golden base beer with a Belgian strain.

All in all, this blending should take place today 10/28/14 and I’ll have another 5 gallons of sour beer working away.  That’s 5 gallons in the solera, 3 for the funky brett beer, 1 which is just a straight blend of 1/3 solera and 2/3 golden and the other which is blend of 2/3 solera, 1/3 golden and tart cherries.  Hopefully they’ll be packaged in a few months!

Golden Wort for Sours

The Rare Barrel was on The Brewing Network recently and talked about their sour production.  Their program is basically based around 3 base beers which they then pitch bugs into and experiment with.  The base beers are a golden, an amber and a dark sour.  The recipes are very similar and they shared each.  I want to do an aggressively funky brett beer and also needed a beer to blend with my very sour Solera, so I brewed their golden wort to funkify and blend.  I open fermented it with Wyeast Abbey Ale after talking to The Mad Fermentationist to get a lot of phenols for the brett (Yeast Bay Brussels Brett) to hopefully turn into delicious barnyard funk.

5 Gallons

5.5 lb 2 Row
2.25 lb Wheat
0.5 lb Aromatic
0.5 lb Flaked Oats

0.5 oz Tettnang (60 min)
0.5 oz Tettnang (30 min)

Mashed at 148F for 60 minutes and boiled for 60 minutes.  3 g CaCl2, 2 g CaSO4 and 4 mL lactic acid got the pH to 5.35.  3.27 gallons was heated to 161F for the mash and 3.97 gallons was heated to 179F for the sparge (168F).

2L starter of Wyeast Abbey Ale

IBU: 16
ABV: 4.7%

10/11/14: Brew day.  Got an absurd 83% efficiency so OG was 1.054.  Opened the lid of the fermenter once krausen was observed after ~1 day.  Left it open with just foil over it for 3 days, then closed.

10/20/14: FG 1.008.

????: Pitched The Yeast Bay Brussels Brett blend and dregs from Hill Farmstead Anna.

????: Tasting notes


SWMBO’s father loves hoppy reds.  So do I as a matter of fact, fresh Tocobaga from Cigar City is one of my all time favorite beers.  We’re heading down to Tampa for Thanksgiving, so I put a Red IPA on the list of things to brew.  It’s a mixture of Tocobaga and just some classic IPA notes.  We’ll see how it turns out.

3 Gallons

6.5 lb 2 Row
0.5 lb Munich
0.5 lb Vienna
0.75 lb C60
0.1 lb Carafa II

0.5 oz Chinook (60 min)
0.5 Cascade (15 min)
0.5 Amarillo (15 min)
0.5 Centennial (15 min)
0.5 Cascade (0 min)
0.5 Amarillo (0 min)
0.5 Centennial (0 min)

Mash at 150F for 60 minutes.  Boil for 60 minutes.  2 g CaCl2, 7g CaSO4, 1g NaHCO3, 1 mL lactic acid for a mash pH of 5.34.  3.12 gallons at 163F (150F) to mash and 2.13 gal @ 185F (168F) to sparge.

Wyeast Thames Valley Yeast

OG: 1.069
FG: 1.016
IBU: 69
ABV: 7.3%

10/27/2014: Brewday.  OG 1.069.  Cooled overnight, pitched on 10/28.  Aerated wort for 60 seconds and pitched 1.5 L starter of Thames Valley (after taking off a vial to save).  Wort was a little darker/roastier than expected.  Plan is to dry hop 0.5 oz of Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial in a few days before fermentation ends and then a second dry hop 3-4 days after, then bottle.
11/2/14: Dry hopped with 0.5 oz of Amarillo, Centennial and Cascade
11/5/14: Dry hopped with 0.5 oz of Amarillo, Centennial and Cascade and crashed to 50F.
11/26/14: Tasted the first bottle.  This turned out more like a brown than a red.  I'll lay off the munich/vienna/crystal/roasted grains next time.  Good hop flavor but the malt makes backbone is too strong and upsets the balance.