Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sour Beer: Oud Bruin 2010

Here is my other Big Batch Sour Beer for the Year. I tried to space my Flander's Red and Oud Bruin about six months apart. The Flander's Red will annaully be ready for my Birthday and the Oud Bruin will be ready for the Winter Holidays. I am pretty late writing about this beer since it was brewed on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I got the day off work but the wife had to work so that means brew time.

This was my first brew with Flaked Maize but I have been reading about its advantages in sour beers. Wild Brews and a few other online articles speak about the benefits of the added starches for the microbes to work on during aging. And if it works for Rodenbach it works for me. For this batch also I decided to use the White Labs Sour Mix, and I just pitched the vial straight into the chilled wort. I have heard that it doesn't sour the beer as much as the Wyeast Roeselare, but that is probably more due to people's process than the bugs. Either way I'm going for a bit of tart with this beer, probably even a bit more sourness than commercial examples. And if it turns out too sour than it will be blended at bottling.

Also unique with this beer is that I chose to ferment in Stainless Steel. I was given a few very old cornies from a home wine maker friend. They are 5 gal cornies with a Sanke type coupling. So in order to ferment in them I just used the 6.5 gal carboy cap method. You need to soak the cap for a while and very close to boiling (loosen those molecular chains). Then it takes a bit of patience to stretch over the opening and then fit in an airlock.

Recipe: Oud Bruin
O.G.-1.061  F.G.-TBD   IBU-21.1
SRM-13   ABV-6.5-7.5%%   Cal-205

Grain Bill (76% Efficiency):

10 lb Pilsner  Malt (78.4%)
1 lb  Flaked Corn Maize (7.8%)
8 oz Aromatic Malt (3.9%)
8 oz Caramunich I (3.9%) 
8 oz Special B (3.9%) 
4 oz Brown Malt (2%)  

1 oz Golding, 5%, pellet, 90 min 21.1 IBU
1 vial White Labs WLP655 Sour Mix I

Brew Day:
Brewed: 11/26/10
Kegged: 2011?

San Diego (Alvarado) Tap Water
1 campden tablet for 5 gal.

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.07 qt/lb
Mash Volume: 3 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 156F @ 60min
Strike Temp: 173F
Batch Sparge Volume: 5.75 gal
Sparge Temp/Time: 170F @ 30min

Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 7.25 gal
Boil Time: 90min
Post Boil Volume: 5.75 gal

Ferment Details:
O.G.: 1.062
Ferment Temp: 68-70F (Winter Ambient Temperatures, No Temp Control)
Length: TBD

1.10.11 Update
Gravity 1.010 - Quite a bit lower than I thought it would be at this point. The taste is really bland and maybe even a bit vegetal. The initial fermentation did take over 2 days to show signs of fermentation. I am a little concerned about this batch. The color is also not as dark as I would like. I think I will keep feeding this batch every time I have some dark lightly hopped wort.
Next time: I think I will make a starter for the batch and pitch the whole starter.

08.14.11 Update 
1.004 - Now the traditional Flanders smell and flavor are becoming dominant. The sourness is right where it should be, maybe even a bit much for the style. The beer is missing the mouthfeel and big malty backbone that the style is known for. Next year I will need to mash even higher and up the darker malts a bit more. Maybe even add some flaked oats or barley. For this year's batch I will blend it with a rich thick stout.


  1. Nice! My first Oud Bruin is going on 5 months now. I nearly forgot about it (but that's exactly what a homebrewer needs to do with these kinds of beers). With my batch, I decided to add the Sour Mix (also WLP655) after primary (which used WLP001) but can't remember exactly why. How did your primary fermentation turn out with using just the blend?

  2. Check the Update.
    Also I just brewed an Old Ale and I remembered you fit 15lbs @ 1qt/lb in your mash tun. I wussed out a bit but did fit just over 14 lbs with no problem.


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