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Old 04-05-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
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I'm going to bs brewing a Sour Golden Ale similar to the "Petrus" recipe in Wild Brews. Off the top of my head I believe it's 90% pils 10% Carahell (10L) to 1.055ish. I'm going to use this recipe as a starting point, but want to add a little unmalted grain to give the bugs some more to chew on and some added complexity.

I've used unmalted wheat in a Lambic that's currently 6 months old, so I don't really have a basis for the flavors and level of dextrins that these grains contribute in a wild beer. What are some of your favorite grains to use and what have they contributed to your final beer?

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Old 04-09-2012, 05:26 PM   #2
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Unmalted grains really don’t add unfermentables unless they are used in specific ways (a turbid mash for example). The enzymes from the barley are working on their sugars at the same temperature, their fermentability will be roughly the same as the base malt. I tend to control fermentability more through the mash temperature and primary yeast strain. Hard to get much sourness mashing at 145 F and fermenting with 3711, as a for instance.

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Old 04-09-2012, 07:29 PM   #3
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As already said you won't get additional starch or carbohydrate complexity to your wort that way, but you can get protein complexity. Even a standard wort is plenty nutrient rich for your wild beers but something like flaked oats or rye won't hurt it at all. My rye saison with ECY03 has an impressive mouth feel due to the 27% rye even though it's less than 1.0 Plato.

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Old 04-10-2012, 03:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinghole View Post
As already said you won't get additional starch or carbohydrate complexity to your wort that way, but you can get protein complexity. Even a standard wort is plenty nutrient rich for your wild beers but something like flaked oats or rye won't hurt it at all. My rye saison with ECY03 has an impressive mouth feel due to the 27% rye even though it's less than 1.0 Plato.
Are the proteins metabolized by the bugs at all, or is the advantage solely in adding body?
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:42 AM   #5
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It really depends on what "bugs" you're using. If just brett it can help with the body I think as evidenced by my rye saison. If you're talking lambic or flanders I think the pedio/lacto in conjunction with the brett will denature the proteins and metabolize them due to the low pH environment that develops.

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Old 04-10-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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I am going to be using Roeselare + dregs (so lacto/pedio/brett/sacch). Im definitely going for more sour (not Flanders Red sour but up there). The recipe calls for a Flanders mash, which I've never done before, so forgive me if my information is off. The Flanders mash should give me longer chain sugars from say unmalted wheat or maize, just not as many as a turbid mash. I was also planning on a longer boil (not sure how long yet...maybe 2 hours). I figure adding 10-20% flaked maize should get me a fairly sour/wild beer when used in conjunction with the Carahell, and make it kind of like a less intense Flanders golden/pale (if I can call it that). Am I right in thinking this?

@smokinghole: good tip on the rye/oats as I didn't think about the protein/mouthfeel contribution.

*edit* Upon rethinking this Petrus Pale is pretty sour itself. Would the Carahell contribute enough unfermentables to achieve a good sour profile sans maize?

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Old 04-10-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Would the Carahell contribute enough unfermentables to achieve a good sour profile sans maize?
Again, these will only contribute as many unfermentables as the mash allows for. Mash high (~156F) and you'll have unfermentables. Mash low and long (147F) and you'll get few unfermentables.

Common mash temps are above the gelatinization temps for many grains and so the fermentability of the wort is set by the mash temp.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinghole View Post
It really depends on what "bugs" you're using. If just brett it can help with the body I think as evidenced by my rye saison. If you're talking lambic or flanders I think the pedio/lacto in conjunction with the brett will denature the proteins and metabolize them due to the low pH environment that develops.
I don't remember the details, but I recall reading something along the lines of having a larger variety of 'compounds' available for metabolism by the bacteria and brett will lead to a more complex brew due to a larger variety of metabolites produced. Do you think this would be the case here?
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:52 PM   #9
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I would think it could aid to the complexity definitely. There's a reason for the turbid mash and that's to give higher order molecules for the wild culture to ferment. If you took a turbid mashed lambic and a single infusion lambic you'd see a difference definitely. I haven't seen a scientific paper spelling out flavor compounds associated with something like a turbid mash vs. a single infusion but I think the harder the microbes have to work the more complex the final beer ends up. It's just an idea or theory I have. Well if you look at brett fermentations you can see easily tell a 100% brett beer has little stress associated because the brett gets the easiest to ferment sugars. If you use it as a secondary yeast it is forced to make the enzymes necessary to break the dextrin sugars down which forces a definite flavor difference. I just don't know why that specific process causes such a drastic flavor difference.

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Old 04-11-2012, 05:06 AM   #10
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Good to know, thanks!

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