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Old 02-26-2010, 12:35 AM   #1
Dynachrome
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Default What was I thinking

Crash Test Dummy Pale Ale-ish

When was kid I made a batch of beer that i used a heating pad underneath to accelerate the yeast growth. It made drinkable beer, but I think the thin harsh product as probably fairly low alchohol content.

OK, I pitched Nottingham's on two pots of Ed Wort's Haus Ale. I underutilized the grain though. No third rinse with clear hot water.

My brainstorm - inspired by a friend and fellow board member - was to do a sour mash. I heated up more water and steeped the grain after it had sat in the mash tun (cooler) for 24 hours. I mashed the skunky smelling wort for another hour and then boiled the resulting wort for almost an hour before my family started questioning my mental state complaing about the stench.

It's pretty cold in my local this time of year. I covered the pot and set it on the back deck to cool. A day and a half later I brought the pot in. It resembled a really large barley flavored slushy. I poured as much of it as wasn't frozen to the side into another pot, dry hopped it and scavenged a couple large table spoons of wort from the regular ale batch to start the fermentation.

It was still cool to the touch tonight, a day and a half later. If it warms up and there is still no activity I may add a little more of the regular wort to the skunky wort.

I've been doing some reading and I sampled a thing called New Glarus "Unplugged". It was not to my liking. It could be described as a mix of wine, coffee, beer, and a touch of Sour kraut juice.

When I started this I was looking at it as a new and different thing. I've also been reading the threads on "Don't dump that beer". If I bottle a skunky batch and leave it on the shelf (who knows what will happen between fermentation and time of bottling), what will the final product potentially end up like? I can't be the first guy to try this.

I'd like opinions please. BTW - I've tried Fat Tire and wasnt enamored to it. It was drinkable though. That's kind of where I think this might end up.

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Old 02-26-2010, 01:57 AM   #2
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Man, that's pretty far out. I do a fair amount of sour/wild brewing, and I have a few questions/comments about your process.
1 did you add more grains to your sour mash? There couldn't be very much leftover sugar in there (remember first third of the runoff contains 2/3rd of the sugar)

2 That was a long time to leave the wort in the pot before you moved to primary. You might get some funny bugs in there, but since it was pretty cold, not much chance of REALLY bad ones (*like acetobacter)

3 A few teaspoons of actively fermenting beer is probably not going to give you a good start. It would probably take a WHILE for it to get cranking, letting all the before mentioned bugs get a foothold. Maybe pitch some more yeast?

Anyway, some great beers have happened in some weird ways, just don't get your hopes too high.


And I dont think there is any worry that this will turn out like Fat Tire.

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Old 02-26-2010, 02:10 AM   #3
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Well, I was kind of hoping the frozen water would drop the specific gravity of the wort. The mashed semi-dri grain sat in the house in a Coleman Extreme cooler and by the next evening it was still fairly warm to a hand held above it, but not wat I would call hot.

I was kind of thinking - If yeast takes hold it should follow the lambic style and the yeast will have a good first go before the other bugs take hold. Also if it's good for yeast, it should be OK for me.

I posted this down here because I was expecting either this bunch to tell me I was making Old Lace, or that if the yeast liked it - so would I. I didnt do a search to see if anyone else had previously done this. It sounds crazy to me and I did it!

:-)

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Old 02-26-2010, 06:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynachrome View Post
It sounds crazy to me and I did it!

:-)
Yep, can you imagine the first person to see a Pedio infection, or brett for that matter, and said, "Hey, you know, I bet that tastes good!"

You never know what will work.
i didn't see that you had removed some of the frozen wort. It might, might bump up the OG. Did you take a reading?
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:03 AM   #5
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Crash test batch looks like very little activity...It's cold in the closet.

Got out the Star San and the hygrometer. sterilized a mesuring cup and the hygrometer. Took readings of "Ed Wort's Pale Ale" first. Both pots are now down to about 1.003 if I'm reading that dang thing right. poured a cup and a half of good" wort into the crash test batch to see if I could accelerate it.

OG I'll say is tidge over 1.04, fairly light. Tastes like sweet hoppy tea and leaves a very upbeat fizzy aftertase much like Sprite - actually pleasant at this stage. Would like some bitter - should have boiled it.....

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Old 02-27-2010, 05:58 AM   #6
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Wow, A pale ale at 1003? It's gonna be very dry. How did it taste?
And 1040 on the Crash test, not bad. I wouldn't have guessed that.
instead of adding fermenting wort a little at a time, could you sanitize a big metal spoon or turkey baster and grab some of the yeast that has settled on the bottom? Might give you a quicker finish (with such a low pitching rate, the Sacc might not attenuate very much.)

Maybe to get more bitterness (I've never done this, only read about it) take an ounce of hops in a quart or two of water and boil it for 20-30 min, cool and strain, and add it to the wort. Might work, who knows?

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Old 02-27-2010, 05:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potter1 View Post
Maybe to get more bitterness (I've never done this, only read about it) take an ounce of hops in a quart or two of water and boil it for 20-30 min, cool and strain, and add it to the wort. Might work, who knows?
Bad idea. Just sayin.

You'd be better off SLOWLY adding lactic acid (you can buy from your LHBS). You should check out http://www.themadfermentationist.com/ he has a TON of great info on all things wild brews and sours.

Just make sure on "experimental batch" that your gravity is seriously stable and LOW before bottling because wild yeasts and beasts seem to take them down to really low gravities.
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:53 AM   #8
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I had thought of making a bittering tea and cooling it down - then adding it to the wort. Please expand - what is the problem with this?

(I went and took a peek - it's foaming nicely like the other two pots)

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Old 02-28-2010, 05:05 AM   #9
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I looked around - there were some very technical discussions with no real "I did this" type data. Then I found this thread.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/any-...22/index3.html

I had dry hopped with 2 oz bag of Cascade. Smelled very nice. I tasted it though and found it to need some bittering.

I hve taken about a quarter of the rehyrated whole hops off the top of the wort with a sterilized spoon. I am boiling it and it smells correct to me. I also added two tablespons of sugar per another discussion re: "fixing the resins with sugar". What the heck - this was throw away at one time.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/big-...1/index13.html

By the way, does anyone else taste test their wort after the boil and also at the time of bottling? I like to do that - I'm thinking I could develope a sense of what a beer will turn out like ahead of time.

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Old 02-28-2010, 05:52 AM   #10
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I brought the pot out to work on it. I had it out for about two hours. As it sat and warmed up, the yeasties really took off. I may not have enough head room. 80

I added about 2/3 oz boiled hops (45 min) in about three cups of water. It smelled good and had a thin film on top. I put it back closet - maybe it'll cool down.

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