Barrel Fermented Mélange Sour Pale

Melange SourThis is our first beer to undergo primary fermentation in a barrel (a used American oak Parliament Whiskey barrel), and it’s also the first in a series of three beers to feature different yeast strains from The Yeast Bay.

We used the same base recipe for this beer that we used in our Kaberene Fran Sour Pale but pitched the Mélange yeast blend in place of the Roeselare (the barrel also previously held a funked old ale so whatever critters are living in the wood will also have an impact).

Find our process, and tasting notes below:

Whiskey Barrel SourBarrel Fermented Mélange Sour Pale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.75
Anticipated OG: 1.069
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 14.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes


80% – 11.0 Lbs. Belgian 2-Row Pilsner
07% – 1.0 Lbs. U.S. Vienna
05% – .75 Lbs. U.S. Munich – Dark 20L
07% – 1.0 Lbs. U.S. Wheat


0.35 oz. Magnum (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 90 min.


1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.


The Yeast Bay – Mélange Sour Blend
Used barrel terroir

Water Profile

1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 155F


No starter on account of fresh yeast and the desire to keep the bugs in the blend at the manufacturer’s intended ratio.

Brewed on 01.21.15 with Gregory

01.21.15 — Chilled wort to 70F, transferred to the barrel, and pitched the Mélange blend

01.24.15 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity

01.29.15 — Transferred into secondary fermentor and took gravity readings

02.11.16 — Pulled a sample from the carboy.  Light lemon acidity and balanced funk.  Will package soon and may keep some on hand for blending.

05.26.16 — Packaged this by bottling half the batch with Champagne yeast and half the batch with Champagne yeast and Brett.

Tasting Notes 07.12.16 (poured from bottles)

Champagne Yeast Only:

Fizzy white head which dissipates quickly, pale yellow color with good clarity.  Vanilla and oak on the nose with a hint of lemon, aroma kind of reminiscent of cream soda.  The palate follows the nose with a sharp citric acid like bite mid-tongue.  Some mild tropical fruit notes, and a soft-round lactic acid sourness on the semi-dry finish.

Brettanomyces & Champagne Yeast:

Fizzy white head which dissipates quickly, pale yellow color with good clarity.  Brett.’s earthy, horsey-funk is up front with oaky notes in the background.  Similar palate to the  Champagne Yeast Only version, but the barnyard, leathery Brett. character definitely takes center stage.  The sourness is less defined and muted, while the funkiness is accentuated, finishes dry.

Calculated OG: 1.075
Calculated FG: 1.000
Approx. ABV: 9.86%


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