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Is it too early to start talking about 11-11-11?

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camiller

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It was suggested in the https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/10-10-10-recipe-discussion-thread-hbt-anniversary-series-79107/ thread that:

I think we should do a full-on bugged brew for 11-11-11 (all those ones in the date remind me of little bug legs).
I've been doing some reading and it seems like bugged beers benefit from some extra aging so it might be appropriate to start some serious discussion now.

I went ahead and ordered the Wyeast 5151-PC Brettanomyces claussenii from this quarters private collection, for either 11-11-11 or some other beer.

For a recipe perhaps a kicked up version of saq'a https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f72/minstrel-sour-134999/ ?

or since Jason did such a great job with the 10-10-10 maybe his https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/flanders-red-dulle-griet-114546/ ?

It seems like there is a lot of room to play with bugged beers, you could just about bug any conventional style to come up with something interesting.

Anyone have other suggestions? Or am I too early?
 
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camiller

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In all seriousness, how about something like Rodenbach's Vin de Cereal?
I've never had it but in the past we have eschewed doing a straight up clone of a commercial beer in favor of something uniquely designed for the HBT brew. Of course since Rodenbach only makes 10,000 bottles for export (from a total of 30,000) a clone might be the only way some of us get their hands on this beer. That not withstanding, clone or not, we need someone to step up and start a recipe. This would likely be my first bugged beer so I'm not comfortable doing it myself, I just wanted to get the conversation rolling.
 

maskednegator

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I'm not suggesting that we do a clone, I'm suggesting that we do a 1.100 Flanders red.
2 packs of Roselare into an oude bruin as a starter. Rack the bruin after 6 months, and put the huge flanders on the cake. Bottle a year or so later.
 
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I'm down for a bugged brew. I've wanted to do one for a while and 11-11 would be good. Got a baby coming 11-22. It'd be like a birthday present to him (for me :D).
 
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camiller

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I'm not suggesting that we do a clone, I'm suggesting that we do a 1.100 Flanders red.
2 packs of Roselare into an oude bruin as a starter. Rack the bruin after 6 months, and put the huge flanders on the cake. Bottle a year or so later.
Got a recipe? Like I said, this will probably be my first sours so I'm not sure what needs to go into such a beer.
 
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camiller

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I'm down for a bugged brew. I've wanted to do one for a while and 11-11 would be good. Got a baby coming 11-22. It'd be like a birthday present to him (for me :D).
Congrats on the imminent baby! Make a big batch and sample a bottle at each birthday. Culminate with sour beer aged 21 years for their 21st. :mug:
 
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camiller

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I guess I'm out of this one. No sour beers for me.
Since it seems like a lot of sour beers are soured versions of other styles I see no reason that some participants couldn't do a non-sour version for comparison sake.

I guess I forgot that not everyone's into the sours. This should really be an inclusive thing.
Are you against brett-only beers as well, or are you just not a fan of sour beers?
I guess it didn't occur to me but a Brett-C only beer wouldn't be sour. I might have to think about a split batch with just Brett-C vs. Brett-(C or L) + lactobacillus.
 
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camiller

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I've been over reading The Mad Fermentationist blog (he posts here as oldsock) and among the more interesting ideas "Sour Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy" and a "Sour Bourbon Barrel Porter".

While it looks like his Sour Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy was an accidentally sour beer at the time I still think a Wee Heavy, kicked up HBT anniversary style and infused with bourbon soaked oak chips/cubes with or without inoculation with Brett/Lacto/Pedio could be pretty tasty.
 

jmo88

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I'd love to be in on this this year. I think bugs are a great idea, but sours generally take a long time and some need blending. How about a Brett only beer, maybe with fruit? Should be ready faster than a sour, right.
 
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camiller

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I'd love to be in on this this year. I think bugs are a great idea, but sours generally take a long time and some need blending. How about a Brett only beer, maybe with fruit? Should be ready faster than a sour, right.
Works for me. I think what I might do is a big batch split three ways, oak infuse all three, brett only in one, brett+lacto+pedio in one, and one baseline with just a regular yeast. (or split two ways and forget the baseline)

What do you think of a Wee Heavy as a starting point? Any other suggestions?
 
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camiller

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Was looking at the back cover of the new BYO and I see the Wyeast has a Berliner Weisse blend coming up next quarter(I assume it is a yeast/bug blend). I know that this style is usually only around 3% ABV and might not lend itself to the kind of big high ABV beers we've been brewing for the HBT anniversary series but it is an interesting style that needs 1-2 years in the bottle to get to it's peak so perhaps that would be challenging enough even if it is only kicked up a little to make it special? Just throwing it out as another option.
 

maskednegator

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My understanding is that Berliner weisses are generally consumed pretty fresh.
I really like the idea of a wee heavy as the base beer. The same noggin-destroying base beer can be made funky, sour or clean, depending on the taste of the individual.
 

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I guess I forgot that not everyone's into the sours. This should really be an inclusive thing.
Are you against brett-only beers as well, or are you just not a fan of sour beers?
I don't care for tart beer at all. I don't know much about Brett or any of that stuff since I think it means a sour beer in the end. I might have to read up on it though.

But don't worry about me. If we only brewed beers that everyone likes we could not brew at all.

Maybe I'll brew up my own recipe that's not sour and call it "The Antidote".
 
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camiller

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My understanding is that Berliner weisses are generally consumed pretty fresh.
I really like the idea of a wee heavy as the base beer. The same noggin-destroying base beer can be made funky, sour or clean, depending on the taste of the individual.
Perhaps I am confused. I was looking at the wyeast page on wild brewing at http://www.wyeastlab.com/com-lambic-brewing.cfm and in the section on Berliner Weisse is suggested bottle conditioning anywhere from 3-18 months.

At any rate I too like the wee heavy idea but I wanted to make sure all options are on the table.
 

GuldTuborg

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I'd be down for a wee heavy when the time comes.

I'm also a little skeptical about the soured beers. I love them, but they take a long time, and in addition I've never done one before (and I don't think I'm the only one around here, either). I can't help but think there would be a lot of experiments being shipped around. I'd hate to end up shipping a crap beer because it was my first foray into (controlled?) wild fermentation.
 

mb2696

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a wee heavy sounds good to me. i'm not really into the wild/funk/sour thing, but i'll be in on this regardless...
 

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I guess another option for some could be to brew with your own local wild yeast. Capture some then step it up and if it smells good use it to brew the beer. I guess it's a little risky but might be fun.
 

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Darnit, not into belgians or sours. Maybe I'll just do the 888 and pretend I'm trading with people :)

KingBrianI Check out the 999 thread, I re-reviewd your barleywine, still a very nice beer. I need to get out your wild yeast beer still...
 

KingBrianI

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Here's another proposition. Wyeast is releasing their old ale blend 9097 again in october. It's an ale yeast and brett blend. An old ale would be great for aging, and could be done with or without the brett according to each person's preference. And I've already got an idea in my head for a recipe that I'm really excited about. Something along the lines of a MO base with a small percentage of amber and brown malts in order to emulate a historical base grist. Then boiling down a large percentage of the first runnings into a caramel syrup and adding to the rest of the runnings in the boil kettle for a really deep caramel/butterscotch complexity. Then an addition of treacle/molasses in the boil. Ferment with the 9097 with an extended aging in secondary on oak.

Any takers?
 

GuldTuborg

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^^^ You know, after our 9097 discussion thread, I came here to post something very similar. I guess you beat me to the punch. Needless to say, I'm in, and have a few ideas as to recipes as well. Maybe if this idea takes off, we can confer some? The only drawback to this idea is that most of us would want to move on this idea before December, when the seasonal strain switches over again.
 

KingBrianI

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^^^ You know, after our 9097 discussion thread, I came here to post something very similar. I guess you beat me to the punch. Needless to say, I'm in, and have a few ideas as to recipes as well. Maybe if this idea takes off, we can confer some? The only drawback to this idea is that most of us would want to move on this idea before December, when the seasonal strain switches over again.
We might as well go ahead and discuss recipes now. It might encourage more thoughts and participation in the thread. These kind of threads usually turn into a neverending back-and-forth where no style is chosen until someone takes charge and makes the decision for everyone. But it would be fun to confer on a recipe and if it looks good enough, maybe it will make the decision easy for everyone.
 

KingBrianI

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I guess I'll start by putting some thoughts down on the old ale.

I think an OG of 1.111 would be fitting for the date, but might make a too-big beer. I guess it comes down to whether we want an epic beer for the occasion, or a better-tasting, more balanced beer, in which case I think an 8%ABV beer would be just about right. At 1.111, and with no simple sugar other than a little molasses or treacle, anyone who chooses not to use the brett blend may end up with a somewhat cloying beer. I think the brett beers should be more in balance after a long secondary ferment.

And I really like the idea I put forth earlier of just pale, amber and brown malt for the grist, since it would make what I think would be a pretty authentic historical beer. Using kettle caramelization for additional flavor and complexity also seems more authentic to me than using crystal or a myriad of other specialty grains.

The description of 9097 says it produces a pie cherry tartness and some horsey notes. I think that would combine really well with the coconut/vanilla flavors from aging on oak, and the sherry/leather flavors from slight oxidation that a long secondary and bottle aging would create.

If we went with the 8% recipe, the final beer would be deep mahogany in color, reminiscent of the hue of a well-used walnut gun stock. A rich malt and caramel fragrance would dominate with pie cherry, leather and tobacco aromas making a subtle appearance. On the palate, the sweet maltiness would be balanced by a smooth bitterness, and the caramel and sherry would round out the taste. It would have a well-balanced finish with a slight bitterness and a lingering tartness of cherries.
 

jmo88

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If we went with the 8% recipe, the final beer would be deep mahogany in color, reminiscent of the hue of a well-used walnut gun stock. A rich malt and caramel fragrance would dominate with pie cherry, leather and tobacco aromas making a subtle appearance. On the palate, the sweet maltiness would be balanced by a smooth bitterness, and the caramel and sherry would round out the taste. It would have a well-balanced finish with a slight bitterness and a lingering tartness of cherries.
Well with a description like that, I am all for this. The old ale blend with brett seems perfect. For those who do not care for sours and/or Belgians, this should be a nice compromise since it will not be bug-dominant beer. The amber and brown malt without caramel malts and using kettle caramelization sounds good too. I've never used either malt, so I am not sure what to expect.
 

KingBrianI

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Amber malt has a great toasty, breadcrust-like flavor. And it has kind of a "warmness" to it. I really like it. Brown malt is similar but nuttier, and just has a "darker" flavor. Not really roasty or burnt, more like a browned rustic bread crust. It's has a very nice "smoothness". They're basically just more highly kilned base malt, and present in small proportions combined with pale malt, would make what I think is pretty close to the darker, less uniform base malts of history.
 

jmo88

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How do beers with kettle caramelization and good amounts of brown and amber malt attenuate? I'm thinking that without the brett, a big beer like this might not get down very far. So this should give the brett more to work with, right?
 

KingBrianI

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How do beers with kettle caramelization and good amounts of brown and amber malt attenuate? I'm thinking that without the brett, a big beer like this might not get down very far. So this should give the brett more to work with, right?
Depending on the extent of kettle caramelization, it may not affect attenuation much at all. The more it is boiled down, the less it will attenuate. The brown and amber malt shouldn't significantly affect attenuation, especially at the amounts I was thinking about, about 0.5lbs each. An 8% beer should be well balanced with or without the brett. A 1.111 OG beer may not attenuate enough for non-brett beers though. If we did decide to do a recipe like that, I would suggest people who aren't using brett substitute out a little of the base malt with sugar in order to end up with a beer that isn't too sweet.
 

bierhaus15

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I like the idea for an Old Ale, especially with brett. However, depending on how historical you want to make this, most old/stock ales (post 1860) would have been brewed primarily with a pale malt and some form of sugar syrup, utilizing a very long boil. Amber and brown malts were generally used for porters and stouts. And all were very heavily hopped.

I could see something like this being pretty nice:

80% pale/MO
5% brown malt
5% dark crystal
10% treacle/molasses/dark sugar of choice
 

KingBrianI

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Yeah, I don't necessarily think amber and brown malts were included in the old recipes, but the idea of adding them was to more closely replicate the pale malt of the day. It would have been darker, and less uniform than the MO we have access to today.
 

jmo88

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The Brett, kettle caramelization, treacle, and oak is what intrigues me. I'm on board for most any grain bill appropriate for this. I assume we can do a simple 60+ minute addition for the hops and nothing else.
 

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I guess I'll start by putting some thoughts down on the old ale...
Well, when you sell it like that, it's tough to say no.:)

I like the idea of a very simple grainbill. Between the yeast, caramelization, and aging, there should be plenty going on to provide flavor nuance without 100 specialty grains. they'd end up getting in the way of the real flavorful stuff. My guess is the brett used in the old ale blend will be fairly mild to moderate in intensity, so this isn't going to be anything like a lambic, for those who fear sour beer and bugs. At least, it ought to be if this is blended to provide an authentic English taste.

Boiling down the first gallon or so of mash runoff (to a quart or pint) would yield some good flavors, and make crystal malts superfluous, most likely. An overall 2 hour boil will similarly help (and also help of this beer is indeed 8+ percent). I sure wouldn't mind making it bigger than 8%, but I won't cry foul if that's where it stays.

I like the idea of mimicking an older, darker base malt, but many of the historical recipes call for chocolate or even patent malts in smaller quantities. My initial thought is I'd like to see either more brown/amber malt (maybe 1+lb of each, the better choice) or a small amount (4-8oz) of chocolate thrown in. If it's just the base malt, I get the feeling it might turn out to be a little light on both color and flavor. In an old ale, I always expect to find a dark beer, full bodied, slightly sweet, with dark flavors. Not roasty, but closing in on it.

Speaking of a sweetness, I'm also concerned a bit that a beer of base malts and sugars alone, fermented with both sac and brett might turn out a little too attenuated for a standard old ale. I'm not looking for syrupy, mind you, but I'm not looking for super dry, either. Will boiling down the first runoff change attenuation any? Can anyone assuage my fears on this issue? I suppose it could just be mashed high (154-6 or so), but would that prevent the brett from munching things down over the course of a year, or would it just make for a similarly low attenuated beer with a more prominent brett character? I can't say I've worked with brett before.

Hopping I imagine should be mainly or exclusively done with a bittering addition. Maybe a clean (i.e., not harsh) English hop like Phoenix or Target. Maybe even Bullion, as it would add some fleeting fruit (currant) notes that would meld well with the other flavors we're looking for. I have a feeling flavor and aroma additions may get in the way of other flavors and/or be lost during a period of long aging. For an 8% beer (something in the 1075-90 OG range) I'm thinking a 50-60 IBU addition should get us a nice, balanced beer after a year or so of aging. Yes, it will be a bit much at first, but this isn't going to be a beer that it intended for drinking at the 2 month mark.

So based upon what we've been discussing, here's a very rough outline for a 5 gallon batch.

12-13lbs Maris Otter
.5-1lb+ Amber malt
.5-1lb+ Brown Malt
1lb Molasses/Treacle
(maybe a small chocolate malt addition of 4-8oz)

50-60 IBU of British bittering hops (Phoenix, Target, Bullion???)

Mash at 154 or so?

Take first 1 gallon of runoff and boil down to 1-2 pints, add to boil
Boil 2hrs, maybe longer?

Use 9097 seasonal strain as preferred yeast
French(?) oak, maybe 1oz, in secondary (how long?)

Does this look like a tenable outline? Any major problems? There are details to tweak, clearly, but this seems to be coming together well, and I sure would be happy with something like this.
 
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The Brett, kettle caramelization, treacle, and oak is what intrigues me. I'm on board for most any grain bill appropriate for this.
I have to agree with this. A big old ale sounds great. I've never had a beer with brett, so i might have to hunt one down to try first, but it certainly sounds like it would be amazing.
 

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Here is the thing I would be careful about. If people want to brew an Old/Stock ale with a nod to historical accuracy (especially w/brett), we should probably decide on a method for creating this beer. In particular, are we going to go the historical route and create a beer via traditional ingredients and processes, or take a more contemporary route? - All while trying to obtain a beer with the flavor characteristics everyone is looking for.

A more historical approach would be the simplest and involve maybe 2 malts (probably something like MO and maybe brown malt) and some type of sugar syrup. A long boil would be utilized, which would provide some caramelization and subsequent malt complexities. Invert syrup was used extensively and caramel coloring for color adjustment. No dark malts.

On the other hand, a modern approach could include handful of malts, including dark crystal, black patent, biscuit, melanoiden, ect... and techniques such as boiling the first runnings and whatnot. Color would be mostly from malts rather than additives (sugar, coloring).

I'm not saying one method would be better than the other, but I think it would be better to have one method versus a hodgepodge of both.

Any opinions on this matter?
 
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