Sunday, March 28, 2010

stonington sour

Just returned from a (yet another) trip to the Netherlands. When it is at all possible, and I can convince my co-workers, I do my best to get in to Amsterdam to get some world class beers at Cafe Gollem, on Ramsteeg.

On my first few trips, I was thrilled to find the Westvleteren offerings, calmly residing on their thoroughly Belgian bottle list. However, over the last few years, I feel the growing pull of the wild fermented beers, and find my eyes returning back to the most visible chalkboard in the place, the one over the door, where all of the spontaneously fermented offerings are listed. My coworkers all wait patiently, and say 'So, what do you think...what are we drinking tonight?'

I put some Orval, Rodenbach Grand Cru in front of them.
gueuze, faro...
some funky imperial stout (de struisse cuvee delphine)

I let them go through the process, uninitiated.

they wince. they make faces. they raise their eyebrows. they sniff. cautiously... then, put the glass back to the table without trying it, doubtful about the experience in front of them. They'ver heard me say some seemingly un-beery things like 'horse blanket' 'sorta like bleu cheese'

They muster courage, and give it a go. 'wow'. and they keep sipping, keep drinking, until its time to ask...'what are we drinking next?' save the receipt boys, we're going to need it.

I wake up before the sun on the morning after my return, grab my brew kettle, and start heating up the strike water for my first (prospective) sour/wild ale. Taking cues from the flavor profiles of Temptation, Mo Betta Bretta, and my own notions of what I'd like to see in an American Wild, this beer was mashed in high (157F) to ensure lots of dextrins that the sacch will pass over, for the rest of the bugs to go after later. Replaced a pound of the pilsner with carapils for more dextrin.
A little Ca+Cl- to up the Calcium in the mash to ~100ppm.
Restrained hopping with 1oz of EKG ~15IBUs.

90 minute boil.

Pitched WLP 655 (Sour Mix I) and WLP 645 (Brett c.) directly (no starters) in to primary.

Now, I'm drinking an Oro de Calabaza (batch292) and making a 500ml 1.040 starter to add the dregs to kick some Dexter, MI bugs to the mix after a couple days. 1oz of medium toast French oak and 500ml of Chardonnay from Stonington, CT will complete the picture in the extended secondary (airlocked glass is intended).
Will keep the fermentation in the mid 60s to encourage a slower initial ferment, and then let the heat of the summer take the lactic acid levels up to where I hope they'll go.
stonington sour american wild ale

Type: All Grain

Date: 3/28/2010

Batch Size: 6.00 gal

Brewer: JC
Boil Size: 7.23 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: My Equipment
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Taste Notes:


Amount Item Type % or IBU
7 lbs 12.0 oz Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 49.21 %
6 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 38.10 %
1 lbs Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 6.35 %
1 lbs Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 6.35 %
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (90 min) Hops 14.6 IBU
1.00 oz French Oak Cubes, Medium Toast Misc
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient Misc
8.00 gm Calcium Chloride Misc
500.00 ml Chardonnay (Saltwater Farms Vineyard, 2006)Misc
1 Pkgs Brettanomyces claussenii (White Labs #WLP645) Yeast-Ale
1 Pkgs Sour Mix 1 (White Labs #WLP655) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.067 SG

Measured Original Gravity: SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.019 SG Measured Final Gravity: SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.26 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: %
Bitterness: 14.6 IBU Calories: 296 cal/pint
Est Color: 4.6 SRM Color:

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body Total Grain Weight: 15.75 lb
Sparge Water: 2.23 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Single Infusion, Full Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
45 min Mash In Add 19.69 qt of water at 169.4 F 157.0 F
10 min Mash Out Add 7.88 qt of water at 199.5 F 168.0 F

4/9/10- 1oz medium toast French oak cubes put on 300ml Chardonnay, capped with saran wrap under cap to reduce oxidation.

4/24/10- 1oz medium toast French oak drained of wine + ~500ml of cultured up dregs of oro de calabaza, consecration and fantome printemps , added to stonington sour.

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