Sunday, March 1, 2009

First Sour Beer

Yesterday I made my first sour beer. 10G all grain, simple recipe:

15lbs Pale Malt
10lbs Flaked Wheat
6 Oz of Fuggle Hops (2007 vintage, aged 4 winter months in attic + overnight in 120° oven)

I mashed around 156° (target 158°) and sparged as hot as I could (about 180°). Boiled 2.5 hrs with the hops in at the beginning, and added 2G of water since my efficiency was a little better than I thought. I thew in a few pinches of Corn Starch and Flour to feed the little monsters. I cooled to around 70° and then let it sit outside, open to the air, overnight. It was cold last night, around 28-30°, and it snowed a little bit. I covered the top to keep out the snow but let air pass in and out freely:
That's snow on top of the green cover. Air goes through the handles very easily. In the morning, most of the junk had settled to the bottom.

I siphoned the wort into a 5 gallon glass carboy and a plastic primary fermenter, with an extra gallon in a 1G carboy. I tried to siphon from the upper portion as there should be more wild microflora there.
When it got to about 50° or so, I pitched a mix of yeasts and "bugs" on oak cubes that I had cultivated from different bottles of sour beers, like Cantillon, Russian River, Bullfrog, etc:

I also pitched a packet of Wyeast Lambic Blend, but only in the large containers - the 1g carboy gets only my cultivated blend and whatever was flying around last night.

So, as the glass carboys start to get funky I'll update with pictures. Here are the "before" photos, not much to see yet. The plastic fermenter will just stay closed as long as possible since opening it will potentially introduce even more oxygen and disturb anything that might be happening in there.

1 Gallon:

5 Gallon:

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