Friday, December 28, 2012

American Sour Double Red (Brown)

American Sour Red/Brown
I ordered a vial of the mother of funk. Al Buck must believe in Santa because he leaves vials of Bug County for all of the good little home brewers. This is his magnum opus of sour. The vial is described thusly on his facebook, "The mother bugger for sour ales. Contains ECY01, ECY02, ECY03, ECY04, and ECY05. Also includes: Brettanomyces lambicus, bruxellensis, anomulus, clausenii, custersianus, nanus, and naardenensis. Various Lactobacilli and Pediococci were added." For those keeping score this contains, Lambic Blend, Flemish Blend, Farm House Brett, Brett Blend #1, Brett Blend #9, and various additional bugs to drive the funk up. What to make from such a crazy blend? My first thoughts were to make a lambic style beer for my future gueuze blends. After making my second lambic of the season I decided on a sour double red (brown) with american funk instead.

(Please read more after the break.)

So why a double red ale? I was wavering between a brown and a red, so I thought why not a double red, bordering on brown. It will be a red, but stronger, and since it's 'doubling' up the red's recipe it will be more brown than red, it's a brown. The only difference I can see is that I am achieving brown by increasing my red recipe rather than just increasing the percentage of adjunct malts to base malts.

Lets look at the recipe of the original red (5 gallon):

4 lbs 2.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) 43.6 %
2 lbs 2.0 oz Torrified Wheat (2.3 SRM) 22.4 %
2 lbs Munich(5.5 SRM) 21.1 %
6.5 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) 4.3 %
6.5 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) 4.3 %
6.5 oz Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) 4.3 %

Now lets look at the 'doubled' up recipe (3 gallon):

4 lbs 15.2 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) 50.9 % 200%
2 lbs 8.8 oz Torrified Wheat (2.3 SRM) 26.2 % 200%
1 lbs 3.2 oz Munich (5.5 SRM) 12.4 % 100%
5.4 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) 3.5 % 138%
5.4 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) 3.5 % 138%
5.4 oz Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) 3.5 % 138%

This constitutes almost a 70% increase in ingredients. If I maintain my efficiency it will bump up the percentage of alcohol by volume to between 9 and 10%. Providing the bug county mix with this strength wort should return funky results.

To liken this brew to a commercial example assuming my results could be on par with a professional brewer I'd like to highlight Upland's Gilgamesh. When I drank a bottle of Upland's Gilgamesh it I found the funk nice, but I also appreciated the melanoidins brought out by the aging and inclusion of munich, caramunich, and highly kilned malts.

So I am hoping that in six to twelve months this beer is really strongly soured and the souring organisms have brought out the cherry flavors inherent in the malt and Brett.

Mash In 13.13 qt of water at 162.8 F for 152.0 F for 60 min        
Batch sparge with 2.48gal of 168.0 F water

This went well; no surprises other than brewing when it's snowing is less optimal than brewing when it's sunny and 70. 

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