Sour Brown Solera

>> Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day brew session! Today I'm brewing another beer for a Solera. This one is inspired by Crooked Stave Nightmare on Brett. This is for a 10 gallon batch and will go into barrel #02

12.0 # German Munich
6.0 # German Pilsner
2.0 # Chit Malt
1.0 # Flaked Oats
1.0. # Special B
1.0 # Carafa II
0.5 # Pale Chocolate Malt
56g Aged Hops (60 min)
INISBC-913 Brett Barrel III
Wyeast Nutrient
2.0 # D-180 Candi Syrup (rack onto syrup in secondary when pitching sour bugs
Bootleg Biology Spring Solera 2020 (secondary)

Mash at 158F for 60 min. Ferment at room temp.

Brewing Notes
I haven't brewed for awhile, so it was a good brew day. No issues. OG came in at ~17 brix (1.068). I'm fermenting this at room temp in a snake keg.

Batch #1 Readings

Update 6/8/2020
Batch #1 has been moving right along. I was seeing positive pressure in the airlock within a couple hours of pitching the year, and fermentation was extremely active the next morning. I'm planning on doing another 10 gallons tonight so I'll have enough to fill the barrel. Batch #1 will get transferred to kegs until the barrel is ready to fill. Batch #2 will then be transferred right onto the yeast cake.

Update 6/9/2020
I brewed another 10 gallons on 6/8. As indicated, I transferred the 10 gallons from batch #1 to kegs then racked batch #2 onto the yeast cake. I finished around 10pm and by morning the fermentation was extremely active. I swapped out the airlock for a blowoff, and my blowoff container literally looked like it was boiling. I forgot to get my first runnings gravity, but pre and post boil readings were just a hair higher than batch #1.

Update 7/19/2020
Barrel was filled today. I'd been holding Batch #1 in two cornies while batch #2 fermented. The barrel was filled with one of the cornies, all of batch #2, plus a little from the second batch #1 corny in order to fill it. I'm anticipating some blowoff and plan to top off in the near future.

Update 7/20/2020
I'm seeing a decent amount of activity this morning; no blowoff yet, but I'm seeing about 12 bubbles per 10 seconds out of my blowoff assembly.

Update 7/21/2020
Bubble frequency has increased to about 19 per 10 seconds today. It also looks like I've had a little bit if blowoff as the Iodophor solution is much darker today, suggesting some of the beer has made its way through the blowoff assembly. Aroma is quite fruity with a touch of whiskey; overall quite pleasant.

Update 7/22/2020
There was definitely some blowoff in the last 24 hours. Thankfully it was pretty minimal, so not a ton of loss, but I'd guesstimate 4-6 ounces of beer has made its way into my blowoff reservoir. So nothing major, but there's definitely active fermentation taking place. 

Update 7/27/2020
Fermentation seems to have slowed back down. I'll probably give it a couple more days then swap out the blowoff for a silicone bung.

Update 4/28/2021
Pulled a sample today. Pleasant typical brown character with a hint of roast and some dark chocolate and cocoa notes. I didn't take a pH reading but it's pleasantly sour. If I had to guess, I'd say it's in the neighborhood of 3.35. Seems like there is a little bit of spirit character coming through, which kind of surprises me considering all the steaming sessions this barrel went through to prep it. Overall I'm pretty happy with the direction this is going, but I think we're still a few months out on the first pull.