Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dreg Series: Russian River Golden Sour

This is one I have been patiently waiting to drink use. I have read about good results from using Russian River dregs. And I think Consecration is my favorite of their sours. It has their usual bug mix that includes Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, & Pediococcus. The beer is a dark Belgian style ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants added to beer while it is aging.
I decided to add it to my Belgian Golden Strong because I thought this base is pretty basic so it would help me to understand the flavors that the dregs are capable of. And once I am familiar with the flavors I will adjust next year's base beer to match up.
Day 1:
 Day 5:

Update 11.19.10 - 2 month mark
Update 02.17.11 - 5 month
Gravity 1.004
Has some nice Belgium phenols, a slight funk and tart smell. Still needs a more time and maybe a feeding ( I'm thinking some fruit (I have some persimmons that were frozen fresh))
Update 03.19.11
I added 1 lb of fresh frozen Persimmons. I added them pretty early because I want them to be a background flavor. They are basically just a long-term food source for the bugs.
Updated 11.08.11
Gravity stable at 1.004. And this beer has really turned the corner on the sourness. It is one of the most sour beers I have made to date. From the hydrometer sample, there was a light fruitiness that would be difficult to pin down as persimmons. Not much left from the Belgian yeast, but maybe once carbonated.


  1. Any update on this bad boy? I want to use my supplication dregs soon... Did you end up adding fruit?

  2. I did add the Persimmons, check the update for a picture. I have not tasted the beer since, but should soon.
    I say add your dregs now. Countless others have had success using Russian River dregs so you should have no problem. And I usually try to keep the wort close in style to the beer that you used the dregs from. Or just think of flavors that will go well after being aged for a year +. And remember as I did above you can tweak your beer as the bugs start to become more dominant.
    Good Luck.

  3. Very cool man! These bugs are doing exciting things... Yeah, i'ma use some dregs this weekend. I'm tempted to skim 2 gallons off this batch and buy some JP La Roja to experiment next to the RR dregs. And it's cherry season, we have to start freezing them up soon!

  4. Jolly Pumpkin dregs are monsters. I have had good results with them. They are capable of souring a beer in a few months.
    Are you finding sour cherries or sweet cherries? You are in LA right? There is supposedly an old sour cherry farm somewhere up there, but I can't remember the name. A little time on Google and you might be able to find it.

  5. Yeah, Cherry Tyme. I started searching a couple weeks too late. Cherry farms didn't have a lot this season due to growing conditions. Looks like everything was done the third week of June, i started looking the week after. Any sour outlets near you? If I find anything up here I'll let you know.

    With that said, it's looking like Peaches and other berries are going to be my fruit of choice. I still might use some sweet cherries to see that outcome w/bugs.


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