Chitty Bang Bang - Oud Bruin

>> Sunday, October 19, 2014

I needed to use up my Wyeast PC Oud Bruin blend so today I brewed up an Oud Bruin-ish beer. I like my Oud Bruins a bit more tart than the classic style guidelines. This style should be tart but not as much as a Flanders Red and they should have a fairly substantial malty backbone. This particular blend is supposed to allow the malt character to shine in the finished beer so I'm anxious to taste the results. As usual, I'm using aged hops in this beer. The recipe as I brewed it:

3 lbs 8.0 oz Crisp Maris Otter
3 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsner Malt
2 lbs 8.0 oz Munich Dark
1 lbs 8.0 oz Chit Malt
10.0 oz Aromatic Malt
8.0 oz Pale Wheat
8.0 oz Special B
1.0 oz Midnight Wheat
1.0 oz Debittered Aged Hops (60.0 min)
PC Oud Bruin Blend (Wyeast #3209)
Yeast Nutrient

Mash at 156F for 50 min, 90 minute boil, ferment at 80F.

Brewing Notes
No issues. Hit target O.G. of 1.074 spot on. I whirlpooled down to 80F then transferred to a Better Bottle and pitched the blend. No aeration on this one.

Update 1/7/2015
I pulled a sample of this today. There's something a little off in this one. I'm going to rack it to secondary this weekend to get it off the yeast cake and give it some time to age a bit.

Update 1/20/2015
I racked this onto the yeast cake of the 2013 Oud Bruin Experiment over the past weekend. When I tasted it back on the 7th, it seemed like there was some autolysis issues in the beer. I'm hoping the brett in the yeast cake will clean things up a bit. I'll give this beer a few months before I try it again. 

Update 1/26/2014
There's definitely some activity in this beer. A bit of a krausen has formed and I'm getting a "glug" in the airlock every few minutes.

Update 4/7/2015
Pulled a sample tonight. I'm glad to say the hints of burnt rubber band (autolysis notes) are totally gone and it has a nice sourness level. The sourness level is towards the high end for the style...probably more along the lines of a Flanders Red than an Oud Bruin. ThIs is likely due to the additional cultures that were added via the 2013 Oud Bruin yeast cake causing it to dry out a bit more than the 3209 would have done on its own. I'm just glad this beer has been salvaged because it was a borderline dumper when I racked it.

Update 6/2/2015
I pulled a sample last night and I'm really liking this beer. The sourness is noticeable, but it's not too crazy. It has a lot of dark fruit character and really seems ready to drink right now. I may go ahead and package this beer in a couple weeks.

Update 6/28/2015
I went ahead and bottled this one yesterday.

Update 8/9/2015
The Beehive Brew-Off wrapped up today. This beer took bronze. I decided to enter it in 28B Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer as an American Sour Brown. Based on my experience, I knew judges wouldn't accept this as an Oud Bruin (too sour). I'm glad there's finally an American Sour category that is more tolerant of some of the more sour beers.


Sour Rye

>> Sunday, October 12, 2014

I recently brewed a Russian River Consecration clone as part of a club barrel project. Our club voted on a few different styles and the Consecration clone won out. We're only a couple weeks away from racking this beer into the barrel on a whole bunch of zante currants...which also means we're two weeks away from kegging our Tart of Darkness clone! But I digress.

One of the other styles that was in the running was a sour rye beer. I thought this sounded really interesting and I had some Wyeast sour blends on hand, so I decided to try my hand at a sour rye beer. I guess you could say Sour in the Rye from The Bruery is the inspiration for this beer, but this really isn't intended to be a clone attempt.

Like wheat, rye malt is huskless and has a reputation causing stuck mashes when used in large proportions, so I'd strongly advise, don't skip the rice hulls. I'm also using the chit malt again (as in Super Juice Solution). Here's the recipe as I made it today:

4.0 # Muntons Pearl Malt
4.0 # Weyermann Rye Malt
1.25 # Best Malz Chit Malt
0.5 # Weyermann Vienna
6.0 oz Weyermann Dark Munich
3.0 oz Briess Black Patent
1.0 # Rice Hulls
28g Aged hops (60 min)
Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
0.5 Whirlfloc
Wyeast 3203 De Bom Sour Blend

Mash at 150F for 45 minutes. 90 minute boil. Ferment at 80F then ramp up to 85F over a few days.

Do not aerate before pitching sour blend. Wyeast does recommend measured aeration after reaching about 80% of expected attenuation.

Brewing Notes:
No issues to speak of. I hit the target gravity of 1.057 spot on. Currently sitting at a cozy 80F in the fermenter.

Update 1/7/2015
Pulled a sample today. Aroma was very acidic, but the flavor was mildly acidic. I'm going to rack this to secondary this weekend to get it off the yeast cake and age it a bit longer.

Update 1/21/2015
Since the sourness level is so low, I decided to rack this onto a portion of the yeast cake from Flanders Red #3. I'm hoping the additional bugs will increase the sourness level. 

Update 4/7/2015
Pulled a sample tonight and the flavor is finally catching up to the aroma. I think I might let this go another month but it's pretty drinkable as is.

Update 6/2/2015
This beer is definitely tart now. The sourness level is getting close to some,of my Flanders Reds. I think I'll be packaging this beer in a couple weeks. I really like the way it has turned out. I'm not picking out a ton of rye character (e.g. spicy), but it's a really nice beer. I have a bottle of 2015 Sour in the Rye that I'm going,to share with friends at GABF this year, so I'll bring a bottle of this along and do a side by side comparison.

Update 7/22/2015
Recently got a pH meter, so I decided to check the pH of this beer. After knocking out a bit of CO2, it's reading 2.92...that's a pretty sour beer! Embrace the Funk lists the pH of a bunch of commercial sour beers ( Reviewing the list, none have a pH quite this low; 3.06 for New Belgium Bottle Works 10th Anniversary is the lowest as of 7/22/2015. I'm going to start taking readings on all of my sours, so we'll see if I need to start targeting something closer to the low 3's so that people don't feel like the enamel is melting off their teeth.

Update 8/9/2015
The Beehive Brew-Off wrapped up today. This beer took silver for 34A Clone Beer. I already had an entry in 28B Mixed Fermentation, otherwise it would have gone there. I was afraid judges would shy away from the high acidity; they did comment on it but they said they enjoyed it.