Sunday, January 3, 2010
In the pictures above the Flemish Red is the Carboy on the far left and the other picture has Al B's Blend and the hop/nutrient addition.
Back in December of 2007 I brewed my first sour beer a Flemish Red (Flemish Sour Red) using steeping grains and liquid extract. I used White Labs WLP 500 as a neutral primary yeast and then pitched WL Sour Mix and Brett L. in secondary. I was bummed that the beer never really got that sour. It had a great aroma and formed a nice thick pellicle. This summer I figured after about 20 months I needed to do something with it so I added 1.5lbs or dried currents that were caramelized and deglazed with some Cabernet wine, the beer went through another fermentation and now the beer is much more acetic and has a better flavor, if anything it may be a little too thin and acetic. I plan on blending the Flemish Red with an Old Ale I brewed about the same time to add a bigger malt backbone.
Last week when I brewed my RIS and my small beer I went for The Flemish Red as well. My buddy Ryan was helping and we had his burner and his brand new mash tun. Since brewing that first Red in Dec. 2007 I have read and researched much more including Wild Brews. I feel I have a better understanding of the style and process including fermentation schedules. I have been frequenting the Burgundian Babble Belt for about 2 years now and have also learned a ton from the home brewers there. I was lucky enough to get a vial of Al B's Rodenbug Blend #3 (you can see the vial in the pictures along with the hop and nutrient additions). I am just adding the blend that has tons of bugs and wild yeasts in it. I am not adding a primary yeast, I am just adding the blend as I am hoping the acidity and funk will increase since there should be much more for the bugs and wild yeasts to eat. I added some carapils (dextrine malt) to give extra complex sugars down the road. The only notes, the new mash tun had issues and so we lost some of the volume that I wanted and I didn't get to do a step mash. Also, time did not permit me to make a starter from the blend, so I just aerated and pitched then gave a little heat using a therm belt. It took about 48 hours for any signs of fermentation but it is rocking now. I have heard great things from Al B's blend so I am really looking forward to the finished product. I hope to do this beer every December so I can blend future batches.
Ingredient Amount % MCU When
US Vienna Malt 9.00 lb 77.6 % 6.0 In Mash/Steeped
US Carapils Malt 1.00 lb 8.6 % 0.2 In Mash/Steeped
Belgian Special B 0.75 lb 6.5 % 20.9 In Mash/Steeped
US Caramel 40L Malt 0.75 lb 6.5 % 5.7 In Mash/Steeped
US Aromatic Malt 0.10 lb 0.9 % 0.4 In Mash/Steeped
Variety Alpha Amount IBU Form When
US Cluster 6.0 % 0.37 oz 7.9 Loose Pellet Hops 60 Min From End
Al's Rodenbug Blend #3