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Old 06-18-2012, 03:22 AM   #1
BmillaTheBrewzilla
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Default My first sour attempt

So I've been brewing for over two years now and have attempted a wide variety of styles. My wife loves sours and I occasionally enjoy them as well, so I figured it is time. My favorites include Russian River Supplication and just about anything by Jolly Pumpkin. I have done a little reading, including the thread about attempting a Supplication thread on these forums. I want to give a general overview of my recipe and plan in hopes of getting some feedback. I'm also planning on posting updates in this thread so that others thinking about trying out making a sour / wild ale may learn from my experience.

In a couple days I'm going to brew the following beer. This is based largely off of the Supplication thread.

65% two-row
17% Vienna malt
8% Crystal 40
8% flaked barley
2% Carafa III

Fermented with Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes... 1.061 O.G., 23 IBUs.

The flaked barley is to add some extra proteins, which I have read is a good idea when brett becomes involved (oats, wheat, rye are all commonly recommended). I'm also planning on mashing pretty high.

I'm going to let the Wyeast 3522 do its thing in primary for a couple weeks, then transfer to a carboy. At this point I'm planning on pitching the dregs from a couple bottles of some funky beers- I'm sure at least some Jolly Pumpkin will go in there. One of the things I've read is that a lot of complexity can be added to a sour by adding dregs of a few different bottles. And since I'm not going for a clone of anything, I figure I'll just have fun with it.

After a few months of letting whatever bugs I introduce do their thing to the beer, I'm going to add five pounds of fresh, pitted cherries. I'll freeze them and then thaw them before adding them. I don't have these yet, but I have time... I'm also planning on adding about an ounce of French oak cubes at this point, boiled for ten minutes before adding them to the beer.

With the cherries and the oak, I'll let the beer age a few more months, then bottle condition.

So- anything glaringly stupid about my process? I've never attempted anything like this before, but I'm very excited about it!

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Old 06-18-2012, 04:21 AM   #2
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Between the adjunct and mashing high you'll probably need the beer to sit a lot longer than a few months to really ferment out.

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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Pitch the brett and bacteria at primary.

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Old 06-18-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasq View Post
Pitch the brett and bacteria at primary.
I considered this... because I've read that you get more funk when you pitch everything at once. But I think I want to do a primary with saccharomyces because that is how the process is described for Supplication. Also, I'm not a huge fan of the intensely sour beers... I really like brett-y funk... but I don't love the real lactic sourness.

Thanks for the feedback so far!
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BmillaTheBrewzilla View Post
I considered this... because I've read that you get more funk when you pitch everything at once. But I think I want to do a primary with saccharomyces because that is how the process is described for Supplication. Also, I'm not a huge fan of the intensely sour beers... I really like brett-y funk... but I don't love the real lactic sourness.

Thanks for the feedback so far!
Sounds like you're on the right track then.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #6
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Alright- so I brewed the beer described in my original post back on June 19. Great brew day, everything went well... hit my O.G. perfectly. I pitched a big healthy starter of Wyeast 3522.

On June 29 I transferred to a 6 gallon carboy. The S.G. was down to 1.011. The beer tasted great- just a lightly fruity, fairly clean brown-ish Belgian. I pitched dregs from bottles of Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam, HaandBic, and Hanssens Oude Kriek. The Jolly Pumpkin and HaandBic had noticeable yeasty clumps on the bottoms of their bottles... the Hanssens did not- so I poured in very clean looking beer from that one. Is there any chance I'll get any bugs from the Hanssen's at all? I figured there might be some brett living in suspension in the beer.

Right now the carboy is sitting in my closet for the next bunch of months. In the meantime, I'd like to say that I've been reading around about sour / wild brewing on these forums quite a bit--- and I'm amazed at the collective wealth of experience and knowledge to be found!

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