Friday, January 6, 2012

Sour Beer: Oud Bruin 2011

I made a good amount of changes to the recipe this year because I really wasn't happy with last year's Oud Bruin. (It needs some blending; I bottled half as is and the other half will be blended with an upcoming Oatmeal Stout). Here are the main changes I made from last year:
  • Pump up the Malt Profile - I swapped out all the Pilsner Malt for Munich Malt (When doing my research for these beers I found it backwards that historically Flanders Reds use Munich/Vienna Base Malt and Oud Bruins use Pilsner Base Malt. Because when I read the guidelines and compare commercial styles the Malt Backbone is supposed to be more dominant in Oud Bruins. If anyone has some insight here, I'd like to hear it.)
  • Substitute the Flaked Corn for Flaked Wheat (unfortunately brew shop only had Wheat Malt). My idea was to still keep the extra starch (a food source during the long aging period) from the flaked grain, but have a bit higher protein content to help with mouthfeel.
  • Increased the Brown Malt - I am really enjoying the flavor from this malt, think perfectly toasted bread. (Go chew on some at the brew store)
  • Raised the Mash temp up to 158. I really want this beer to finish with a touch of sweetness. We'll see if this happens.
  • Adjusted my water to be much softer (San Diego has pretty hard water)

I made quite a few changes so I imagine this beer will be considerably different than last years. I pitched the wort right on the yeast cake from last batch. I did add some fresh English Ale yeast to help fermentation get started. I would have preferred a Belgian yeast strain, but I had the West Yorkshire yeast fresh. Next year, I'll make sure to get a starter going of some Belgian yeast because the extra spicy phenols I think really help the finished beer. If this beer turns out like I expect, I think I may blend some with my annual Dubbel to help boost the Belgian phenolics.

Recipe: Oud Bruin 2011
O.G.-1.063  F.G.-TBD   IBU-17
SRM-22   ABV-6.5-7.5%%   Batch - 6 gal

Grain Bill (70% Efficiency):
10 lb Munich  Malt (68%)
2 lb  Flaked Wheat (14%)
1 lb Aromatic Malt (7%)
1 lb Brown Malt (7%) 
12 oz Special B (5%) 

.5 oz Horizon 9.1%, pellet, 90 min 17 IBU
2nd year yeast cake of White Labs WLP655 Sour Mix I

Brew Day:
Brewed: 11/27/11

50/50 San Diego Alvarado Tap Water / Distilled Water

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1 qt/lb
Mash Volume: 3.5 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 158F @ 60min
Strike Temp: 178F
Sparge Volume: 8 gal
Sparge Temp/Time: 170F

Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 7.5 gal
Boil Time: 90min
Post Boil Volume: 6 gal

Ferment Details:
O.G.: 1.063
Ferment Temp: 68-70F (Iced Water Bath)

01.05.12 Update
1.012 - This is actually much lower than I was expecting. I may need to mash even higher, I may not be measuring my mash temperature very well. And the color is still too light. I will need to go even darker next year.
Aroma - very fruity - pineapple and pears with some sourness
Taste - pretty bland - a touch of fruit, some astringency, and mild alcohol flavors


  1. I love that lid for your keg (the last picture) is that bought or homemade?

  2. It is a 6 gal carboy cap. You just soak it in very hot water and then you can stretch it over the top. I read about people doing this on 1/2 barrel kegs so they can use them as 15 gal fermenters. It seems to work pretty well.


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