Two brews in one weekend! (Actually, three, since I’ve just kicked off another batch of Turbo Cider). This is my first attempt at a sour beer, using the approach described here and basically the recipe from here, though lowered in gravity to 1.030 and since I like the Siren Craft Calypso series of beers so much, I’m also going to dry-hop it with some Galaxy.
The method is to do a normal 1 hour mash at 65C, of equal parts pilsener malt and wheat malt. At the end of this, 10% acidulated malt is added to bring the pH down to ~4.3. The mash is then allowed to cool to 50C, at which point a handfull more pilsener malt is stirred in, clingfilm is used to cover the mash (as the souring process from the lactobacillus is an anaerobic one), and it’s wrapped in towels and left for up to 72 hours.
- Length: 19 litres
- OG: 1.032
- FG: 1.009
- ABV: 3%
BeerXml File: Sour Times
- Style: Berliner Weiss
- Length: 19 litres
- Yeast: Safale American (DCL/Fermentis US-05)
- OG: 1.030
- FG: 1.006
- ABV: 3.1 %
- Colour: 4.7 EBC
- Bitterness: 3.5 IBUs
|Wheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann)||4||1.003||41|
|Name||Alpha||Form||Amount (g)||Time (mins)|
|Galaxy (pellet)||15||Pellet||20||Dry Hop|
I didn’t read the recipe correctly, so I mashed with pilsener, wheat, AND acid malt, but I’d hope this won’t make much difference… Though it may well reduce my efficiency, and it’s a low enough OG as it is!
Water treatment for this one was using the Automatic profile with sulphate to chloride ratio 1:1. This gave 8ml CRS in the mash (7 litres), and 1.1g gypsum, 2.3g calcium chloride, 3g epsom salts, and 0.8g salt. All the salts were added to the mash liquor so I don’t forget about them when I sparge in a couple of days! The sparging liquor of 23 litres will have 27ml CRS.
I’m using a different coolbox for the mash, freshly retrieved from the loft and cleaned for the purpose – to avoid any possibility of contaminating my normal mash tun with lacto. Since it’s a normal coolbox, and since the grain bill is so small, I’ve mashed in a bag. For the cooling process, the coolbox I’ve taken the approach of sticking it in one of my fermenting fridges, with the temperature probe in the mash, and with the controller set to 50C.
It’s still cooling, but the plan is to basically do the same thing for its 72 hour souring: I’ll clingfilm it, fill the empty space with bubblewrap, cover it in towels, leave the temp probe in the mash, and leave it in the fermenting fridge still set at 50C.
Regardless of what the recipe says, I’m planning on fermenting it with a pack of S-04.
2015-07-20: 1.25 litres this morning, another 1.5 litres this evening. Temp reached a low of 42C over last night, and now I’ve raised it to 48C. Smells interesting, not rancid (thank god!) but maybe a bit buttery, which may not be ideal. If it all goes wrong, at least it’s very little grain wasted…
2015-07-21: This morning it was 48.5C, this evening only 46.7C, so maybe the FC has stabilised. I’ll leave it be and see what temperature it’s at before I go to bed and again in the morning. Tomorrow evening is the 72 hour mark, so I intend to sparge and boil then.
2015-07-22: By this evening (i.e. 72 hours in), with no further topping-up, we’d only dropped to 44.4C, so I’m very happy with that. I’ve added 3 litres for the first sparge, and that’s now resting before I drain it. It certainly doesn’t smell rancid in any way. There’s a tartness to the aroma, and still a buttery note (diacetyl?). Changed my mind on the yeast to Nottingham.
22 litres pre-boil. Note to self: ensure tap on copper is closed before pouring wort into it. I can now say with certainty that not only does the wort smell sour, but I have a slightly sour right foot. I’m just grateful I was wearing my old waterproof sandals, as all I needed to do was hose my foot off…
I need a shorter immersion cooler – only the bottom half of it is immersed in the wort! Not helping my cooling speed…
Ok, all done. The least attractive wort ever… Like slightly brownish milk. However, tastes surprisingly good at this stage – quite sour, no noticeable off-flavours (other than still needed to be fermented, of course – bitter worts never taste nice, do they?), and bang on gravity at 20 litres post-boil at 1.032, 18 litres into the FV. Still has a way to cool in the fridge, but I’m very hopeful!
2015-07-25: I pitched the Nottingham without rehydration into the wort on the morning of 23rd, and by yesterday evening it hadn’t moved. I pitched yet more of the captured WLP013 (see Disco Mystic), and this morning there is at least the beginnings of activity showing. I was running short of time for my bus the other morning – wish I’d had time enough to properly rehydrate it.
2015-07-28: Down to 1.009, so that’s 3%, and tasting really rather good (and looking better, too). I’m almost in two minds about dry hopping with the Galaxy, but I’ve liked the Siren Calypsos so much I thought I should go for it: looking forward to this one!
2015-08-01: A slightly under-filled 18 litre keg is now on gas. I crash-cooled to 4C a couple of days ago (it was in the same fridge as the Disco Mystic).