Wild Porter... or Oud Bruin? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
Yellow_Boots
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Sep 2012
Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 13


I absolutely love sours... but I am still grasping how to make one myself. My wife and I both seek out Flanders Reds and the like all the time, so we wanted to figure out a good "house sour" to make over and over again. I thought of taking a little departure from the norm and try to put a mild twist on the traditional sour guidelines and base the recipe in the robust porter neighborhood, but I am wondering if my desire for a little originality is really just going to be an Oud Bruin (which is not a bad thing if it does!).

Here is my potential recipe:


OG: 1.061
FG: 1.015
IBU: 31
Color: 34L

8# Pale
1# Smoked
0.75# Chocolate
0.75# Caramel 120L
0.5# Special Roast
0.5# Extra Special

1oz Amarillo (10 min)
1oz Challenger (10 min)
1oz Challenger (5 min)
1oz Northern Brewer (5 min)

Wyeast 3278, no starter

A few questions:
1) What do you think of this amount of smoked malt with the wild flavors?
2) I am really unclear about IBUs and wild yeast/bugs--some recipes are under 10 for the lacto, some are 40+ without problems... how should I understand IBUs and wild fermentation activity, and what to look for without killing off all of the bacteria?



 
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:18 AM   #2
TNGabe
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Aug 2012
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My first impulse is to try and tell you that this recipe looks like a train wreck, but maybe I'm just small minded and you are a genius. You should brew this.


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Old 03-09-2013, 01:40 AM   #3
igotsand
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Jun 2009
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That's a lot of smoked malt...
A little goes a long ways.
I would cut that to .25 or .50 lbs...
Igotsand

 
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:12 AM   #4
bovineblitz
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Mar 2010
Binghamton, NY
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smoky sour sounds really odd to me.

 
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:43 PM   #5
WilliamWS
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Apr 2010
New York, NY
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I've had a couple of sour beers that had some smoked malt, though not a particularly dark one. They were going for historical styles I believe, not bad. I think you'll be fine with 1lb if going with beechwood smoked (rauch) malt. Some of the others like the cherrywood and esp. peat are more agressive and I don't think would work very well in any amount.

If I was inclined to brew something like this I'd probably cut the chocolate back to 6-8 ounces, add another moderate-dark caramel malt (1/2lb c80 maybe) and maybe cut the ibu's to 25ish. Also, you might try pitching some JP dregs or something similar in addition.
It won't really be a robust porter but I think it could be tasty.

 
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:58 AM   #6
Yellow_Boots
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Sep 2012
Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 13

I appreciate the feedback. To TNGabe, I get that a lot! My wife says it more or less typifies my brewing style. I think the smoky sour idea is novel, and something I have yet to see someone else pull off, so I am willing to try it out and hope for the best. My greatest enjoyment in homebrewing has been to take what is accepted and proven and change those concepts just enough to make them spectacular and memorable. To WilliamMS' point, I love using Caramel 120 for its raisiny, dark fruit contribution, which I think only shines in sour ales, but I see your point with reducing and changing the dark malt contributions. Maybe I'll cook up some candi syrup nice and dark and toss that in, too. I'm not sure. I am guessing that most people gloss my Brewtoad account and think "wahaaaaaat?" but I'm all about that.

 
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
BryanThompson
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Jan 2010
Louisville, KY
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I have been wanting to brew a Flanders Red with cherry smoked malt for a while. I say go for it. If it doesn't turn out well it would still probably work great for cooking. Keep us updated.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:47 PM   #8
WilliamWS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow_Boots View Post
I think the smoky sour idea is novel, and something I have yet to see someone else pull off, so I am willing to try it out and hope for the best.
I think just the opposite is true. Most beers throughout history would have been somewhat smokey and somewhat sour.

 
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:58 PM   #9
WilliamWS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow_Boots View Post
To WilliamMS' point, I love using Caramel 120 for its raisiny, dark fruit contribution, which I think only shines in sour ales, but I see your point with reducing and changing the dark malt contributions. Maybe I'll cook up some candi syrup nice and dark and toss that in, too.
I wasn't suggesting getting rid of the C120, I was suggesting some additional crystal. I suggested that because 1) you wanted something porter-like but chances are you're going to get more attenuation than you'd want in a porter (you also might consider a touch of oats for mouth feel) and 2) because the smoke will add a touch of astringency that a little extra sweetness will help balance.
I don't think I'd do the candi syrup because your attenuation is already going to be really high and the candi will just increase it. I'd think you'd want this beer left with a little body.

 
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:37 PM   #10
TANSTAAFB
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May 2010
San Luis Valley, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamWS View Post

I wasn't suggesting getting rid of the C120, I was suggesting some additional crystal. I suggested that because 1) you wanted something porter-like but chances are you're going to get more attenuation than you'd want in a porter (you also might consider a touch of oats for mouth feel) and 2) because the smoke will add a touch of astringency that a little extra sweetness will help balance.
I don't think I'd do the candi syrup because your attenuation is already going to be really high and the candi will just increase it. I'd think you'd want this beer left with a little body.
I agree with several of these points and have a couple opinions of mine own! I have only done a couple of sours, but I have been doing a lot of reading and learned a few things from my brews. I should note that while I LOVE subtle, tart, Bretty, funky, dry sour beers, I'm not a fan of the super sour, punch you in the palate, vinegary brews. I think you need to restrain the IBUs. Bitter and sour are like 13 year olds at homecoming...they are awkward and just don't dance well together! I think the crystal could give a little residual sweetness that will balance the dry, tart nature of this beer. Adding sugar is not necessary when you are already going to have high attenuation, but the flavors will come through. I would definitely use some oats or flaked/torrified wheat to help mouthfeel. I would also go lower on the smoked malt-if you don't think it has enough smokey character you can bump up next time, but if it is too smokey it will overpower the other flavors. I try to experiment with only one or at most two variables at a time. If this is your first sour try to keep it simple and then tweak from there. Or say F it and brew whatever you like and let us know how it turns out!


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