Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sour Beer: 2011 Flanders Red

I am on to Year Number Two. My 2010 Flanders Red is bottled and I will be doing an official tasting soon. I did force carb some of it up because I couldn't wait to try it. I am crazy about the smell, sweetness level and mouthfeel. It is a bit lacking in the acid area, but I have read that this can happen with the first pitch of the Wyeast Rosealare yeast. Also last year I started it with a neutral yeast then added Wyeast Rosealare. I did feed the bugs with maltodextrin around the 6 month mark. I didn't notice a big change in sourness, but the cherry pie flavor from the Brett is now really popping.

 Needless to say, I am very excited about the prospects of this year's batch. I made a few changes to the malt bill. I know Pilsner Malt is supposed to be in Belgian beers, but I just don't like it. Especially for a beer that I think should have a rich and complex malt flavor. Also remember that this style of beer was an adaptation from an English Porter. So it only makes sense to me to swap out Pilsner for Maris Otter (plus this is my favorite grain for the biscuit bready notes it has). The other big change is swapping wheat for flaked corn. Supposedly this has been used by Rodenbach to give the bugs some starch to chew on through the long fermentation.

My brewing water has also changed. I have started to dilute my brewing water fairly heavily with distilled (or close to) because San Diego has very high Sulfates and Belgian beers are brewed with pretty soft water. I have not done side by side testing, but I believe this is really helping me cut down on some of the harshness I get with the bitterness and additionally raising the malt flavor. See below for my water calcs.

Recipe: 2011 Flander's Red
Batch Size 6.75 gal O.G.-1.062  F.G.-TBD  
IBU-15  SRM-13   ABV-6.5-7.5%  

Grain Bill (77% Efficiency):
4 lb Vienna Malt (27%)
3.8 lb Maris Otter (25%)
4 lb  Munich Malt 10L (27%)
2 lb Flaked Corn (13%)
6 oz Aromatic Malt (3.3%)
6 oz Caramunich I (3.3%) 
6 oz Special B (3.3%) 

.8 oz Golding, 5.5%, pellet, 90 min 15.3 IBU
2 pitch of Wyeast Rosealare
US-05 Half a packet sprinkled in on Day 3 after no activity

Brew Day:
Brewed: 5/14/10

see picture above

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.07 qt/lb
Mash Volume: 3.5 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 154F @ 60min
Strike Temp: 171F
Batch Sparge Volume: 7 gal
Sparge Temp/Time: 170F

Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 8.25 gal
Boil Time: 90min
Post Boil Volume: 6.75 gal

Ferment Details:
O.G.: 1.062
Ferment Temp: 68F
Length: 10 days
Then ambient in house

Always remember to check back for updates every 3 months.

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