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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Brewing Forum --> Recipe Discussion --> First Sour

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Matt
Charter Member
Normal, IL
341 Posts


Alright homebrewdad forum members!, For months I have been planning a sour based on Ten Commandments by Lost Abbey. 

Thing is, I don't know how to go about this. I have a recipe,and I have an idea of what I want to do. If anyone has any advice on this, I would love any and all feedback. 

I'm going for a cherry, cherry-pie forward sort of "sour" beer, using the Brett Lambicus strain. Ten Commandments is a "Dark Saison", but I'm not tied to the saison idea, though I do like it. It also aligns with a Belgian Dark Strong. Here is my recipe:

OG:  1.080
FG: 1.012 (minus the Brett)
IBU: 31

Grains
84% Pilsner Malt (Or floor malted bo pils, dunno)
7% Flaked Oats
6% Crystal 80L
3% Special B 

Hops
Challenger @ 60 to 20 IBUs
Willamette @ 15 to 11 IBUs

Yeast
Either French Saison 3711, or Belle Saison, and then pitch a Wyeast packet of Brett Lambicus in secondary OR a 100% Brett fermentation. 

Other
Going to darken a blend of 2/3 tart cherries and 1/3 raisins in some first runnings, then puree and add in the last ten minutes of the boil. Then possibly tart cherry concentrate to taste when bottling. Possibly orange peel and/or ground rosemary as well. 

So, big beer, lots of aging. Thoughts? Opinions?




Posted 34 days ago.

ingoogni
nl
314 Posts


Don't bother with special Pilsner malts, you won't notice the difference once Brett has done its thing.

100% Brett or secondary only yields rather different beers.

Haven't tried it with 3711, but Belle has a very wide temperature range to work with, @18°C it will be rather sweet (glycerol) @30°C it will be a lot drier in taste, more saison like. In both cases you'll end up at about FG 1005, only the cooler one will take 4-6 weeks secondary to get there.

Belle goes deeper than most Bretts as it can produce an external enzyme (glucoamylase) that crack dextrins and probably even starches, albeit slow. There will still be some work to do in secondary for the brett as it metabolises a lot of other stuff in the beer and creates nice esters along the way. The presence of fruit acids will yield a wider range in esters. Still I would probably add the Brett along with the Sacch to primary to get some growth, but don't ferment 'hot' then as Brett does not grow then.

As you don't use Lacto's you probably can bottle after about three months in secondary and then age on the bottle. Actually, with Belle I have bottled when it was done and added Brett to the bottle without any problems, just make sure it's really ready fermenting as the last bit goes very slow.




Posted 34 days ago.
Edited 34 days ago by ingoogni

Matt
Charter Member
Normal, IL
341 Posts


Awesome, all great feedback! I've been told that to really get the cherries from this beer, it needs to be a 100% brett fermentation. I'll ned to look into it more though. 



Posted 34 days ago.

mchrispen
Bastrop, TX
485 Posts


Not sure who told you this... most 100% brett beers go really tropical (pineapple, mango) or funky (horsey, tobacco, black tea), and the fermentation scrubs most of the hops character (at least for me). The cherry pie thing comes through aging and conversion of polyphenols on more lambic strains. In his presentation at  Dixie Cup last year, Tonsmierre identified his go to blends to get a strong cherry pie character without added fruit, but followed up with a statement that the fruit itself is key to getting a truly identifiable fruit character - and he used a blend of fresh tart cherries, bings and frozen black cherries, along with some pits to get a strong, slightly tannic cherry bomb.

Be careful going big. Alcohol levels seem to directly impact the yeast character and will delay the incursion of pedio and lacto - and create some autolysis flavors. I shared a 9% tripel that had been barrel ages on dregs (3rd use) that was all tropical candy on the nose, but chewing tobacco, with some sour fruit notes. He believe that he tasted some autolysis and the barrel character was really strong (3 months in barrel, 6 months in keg). This barrel had 2 pitches of Brux, Trois (which we know is Sacc now) and a lot of random dregs from Russian River and some lambics. It took 3 months for a significant lactic acid character to really show - early it was too soft and took a dive below 3.0 pH when the pedio kicked in. I still have some bottled - hoping it will turn brighter at some point and take off the chewing tobacco flavor in a year or three. A lower ABV beer will sour more quickly and more cleanly.

He also suggests some dextrins to provide a longer and slower secondary fermentation - so I would mash higher than normal.

+1 on Belle Saison - love that yeast for it's flexibility. I like a cooler fermentation. It leaves some body in what would otherwise be a very dry and watery beer.

Ingoogni probably has more experience with this than I do - so take that my advice with some salt. I have done a total of 6 sour beers, labor of love.

Best advice is to let it ride if something doesn't seem quite right - goes completely against my OCD - so I call it wild beer therapy! :)




Posted 34 days ago.

Matt
Charter Member
Normal, IL
341 Posts


Fantastic advice man! I got the same advice from tomenshire about gravity, so I'm going to pull it back, which is great because I'll probably do a split batch then, one sour one not. 

So Belle Saison sounds like the way to go over 3711, which is totally fine. More than open to the yeast. I've also recieved quite a bit of advice to pitch both, so I'll probably ferment around 20C. I'll do more research on temps. 

You guys rock!




Posted 34 days ago.

mchrispen
Bastrop, TX
485 Posts


I have considered a blended yeast fermentation, pitching 3711 first for 48 hours, then Belle Saison at that point. Tonsmierre's article on mixed fermentation was interesting. Certainly couldn't hurt.

FYI - I keep a mason jar filled with low gravity wort in the fridge. All of my bottle dregs from wild or sour fermentation go into it. Keep the lid loose and cover that with foil. Flame the bottle lip, swirl up the dregs and dump in - keep it in the fridge till you want to make a starter. It might get a little scary looking - mine seems to develop clumps that float that freak out my wife. So good for beer and keeping her on her toes. Never has shown her a full pelicle yet... maybe someday.




Posted 34 days ago.

ingoogni
nl
314 Posts


Experience, Ha ha, in the past 2 year I dumped more than 200 liter "experience" due to acetic acid bacteria . Then there where 50 liter that only tasted and smelled like almond, really sickening. Luckily I managed to clean all the oak barrels so that the next beers came out perfect.

About the high gravity, get the beer of the cake quickly, maybe even twice. I saw the beer go into the barrels at Rodenbach, absolutely clear. The only beer that rests on yeast is Lambic. When transferring, don't be afraid to lose to much yeast, what is in suspension is enough. Also a difference is that Matt won't be using bacteria, just Brett.

Mmm thinking of it, an oak conical, anybody? ;)

Talking about Lambic, the "original" was a lot stronger than what is made nowadays, OG1080, like Cantillons ‘Lambic Haute Densit’ (OG1107 & 1093, FG 1032).

Edit: for those of you who understand Google translations from Dutch: www.lambik1801.be/ it has what seems to be the actual history of Lambic, instead of the marketing story that is told everywhere else.





Posted 34 days ago.
Edited 34 days ago by ingoogni

mchrispen
Bastrop, TX
485 Posts


I haven't primaried on oak... thought about it, but, would rather do a coolship and keep with the stainless at this point. I do tend to toss in oak beans of various sorts that have been previously used in sour beers - as a boost to the bugs diversity. I have a cabernet wine in secondary right now on french oak - and cannot wait to use them in a beer.

Jester King's coolship could easily fit in my garage... its just about 2 barrel volume. It also sits in their barrel room on the floor, rather than in an open window space. Plenty going on in there.

Wild/Sour/Funky - still trying to sort out what is the right term.




Posted 34 days ago.

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