Table Saison Achillea (Barrel Fermented)

yarrow-rosemaryGregory and I recently brewed two more saisons utilizing the remaining foraged yarrow we had vacuum sealed and stored in the freezer over a year ago.  This is the first of those saisons, which underwent primary fermentation in the small American oak Parliament Whiskey barrel we’ve used in the past (which is almost neutral at this point).  We decided to make this one hopless, as we’ve done in the past with our Saison Achillea, but we left out the lavender and added some fresh rosemary this time.  We also decided to brew this one to session, or table strength, which is a fancy way of saying it’s low in alcohol content.

barrel-yarrowWe used Imperial Yeast’s F08 Sour Batch Kidz strain which is a blend of Belgian saison yeasts, Lactobacillus, and two Brettanomyces strains.  We let in condition in glass for over two months and bottled it with additional Brettanomyces Bruxellensis.

Our process and tasting notes follow:

Barrel Fermented Table Yarrow Saison

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 7.75
Anticipated OG: 1.035
Anticipated SRM: 5.0
Anticipated IBU: 0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

38.71% — 3.00 Lbs. Red Wheat
38.71% — 3.00 Lbs. Vienna
12.90% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Oats
06.45% — 0.50 Lbs. CaraVienne
03.23% — 0.25 Lbs. Crystal 40L

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
2.00 oz. Yarrow @ 60 min. (first wort)
2.00 oz. Yarrow @ 60 min.
3.00 oz. Yarrow @ 5 min.
0.60 oz. Rosemary @ 5 min.
2.00 oz. Yarrow @ 0 min.

Yeast

Imperial Yeast F08 — Sour Batch Kidz
Used barrel terroir
White Labs WLP650 — Brettanomyces Bruxellensis (bottle conditioning)

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 156F
Mash out — 10 min @ 170F

Notes

Brewed on 11.03.16 with Gregory

11.03.16 — Chilled wort to 70F & pitched the yeast into the oak barrel

11.05.16 — Vigorous fermentation activity

11.12.16 — After 9 day primary, transferred to glass secondary

01.24.17 — Bottled 5.5 gallons @ 3.2 volumes of CO2 with corn sugar and Brett. Brux.

barrel-table-yarrowTasting Notes — 02.26.16 (bottle pour)

Orange in color with a slight haze.  Thin white head stand which persists throughout drinking.  Sweet-herbal yarrow dominates the nose with a hint of honey in the background.  Sweet-tart yarrow is front and center on the palate and hits the sides of the tongue with a puckering tartness.  Faint hint of oak on the dry, crisp, quick finish.  Thirst quenching and simple.

Calculated OG: 1.035
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 3.3%

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Whiskey Barrel Aged Flanders Style Red With Cherries

cherriesThe wonderful thing about brewing and aging 63 gallons of beer in a whiskey barrel is that you can save a couple of uncarbonated kegs worth of the beer and use these portions as a canvas to create further iterations down the line.  August 2015, a portion of our Westland whiskey barrel aged Flanders style red was added to wild picked blackberries (detailed here).  Additionally, this past July I crafted two more versions of this beer — another wild picked blackberry version (using over two pounds of fruit per gallon), and a cherry version which I’ll detail in this post.

We brewed the base beer on 06.12.14 (detailed here: Barrel Project #02).  On 07.07.16, I took a six gallon portion of that beer and aged it on 6 LBS of Red Cherries (store bought, fresh) for seven weeks and five days.  I kegged the beer on 08.30.16 and have been enjoying it ever since.

cherry-flanders-pelicleAs you can see in the photo on the right, after aging on the cherries was complete, the beer had a lovely pellicle dusting the surface of the beer.  “That looks gross,” you say; however, pellicles are very important in the production of funky and/or sour beers.  “What is a pellicle?” you ask.  Check out this blog post from A Ph.D. in Beer to learn all sorts of great information on the topic: What is a pellicle?

The actual brewing process and recipe can be found in the linked post above.  Below I will only detail the cherry additions, kegging date, and the tasting notes.

Whiskey Barrel Aged Flanders Style Red With Cherries

Notes

07.07.16 — Red cherries added to Flanders Style Red (6 LBS — one pound per gallon)

08.30.16 — Kegged beer and began force carbonating for approximately 2.5 volumes CO2

cherry-flandersTasting Notes — 11.12.16 (poured off tap)

Gorgeous deep burgundy color with a moderate pink-white head which dissipates quickly and laces thin.  Aromas of cherry preserves, oak and whiskey.  The cherries are certainly present, but they meld fantastically on the palate.  Juicy-ripe stone fruit note in the middle followed by a sharp lactic acidity.  Drying oak tannin with hints of vanilla, earthy fruit pit, and barrel char follow.  Finishes with a clean and strong lactic sourness, no vinegar notes detected.  Woody notes linger.

Calculated OG: 1.076
Calculated FG: 1.000
Approx. ABV: 9.99%

Salt-N-Peppa Birthday Gose

snp-gose-01This post is about that birthday beer I referenced in my last entry.  I’ve been meaning to brew a gose (pronounced goes-uh) — a traditional tart German wheat beer with sea salt and coriander — with peppercorns (my own twist on the style) for about two years. August 2nd, my birthday, afforded me the opportunity to finally do so as my kegerator’s sour tap became available.

I wrote a basic gose recipe and made a one liter lactobacillus starter five days before brewday, keeping the starter at 114F the entire time with a sous-vide cooker submerged in a camping cooler.  Gregory and I have had great lactic acid production in the past while making starters or sour-worting at around this temperature, but I talked to a fellow homebrewer who thought the temp. sounded a little high (he recommended keep the lacto. between 85-100F).  I proceeded to pitch the lacto. into the post-boil wort and waited 34.5 hours to pitch my ale yeast.  I didn’t bother to take a PH reading, as our PH meter seems to be malfunctioning.

The beer turned out fine, albeit less sour than I would have liked (ideally, it would have attained the level of tartness of Cascade’s or Westbrook’s  goses).  The homebrewer I mentioned above thought that my temp. may have been high enough to kill the lacto., so I’ll try keeping the starter at a lower temp. next time — perhaps then I’ll reach the level of tartness I desire.

All in all it’s a fine beer, and the peppercorns proved a nice addition.  Below you can find my recipe, process, and tasting notes.

Salt-N-Peppa Gose

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.50
Anticipated OG: 1.043
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: 5
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Grain

47.06% — 4.00 Lbs. Wheat Malt
35.29% — 3.00 Lbs. Pilsner
11.76% — 1.00 Lbs. Acid Malt
05.88% — 0.50 Lbs. Rice Hulls

Hops

0.20 oz. Sterling (Pellet, 6.8% AA) @ 75 min.

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
0.65 oz. Coriander Seed @ 10 min.
6.00 g. Pink Peppercorn @ 5 min.
0.75 oz. Sea Salt @ 10 min.

Yeast

White Labs WLP029 — German Ale/Kolsch Yeast
White Labs WLP672 — Lactobacillus Brevis

Water Profile

Seattle

Mash Schedule

Sacch. Rest – 60 min @ 150F
Acid Malt Addition — 45 min @ 150F
Mash out — 20 min @ 170F

Notes

07.28.16 — Made a 1 liter lacto. starter and kept @ 114F for 5 days

08.02.16 — Made 1 liter starter of German Ale/Kolsch yeast

Brewed on 08.02.16

08.02.16 — Chilled wort to 103F & pitched lacto. starter without aerating, put onto brewbelt

07.27.16 — Chilled to 80F and pitched yeast slurry

08.03.16/08.04.16 — After 34.5 hrs, decanted and pitched German Ale/Kolsch yeast, aerated & took off of brewbelt

08.04.16 — Vigorous fermentation 9.5 hours after pitch

08.12.16 — Kegged entire batch and began carbonating

snp-gose-02Tasting Notes — 09.07.16 (poured off tap)

Pale straw color with a moderate white head which dissipates quickly and laces thin.  Light bready malt aromas with mineral undertones and apparent fruity-floral peppercorn notes as the beer warms.  Sweet stone ground cracker-like notes on the palate accompanied by the floral-nutty flavors of the coriander.  Sea salt salinity emerges mid-palate to balance the malts with a mineral crispness and a savory zing.  Finishes semisweet with notes of cereal grains and a balancing flourish of peppercorn spice.

Calculated OG: 1.045
Calculated FG: 1.010
Approx. ABV: 4.6%

Wild Blackberry Sour Ale

Blackberry Flanders 01This beer’s story began almost two years ago, brewed on 06.12.14 (detailed here: Barrel Project #02).  I took a five gallon portion of that beer and aged it longer still, on 4 LBS, 12.6 OZ of blackberries (mostly wild berries I foraged) and 12.3 OZ of raspberries (store bought, fresh) for the final two months.  Now after nearly 6 months in the bottle, this beer has just hit its stride; it is my favorite beer that I’ve made.

This beer earned me and Gregory a bronze medal in the Specialty Beer category at a local homebrew competition (the new sour categories had not yet gone into effect), and received a score of 41 (excellent) in the Mixed Fermentation category at this year’s annual AHA (American Homebrewers Association) sponsored National Homebrewer’s Competition.

The actual brewing process and recipe can be found in the linked post above.  Below I will only detail the berry additions and bottling date.  However, as usual, the tasting notes will follow those details.

Foraged BlackberriesWild Blackberry Sour Ale

Notes

08.16.15 — After a couple separate additions, a couple days apart, all fruit added to Flanders Style Red (4 LBS, 12.6 OZ blackberries, 12.3 OZ raspberries)

10.19.15 — Bottled beer with champagne yeast & corn sugar for approximately 2.5 volumes CO2

Blackberry Flanders 02Tasting Notes — 04.14.16 (Bottle Pour)

Gorgeous burgundy color with an off-white head which dissipates quickly and laces thin.  Aromas of jammy blackberry, raspberry, and cherry with background notes of wood and acidity.  The berries dominate the palate, followed by some drying oak tannin in the middle with a hint of vanilla and barrel char.  Finishes with a clean and strong lactic sourness, no vinegar notes detected.

Saison Achillea — Gruitbier inspired saison

Yarrow LifeGregory and I brewed this saison back in June 2015 and we ended up bottling a few gallons and kegging the rest.  Though we thoroughly enjoy hoppy beers, we also love brewing experimental hop-less brews that take their inspiration from historical beer styles and bygone brewing techniques.

The name Saison Achillea is a reference to the binomial name of the flowering plant widely known as common yarrow, Achillea Millefolium.  We used foraged yarrow as well as a small amount of foraged local lavender (another plant traditionally found in gruit) in the production of this beer and pitched our go to saison yeast, Wyeast 3711 French Saison.

Yarrow & LavenderYarrow has a varied history and mythology, including being revered as a healing herb and magical plant in ancient Greece.  In China, the I-Ching is traditionally cast with yarrow stalks which represent the Yin and Yang forces of the universe.  In Native America, yarrow was used as a medicinal herb by tribes across the continent.  In beer, yarrow imparts a sweet floral fragrance but acts as a bittering component and imparts tartness on the palate.  I consider this a sour beer, although we didn’t pitch any bacteria; all the tartness comes from the yarrow.

Check out our recipe and complete tasting notes below:

Saison Achillea

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.25
Anticipated OG: 1.059
Anticipated SRM: 9.0
Anticipated IBU: N/A
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain

81.63% — 10.00 Lbs. Vienna
08.16% — 1.00 Lbs. Wheat Malt
06.12% — 0.75 Lbs. Caravienna
04.08% — 0.50 Lbs. Crystal 40L

Hops

N/A

Extras

6.00 oz. Yarrow @ 60 min.
4.00 oz. Yarrow @ 5 min.
0.50 oz. Lavender @ 5 min.
0.50 oz. Lavender @ 0 min.
0.75 oz. Yarrow @ 0 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.

Yeast

Wyeast 3711 French Saison

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 90 min @ 150F

Notes

06.08.15 — Made a 1L starter with 1 Wyeast 3711 French Saison smack pack.  Brewtoad suggests 224 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed on 06.10.15 with Gregory

06.10.15 — Chilled wort to 70F and pitched the French Saison yeast

06.12.15 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity

06.20.15 — Transferred two gallons into bottling bucket after 10 day primary fermentation

06.22.15 — Kegged the rest of the beer and began force carbonating

Tasting Notes — 11. 01.15 (poured from bottle)

This beer is quite clear now that it has had time to bottle condition for over four months.  The aroma is floral and herbal-sweet like tea with a hint of lavender.  Surprisingly, there’s not much in the way of spicy saison yeast phenolics or fruity esters (though I don’t recall if we utilized the brewbelt this time around).  The yarrow dominates the palate, starting as an herbal, sweeter ginger-like note before it melds into the malt backbone which is reminiscent of wild honey.  There is a hint of lavender sweetness before the yarrow returns to dry out the finish with some balancing astringency and acidic tartness that pierces the sides of the tongue and lingers on.

Calculated OG: 1.059
Calculated FG: 1.006
Approx. ABV: 6.9%

Barrel Project #02 — Flanders Style Red

Flanders BatchesJust about a year after it was brewed, our Westland Distillery whiskey barrel aged Flanders Style Red has been removed from the barrel and is tasting wonderful.  This project saw four brewers collaborating on the recipe and brewing approximately fifteen gallons of beer each; we then blended them all into the barrel, souring it with White Labs Flemish Ale Blend WLP665, Wyeast Roeselare Blend 3763, and select bottle dregs from our favorite unpasteurized commercial sours.  We decided to do a couple of batches with a Belgian yeast strain and I included White Labs California V WLP051 in two of my batches.

Before this beer, we did a clean stout in the barrel (see Merry Christmas, It’s Endless Stout) to knock down the whiskey flavors from the freshly dumped barrel.  It worked well as there is now a pleasant hint of whiskey on the nose and far in the background on the palate of the red, lending some subtle nuance and depth.

Gregory and I have two kegs going of the straight Flanders Style Red and plan to put the remainder of our share onto different fruits, spices, and hops.  We’ll bottle condition some of these and keg the rest and I will make a new post detailing the variants as they happen.  I also saved some of the non-barrel aged portion of this sour and blended it with a funky pale ale that I will discuss in a forthcoming post.

This beer turned out great and I am very proud of it!

Flanders BarrelBarrel Project #02 — Flanders

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 15.75
Anticipated OG: 1.076
Anticipated SRM: 16.0
Anticipated IBU: 10.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

57% – 9.00 Lbs. US Vienna
19% – 3.00 Lbs. Pilsner
06% – 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Oats
04% — 0.75 Lbs. Special B
04% — 0.75 Lbs. CaraMunich
04% — 0.75 Lbs. Aromatic
03% — 0.50 Lbs. White Wheat

Hops

0.40 oz. Magnum (Pellet, 13.0% AA) @ 30 min.

Extras

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

Yeast

White Labs WLP051 – California V Ale Yeast
White Labs WLP665 – Flemish Ale Blend
Wyeast 3763 – Roeselare Blend
Bottle Dregs

Water Profile

Seattle
0.20 tsp Calcium Chloride
0.30 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 154F

Notes

06.10.14 — Made a 1L starter with 1 White Labs WLP051 California V Ale vial.  Brewtoad suggests 285 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed on 06.12.14 / 06.13.14 / 06.26.14

06.12.14 — Chilled wort to 60F and pitched the California V Ale Yeast and the Flemish Ale Blend

06.15.14 — Signs of fermentation activity

06.26.14 / 06.27.14 / 07.10.14 — Transferred batches to secondary after two week primaries each

07.21.14 — Transferred everyone’s batches to the barrel

06.08.15 — Transferred beer to kegs and carboys for further experimentation

7.07.16 — Added 6 Lbs. Red Cherries to Flanders #1 (Whiskey Barrel Aged Flanders Style Red with Cherries)

07.31.16 — Added 13 Lbs. hand foraged Blackberries to Flanders #2 (Second blackberry version — see Wild Blackberry Sour Ale for the first)

08.30.16 — Kegged Cherry Flanders — FG: 1.000 / 9.99%

 08.30.16 — Added 1 gal. Cherry Flanders to #2 and kegged sometime in October ’16
 Tasting Notes (Regular Version, bottle pour)

Along with the mild whiskey character, this beer exhibits the classic fruity Flanders Red notes of black cherry and orange with some mild vanilla peaking through.  Firm lactic sourness with just the right amount of acetic acid to balance, reminiscent of balsamic vinegar.  Very slight brettanomyces funk on the nose.  Beautiful red-brown color and clarity.

Calculated OG: 1.080
Calculated FG: 1.020
Approx. ABV: 7.9%

Calculated OG: 1.076
Calculated FG: 1.020
Approx. ABV: 7.3%

Calculated OG: 1.072
Calculated FG: 1.020
Approx. ABV: 6.8%

Loomi Lime Leaf Sour Farmhouse Ale

Loomi & Lime LeavesThe loomi, also known as the black lime, is a sun-dried lime that is commonly used as a spice in Middle Eastern cooking.  Gregory had used them before in a beer and liked the results, so we decided to use them and lime leaves (we wanted makrut lime leaves, but had to settle with those found at Thriftway) for the second of our three Yeast Bay fermented ales.

For this beer we constructed a pretty basic saison recipe with minimal IBUs, and utilized The Yeast Bay’s Farmhouse Sour Ale blend which “contains two farmhouse/saison Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates, Lactobacillus brevis, and Lactobacillus delbreuckii.”  In keeping with the citrus theme, we also decided to use a Yakima Valley Hops hop called Experimental Lemon Zest, and will add 0.50 oz. of fresh lemon zest with the dry hops five days out from kegging.

Loomi Lime Leaf Sour Farmhouse Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.50
Anticipated OG: 1.048
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: 15.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Grain

63% – 6.00 Lbs. American 2-Row Pale Ale
21% – 2.00 Lbs. American Pilsner Malt
10% – 1.00 Lb. U.S. White Wheat
05% – 0.50 Lbs. Honey Malt

Hops

0.30 oz. Experimental Lemon Zest (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 90 min (first wort).
0.70 oz. Experimental Lemon Zest (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 9.3% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 13.7 AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)
1.00 oz. Experimental Lemon Zest (Pellet, 14.0% AA) @ 5 days (dry hop)

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
3.00 oz. Black Lime @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Lime Leaves @ 0 min.
0.50 oz. Lemon Zest @ 5 days (secondary)

Yeast

The Yeast Bay – Farmhouse Sour Ale

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 154F

Notes

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 03.25.15 with Gregory

03.25.15 — Chilled wort to 70F and pitched the Farmhouse Sour Ale blend

03.29.15 — Signs of moderate fermentation activity and put the carboy onto the brewbelt

04.05.15 — Took beer off of the brewbelt

05.29.15 — Tasted the beer to see if any acid had been produced per Yeast Bay’s description and decided to let the beer stay in primary for an extended period of time

09.20.15 — Kegged and began force carbonating the beer

Tasting Notes — 11.23.15 (Poured off tap)

Pours a clear pale golden color with a moderate head stand which laces thin.  Lots of lemon-lime citrus on the nose with a  hint of earth and sweet fresh lemon reminiscent of potpourri.  The citrus also dominates the palate, which is crisp and dry, with notes of tree bark and a suggestion of smoke surfacing in the middle from the loomi.  Never becoming very sour, this beer finishes with some lactic tartness, a round bitterness, and a lingering note of citrus.

Calculated OG: 1.046
Calculated FG: 1.007
Approx. ABV: 5.1%

Turbid Mash Lambic-Style Ale (In The Tradition Of Brasserie Cantillon)

Wild Yeast 03Months after we originally intended to, Gregory and I finally brewed our lambic-style ale on 09 February 2015.  We used Jim Liddil’s tek which is a conversion of Brasserie Cantillon’s turbid mash schedule to the homebrew scale.  Since we don’t currently have a barrel with neutral enough character, we opted to add French oak spirals to primary (we boiled the hell out of them beforehand so they wouldn’t overwhelm the beer).

We don’t have a koelschip and we didn’t let the beer spontaneously ferment per se, rather we chilled with a wort chiller as usual and pitched both of the batches of wild yeast that I harvested from my house (see my previous post).  We also overlooked the fact that our homebrew store wouldn’t have raw wheat and, as we were pressed for time, we just settled on regular wheat malt.  Though theoretically this could actually harm our efficiency because the wheat has already been well modified, the real goal here was to conduct the turbid mash, so we went ahead with it and did hit our intended gravity.

We have not yet decided if, when this beer is ready, we will serve it straight, fruit it, or blend it with a younger lambic-style ale to produce a gueuze-style ale; we’ll keep you posted.

Turbid Mash Lambic-Style Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.0
Anticipated OG: 1.048
Anticipated SRM: 3.0-7.0
Anticipated IBU: 0-10
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 240 Minutes

Grain

66% – 5.3 Lbs. Belgian 2-Row Pilsner
33% – 2.7 Lbs. Wheat Malt

Hops

3.50 oz. Yakima Valley Hops Aged Lambic Hops (Leaf, 13.0% AA) @ 240 min.

Extras

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

Yeast

Wild yeasts harvested and propagated from home
Bottle dregs from Brouwerij Oud Beersel Oude Geuze

Water Profile

Seattle

Mash Schedule

Jim Liddil’s A Liddil Lambic Lesson

Notes

02.09.15 — Cold crashed and decanted the growlers of wild yeast I propagated morning of brew day

Brewed on 02.09.15 with Gregory

02.09.15 — After a nearly eight hour brew day, chilled wort to 70F and pitched the wild yeast into a carboy with the oak spirals and put in on the brewbelt.

02.13.15 — Signs of fermentation activity

03.25.15 — Transferred off of the oak spirals into secondary fermentor and added the bottle dregs from Brouwerij Oud Beersel Oude Geuze

02.11.16 — Pulled a sample from the carboy and tasted it.  Lots of oak character even though we boiled the spirals for quite a while and changed the water numerous times.  Surprisingly not too much acidity/sourness yet, will probably pitch some extra bottle dregs soon.

04.05.18 — Tasted beer, and lots of diacetyl present (wasn’t there previously or when the beer was young).  Guessing it’s due to pediococcus re-fermentation.  Will pitch fresh Brett. Brux. and starter wort to clean it up as I have done in the past with surprise diacetyl in long-aged sours.

04.08.18 — Transferred off it’s long-time yeast/bacteria cake and pitched some Brett. Brux. slurry from the 2nd lambic-style beer Gregory and I brewed.  Made a large, fresh Brett. Brux. starter and will pitch half of this into the beer in a few days.

04.11.18 — Pitched about 800ml of active Brett. Brux. starter into carboy.

Calculated OG: 1.048

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

Grain

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

Hops

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

Extras

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

Yeast

The Yeast Bay – Mélange Sour Blend
Used barrel terroir

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 155F

Notes

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%

Kaberne Fran Sour Pale Ale

Cab Franc SourIn late September Gregory and I started talking about doing a new sour ale.  Based on the success of his Chenin Blanc grape sour pale and with the annual Mountain Homebrew & Wine Supply grape crush on the horizon, we started discussing brewing a sour to showcase a red wine grape.  Lately I have been gravitating toward the firm tannins and notes of leather, tobacco, pepper and earth found in many French and American Cabernet Francs (if you stumble upon a bottle of Watermill’s 2010 Cab Franc snatch it up, it’s impeccable).  It may come as a surprise to those who know me well (since I’m usually imbibing a beer of some style), but I am also a fan of great wine and worked intensively around Italian wine for three years shortly after I moved to Seattle.  So with little deliberation, we put in our order for 25 Lbs. of eastern Washington Cabernet Franc grapes.

We split the grapes in half and used 12-13 Lbs. in the creation of this sour and we used the remaining grapes in our Kaberne Fran Rye Saison.  This beer is almost two months into an approximately year long process, so check back as I will be updating this post periodically and documenting the progress.  Below is our recipe and process:

Cab Franc GrapesKaberne Fran Sour Pale Ale

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

Grain

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

Hops

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

Extras

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
12.50 Lbs. Cabernet Franc grapes

Yeast

Wyeast 3763 Roeselare Ale Blend (starter)
Yeast cake from homebrew Framboise (Roeselare + The Lost Abbey Red Poppy bottle dregs)
The Ale Apothecary Rum Barrel & White Peach La Tache bottle dregs

Water Profile

Seattle
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 60 min @ 155F

Notes

09.29.14 – Made a stir-plate 2L starter with 1 Wyeast 3763 smack pack.  Brewtoad suggests 260 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed 10.01.14 with Gregory

10.01.14 – Chilled wort to 65F before pitching yeast starter.

10.03.14 –  Steady fermentation and holding steady at 63-65F.

10.18.14 — Transferred to secondary fermentor and added yeast cake from Gregory’s Framboise.

11.19.14 — After 32 days in secondary on the grapes, we transferred to a tertiary fermentor and added the bottle dregs from The Ale Apothecary’s Rum Barrel & White Peach La Tache.

04.??.15 — At some point in April 2015 we pulled a sample and noticed some diacetyl notes present so we pitched the brett slurry from a funky pale ale we brewed with The Yeast Bay’s Funktown Pale blend with the hopes that the brett would clean up the beer.

02.11.16 — Sampled from carboy and happy to note that the brett devoured the diacetyl.  Very sour and big acidity.  Grape juice and cherry notes.  Took final gravity reading, transferred to bottling bucket, added champagne yeast and corn sugar for 2.2 volumes of CO2 and bottled the entire batch.

Tasting Notes — 02.18.17 (bottle pour)

Lovely burnished red-orange color and well clarified.  Perfect spritz of carbonation with a white head that dissipates quickly.  Great horse blanket-funk brettanomyces esters dominate the nose with hints of straw, red fruit, and tobacco in the background.  No diacetyl detected.  Deep red grape juice and cherry notes on the front of the palate with a hint of alcohol.  Delicious, assertive black pepper flavor from the Cab Franc grapes in the middle with a round, velvety acidity and gripping tannins bringing this beer to a drying, leathery finish.  Moderate brettanomyces funk melds with notes of oranges and firm lactic acid tartness akin to citric acid which lingers and dries out with delicate notes of booze.  Very red wine-like!

Calculated OG: 1.074
Calculated FG: 1.006
Approx. ABV: 8.9%