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07/18/09 08:04 AM  
Brewing a 3% Sour
I was reading Farmhouse Ales last night and all the discussion of low gravity, likely soured Saisons got me interested. I was thinking of growing up some dregs from Drie Fonteinen and using just one malt, and around 15 IBUs of low alpha hop with a small late addition. Couple questions: what malt should I use? I was thinking either MO or the Kolsch malt to give it plenty of character. Also, what is the mo of growing up enough pitchable yeast from one bottle? Does this idea some crazy?
07/18/09 12:56 PM  
Re: Brewing a 3% Sour
I brewed a 3.4 sour that I aged on oak soaked in chardonnay....came out great...I did not use yeast from a bottle for that one. I used 95% pilsner malt and 5% acidulated malt for this one...20 IBU of Saaz. next time I would use 1 oz of oak instead of 2...the low grav made it a bit too 'oaky' for my taste at first...but it has mellowed nicely.

I just brewed a batch this week and pitched a starter that I grew from one bottle of Orval dregs. I started them in 30ml of 1.030 wort, stepped to 100 ml of 1.040 after 5 days, then to 250ml after 4 days then to 1000ml after 3 days, let it go for a week, refrigerated, decanted and pitched....this is the second batch I did like this from Orval and it has worked great.

Please keep in mind that I used NEW Orval...While I did get good growth...the Oravl was sacrificed before it's prime :)

07/18/09 01:44 PM  
Re: Brewing a 3% Sour
In regards to stepping up the yeast, the above is a good way to do it. The typical rule is to increase the volume each time by a factor of ten. However, keep in mind two things. One, you get a highly selective sample of the microflora and, two, the growth rates for the different organisms are vastly different and variable in terms of temp, pH, sugar type and content, O2, ect. Basically, I'd expect to get Saccharomyces and lactic acid bacteria and some other "stuff" w/o too much of a problem. Pedio and Brett are much trickier.

That being said, it sounds like fun and there are others on this site with a lot more knowledge of the micro side than I have

07/19/09 06:34 AM  
Re: Brewing a 3% Sour
I think this is what I'll do:

6.5# Kolsch malt

1oz Saaz 60min (~12 IBUs)

.5oz Saaz 0min

1oz Citrus zest

.5oz Pink Peppercorns (crushed)

Drie Fonteien yeast

Should give me roughly a 1.031 OG.

Jafaffler - I see your point, I believe Sparrow mentions that dregs can give you a much different diversity (in count anyway) of bugs that what was actually souring the beer just during storage and death. I may try to pitch more dregs (of another FFF bottle) in secondary.

Does anyone expect this type of sour to take any shorter of a time to really mature than a normal lambic?

07/20/09 03:04 PM  
Re: Brewing a 3% Sour
Looks like a great start, and I'm very interested in the Kolsch malt you mention. I've heard that somewhere else recently, is that new?

I think the spice additions should be cut back significantly though. That seems like a whole lot of orange zest for a small beer, possibly for any beer, at least in my opinion.

07/20/09 08:11 PM  
Re: Brewing a 3% Sour
Al B mentioned using it and said it was close to a Vienna/Munich hybrid. I only looked at the amount of zest that Jamil uses for his Wit as a guideline (he uses 1.5oz). Pink peppercorns (actually not real peppercorns) are much more subtle in their flavor that black ones, a lot fruitier, blends well with citrus.

I've only seen the Kolsch malt being recently carried by Midwest (along with a lot of Thomas Fawcett malts) so I thought I'd give it a try.

07/21/09 04:54 PM  
Re: Brewing a 3% Sour
I just brewed a beer inspired by Jamil's wit recipe and I think I would have used more citrus, mine has very little at all. I would probably bump up to 2-2.5 oz if you want a more pronounced citrus. I used 2.5 in a Mayer Lemon Blond and it is perfect as far as the citrus goes (I was highlighting the citrus though).
07/22/09 04:47 PM  
Re: Brewing a 3% Sour
JeffB - The Meyer lemon thing sounds really interesting, it's one of my favorite flavors. Next time, try to find some fresh Bay leaves and add that towards the end of the boil. It compliments Meyer lemon so well.

I'm still not stuck on what, if any spices I want to use for this beer. But I'll keep you posted. Opening the FFF Kriek tonight.

07/22/09 09:10 PM  
Re: Brewing a 3% Sour
DanF - I will have to try the Bay Leaf addition, we have prolific lemon tree in our yard and we always have too many lemons, so I will probably brew this beer again. Any suggestions on the amount of bay leaves, fresh or dried, etc.?

My buddy made szechuan peppercorn wit the other day as he thought that the peppercorns were coriander. It turned out very nice.

07/26/09 07:33 AM  
Re: Brewing a 3% Sour
I would definitely recommend fresh bay leaves and would start with 2-3 (depending on size) at 5min or less. If the flavor isn't strong enough, I imagine bay would do well in a vodka extraction for bottling/kegging.
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