Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Solera Fill #2

It's about that time to pull a few gallons off of my "solera", and bottle it up.  I did my first pull a few months ago and they are great beers to have around.  I blended those so they're not intensely sour (the solera is very sour, almost harshly so), but hit the spot when the sour itch starts.

On this next pull I wanted to fruit one gallon and I ended deciding on a mixed berry blend from my grocery store.  This frozen bag has cherries, blueberries, dark raspberries and blackberries.  I think the darker fruit blend will play well with the solera which at the point I can best describe as a dark red/brown type of sour.

The second gallon that I pulled isn't going to have any fruit but rather I added some oak and come bottling time I will dry hop it with a big, juicy hop like Citra or Amarillo.  I added ~7 white oak cubes that I pre boiled.  I'm hoping a nice oak character will mellow out some of the sour of the beer in the next month or so.

Of course I couldn't just pull off beer, I had to brew some to add back as well.  I used The Rare Barrel's recipe for their base red beer to maintain the color/style that the solera already was.

Solera Refill

2 gallons
74% efficiency
30 minute boil

3 lb 2 Row (69%)
0.75 lb Wheat (17%)
0.187 lb Aromatic (4%)
0.187 lb Flaked Oats (4%)
0.187 lb C60 (4%)
0.0625 lb Black Malt (1%)

0.5 oz Tettnang (30 min)

No primary yeast, this went straight back into the solera to ferment.

2/21/15: Brewday.  Pulled 2 gallons off onto fruit and oak.  Refilled solera.

?????: The 2 gallons on fruit and oak ended up turning into nail polish.  Too much oxygen pickup when transferrring.  I ended up bottling the entire solera because I was afraid of it turning into nail polish as well.  I've had a few bottles and they're great.  Very sour up front, but it dissipates quickly and doesn't linger in the back of the throat like some sours do.  Drinkable.  

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