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Old 07-13-2013, 04:28 AM   #1
Gunslinger711
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Default Open Fermented Belgian Pale Ale

This is only 3rd brew and I tried a lot of new things I believe I pulled of successfully so I'm preemptively proud of that. My first two brews I added or subtracted a little bit out of recipes, for the 3rd I wanted to keep the ingredients the way they were but changed the brewing process.

Recipe is Brewer's Best Belgian Pale Ale (extract with steeping grains).

First things first I wanted to get better on my boil, I burnt a bit of dme on Brew #2. I was shooting for 150F for my steep temperature. Taking regular temp readings I killed the flame at 166F, whirlpooled to cool down to 160, steeped my grains in and the temp was 151F. I put the lid on but didn't cover the pot with anything, 30 minutes later my steep was done, temp was at 146F. Close enough.

Last time I added dme when my wort was coming up to boil again, this time, no. Added all my DME in then brought it back up to a boil. Whatever article or post I read that suggested using a spray bottle fight boil overs, I want to kiss the author. That little bottle came in real handy.

The rest of the boil, hop additions, etc. Went well. Now onto fermentation. But first, another new technique (to me) making a starter. 2 days previous I made 1L starter for my 3522 Ardennes yeast and shook that puppy every waking hour up to a few hours before brew time.

Now really onto the fermentation, something else I wanted to try after reading up about it a bit was open fermentation. After shuffling around the house mumbling to myself like a crazy person my wife finally asked what I was doing. I explained I was looking for a long, shallow container that could at least hold 2.5 gallons (half of my 5 gallon batch) and she suggested the turkey roaster. Genius! Also, pictures of that later.

After adding my top off water I poured 2.5 gallons into a 4 gal ferm bucket, and 2.5 gal into the turkey roaster. Bucket got a good shaking and half of my 1L starter because I did not decant beforehand, the Roaster beer got a vigorous whisking and the half of the starter.

After 24 hours I had a good krausen on my Roaster beer sitting 71F, I scooped the top. 48 hours later, a little thinner krausen, I gave that a good scooping. 72 hours later the krausen hadn't really come back.

Got my FG for the roaster beer. It was supposed to be 1.010, I was sitting at 1.003. The yeast were hungry. Effects of open fermentation? Pitched too much yeast? Not sure. Transferred it to a bucket and let it sit next to it's brother for a week to clear up.

I wanted to something special for the bottling as well so I made a 1L "priming starter" with some sour brett beer dregs and another 1L "priming starter" with a bit of kombucha I grow and a bit sourdough mix I have laying around. Shook that up for 2 days before bottling.

Primed like normal transferred both of those guys to smaller containers, let them settle, then used eye droppers to dose about 6 beers (3 open, 3 closed fermented) for each solution (6 for brett, 6 for sourdough kombucha).

Another thing to note, we barely got 45 bottles out of this batch when we usually get around 55. I'm guessing because of a combination of the scooping process from open fermentation and apparent high attenuation (I'm guessing, I forgot to take an FG) of the yeast.

Whew! This one should be several interesting beer experiments if nothing else. Pictures to come.

Note: Credit where credits due, thanks most of all to the Mad Fermentationist website (which I've shamelessly read obsessively, especially when it comes to sour fermentation and experimenting) and Brewing TV for their open fermentation episode. Also thanks to the millions of forum posts I've poured over right here on Homebrewtalk and my wife who helps out with my brewing experiments FOR SCIENCE!

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Last edited by Gunslinger711; 07-13-2013 at 04:50 AM. Reason: credit
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:44 AM   #2
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#1: Open ferment @ 24 hours 71F
#2: 48 hours 70F
#3: 72 hours 68 F

openferm2.jpg   of4.jpg   of5.jpg  
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:46 AM   #3
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#4: Open and Not so Open fermentation, they all end up in the same place
#5: Leftovers (open fermented corn chowder?)
#6: "Priming Starters"

of6.jpg   of7.jpg   of8.jpg  
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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UPDATE: 3 weeks in the bottle and 1 week in the fridge - the closed fermented batch tastes close to being ready, Belgian Pale Ale with a funky, mineral-ly aftertaste (which is odd to me because I used distilled water). The open fermented batch tastes sour and...greasy?

What could be the causes for these taste oddities? If anything I overpitched both batches so I don't see the sour coming through.

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Old 08-07-2013, 12:14 AM   #5
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Just in case my previous post was unclear, anything (including the turkey roaster) was soaked in starsan or had starsan in it for a while as far sanitation goes.

And the bottles I tasted were the plain open fermented and closed fermented batches.

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Old 08-07-2013, 12:22 AM   #6
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Dark tower reference? Um the way your fg dropped to 1.03 could be that you picked up an infection. Hence the sour taste. The closed container sample I don't know..a mineral taste after using bottled water? Hmmmm. Perhaps it's a green taste from the beer being too young? There is a good thread about odd tastes I'm sure someone might post.

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Old 08-08-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
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Seems like I've bit off more than I can chew. I think the next couple beers I'll try to keep them as normal and basic as possible.

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