Since I am now near the completion of my last big beer project, the http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/west...w-swap-121429/
its time to get another one going. Cuvee de Tomme (herefore known as CdT) I think would dovetail nicely with the work done in the previous project as the base beer is Lost Abbey Judgement Day, also a quadrupel / dark strong ale.
What is Cuvee De Tomme all about you ask? It is supreme awesomeness, one of the best beers I have ever had easily. It is Lost Abbeys premier beer and one of their rarest beers. It is made by taking Judgement Day and putting it in a bourbon barrel, and then their lovely sour brett/bug blend is added along with sour cherries. It is very rich, very sour, very complex and very very good. Since this is a sour sour, it's going to take probably 12 months minimum AFTER your base beer is fermented to get the proper sour characteristics and flavors to meld together.
Here's my plan so far:
1: Base beer recipe
As previously mentioned, CdT's base is Judgment Day
which is a pretty big and very belgian quadrupel.
I plan on using my Westvleteren recipe I have come up with in that thread as the base for the beer as I feel it is quite good and would fit into this beer really well. If others have good quad/belgian dark strongs that they think would go well with bourbon and cherries then it would probably be a good fit here too.
If we end up doing a competition at the end or just a group swap it would be interesting to see some different base beer recipes.
2: Souring agents
CdT is sour, VERY sour. A lot of patience is going to be required to get it up to the level of sourness you want.
White Labs and Wyeast both make various forms of Brett, Lacto and other souring agents that you could use to get the beer nice and sour. You are at the very least going to need one form of brett, lactobacillus and pediococous. Possible some acetobacter, but I didn't get much acetic when I tried it. It could be interesting to use some wild yeast/bacteria in this beer.
I've been building up a quart mason jar (called The Funky Bunch) that has some starter wort in it with various bugs collected from every sour I can get my hands on. I've put some RR Consecration, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Norrenboro Old Odense, Cantillon Kriek, Oude Beersel Kriek and other sour drugs in and its starting to get some fairly funky action going on. This is what I plan on doing.
Lost Abbey uses bourbon barrels to make CdT, so logically something like http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f16/used...up-buy-141631/
would end up being perfect a perfect fit
I've got one on the way which I plan on using.
You could alternatively do your souring in a corny keg/conical/better bottle and add bourbon soaked wood, bourbon char, straight bourbon or something else to achieve this character.
4: Cherries and Raisins.
This one could go a lot of ways, but I'm pretty sure they use sour cherries. They could add some frozen sour cherries into the mix after a good amount of souring action is under way, or add sour cherry juice (100% crushed cherries) right off the bat to get the flavor in there and keep from having to deal with decaying cherries in the fermenter.
Someone in my local brew club knows a good source for 100% cherry juice and I was thinking of using that instead of messing with whole cherries in the fermenter. Raisins would be easier to deal with in the fermenter.
Sounds like a fun project to me, who else is in?