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Attempting Supplication clone

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BK1017

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Russian River's Supplication is one of the best beers I've ever had. I really enjoy this beer, but unfortunately, being in Texas, I cannot readily obtain any. I would like to try my hand at brewing a batch of this, but I haven't found much information other than what their website provides. Here's what I know:

Supplication
*brown ale aged in French Oak Pinot Noir barrels
*aged with sour cherries
*fermented with Brett, Lacto, and Pedio
*7.00% ABV
*1.064 OG
*27 IBU's

I know that Vinnie has shared a lot of information regarding his brewing process through different channels (Brewing Network, BYO, various books, etc) but I was hoping to collect a comprehensive knowledge database about this beer and it's process so that we could attempt it. Any info helps! Thanks in advance.

Brian
 

SumnerH

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http://www.chow.com/food-news/54702/vinnie-cilurzo-gets-funky/
How long do you age your beers?

Consecration is aged 6 to 9 months, Temptation 9 to 15 months, Supplication 12 to 18 months.
http://www.chow.com/food-news/55162/the-perfect-beer/ has a good video on the topic.

Conventional mash
Belgian yeast fermented pretty warm
Post-fermentation, add brett and age in pinot noir barrels with sour cherries and bugs
Can be 18-20 months for a batch, 12-15 months in the barrels.

http://www.russianriverbrewing.com/pages/barrel.html
In addition to what you noted, this claims 3 strains of Brett.


http://***********/stories/techniques/article/indices/8-aging/1279-professional-barrel-aging
There is no real formula for the time a beer must sit in a barrel with the bugs and critters, but, it is those very bugs and critters that will tell you when the beer is ready to be pulled out. It takes at least six months for the Brett to show any signs of the work it has been doing, and the Lacto & Pedio are not much faster, depending on the strain. We go 12 to 15 months for Temptation and Supplication and longer on Beatification, which is spontaneously fermented.

It is just a slow process regardless of how you look at it. Sometimes we develop some acid character from the bacterias pretty early on, but it is usually pretty sharp then, and in time it tends to mellow out and meld with the Brett.
french oak:
We tend to use French oak, but we are about to start a new beer called Consecration, which will be aged in used, 100% American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.

Generally unblended:
In many cases, blending only happens if the final beer needs it. If we can bottle it unblended, we will. With Beatification, it will always be blended now because we bottle multiple vintages, just like a Belgian-style Lambic Gueuze. We also always keep some sour, acid beer around if we need to acidify a beer at blending.
Finished and fined before going into barrels:
For most of our barrel beers, we will finish a beer with either fining or filtration and then put it in wood. I like putting fairly clean beer into the barrel. With that said, though, now that Beatification is spontaneously fermented, it stays in the barrel for 24 months and we don’t take it out until it is ready to bottle. So, it is sort of a mixed bag for us. There are no real rules.
be careful if you're thinking of using small barrels:
The problem with a small oak barrel is that you get too much oxygen diffusion because the oak staves are thinner than, say, a 60-gallon (227-L) wine barrel. A Belgian friend of mine who makes lambic beer just emailed about barrels but he wanted larger used wine barrels, something like 100 or 120 gallons (379 or 454 L). This is because there is less oxygen diffusion as the barrel gets larger.

For the homebrewer, he or she needs to watch the O2 uptake and consider only aging in the small barrel for a maybe six months. Then maybe move to a keg or a carboy to finish.

I love the idea of using oak chips to move the funk from one batch to another. For those that heard me speak at the AHA conference in Denver or at the NorCal Homebrewers Fest, I have my “dime bag of oak chips” with some bugs and critters from Russian River. It is a concept.
 

Oldsock

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The specifics of the recipe really aren't that important, the bugs/oak/cherries are the primary flavors. I would use mostly pale/pils, some Munich, a bit of dark caramel malts for color, maybe some flaked wheat. Mash pretty warm to leave undermentables, aim for an OG of 1.064. Minimal hopping with something neutral (RR site say 27 IBUs, but my instinct would be to go lower). Pitch Bastogne or Abbey Ale (from their bottle log) along with the dregs from 2-3 bottles of fresh RR sour dregs. I’ve found that putting clean/fermented beer into barrels works, but on a homebrew scale getting the bugs in early is the only way I’ve gotten that much sourness.

Let it ferment out -23 weeks, then rack it to secondary onto .5 oz of French oak and 1 cup or two of Pinot Noir. Leave it along for 6-12 months before adding the sour cherries, that will give the bugs time to become the dominant organisms so you are feeding them not the Sacch. Something like 1 lb per gallon is probably enough, I like to freeze/defrost them first to breakdown the cell walls. Give it 2-6 months on the fruit, then bottle with some fresh wine yeast or Brett, and enough sugar for medium carbonation.
 
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BK1017

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Thanks for the feedback. As for the brown ale base, I was thinking of a modified version of Tasty McDole's Janet's Brown sound? His base (extract version) is:

Light LME (8.4lbs)
Wheat LME (1lb)
CaraPils (1.25lbs)
Crystal 40 (1.25)
Chocolate Malt (0.5)

The OG for this is 1.066, right around where we want to be at 1.064. Long term, how would the various bugs respond to the fermentables provided by this malt bill? Would it affect the pH and thus the activity of the bugs?

I figured that having a tried and true base recipe may create more success than some hair-brained recipe that I can come up with.

BK
 

B-Dub

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I would hold off on using RR dregs because they use wine yeast on all but Supplication for priming.

Any good Lambic dregs would be a great addition though.

Enjoy,

BW
 

Oldsock

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Why not Supplication dregs, then?
Agreed, I think a few wine yeast cells in primary would be overwhelmed by the billions of brewers yeast cells. That said I’m assuming he doesn’t use a “killer” strain. I’ve never had an issue with their dregs anyway.

Thanks for the feedback. As for the brown ale base, I was thinking of a modified version of Tasty McDole's Janet's Brown sound? His base (extract version) is:

Light LME (8.4lbs)
Wheat LME (1lb)
CaraPils (1.25lbs)
Crystal 40 (1.25)
Chocolate Malt (0.5)

The OG for this is 1.066, right around where we want to be at 1.064. Long term, how would the various bugs respond to the fermentables provided by this malt bill? Would it affect the pH and thus the activity of the bugs?

I figured that having a tried and true base recipe may create more success than some hair-brained recipe that I can come up with.

BK
Will that recipe get you in the ballpark? Probably, but I think a few more modifications would help. That would give more roasted flavors than I taste in Supplication (I’d go 4 oz at most). Vinnie also tends to be anti-crystal, maybe there is some darker crystal in there for flavor, but not much.

You’ll also be a bit higher in gravity, the Light LME alone would get you to about 1.064. I imagine Mike’s recipe is designed to have extra volume for the hops to suck up and still get a full keg.
 

B-Dub

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I would use Supplication for dregs, but only Sup. I have had odd flavors from adding champagne yeast to a stuck Quad once and have been scarred ever sense. ;}

BW
 

womencantsail

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I sent Vinnie an email about this sometime back. Here is my proposed recipe and his response:

86% Pale Malt (2 Row) US
4% Aromatic Malt
4% Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L
4% Special B Malt
2% Chocolate Malt

OG: 1.060

Vinnie said:
There is a good amount of C40-Crystal, around 10%, we also get color from
Vienna Malt, it is about 15 or 20% of the grain bill and also we use Carafa
3 Special malt from Weyermann (sp) to get color, this leaves a cleaner
flavor but the special B and chocolate will certainly work.

We ferment in the primary with Abbey 530 Yeast and remove the yeast post
fermentation and hit the beer with Brett and the cherries (25 pounds to a 60
gallon wine barrel) in the wine barrel and let it sit for 2 months. After
that we add the bacteria and more Brett, it normally ages for 12 months in
the barrel.

Good luck,

Vinnie
Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to actually brewing the beer yet.
 

jbrookeiv

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I sent Vinnie an email about this sometime back. Here is my proposed recipe and his response:

86% Pale Malt (2 Row) US
4% Aromatic Malt
4% Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L
4% Special B Malt
2% Chocolate Malt

OG: 1.060



Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to actually brewing the beer yet.
Dude, Vinnie is the man. Not many brewers would divulge that much info about their beers. I need to try to brew this, I love Supplication.
 
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BK1017

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Here's what I quickly worked out on the BrewPal app here at work:

11lbs 2 row (86.3%)
0.5lb aromatic (3.9%)
0.5lb Crystal 40 (3.9%)
0.50lb Special B (3.9%)
0.25lb Chocolate (2.0%)

OG 1.063. Pretty straightforward malt bill. Now looking for an appropriate hop, although I know this is a very small portion of the overall taste of the beer. I'm not well versed in hop knowledge, but I was thinking a small 60 minute addition of a medium-high alpha acid variety would work. Northern brewer?
 

ubermick

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A friend of mine wanted me to brew him a keg of this for his wedding, being under the impression that absolutely EVERYONE likes sour beer. I did a little nosing, and scrapped my plans, but then stumbled on this thread and it added the last couple of pieces.

Based on what Vinnie divulged, this is how I'd go about banging out a 5 gallon batch (don't think you'd want 10 gallons of this, hehe...) basing it on the requirements for an Oud Bruin...

Size: 6.0 gal
Efficiency: 80.0%

Original Gravity: 1.063 (1.040 - 1.074)
Terminal Gravity: 1.013 (1.008 - 1.012)
Color: 21.51 (15.0 - 22.0)
Alcohol: 6.58% (4.0% - 8.0%)
Bitterness: 22.1 (20.0 - 25.0)

Ingredients:
11.0 lb American 2-row
1.0 lb Caramel Malt 40L
1.5 lb Vienna Malt
0.5 lb Carafa Special® TYPE III
1.0 oz Perle (8.2%) - added during boil, boiled 45.0 min

Of course, add your whirlfloc and yeast nutrient. (This isn't an overly thick beer, we'd want to dry this out as much as possible.)

Nice starter of White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale, or pitch at least two vials, and aerate the crap out of it. Hit it with O2 if you have a tank/diffusion stone.

Give it about 3 weeks in primary, keeping it above 70 degrees for the yeasties to do their thing. Rack when it hits 1.012.

Here's where I get fuzzy. Vinnie says that when this comes off to secondary, he removes the yeast. I'm assuming he's doing that by pasteurization? Either way, I doubt it'd ruin the beer if it's just racked as you normally would.

You'll need a bigger carboy than 5 gallons, to accommodate the cherries, so grab yourself a 6.5 gallon one.

Into secondary, dump a package of Brett, and give it another couple of weeks.

Into secondary, dump 2.0 lb mashed cherries, as well as a package of Belgian Sour Mix 1. For a full effect, soak 1oz of oak chips in some pinot, and add those to the secondary as well. Let that chill for 2-3 months.

Rack to a keg, stash for 6 months before carbing.

Hugely labour intensive beer, and man, if I tapped that keg after a year or so and it tasted like arse, I wouldn't be a happy bunny!
 

B-Dub

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Removing yeast is usually by filtration. With the 530 you could crash it down to 33 for a week or so and it will drop very clear.

BW
 
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BK1017

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What Brett strain is being pitched by RR after primary fermentation? Brux?
 

ubermick

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Removing yeast is usually by filtration. With the 530 you could crash it down to 33 for a week or so and it will drop very clear.
Filtration.

*smacks head*

Dur.

What Brett strain is being pitched by RR after primary fermentation? Brux?
As Sumner mentioned, they use three different strains. Since they're going off White Labs' catalog, I'm guessing Claussenii, Brux, and Lambicus. If I were doing it, I'd use Brux for the initial hit, and then just a sour mix for aging. (Granted there's Sacch, Lacto, and Pedio as well as the Brett, so would probably end up being a ways from the original.)
 

Oldsock

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Filtration.

*smacks head*

Dur.



As Sumner mentioned, they use three different strains. Since they're going off White Labs' catalog, I'm guessing Claussenii, Brux, and Lambicus. If I were doing it, I'd use Brux for the initial hit, and then just a sour mix for aging. (Granted there's Sacch, Lacto, and Pedio as well as the Brett, so would probably end up being a ways from the original.)

I feel like I remember him saying he does White Labs for most of his primary strains, but that he likes the Wyeast Bretts... maybe one of the Brewing Network interviews?
 

mkade

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I actually looked into this in the fall and emailed Vinnie, etc. I brewed the beer at the end of September, and will probably consider starting to taste it later in the spring. I got similar information regarding the malt schedule, and formulated a recipe based on that. I actually just used US-01 for primary fermentation after a mash at 158. I started at 1.064, transferred to secondary in a week at 1.013 (a little lower than I wanted, but such is life). Into the secondary I added a starter made from Supplication dregs, along with the White Labs sour mix vial. Also I put in 3 lbs of cherries (Oregon Fruit), and 1 oz French oak cubes that had been boiled for 5 minutes, and then aged in Pinot Noir (a pretty good bottle, too) for 6 weeks. I also made to sure seal the container the chips were stored in with teflon tape after backfilling with CO2 to be sure that the wine wouldn't turn to vinegar while the chips were hanging out for a month. Anyways, the base beer (1.013 sample) was a pretty tasty brown ale with a little sweetness. In the meantime, some action has definitely been happening in the secondary fermenter. However, I haven't noticed a real good pellicle yet. At one point the bubbler got clogged, so when I changed it out I quickly took a whiff and the beer smelled fantastic, like a great Batch 4 aroma. Anyways, the secondary will continue to hang out in my (temp stable) closet until the summer or fall. Hopefully I will remember to report results back. Our plan is to bottle cork the brews at the end of this.
 

crlova2

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When he says he adds the bacteria what does he mean? I thought brett was the bacteria. But he says he adds brett than a couple months later adds the bacteria?
 

boralyl

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I brewed this beer on Saturday 6/18/2011. My Original Gravity came out to 1.064 and I yielded just over 5 gallons. I forgot to make a starter so I pitched two vials of WLP530 Abbey Ale. Additionally, I pitched the Belgian Sour Mix and the dregs from 2 bottles of the latest batch of Supplication.

It's got a huge krausen now and it is fermenting happily. I plan on letting it sit for 6 months until I have emptied out my 6.5 gallon carboy(currently has a 9 month old pLambic) so I can transfer it and add the sour cherries for more extended aging.

 

jtakacs

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i have that belgian sour mix in my fridge... no idea what to do with it... thinking flanders, but i might do a supplication-esque type brew...
 

Oldsock

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I was just listening to the NHC keynote speech that Vinnie gave this year, it was mostly a history of his brewing, but he mentioned something I hadn't heard before... that at Russian River they use only dried fruit. Anyone else heard that before?

Edit: At least one blog I found confirmed it: http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/2010/03/easter_beers_russian_river_los.php at first I was thinking he meant frozen since he was talking about how they buy them in large blocks and use a cement mixer to break them up before adding to the beer.
 
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I was just listening to the NHC keynote speech that Vinnie gave this year, it was mostly a history of his brewing, but he mentioned something I hadn't heard before... that at Russian River they use only dried fruit. Anyone else heard that before?

Edit: At least one blog I found confirmed it: http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/2010/03/easter_beers_russian_river_los.php at first I was thinking he meant frozen since he was talking about how they buy them in large blocks and use a cement mixer to break them up before adding to the beer.
That keynote speech was fun to listen to. I sure wish I could see the pics he kept referring to. He's a fine speaker.
 

Oldsock

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That keynote speech was fun to listen to. I sure wish I could see the pics he kept referring to. He's a fine speaker.
Yeah, sadly they didn't post it along with the other presentations (Chad Yakobson's pdf is great, just wish someone would post the audio).
 

Emc

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Question, have had my best guess at the clone fermenting now for about three months. A friend works for a local winery and was able to get me some fresh pinot barrel stays that I added to the fermenting bucket when I added the cherries. I was putting something else in the deep storage last night to age and noticed the lid was cracked where the airlock hole is. Switched for a new lid and noticed a pretty heavy vinegar smell. Since I am new to trying to make sours, should I be worried? I plan to have it sit for at least another 4 months, and had it not been for the crack never would have even opened the bucket at this point. Is it normal to smell that vinegary? Was actually a little disappointing not to see more of an infection layer on top, but again the smell has me a little worried that perhaps the wine stays were a bad call, that the crack let in too much o2 or something else to cause it to spoil? Let it go and see what happens?
 
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Question, have had my best guess at the clone fermenting now for about three months. A friend works for a local winery and was able to get me some fresh pinot barrel stays that I added to the fermenting bucket when I added the cherries. I was putting something else in the deep storage last night to age and noticed the lid was cracked where the airlock hole is. Switched for a new lid and noticed a pretty heavy vinegar smell. Since I am new to trying to make sours, should I be worried? I plan to have it sit for at least another 4 months, and had it not been for the crack never would have even opened the bucket at this point. Is it normal to smell that vinegary? Was actually a little disappointing not to see more of an infection layer on top, but again the smell has me a little worried that perhaps the wine stays were a bad call, that the crack let in too much o2 or something else to cause it to spoil? Let it go and see what happens?
wine stays were probably not a problem, but too much O2, for too long, and you'll get acetic acid production, which smells like vinegar. Too much of that and it might be hard to drink.
 

jtakacs

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there are some high acetic commercial sours out there - ichtegems has a big acetic component and imo so does duchess... (i love ichtegems and don't care for duchess fwiw)
 

HopBomb

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I've been following this thread and trying my hand a homebrewed Supplication this summer. Brewed back in April, primaried with WL530, then racked to secondary and hit it with the WL655 Belgian Sour mix and a couple of bottles of Supplication dregs. All seems well, nice pellicle, nice sour notes emanating from within, now thinking about adding the sour cherries. I've been looking around the local farmers markets here in VA the last few weeks, and I may have missed the mark. It seems the prime sour cherry season is short, and ends here in early July. So now I'm doing internet searches, and finding mostly canned and dried sour cherries online. If I go with the dried cherries what's the right ratio? I was planning 3 lbs of fresh sour cherries for a 5 gal batch. Anyone know what the equivalent dried cherry weight should be?
 

BrewNinja1

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For those people who made this with only 3 lbs of cherries...are you actually getting any flavor? Ive used 5lbs before in other beers and never even tasted cherries (though it gives a great color). I just got done picking cherries in Door County this weekend and planned on putting 10lbs in my next batch. Was just curious.
 

Spring_Chicken

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Ok guys, it's been a while. How about some notes? I'm working on some sours and maybe someone out there can help me not waste a year. :)
 

chromados

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I still have mine a bourbon barrel, I taste it every month or 2 and see how it is coming along. It is coming along amazing. I pitched 3 strains of brett first and then later pitched the bugs. Both the brett and bugs coming along nicely and it has a nice pellicle on it. I plan to leave it in the barrel for around another year, so you will have to rely on others to get a real world tasting until I can carb up my 8 gallons of it.

Chromados
 

mkade

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So the one that I brewed October of last year (10/2010) was bottled 5 weeks ago. We cork finished it, and while it's not as pretty as it could be, it's been effective. Anyways, we had tried two or three bottles around 2-3 weeks after bottling, and while the beer was good it was very light, even thing. Strange, because the flat sample we drank at bottling was delicious. Anyways, in what seems to have been a drastic change in the beer after 3.5 weeks, all bottles are tasting delicious. They have a beautiful cherry bretty nose, with a flavor very similar, I'd say, to supplication. It's not bitingly sour, but it's definitely notable. Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out, and it's polled very well among my friends, who seem to love it as well. I feel like we were very fortunate, but I'm also grateful for the advice Vinny gave. I think anyone considering it should give it a go.
 
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