Flanders Red #4

>> Sunday, February 15, 2015

Almost a boilover
Today I'm getting started on Flanders Red #4. I recently bottled #3 and realized I didn't have another Red in the pipeline. I also just recently filled my Solera sanke, so that means I have three empty Better Bottles waiting for sours.

Matt " Dr. Lambic" Miller recently made an appearance on Basic Brewing Radio as well as The BN's Sour Hour. The recipe I'm brewing today is a 10 gallon batch based on his Sour Red Ale recipe/process. Matt's blog is very well written so for anyone interested in brewing sours, I'd recommend checking it out in addition to the two podcasts.

I'll be taking five gallons and following his process more or less, and the other five will be fermented the way I've traditionally done my Flanders Reds with Roeselare cakes from Lambic #3 and Flanders Red #3. This will hopefully give me one that will be ready in the next couple months, plus another about a year from now. Here's the recipe as I made it. For more details on Matt's process, please refer to sourbeerblog.com

10.0 # Dingemans Pilsner
6.0 # Rahr White Wheat Malt
3.0 # Weyermann Carawheat
2.0 # Weyermann Rye Malt
0.5 # Crisp Light Crystal
0.5 # Briess Special Roast
56g Aged hops (mash hops)
1.0 Whirlfloc
Wyeast yeast nutrient
Roeselare yeast cakes for first 5 gallons
WLP677 Lactobacillus delbrueckii initial pitch in 2nd 5 gallons
WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast pitched into 2nd 5 gallons after one week
WLP653 Brettanomyces lambicus pitched into 2nd 5 gallons after primary

Mash at 130F for 15 min, mash at 158F for 45 min, 90 minute boil.

I'm going to do my fermentation a little bit different than Matt. I'm about to head out of town so I'm going to let my lacto go for a week at room temperature rather than two to four days at 110F. This approach has worked very well with my Berliners so I'm hoping that will be the case with this beer as well.

Update 2/23/2015
Got back into town last night and checked on these beers. The Roeselare half had started blowing off before I left town, so I already had a blowoff hose set up. This one definitely is experiencing a vigorous fermentation. The other half that only has lactobacillus had about a 3/8" krausen when I left. Last night it showed signs of pushing up into the airlock but not blowing completely through. I pulled a sample and it seemed like it had some tartness, but it's hard to tell because there's still a lot of residual sweetness. I'm going to move this into my fermentation fridge and dial the heat up a bit for a couple days.

Update 3/9/2015
I pitched the Brett L tonight. I forgot to post when I pitched the WLP007, but it was about at the 2 week mark. I still wasn't able to detect much tartness at that point but the gravity had dropped a bit and I was afraid to let it go any longer. I've had problems getting Lacto D to sour, so I'm hoping this one works out.

Update 3/26/2015
I pulled a sample of the Lacto D version last night and I'm happy to say it has quite a bit of sourness. There's also something a little odd going on. The best way I can describe it is there's a slightly smokey component, both flavor and aroma. I'm hoping this subsides over time.