American Wild Brown 2018

>> Sunday, April 15, 2018

Today I'm brewing a variant of my American Wild Barrel-aged Brown base. Grain-wise, the biggest change is I went with half Pilsner and half German Pale malt for the base. Note: I'd intended to go 50/50 on Pilsner and Pale malt, but when I went to measure out my base malts, I realized I was out of Pilsner malt. So this version got 100% Pale for the base. All dark malts are being added during the sparge this time (previously, only the Carafa III Special was added during the sparge). I'm using a portion of US Goldings rather than all aged hops. Lastly, this 10 gallon batch is getting split between INISBC-913 Brett Barrel III and dregs I've grown up from some Casey Brewing and Blending bottles.

Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today:

10 gallon batch
9.5# Avangard Pilsner
19# Avangard German Pale
3.0# 4 oz Weyerman Pale Wheat Malt
1.0# Crisp Crystal 60
1.0# Briess Chocolate 350L (During sparge)
1.0#  Flaked Oats
1.0#  Special Aromatic
1.0#  Spelt Malt
4 oz Carafa III (During sparge)
17g Aged Hops (60 mins)
17g US Holdings (60 mins)
INISBC-913 Brett Barrel III and Casey dregs (split batch)
Yeast Nutrient

Mash at 157F for 60 mins, 90 min boil, ferment at room temp. Also, no aeration prior to pitching as I believe both of these cultures contain lactobacillus.

Water Profile:
Nothing fancy here. I filled my HLT with 2 gallons of distilled water and 8 gallons of carbon filtered tap water. Since this is a 10 gallon batch, the HLT was re ftfilled with the same radio after mash-in.

Brewing Notes
No real issues. It seemed like I was starting to get a stuck mash about 10 minutes in. I ended up adding a bunch of rice hulls and resetting the bed.

Update 4/17/2018
The Brett Barrel III half had about an inch off krausen yesterday morning and more last night. The Casey half had a tiny bit of foam here and there when I went to bed last night. It has a little more around the edges this morning, so it seems to be slowly getting going.

Update #2 4/17/2018
The Casey half was rolling after I got home and Brett Barrel III seems to be slowing down a bit now. I'm going to move both out of the basement and into a warmer area of the house for the remainder of primary.

Update 4/18/2018
The Casey half has really taken off and looks like it was close to needing a blowout last night despite the fact that it had quite a bit of head space.

Update 9/25/2018
I pulled a sample of each tonight. The Casey half is quite sour and more or less tastes ready to carb. I didn't take a pH reading, but it's pretty assertive. This one also showed some signs of sickness/ropiness back on April 26th when I pulled a very early sample.

The Brett Barrel III half is much less sour, but there's definitely some acidity there. There might be a touch of diacetyl there as well. This one probably needs to ride a couple more months. 

Update 12/1/2018
I transferred the Brett Barrel III half into my Solera today. I pulled about three gallons out of the Solera before transferring. The five from this batch weren't quite enough to fill it, so I topped off with a little bit of Flanders Red #4 w/Roeselare.

Update 2/10/2019
I kegged the Casey half yesterday. This beer is pretty intensely sour. I felt like I was picking up a little bit of diacetyl. It also seems noticeably more sour than it did in September. Pedio will produce diacetyl which brett will convert into other compounds, and I think this is likely the source of both the diacetyl and the increased sourness. I went ahead and pressurized the keg to seal, but not really enough to force carb. I'm going to let this condition for a while at room temperature, hopefully allowing the diacetyl to get converted.

Update 7/3/2019
I'm finally getting back around on the Casey portion. I pulled a sample the other day and I didn't pick up on any diacetyl. The beer is still pretty sour, but it actually seems to me like it has rounded a bit.