Sour

San Miguel top-off

(Disclaimer: This post actually took place approx 3 months ago – Sept 2014)

 

The San Miguel top-off is not a newly formed, crazed sexual position, though it sounds like it could be fun. Rather, it is simply me, topping off the barrel with a bit more beer. This serves not only to add more complexity (hopefully) to the beer already in the barrel, but also replaces some of the beer lost to absorption from the wood, and evaporation. If exposed to copious amounts of oxygen, a bacteria known as Acetobacter can gain a strong foothold. Acetobacter turns alcohol into acetic acid in the presence of alcohol, and acetic acid is essentially vinegar. So, but reducing the headspace in the barrel by topping off with more beer, we are also limiting the effects of Acetobacter.

For this topping off, I have chosen to use a beer that I have been aging for approx a year now. It is a simple Farmhouse style ale that was soured with Lactobacillus bacteria, Lactobacillus brevis to be specific.

Here is the Recipe for that beer:

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------

Batch Size (fermenter): 4.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 4.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.048 SG
Estimated Color: 6.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 6.3 IBUs


Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
4 lbs 8.0 oz          Brewers Malt 6-Row (Briess) (1.8 SRM)    Grain         1        69.2 %        
1 lbs 8.0 oz          White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         2        23.1 %        
8.0 oz                Caramunich I (Weyermann) (51.0 SRM)      Grain         3        7.7 %         
0.50 oz               Crystal [4.10 %] - First Wort 20.0 min   Hop           4        6.3 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               Farmhouse dregs (SN Ovila Saison)        Yeast         5        -                    
1.0 pkg               Lactobacillus Delbrueckii (Wyeast Labs # Yeast         6        -             


Mash Schedule: Evan's Step Mash - Light Body 
Total Grain Weight: 6 lbs 8.0 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                                Step Temperat Step Time     
Protein           Add 6.50 qt of water at 140.1 F            131.0 F       30 min        
Beta- Sacch       Add 1.82 qt of water at 188.3 F            141.0 F       30 min        
Alpha - Sacch     Add 3.28 qt of water at 179.5 F            150.0 F       30 min        

Sparge: Batch sparge 







The beer was then aged for close to one year before I added it to the barrel. It had developed a nice, yet mellow sourness, a little surprising considering the amount of time it had had. Will be interesting to see how this changes the beer in the barrel. 
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Dunsmuir-Weisse

Greetings,P1020562

 

It took me a bit longer than I had hoped to get this project (beer) going, but I finally got it brewed, and will be anxiously awaiting the results. But, before I get too ahead of myself, lets take a step back.

As in most cases, this idea sprung up after a conversation with one of the many interesting and imaginative customers we have come by the homebrew shop. This particular individual makes his own Sauerkraut and sells it at local farmer’s markets. Well, as it turns out, the same lactic acid producing bacteria (Lactobacillus) responsible for souring sauerkraut, is also used in the production of certain sour beers, particularly those of German tradition, like Gose and Berliner Weisse. Naturally, I encouraged him to bring any left over juice he might end up with after packaging his Sauerkraut, and he was nice enough to do so. I was given two jars of leftovers to play with. One jar of juice from some Red Cabbage/Ginger Sauerkraut and another jar with Caraway.

Seeing as I am a bit of purist when it comes to brewing, especially when it comes to these styles with rich historical backgrounds, I wanted to keep my Berline-Style Weisse (it’s not technically a Berliner Weisse unless its brewed in Berlin) as close to what is considered traditional as possible. The most memorable Berliner Weisse I have tasted was the 1809 Berliner Weisse, designed by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens Institute, so naturally I took my inspiration from this beer. 50% Pils malt, 50% Wheat malt. Mash hopped with aged hops, with a single decoction. The biggest difference in my version of the beer, is that I actually boiled the wort for 1-2 mins, while tradition calls for “no-boil.”

I guess that’s not the biggest difference … I am adding leftover juice from sauerkraut for fuck’s sake

 

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------

Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.032 SG
Estimated Color: 2.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 0.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 1 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
3 lbs 8.0 oz          Pilsen Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.0 SRM)     Grain         1        50.0 %        
3 lbs 8.0 oz          White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         2        50.0 %        
1.00 oz               Revolution [3.60 %] - Mash 10.0 min      Hop           3        0.9 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               Lactobacillus Bacteria                   Yeast         4        -             


Mash Schedule: Decoction Mash, Single
Total Grain Weight: 7 lbs
----------------------------
Name              Description                                Step Temperat Step Time     
Protein Rest      Add 16.00 qt of water at 102.2 F           100.0 F       20 min        
Saccharification  Decoct 8.12 qt of mash and boil it         150.0 F       45 min        

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.45gal, 3.41gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
------



Sept 20, 2014:

Late night brew. Things went pretty smooth in that I hit my temps and volumes. Sparge 
runoff got a little sticky, and I didn't use any Rice hulls for filtering, as I usually photo (9)
don't use rice hulls. 
Six gallons total - OG-1.031 
Collected into two 3 gallon fermenters. Did not aerate as Lactobacillus is a facultative 
anaerob, and I am certain there is some Acetobacter in the mix, so I want to limit its 
progression as much as possible.
Sept 21, 2014: 
Less than 24 hours after adding Sauerkraut dregs to each carboy, visable fermentation 
taking place. The Red Cabbage/Ginger portion took off a little quicker, but the Caraway 
was not far behind.