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Like the BBB, the homeBBBrew board is not a club, just a place to talk about making beer. Is there a swap you would like to see happen? If we can find a few others who have something similar then lets do it!

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03/26/10 08:03 AM  
First Sour to brew / Intro
Hello all, first post. I am new to brewing sour beers, all grain brewer with 10 years exp. I am from Fort Smith, Arkansas.

I have fond a new love here and would like to get my feet wet. Can someone help me out with a first easy brew to roll with, a recipe would be the best. I was thinking of the Flanders red in Brewing Classic styles, but want to make sure it was a good one.

Something more sour than barnyard. Thanks in advance.

03/26/10 01:33 PM  
Re: First Sour to brew / Intro
If you want to get your feet wet, but don't want to wait for a traditional Flanders red or lambic, I'd suggest doing an all-brett beer first. They're generally ready to drink in 2 months or so. Brett C, available now from Wyeast and year round (I think) from White Labs, will give you nice fruity/sourness without much barnyard (at least if consumed within a few months). I've enjoyed and had competition success with very simple recipes... base malt, wheat, crystal malt, and bittering hops.
03/26/10 02:02 PM  
Re: First Sour to brew / Intro
I think sl8w gave good advice, sour beer recipes are all over the place out there. What we are better at is the long term handling. But brett can be a great place to start. I also agree Brett C is the choice there, though I've used anomlous and really like that too.
03/26/10 02:13 PM  
Re: First Sour to brew / Intro
Thank you very much, I think I will go that way first. I am a mead maker also, so waiting is not that bad of a issue. In fact I just got a 3rd place in the Bluebonnet Brew off with my mead last week. I might post my recipe here and let you folk look it over if that is OK?

I recently did a Golden Strong, had some leftover finished wort. I added 2cups corn sugar and added Wyeast 5526 Brettanomyces Lambicus to that. it was 2gal worth. No idea how it will turn out. The Brett was free.

Once again, thanks for the in put.

03/26/10 06:33 PM  
db, I would be interested in seeing your mead recipe. I suspect that a fair number of folks here indulge in that too, though it tends not to be a matter of discussion so often . . .
Al B
03/26/10 09:02 PM  
Re: First Sour to brew / Intro
<< mead >>

I keep thinking of doing that papazian recipe with cactus pears & mesquite honey......... anyone try that??

I really love those damn prickly pears (despite the big seeds)....

03/27/10 09:04 AM  
Re: First Sour to brew / Intro
+1 Al!

That recipe does look awesome. Finding and buying that many prickly pears though could be another thing though...Does sound delicious if I was too ever brew up a mead.

03/27/10 05:32 PM  
Re: First Sour to brew / Intro
It is a quick mead, I will find my notes and post back. Easy and ready to drink in a few months. Mine is a year old and kegged up, but still good young.
03/28/10 01:20 AM  
Re: First Sour to brew / Intro
I'd also love to see it, especially if it's decent in a few months. Most of mine sit a year in the carboy before I touch them, aside from racking to help clear.
03/29/10 07:47 AM  
Re: First Sour to brew / Intro
Here it is, you can scale it up to 5 gal easy. I cheated and racked and crash cooled this last batch. I also scaled back all spices, just my taste.

Joe's Ancient orange

1 gallon batch

3 1/2 lbs Clover or your choice honey or blend (will finish sweet)

1 Large orange (later cut in eights or smaller rind and all)

1 small handful of raisins (25 if you count but more or less ok)

1 stick of cinnamon

1 whole clove ( or 2 if you like - these are potent critters)

optional (a pinch of nutmeg and allspice )( very small )

1 teaspoon of Fleishmann’s bread yeast ( now don't get holy on me--- after all this is an ancient mead and that's all we had back then)

Balance water to one gallon


Use a clean 1 gallon carboy

Dissolve honey in some warm water and put in carboy

Wash orange well to remove any pesticides and slice in eights --add orange (you can push em through opening big boy -- rinds included -- its ok for this mead -- take my word for it -- ignore the experts)

Put in raisins, clove, cinnamon stick, any optional ingredients and fill to 3 inches from the top with cold water. ( need room for some foam -- you can top off with more water after the first few day frenzy)

Shake the heck out of the jug with top on, of course. This is your sophisticated aeration process.

When at room temperature in your kitchen, put in 1 teaspoon of bread yeast. ( No you don't have to rehydrate it first-- the ancients didn't even have that word in their vocabulary-- just put it in and give it a gentle swirl or not)(The yeast can fight for their own territory)

Install water airlock. Put in dark place. It will start working immediately or in an hour. (Don't use grandma's bread yeast she bought years before she passed away in the 90's)( Wait 3 hours before you panic or call me) After major foaming stops in a few days add some water and then keep your hands off of it. (Don't shake it! Don't mess with them yeastees! Let them alone except its okay to open your cabinet to smell every once in a while.

Racking --- Don't you dare

additional feeding --- NO NO

More stirring or shaking -- Your not listening, don't touch

After 2 months and maybe a few days it will slow down to a stop and clear all by itself. (How about that) (You are not so important after all) Then you can put a hose in with a small cloth filter on the end into the clear part and siphon off the golden nectar. If you wait long enough even the oranges will sink to the bottom but I never waited that long. If it is clear it is ready. You don't need a cold basement. It does better in a kitchen in the dark. (Like in a cabinet) likes a little heat (70-80). If it didn't work out... you screwed up and didn't read my instructions (or used grandma's bread yeast she bought years before she passed away) . If it didn't work out then take up another hobby. Mead is not for you. It is too complicated.

If you were successful, which I am 99% certain you will be, then enjoy your mead. When you get ready to make different mead you will probably have to unlearn some of these practices I have taught you, but hey--- This recipe and procedure works with these ingredients so don't knock it. It was your first mead. It was my tenth. Sometimes, even the experts can forget all they know and make good ancient mead.

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