wlp640 + lochristi brett blend red ale

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ruostetta

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Hello there!

Just brewed my first batch of sour beer, a Flanders inspired ale.
Couldn't get my hands on the common yeast blends used for the style but formulated a recipe based on some reading. Also had my first experience with premade malt extracts. Recipe was as follows:

Batch size: 23l
Boil size: 10l
Estimated OG: 1.048 (1.049)
3.4kg wheat lme (50/50)
Steeping grains:
125g special b
125g aromatic
125g 30L crystal
125g cookie
50g roasted barley
Hops: ~25g 3.4 alpha Hallertau Hersbrücker (leaf)
Yeast: Vial of each
the Yeast bay Lochristi brett blend
Wlp640 brett

In 10 liters of water steeped the grains @65C for 30 minutes and took it up to 76c. Boiled the wort with hops for 60 minutes, 5 minutes left in the boil added the lme. Finally, mixed enough cold water to reach 23 liters. Transferred into a 25 liter glass carboy, pitched @18c, will ferment @21c for a year.

I didn't use Irish moss or other kettle finings. At the moment of writing the beer is really cloudy, brown with a redish hue. Plenty of food for the brett, I guess. Maybe half the amount of roasted barley would be enough for a nice red colour but only time will tell how it changes. Some tannins were extracted from the grains, not unpleasantly astringent but definitely there. Not too worried as I'm not planning on adding oak.

Can't wait to see how this turns out. Haven't found much information on the yeast strains so I try to post some updates on fermentation and flavours during the year.

Any feedback or recommendations for further additions of bugs are welcome.
Happy homebrewing
 

ryanmbeal

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If you want a sour Flanders Red type beer you'll need to add some lactic acid producing bacteria, lacto and pedio are typical, you could certainly get some of those from the dregs of commercial sour beers.
FYI, left as is you could have an interesting brett beer that you could be drinking in a couple of months instead of a couple years waiting for a sour beer.
 
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ruostetta

ruostetta

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Quick update. Fermentation took around 48h to begin, it has been bubling nicely. Tiny evil looking krausen was formed.

If you want a sour Flanders Red type beer you'll need to add some lactic acid producing bacteria, lacto and pedio are typical, you could certainly get some of those from the dregs of commercial sour beers.
FYI, left as is you could have an interesting brett beer that you could be drinking in a couple of months instead of a couple years waiting for a sour beer.

Thanks.
 
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ruostetta

ruostetta

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Fermentation was slowing down after the second week so took the carboy to 23c room. Activity increased until I checked it today, 1 buble/ 25 seconds. Gravity reading is at 1.005 meaning almost 89% attenuation. Sample tastes little fruity with a hint of acidity, no funk to tell about. Also, tannins that I was picking up in unfermented wort have faded out.

I'm going to leave it to the colder room from now on. Maybe a couple of months more and it's ready for bottle.
 
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ruostetta

ruostetta

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Here is the result. Little tart, dry and fruity.
IMG_20181103_195914.jpg
 
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ruostetta

ruostetta

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Quick update: Some of the haze has settled down, definitely more carbonation. Smells and tastes like raspberries with hints of acetic tartness. Seems to also please non-beer drinkers.

FWIW, second generation with added lacto, pedio and one additional brett strain has not soured at all. Just a tiniest hint of barnyard funk. Og ~1.050 fg 1.000
 

RPh_Guy

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I reduced the amount of hops to calculated ibu of 4.
How many grams?

Contrary to most of the info floating around, IBU actually isn't a big factor in the amount of bacterial inhibition provided by hops. Even dry hopping (0 calculated IBU) easily inhibits souring.
 
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ruostetta

ruostetta

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How many grams?

Contrary to most of the info floating around, IBU actually isn't a big factor in the amount of bacterial inhibition provided by hops. Even dry hopping (0 calculated IBU) easily inhibits souring.

Hi, 25g for 25 liters for the last 15 min.
I will cut the amount in half for the next batch
 
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ruostetta

ruostetta

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The time has come to awaken this sleeping thread from the past. I just cracked open a bottle from the original batch that has been stored at room temperature and refrigerated for the past two weeks. Given the reduction in carbonation level, there aren't any hints I brewed the batch in 2018.

Visual analysis:
Deep red to dark mahogany color with a flat white head.
The haze and tiny pellicle have dropped out from suspension, leaving a clear and pleasant-looking beer.
Some tiny bubbles keep rising rapidly.

Smell:
Raspberries, some acidity. Tiny amounts of spice. Country-wine-like characteristics.

Mouthfeel:
Thin to medium-thin. Not watery. Dries the mouth.

Taste:
Mainly raspberries and fresh redcurrant. Cherry-like tartness. I can't distinguish the type of acid; -It could be from the berries. There aren't any flavors I'd describe as funky, nor maltiness, but a hint of some burnt-sugar-type flavor, probably originating from the steeped malts. Overall, a pleasant and long-lasting taste.

Conclusion:
I was surprised at how well this beer has turned out. Given the storage conditions, it could be destined to the closest sink at this point. Nevertheless, I am happy I could share this story with you. I still have a couple of bottles I continue storing. I hope we get to share some tenth-anniversary tasting notes in the future.

Cheers!
 
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