Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ma Petite Roo (Flanders Red) -- Brew Day

This past Sunday, I decided it was well beyond the time that I should venture into sours.  This has been a favorite style of mine ever since I spent a long weekend up in Portland, ME with the wife and another couple.  We dropped by the Novare Res cafe and my friend Nate indoctrinated me into the culture of Cantillon via a bottle of their Saint Lamvinus.  My wife and I were never the same.

For my first sour, I decided to go with a standard Flemish Red.  I'm planning to age this in a BetterBottle for at least the next 12 months.  After that, I'll let taste be the guide.  I'm planning on tossing in any sour bottles dregs during that time for added complexity.  I've done some pretty extensive research from reading through Wild Brews to trolling the forums at HomeBrewTalk.com.  It seems that most people have had success adding the Roselare blend immediately, rather than fermenting first with a clean American or a Belgian yeast and then adding Roselare to secondary.  I'll also not be racking this beer to secondary, assuming the brett and bugs will take care of any of the saccharomyces byproducts.

Everything got laid out and Oscar and I got to it.

Flemish Red Ale
Est OG: 1.052
Est FG: 1.011
Est ABV: 5.6%
IBU: 14
SRM: 15
Batch Size: 5.25 gal

3.5lb Pilsner Malt
3.5lb Vienna Malt
2.0lb Flaked Corn
1.0lb Aromatic Malt
0.5lb Caramunich Malt
0.5lb Munich Malt
0.5lb Special B Malt
0.5lb Wheat Malt

0.5oz EK Goldings FWH@90min

1pkg Roselare WY3763 (no starter)

The mash regimen called for two sacc rests, one at 145f for 40 minutes and another at 162f for 30 minutes.  Due to a better crush that I get from Keystone Homebrew, I way overshot my pre-boil gravity and had to add 1.5gal to the boil.  After that, the very non-labor intensive boil got underway and I gathered 5.25gal of 1.051 gravity wort.  I'll keep updating as the fermentation process continues.

3/2/14 -- Brewed by myself.  Process went as normal.  Fermentation began within 12 hours.  Temp peaked at 72f.

3/9/14 -- Added dregs from Jolly Pumpkin La Roja.

3/27/14 -- Added dregs from Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otono.

3/30/14 -- Added dregs from Cuvee de Ranke.

5/3/2014 -- Added 0.5oz of Medium Toast French Oak cubes.  Tastings have a decent sourness already beginning.  Potential pellicle beginning to form.

7/18/2014 -- A pellicle has formed.  I refilled the airlock as it was getting a touch low...I hope that's not the reason for the pellicle.  Either way, it's pretty sweet.

9/3/2014 -- Pulled a sample for a quick taste. My wife and I moved the other week, so I had to toss the whole carboy in the car and slosh it around, breaking up the pellicle.  I was fearful that this would taste like vinegar, but its perfect.  Definitely needs a little bit more time on it, but the smell is a decadent sour and the taste is not far off.  It's still a touch on the sweet side for me -- it tastes like Duchesse de Bourgogne.

12/16/2014 -- Added dregs from Russian River Consecration.


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