So I've been brewing for over two years now and have attempted a wide variety of styles. My wife loves sours and I occasionally enjoy them as well, so I figured it is time. My favorites include Russian River Supplication and just about anything by Jolly Pumpkin. I have done a little reading, including the thread about attempting a Supplication thread on these forums. I want to give a general overview of my recipe and plan in hopes of getting some feedback. I'm also planning on posting updates in this thread so that others thinking about trying out making a sour / wild ale may learn from my experience.
In a couple days I'm going to brew the following beer. This is based largely off of the Supplication thread.
17% Vienna malt
8% Crystal 40
8% flaked barley
2% Carafa III
Fermented with Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes... 1.061 O.G., 23 IBUs.
The flaked barley is to add some extra proteins, which I have read is a good idea when brett becomes involved (oats, wheat, rye are all commonly recommended). I'm also planning on mashing pretty high.
I'm going to let the Wyeast 3522 do its thing in primary for a couple weeks, then transfer to a carboy. At this point I'm planning on pitching the dregs from a couple bottles of some funky beers- I'm sure at least some Jolly Pumpkin will go in there. One of the things I've read is that a lot of complexity can be added to a sour by adding dregs of a few different bottles. And since I'm not going for a clone of anything, I figure I'll just have fun with it.
After a few months of letting whatever bugs I introduce do their thing to the beer, I'm going to add five pounds of fresh, pitted cherries. I'll freeze them and then thaw them before adding them. I don't have these yet, but I have time... I'm also planning on adding about an ounce of French oak cubes at this point, boiled for ten minutes before adding them to the beer.
With the cherries and the oak, I'll let the beer age a few more months, then bottle condition.
So- anything glaringly stupid about my process? I've never attempted anything like this before, but I'm very excited about it!