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Old 07-28-2009, 05:01 AM   #1
emr454
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Default Gueuze: Venturing beyond my "comfort zone"

Well, after doing a lot of reading on spontaneous fermented beer, and a post of two here on HBT, I made the sour beer leap of faith! I consider it venturing outside my comfort zone because I ususally buy APA's, IPA's, wheat beers and belgian strong ales.

I'll begin by saying that the idea of spontaneous fermentation in beer was sparked by the fact that I have 3 gallons of local-grown concord grape wine that was made by spontaneous fermentation. So far so good on the wine, but it got me thinking on how it would turn out in a beer.

After reading some reviews of different beer that were suggested to me by HBT members on ratebeer.com, I was a little bit concerned. Quite a few people on the ratebeer site described an acetic or vinegar taste in a few of the sour beers. I cant stand the smell of vinegar and dont much care for the taste either. Anyway, I decided to try it and here I am!

The beer: Lindemans Gueuze Cuvee Renee. Label says it was bottled in '05. Kinda pricey at $9.99 for a 750mL bottle but about as cheap as a bottle of cheap wine. My first impressions upon opening the bottle were that it smells a little skunky, but not bad. What may be bad is that it reminds me of every Heineken beer I've ever drank(ducks and covers now!)

As much as I was fearing it, it did NOT taste like vinegar at all to me, what a relief!!!! Kind of a champagne like taste, but not bad. Very tart and sour, but not enough to make me pucker. Seems like it would be a good thirst quencher on a hot summer day. I drank the whole 750ml and went to bed shortly thereafter. Crazy dreams man but that may just be me!

So there it is, I've ventured into the dark side or beer and survived! Now I need to go back to the local beer store, and check out Ommegangs Ommegeddon, Rodenbach and Allagash. I dont think I will buy them very often due to cost, but maybe some special occasions will merit spending a bit more money. A big thanks to the folks here who gave me confidence and urged me to go forward!

Eric

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Old 07-28-2009, 07:12 AM   #2
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After you try the store versions try brewing some. I have never had any but you make it sound good and I'll have to try some open fermented stuff.

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Old 07-28-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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At the AHA convention, our brew club's booth had a Gueuze.
It was our most popular non-competition brew, next to my Hefeweizen.

Venture beyond and go for it.

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Old 07-28-2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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I had a similar experience. I did lots of research & got really interested in trying some spontaneously fermented beers. I prepared myself for venturing over to the sour side. I thought my taste buds were ready for something radically different. My 1st sour beer was Hanssens Artisanaal Oude Gueuze. Wow, it was intense! I sat down and really tasted it, wrote down what I was experienced and gave it a fair review. It was waay to much for me to handle, but I was able to pick out certain nuances that I enjoyed about it.

Unfortunately, that experience turned me off to all sour beers until just recently. I started trying some stuff fermented with Brett & working my way up to some of the more funky stuff, and I'm really enjoying them!

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Old 07-29-2009, 04:34 PM   #5
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Im thinking about trying Ommegeddon next, I was told it would be tart and not a true sour beer because its fermented with brett and not spontaneously fermented.

Anyone have any recipes suggestions that would use brett?

Eric

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Old 07-29-2009, 05:02 PM   #6
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Forget those and pick up a Cantillion Gueze. If you can not get that find a Hannsens Oude Gueze. Freaking fab. Here is a line up of beer we drank as we filled out barrel full of what will soon be a Rodenbach Grand Cru a year from now.


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Old 07-29-2009, 05:04 PM   #7
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Have you ever tried Victory's Wild Devil? They take their Hop Devil IPA & ferment it with brett. I think it's an awesome and interesting brew. I'd like to harvest the brett from a commercial brew and ferment my own IPA with it. Should have interesting results. I would add the brett in secondary. You have to be VERY careful because brett can easily contaminate your equipment, even after you think it's clean & sanitized. I've read you should only ferment brett in glass, and a lot of people use separate siphoning hoses, etc. to keep things separate & lower the risk of contamination.

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Old 07-29-2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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If you end up liking Rodenbach (and it is awesome, IMHO), you should try and find some Liefman's Goudenband. Currently difficult to find - in New England at least - due to distributor shortages, but it's an amazing semi-sour brown. If I had to call one commercial beer my "favorite," that would very possibly be it.

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Old 07-29-2009, 05:21 PM   #9
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Congrats! Its all down hill from here.

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Old 07-29-2009, 05:29 PM   #10
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There aren't many things like a well made gueuze.

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