2015-08-13 21.32.35My first attempt at a kettled-soured Berliner Weisse went awry. I tried to use the yogurt souring method that is posted on the Milk the Funk wiki. Living in the south where we are accustomed to 90+ degree days for two months I pick the one weekend to kettle sour a beer where the lows for the night are in the 60s, go figure right. I whipped up some starter wort and chilled it and then threw my flask into a water bath and turned on my sous vide heater. After about 24 hours I tasted the wort I inoculated, it was a clean yogurt like sour. I then proceeded to brew the Berliner. Brewed, pitched the soured starter, bubbled 30 seconds of CO2 into the wort, covered with plastic wrap, then the lid and forgot about it. The next day, I went outside to check on it, my wort was sitting at 70 degrees. Yes, it felt glorious outside, and a cold front coming through in August. *head slap* I let it sit one more day and it still tasted like sweet wort with just a twinge of sour in the background. *head slap* Well the expierement was watering my grass. Ahh, well. Yes it took me all this to tell you why I was brewing this “Golden Sour”. My all knowing self really believed that I had enough grains to brew another Berliner and use the Omega Yeast Labs Lactobacillus blend. I thought wrong. *head slap* Kitchen sink time, I already knew I wanted to brew this evening so here we go.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 0.0 IBUs 4.9 SRM 1.047 1.008 5.2 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Style 1.035 - 1.055 1.008 - 1.015 10 - 30 2 - 10 2.2 - 2.8 2 - 5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 7.75 lbs 75.61
Barley, Flaked 1 lbs 9.76
Rye Malt 12 oz 7.32
Aromatic Malt 8 oz 4.88
Acidulated (Weyermann) 4 oz 2.44

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Meridian 2 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 5.5

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
American West Coast Ale (BRY-97) Lallemand/Danstar 77% 59°F - 71.6°F
Lactobacillus Blend (OYL-605) Omega 72% 68°F - 95°F
Brevis/WLP011 European Ale Home 72% 64°F - 69°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 148°F 75 min

Notes

Brewed after work on a Friday evening.

Process:
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Chilled to approx 95 degrees. Called it good enough, pitched Lacto blend. Let it sit in my carport for approx 48 hours. Put the carboy in my fermentation chamber at 66 degrees. Let it cool down to ambient temp in the chamber then pitched the slurry.

2015-09-04 23.46.56After 3 or 4 days I noticed that I did not see any sign of fermentation. Hmmmm. This is not good. I checked my gravity and I was hovering around 1.038. Something needs to happen, because I’m ready to drink this beer.

I dug around in my fridge and found lots of dry yeast. I have way too much yeast on hand, but I decided to give it a go and pitch a pack of the Lallemand BRY-97. The next day I walk outside to check on the fermentation and I see signs! Whew! I let go for about 4 days, I check my gravity once again I’m sitting at 1.010. I go ahead and dry hop it and now it is almost ready to package.

2015-09-13 09.06.22Getting a dry-hopped sour ale has really challenged me. I guess this one of many reasons I brew. The sample I pulled tasted pretty good and I am really looking forward to this beer. These experiments have really kept me going lately.

If you ask people about the style of beer that I’m most known for the answer will be an imperial stout. I have brewed one at least once a year for the past four years. Well this year has been no different. I brewed one in January and now this is my second iteration of Let’s Stout It Out this year. But I am putting a twist to this batch. I have some oak chips soaking in bourbon right now. I normally let my RIS go about 6 weeks in the fermenter. I’ll strain the bourbon off the oak chips and throw them right in, then will sample it every so often to make sure I don’t get too much bourbon character. I’m looking forward to enjoying this beer come Thanksgiving this year.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
6 gal 60 min 58.4 IBUs 51.6 SRM 1.092 1.027 8.6 %
Actuals 1.092 1.01 10.9 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Imperial Stout 13 F 1.075 - 1.115 1.018 - 1.03 50 - 90 30 - 40 1.8 - 2.6 8 - 12 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt, Maris Otter 19 lbs 80.85
Roasted Barley 1.5 lbs 6.38
Special B Malt 1 lbs 4.26
Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L 8 oz 2.13
Caramunich Malt 8 oz 2.13
Chocolate Malt 8 oz 2.13
Pale Chocolate 8 oz 2.13

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Warrior 1.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 15.6

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Edinburgh Ale (WLP028) White Labs 73% 65°F - 70°F
Scottish Ale (1728) Wyeast Labs 71% 55°F - 75°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 155°F 60 min

Notes

Longview Water Profile - Straight from the faucet through a carbon filter

Batched sparged at 170 degrees.

Brew day at my house with Ron. He brought his equipment and brewed a Lemon Lime Wit that day. This was my second brew for the Labor Day weekend.

2015-09-10 06.20.16I missed my numbers pretty badly with this beer. My SG should have been in the 1.085 range and I believe I was hovering around 1.075. My volumes were more like 7.75 gallons than 7.25. I boiled it hard for an extra 30 minutes or so to get my SG. That is when I put the hops in. I may have been a bit under my 5.5 gallons into the fermenter, but that is just fine.

Yes, I used two different yeast companies. I knew I wanted to brew this beer and I went to a LHBS and he did not have another vial of WLP028 so I bought the Wyeast smack pack off of him. 2000 mL starter for 3 days, cold crashed and then another 2000 mL wort on top of it. I had a nice healthy pitch for this beer. As you can see from the looks of my messy fermentation chamber. It blew the little white cap off of the carboy cap and I have beer in the bottom of the fermentation chamber. I just cleaned up the chamber from an exploding hefe. Yes, blow off tubes need to be use, but this is less than 5.5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy, surely I had enough head space. No sir! I have brewed this beer 6 or 7 times and I have never had a blow up like this. First time for everything I suppose.
2015-09-22 07.37.419/27/2015 – Soaked 4 ounces of medium toast oak chips in bourbon for 3 weeks. Added everything that was in the mason jar to the fermenter.

I have always been intrigued by adding cucumbers to a beer. Either a Kolsch or Saison would work very well. After listening to the Basic Brewing podcast (link to podcast) with Prairie Artisan Ales inspired the grain bill. Also I actually got to use the grains of paradise I bought a few years ago, even though it was just a few grams. Everywhere I researched, just a couple grams in a 5 gallon batch gets enough flavor to come through. I thought the grains of paradise would be a nice touch to the cucumbers and give it a touch of spice that was missing from a pervious batch. I threw in the ounce of citra at the end of the boil to complement the melon aspect of the hop variety. I believe the cucumbers and citra hops will pair well together.

I purchased the yeast from a small yeast company, Boutique Yeast. I found out about him through the Milk the Funk Facebook Group. It is a saison/brett blend yeast. This blend threw a lot of fruit and a little bit of brett funk. I made a saison earlier this summer using this and have throughly enjoyed the yeast character in. Which is why wanted to brew it another batch, but this time spike it with cucumbers. I did not save my yeast cake (like a dummy) from the previous batch so this batch will give me one more shot at saving it this time.The carboy on the right is the brett saison. Brett cider on the left.

I could not find much information any brett saisons with cucumbers. I’m sure a homebrewer has done this before, but a simple google search came up with a few posts asking for information. I have found a couple different ways of handing the cucumber with other people’s experiments. Talking with the owner of Crooked Letter Brewing Company he did a tincture with cucumbers and white rum to spike a keg of their Crooked Heffy which he says turned out quite well and the rum complemented the Heffey. I’m leaning towards making my tincture with vodka. That way I have all of the control of how much flavor actually goes into the keg of beer. The other way is to secondary the beer on top of peeled and seeded cucumbers. But that would mean I would have to try the beer daily to make sure the cucumber flavor did not overwhelm the beer which seems to have been a problem with a lot of other brewer’s attempt at such a beer.

I brewed this beer for the Starkville Arts Council yearly fundraiser, Forks & Corks & Taps. Previously this has just been an exclusive wine pairing with the local restaurants. This year they decided to add a beer element to the event since there are so many breweries popping up in the state of Mississippi. They asked the Golden Triangle Brewers to have a table at the event to represent the homebrew element which I thought is a really good touch and I wanted to bring them something that a local brewery may nor may not bring to the table.

All in all, to do an “experimental” beer for a prestigious event like this in my small little town I guess took a bit of gumption on my part. I’m surprised I just didn’t pull out something that was comfortable. Not this guy.

Following is my recipe and some of the notes I took so far.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 90 min 24.1 IBUs 4.1 SRM 1.049 1.010 5.1 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Saison 16 C 1.048 - 1.065 1.002 - 1.012 20 - 35 5 - 14 2.3 - 2.9 5 - 7 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pilsner (2 Row) Bel 8 lbs 80
White Wheat Malt 1 lbs 10
CBCC Candi- Blonde 1 lbs 10

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Hallertau 2.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 2.7
Citra 1 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 13.9

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Grains of Paradise 2.00 g 0 min Boil Spice

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Brett Saison (BY-A) Boutique Yeast 72% 64°F - 69°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 148°F 75 min

Notes

Batched sparged at 170 degrees.

Yeast was prepared with a 2000 mL starter for a 5 days prior to brew day. The starter took a few days to take off, but once it did, it went off with a vengeance. I pitched the yeast about 12 hours after high krausen of the yeast starter.The picture in the post shows the beer at high krausen, or what I believe to high krausen. That is when I added the Blond Cascade Beer Candi Syrup. I didn’t do it during the boil because I tend to not stir the sugar good enough to get it off the bottom of the pot and it scorches.I did not use any whirlfloc with this beer also, why it is so murky looking. And my chiller decided to spring a leak. That means this bad boy got racked to the carboy as soon as possible and pitched my yeast the next morning.

August 6, 2015

Kegged the saison today. It was pretty tasty without the cucumbers. I started off with .5mL of cucumber vodka per ounce of beer to sample. The wife and I agreed that it was way too much cucumber. Next sample was .5mL of cucumber vodka to 2 ounces of beer. Was still a strong aroma and flavor. I liked it a lot. So that is what I went with. I spiked the keg with 175mL of the cucumber vodka and am carbing it up to serve at the event August 15th.