Russian River Temptation Clone Start to Finnish

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NTexBrewer

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Figured I would share my first attempt at a sour beer. The Jan/Feb 2014 issue of BYO had an article about Beer-Wine Hybrid beers. This included Russian River Brewing Co. Temptation since it is aged in Chardonnay Barrels. Temptation also has brett and souring bacteria added to it. I brewed this beer in December 2013 and Bottled it in September 2014 and it has turned out to be a pretty good beer. Unfortunately, I live in Texas so I do not have access to Russian River beers to do a side by side comparison. Anyway, here is what I did so someone can see the complete process from brewing to bottling.

December 17, 2013

I brewed the Extract version as I wanted to make sure I was hitting the correct numbers.

Recipe:

From Jan/Feb 2014 BYO
OG=1.062 FG=1.012(Going into Barrel)
IBU=28 SRM=4 ABV=6.8%

6.6 lbs. Light Liquid Malt Extract
1.75 lbs. Light Dried Malt Extract
0.25 oz. Lactic Acid
6.0 AAU Warrior Hops (90 Minutes)
1.8 AAU Styrian Golding Hops (30 Minutes)
1.4 AAU Styrian Golding Hops (0 Minutes)
1 Smack Pack Wyeast 1214 (Belgian Abbey Ale) No Starter

Started with 5 gallons of water and added extract and lactic acid. Boiled for 90 minutes and added hops at appropriate times. Cooled wort to 68 degrees and added to fermenter and topped off to get 5 gallons. I fermented the beer in my beer closet since it was winter time and let the temperature free rise. Fermentation ended in the upper 70's.

OG 1.063

On December 20th, fermentation had slowed and I racked it to secondary which was a 5 gallon glass carboy. Gravity reading at racking was 1.016. Also added to the secondary 1.5 oz. of Medium American Oak Cubes and 1 vial of WLP650 (Brettanomyces bruxellensis).

A small thin pellicle formed but nothing spectacular. Let it sit in the beer closet checking only to make sure the airlock did not dry out.

March 19, 2014 - Took Gravity reading and it was at 1.009

March 29, 2014 - Added Wyeast 5733 (Pediococcus) and WLP 677 (Lactobacillus). At this point the recipe called for topping off the carboy with a neutral beer or Chardonnay wine to reduce headspace for aging. I choose to use Chardonnay wine. I used Naked Snoqualmie Chardonnay since it does not have added sulfites and I liked the taste. Also it is unoaked and did not want to add anymore oak flavor. It took 4 bottles or 3 Liters of wine to fill the carboy to the top off the neck. I then moved the carboy to a chest freezer I use as a beer cellar and keep the temperature at 65 degrees.

Basically, left it alone and made sure the airlock did not dry out. Used vodka in the airlock to make sure it would not dry out. Took a sample in May and had good flavor.

The recipe calls for aging the beer for 6 to 9 months after adding the souring bacteria. I never wanted it to be too sour and at around 6 months it tasted fine to me so I bottled the beer.

September 24, 2014 - Bottled beer. I wanted to carbonate to 3 volumes. From doing online searches, I found to assume the beer to have 0.4 volumes of CO2 with such a long time sitting. I then used the formula 4 grams of cane sugar per liter of beer to get 1 volume of CO2. I needed 2.6 volumes and had 20.8 Liters of beer so I used 7.6 oz of cane sugar. I also used a little over 2 grams of EC-1118 Champagne Yeast rehydrated at bottling.

OG 1.063
FG 1.009 (before adding wine)
I calculated that with the added wine my final ABV was around 8%

I bottled 29 Bombers and 2 7oz Ponies for a final volume of about 5.25 gallons.

Things I learned and would possibly do different next time. A 5 gallon carboy is really closer to 5.5 gallons to fill up to the neck. I did not anticipate having to use so much wine to top off the carboy after adding the bacteria. Next time I would probably brew 5.5 or 6 gallons knowing that I will be losing some as I rack. I don't think this affected the final taste but was not expecting. I used glass carboy and I think this reduces the sour and brett character. I also live in Texas and do not have a basement. My beer "cellar" is a chest freezer in the garage I have hooked up to a temperature controller. I had the temperature set to 65 but it would cool down to 58 sometimes during the on cycle. Not sure if this affected the brett or bacteria.

My goal was to do something simple so I would not have to stress about it and still get good results. I think I accomplished this.

I'm not a brett/sour connoisseur but I definitely get sourness on the tip of my tongue and get the brett coating on the back of my tongue. The oak flavor is just right and for me, I think the oak flavor masks the sourness some.

The beer is very drinkable and so far everyone that has tried it has liked it. As I get more feedback, I'll post what people have to say about the sourness and brett character.

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DurtyChemist

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Have you started another batch yet? I know it gets hot in Texas but have you considered doing the lacto/pedio first in the months that average 70s-80s to get the sour profile first THEN pitching yeast?
 
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NTexBrewer

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Have you started another batch yet? I know it gets hot in Texas but have you considered doing the lacto/pedio first in the months that average 70s-80s to get the sour profile first THEN pitching yeast?

I'm confused. Can you be a little more detailed.

Are you saying to:

1. Brew Beer
2. Pitch Sacc Yeast
3. Add Lacto/Pedio
4. Let it go awhile at warmer temperatures
5. Pitch Brett after beer has soured
 
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NTexBrewer

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So yesterday I was lucky enough to try a bottle of Russian River Temptation at their brew pub in Santa Rosa.

This was one of their 750ml bottles that was about 7 years old. I'm happy to say that my version is very close so the recipe in the BYO magazine is pretty accurate. As I stated in the first post I used oak cubes since I aged the beer in a glass carboy.

Color and oak aroma were pretty much the same. The RR version was a little more sour with a little less brett character then mine. View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1421692124.748175.jpg

I'm guessing this flavor will always shift with different batches and ageing.
 

normonster

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Cool. I saw that recipe too....I did the Blind Pig with oak already though and decided oak is not for me. You should try the Pliney....I really like that one. On tap now and almost through a full 10 gallons. It got better after about three weeks cold.
 
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View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1452993743.438099.jpg

Figure I'd give an update. This beer has been bottled for almost 16 months. I'm really happy how this beer turned out. Slight sour, nice Brett and very drinkable.

Plus it is crystal clear since it has been cellaring for over a year.

This is a great and easy recipe to try if you are interested in getting into sour/brett beers.
 
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NTexBrewer

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Can you post up the all grain recipe from the BYO mag? I'd like to brew that. Nice write-up too. Thank you for sharing.

Edit: found the recipe.

https://byo.com/mead/item/2067-russian-river-brewing-co-temptation-clone

Here is the recipe from the Jan/Feb 2014 issue. It is slightly different

11.5 lb 2-Row
10 oz Acidulated Malt
14 oz Dextrin Malt

6 AAU Warrior Hops 90 Minutes
1.8 AAU Styrian Goldings Hops 30 Minutes
1.4 AAU Styrian Goldings hops 0 Minutes

WLP 530 Abbey Ale or Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey Ale
Yeast 5112 or WLP 650 Brett bruxellensis
Yeast 5335 or WLP 667 Lactobacillus
Wyeast 5733 Pedioccocus
Oak Barrel, Staves or cubes
Chardonnay

Mash at 158. Boil for 90 minutes adding hops at times indicated. Begin fermentation at 68 and free rise to 76. After primary fermentation drop as much yeast out as possible and move beer to wine barrel or secondary fermenter (with oak alternative) where brett is added. After 8 to 12 weeks of aging with brett add bacteria to beer and top barrel/fermenter with neutral base beer or chardonnay wine. From here the beer will sit for another 6 to 9 months. After the barrel aging is complete bottle condition the beer using a wine yeast and an appropriate quantity of priming sugar to meet your desired CO2 level.
 
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Tonight I'm drinking my last bottle. It is about 27 months in the bottle stored at cellar temperatures. This is still a very good beer. I've had more sours and Brett beers since brewing this beer and I can say that the sourness is very soft compared to most commercial beers. Nice pleasant Brett aroma and the oak is still present.

Will be brewing this again tomorrow.
Minor tweaks that I plan are to use just DME, 3lb Pilsen, 3lb light, 1lb wheat. Also will add 8oz of maltodextrin. Still plan to use 1.5oz. Oak cubes. Also, bought a 1 gallon Chardonnay kit. Have not decided if I will make the wine and add that to the carboy or just add the must to the carboy to give the Brett and bugs more food.

Will also do bulk aging in a plastic carboy to allow some more oxygen egress and will just age in the beer closet so it will see temperatures in the summer around 80 degrees.

The picture does not show how crystal clear this beer is now.

IMG_0629.jpg
 
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Update Time.

So this is a beer that I have brewed 2 more times. I've made a few modifications but it still is a simple beer to produce (if you consider letting a beer sit for 12 months simple) with fantastic results. This beer is essentially a Biannual Brew for me. I brew the beer on New Year's Day (or close) and then on the following New Year's Day, I bottle the beer. This gives me plenty of beer to drink during the year until the next batch is ready. I mainly bottle in 22oz. bombers along with a few 12oz bottles for competitions.

So here is my final recipe. Again for simplicity, I do this beer Extract but if you look in the thread you will find the all grain version.

2018 Bottle Vintage: Nice Soft Sourness with Brett in the background
2018 National Homebrew Competition Austin Region, Score 41, Mini Best of Show
2018 Bluebonnet Brew Off, Score 40, Mini Best of Show
2019 National Homebrew Competition Boston Region, Score 40, First Place
2019 National Homebrew Competition, Finals, Score 34

2020 Bottle Vintage: Brett is more forward than the sourness but still nice
2020 Bluebonnet Brew Off, Score 40, Mini Best of Show

Extract:

New Beer Name: Barley Blanc

4 Gallons RO Water
3lb DME Light
3lb DME Pilsen
1lb DME Wheat
8oz. Maltodextrin

Add 7ml of Lactic Acid to the water, Heat water and then dissolve Extract. Raise temperature to boiling and Add hops as indicated.

Chill and Top off to 5.5 gallons for Primary Fermentation.

Hops:
0.5oz Warrior 60 Minutes 15.4 AA
0.6oz Styrian Goldings 30 Minutes 2.8 AA
0.3oz Styrian Goldings 0 Minutes

Primary Yeast
Wyeast Belgian Ale 1214, no starter

As Primary Fermentation slows cold crash and fine. Rack beer to 6.5 gallon Carboy. You will have approximately 5 gallons of beer at this point. Since I brew this in the winter, I primary in the house and then set the fermenter in my cold garage to cold crash and fine before racking to secondary vessel.

Add 1.5oz of Medium Toast American Oak Cubes
WLP 650 Brett Brux

At 3 Months add:
Wyeast 5733 Peddio Bacteria
WLP 677 Lacto Bacteria
1 Gallon of Chardonnay Must (Winexpert World Vineyard Australian Chardonnay 1 Gallon Wine Kit. Add water to Concentrate Must to get 1 gallon volume and then add to fermenter)
Attach blowoff as refermentation of the Chardonnay can be vigorous

After Chardonnay has fermented out replace with Airlock and keep in a "coolish" area until bottling after 12 months from brew day. "coolish", I live in Texas and put this beer in a closet, so during the summers it will probably be around 75 to 80 degrees.

Bottling:
Bottled beer. I wanted to carbonate to 3 volumes. From doing online searches, I found to assume the beer to have 0.4 volumes of CO2 with such a long time sitting. I then used the formula 4 grams of cane sugar per liter of beer to get 1 volume of CO2. I needed 2.6 volumes and had 20.8 Liters of beer so I used 7.6 oz of cane sugar. I also used a little over 2 grams of EC-1118 Champagne Yeast rehydrated at bottling.

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brownni5

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This looks and sounds fantastic. Living in the Midwest, Russian River is not available (I don't trade online). I've been meaning to dabble in blending wines into sours, perhaps this is the direction I go.
 

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this is going on my to brew list. thanks for sharing all the details.
one question, i cant find the Wyeast 5730 Peddio Bacteria strain did they stop making it or is it a typo and supposed to be 5733? my LHBS only carries Whitelabs yeast would WLP661 be the same? ok maybe that was two questions.

**maybe three questions**
 
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this is going on my to brew list. thanks for sharing all the details.
one question, i cant find the Wyeast 5730 Peddio Bacteria strain did they stop making it or is it a typo and supposed to be 5733? my LHBS only carries Whitelabs yeast would WLP661 be the same? ok maybe that was two questions.

**maybe three questions**

Sorry about the typo. It is 5733, looks like WLP661 is the same strain.

You should be able to substitute between White Labs and Wyeast or any of the other yeast manufacturers as long as they are the same type of bacteria or yeast.
 

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I'm curious if you have pH readings for any of these?

I'm wondering how low those bacterial cultures drop the pH with the high level of hops. ... Or whether most/all of the acidity is coming from the grapes, yeast, and added lactic acid.
 
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NTexBrewer

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I'm curious if you have pH readings for any of these?

I'm wondering how low those bacterial cultures drop the pH with the high level of hops. ... Or whether most/all of the acidity is coming from the grapes, yeast, and added lactic acid.

Good question. I put post it notes on a bottle of my last two batches to remind me to test the pH.

I’ve never tested the pH during the brewing process.
 

brownni5

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I'm curious if you have pH readings for any of these?

I'm wondering how low those bacterial cultures drop the pH with the high level of hops. ... Or whether most/all of the acidity is coming from the grapes, yeast, and added lactic acid.

Hmm, good question. As I'm sure you know, pedio tends to be a little more hop tolerant than lacto, but the commercial strains are a little wimpy when it comes to hops. IBU will fade in time, allowing LAB to do their thing, but 12 months in the fermenter isn't that long. Perhaps the acidity comes in the bottle? The OP reported drinking bottles upwards of 2 years old...

If I did this or something like this, I'd use dregs, likely from Jolly Pumpkin - IBU be damned, it'll sour. It might even get too sour?
 
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NTexBrewer

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Hmm, good question. As I'm sure you know, pedio tends to be a little more hop tolerant than lacto, but the commercial strains are a little wimpy when it comes to hops. IBU will fade in time, allowing LAB to do their thing, but 12 months in the fermenter isn't that long. Perhaps the acidity comes in the bottle? The OP reported drinking bottles upwards of 2 years old...

If I did this or something like this, I'd use dregs, likely from Jolly Pumpkin - IBU be damned, it'll sour. It might even get too sour?


This is what I'm guessing happens. The sourness is "soft" for lack of a better term. I've read that Peddio produces a soft sourness so it is possible Peddio is dominating over the Lacto. It does not take the enamel off your teeth which is how I feel Jolly Pumpkin and Cascade Brewing Sours do. It does continue to evolve in the bottle with the sourness increasing some but never over powering.

I've used Jester King dregs with good results on high IBU beers. Bottle dregs tend to be more hop tolerant. Jester King’s Noble King Clone This beer was around 35 IBU's and soured nicely in 6 weeks.

I'm also wondering if we are extrapolating data and results from Kettle Souring which is trying to sour very quickly.
 

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IBU will fade in time, allowing LAB to do their thing
Did you read/hear this somewhere?

I'm also wondering if we are extrapolating data and results from Kettle Souring which is trying to sour very quickly.
I don't know of any commercial bacterial cultures that can sour with 1.4oz hops in 5-6 gal, even long term. I'd hate to see you guys spending money on multiple cultures that might not be doing anything.
 

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Did you read/hear this somewhere?
I thought so - either on MTF or American Sour Beers or a podcast or something. Now I can't find it and don't know where I picked it up. Oh well. Maybe it's true!
 

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Cool thread - going 7 years back, too...
I have a recipe for a Consecration clone I've brewed a couple times - I got the homebrew recipe kit from Austin Homebrew (I think...)
and since it included the full recipe, I've used that since.
It's officially a Belgian Strong Dark ale style (Dubbel? Quad?) aged with on black currents, in red wine barrels and with souring bugs.
The kit included chunks from the staves of the barrels used.
My latest batch,which I think is going to be my permanent recipe, uses the same base beer, primary is Abbey Ale from Wyeast. Instead of the currents I used dried Montmorency Cherries, and instead of the staves for oak flavor (I tossed them in anyway) I had cubes soaking in dark rum for a few months.
This beer has been a year from brew to bottle each time I've made it. but I'm really happy with the results.
 

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i havent used hops in my sours yet, but after seeing this recipe and then doing some comparison on the internet of the recipe, I think he is pretty close. The Mad Fermentationist did this clone and is pretty much the same recipe, but he used more hops. Temptation Clone | The Mad Fermentationist - Homebrewing Blog
ive listened to Vinnie on a few podcasts from the brewing network on the session and the sour hour.
Thought IBU's didnt go with sour beers.
are these aged hops that you used? curious.
 

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i havent used hops in my sours yet, but after seeing this recipe and then doing some comparison on the internet of the recipe, I think he is pretty close. The Mad Fermentationist did this clone and is pretty much the same recipe, but he used more hops. Temptation Clone | The Mad Fermentationist - Homebrewing Blog
ive listened to Vinnie on a few podcasts from the brewing network on the session and the sour hour.
Thought IBU's didnt go with sour beers.
are these aged hops that you used? curious.

The difference is that the MF used bugged wood from Russian River. The LAB in the wood is likely more hop-tolerant than any commercial strains.

I normally use hops, at least some, in my sours, but then again, I rarely rely on commercial strains alone. The rate at which I use them is normally nominal, but I did have Jolly Pumpkin dregs turn a dark Saison with about 35 IBU very sour. Jay from The Rare Barrel bitters to about 25 IBU (reportedly) to achieve the acidity level he desires.
 

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Do you happen to have the recipe for this you’d like to share? Thanks ahead of time if you or anyone else does.

Cool thread - going 7 years back, too...
I have a recipe for a Consecration clone I've brewed a couple times - I got the homebrew recipe kit from Austin Homebrew (I think...)
and since it included the full recipe, I've used that since.
It's officially a Belgian Strong Dark ale style (Dubbel? Quad?) aged with on black currents, in red wine barrels and with souring bugs.
The kit included chunks from the staves of the barrels used.
My latest batch,which I think is going to be my permanent recipe, uses the same base beer, primary is Abbey Ale from Wyeast. Instead of the currents I used dried Montmorency Cherries, and instead of the staves for oak flavor (I tossed them in anyway) I had cubes soaking in dark rum for a few months.
This beer has been a year from brew to bottle each time I've made it. but I'm really happy with the results.
 

jrgtr42

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Do you happen to have the recipe for this you’d like to share? Thanks ahead of time if you or anyone else does.
I got it from MoreBeer's Brewmaster series a few years ago.
for a 5-gal batch.
11lbs 2-Row (Rahr, they recommend)
1lb Dark Belgian Candi syrup
1lb Corn sugar
8oz acidulated malt
4 oz Special B
4oz Carafa

0.5oz Styrian Goldings (90 min)
1oz Sterling (30min)
1oz Sterling (1min)

Mash high - they recommend 158 - 159*f - I mashed around 155.
primary with Abbey yeast
secondary with desired bug / brett blends
add wine barrel staves and black currents with a couple months to go.
use champagne yeast for priming with 4oz corn sugar if bottling.

est OG 1.075
est srm 30
est ibus 15 - 18
est ABV 9%


For my second batch I used dried montmorency cherries instead of the currents, and soaked oak cubes in rum for a few months before adding. I did toss the wine staves in as well for good measure.


All in all i took a year grain to glass
 
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