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.


Unknown 9:48 AM  

Any update on this? 11:09 PM  

Not yet...I haven't gotten around to pulling another sample but I will soon.