Sour Beers Update

>> Friday, November 22, 2013

I was going to try to keg my Smoked Robust Porter today but it still had quite a bit of krausen, probably because I fermented it fairly cool. I decided to go ahead and give it another week in the fermenter, so hopefully it and the Peppermint Chocolate Stout will be ready to keg next weekend.

In the meantime, I figured I'd post an update on three of the sours I have going. All of these sours have been aging in my basement utility room. Their ages currently range from about 8 to 14 months.

Oud Bruin
First up is the Oud Bruin at 14 months. This is the only beer out of the three that wasn't fermented with Roeselare. Instead I used White Labs WLP665 Flemish Ale Blend. From the description I surmised this blend is the White Labs equivalent of Wyeast's Roeselare. However, it did develop quite a bit different than other sours where I've used Roeselare. This beer still has a pellicle but I think it's about ready to go. It has a maltier backbone than most of the other sours I've made. I'd say it's more tart than some of the commercial Oud Bruins I've tried, but I haven't had many. It has a bit of pie cherry character combined with dark fruits. Aroma is malt and fruity acidity. Tartness level is good but less than my Flanders Reds and my Berliner Weisse. Current gravity reading on the refractometer is 10.6P. Adjusting for refraction error, that puts it at about 1.001. I forgot that I hadn't adjusted this recipe for my system efficiency, so the O.G. was higher than expected. This is kind of an imperial Oud Bruin. My pH test strips put the pH at about 3.8.

Flanders Red #3
Next up is Flanders Red #3, at just over 12 months. This version was a different recipe than the first two versions. Color-wise it's closer to orange than red. It has less malt in the nose and on the palate. The focus here is on tartness, pie cherries pie cherries and more pie cherries. Current gravity reading on the refractometer is 9.4P. Adjusting for refraction error, that puts it at about 1.013. My pH test strips put the pH in the 3.0-3.2 range. This beer still has a pellicle so I think I'll leave it a bit longer and see what happens.

Lambic
Last up is the 8 month old lambic, my first attempt at a Lambic style sour. This is the youngest of the three. There is quite a bit of sourness in the nose of this beer, but it also has a different barnyard funkiness lacking in the Flanders Red #3; odd because both used Roeselare. It's sharply sour but the tartness level seems less than the Flanders Red. The sharpness will likely mellow with age. The wheat also comes through in the aftertaste similar to my Berliner Weisse. The body is the lightest of the three. Current gravity reading on the refractometer is 7.8P. Adjusting for refraction error, that puts it at about 1.009. My pH test strips put the pH in the 3.4-3.6 range.

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