Friday, January 30, 2015

La Calamité (Sour Brown Ale) -- Brew Day

So, here's to hoping my wife doesn't read this one!

Sometimes, when all you want to do is have a nice, leisurely night at home brewing some sour beer when your wife is out of town things can go pretty wrong.  Not wrong in a beer sense, but more in a "fuck, if my wife saw this she'd never let me brew in the kitchen again" sense.  More on this later.

I've been continuing to build out my sour beer pipeline in order to make the patience required for these beers a little easier on myself.  It's really nice having a new one roll off every 2-3 months...the hard part is waiting that 12-18 months before the first one is packaged and ready to go.

My plan this time was to brew a sour brown ale (really almost in between a Flemish Red and and Oud Bruin).  The batches of sours I have going and the options for fruiting a beer like this really open the door for a lot of interesting combinations when this guy finally matures.  I was particularly excited for this batch as this was the first time I've been able to deploy some of the souring bugs from Al Buck's East Coast Yeast.

The grain bill for this batch fell roughly in line with what Jay Goodwin from The Rare Barrel indicated is their Flemish Red-inspired recipe when he was hosting an episode of The Sour Hour on the Brewing Network.  I decided to add just a touch more Carafa to darken it up a little bit more.  As far as hops go, I just added a touch of Willamette to keep the IBUs around 4 to ensure some decent souring from the Lactobacillus in the blend.  This batch did not get a starter as most blended culture producers do not advocate this in order to not throw the blend out of whack.

Now, on to the good part.  My chilling setup involves using a copper immersion chiller whereby I drape the input hose through my kitchen window to hook up to a garden hose on my pack patio.  The output of the chiller then goes through a vinyl tube into my kitchen sink.  Easy enough.

Except, I'm a moron.  This time, I didn't make any attempt to acknowledge the position of the output hose in my kitchen sink and did not realize that it was in fact pointing out of my sink and eerily towards my countertop.  Thus, upon going outside and turning my garden house on full blast -- followed my some ill-timed tinkering with some shit outside -- I returned to my kitchen to find my countertop covered with water, the output hose shooting said water dramatically close to my new laptop which then had the fortuitous path of draining into my kitchen drawers.  Thus, this beer will be known as La Calamité.

Let's hope his beer turns out better than the brew day would imply.

La Calamité (Sour Brown Ale)
Est OG: 1.063
Est FG: 1.007
IBU: 4
SRM: 13

69.0% Belgian Pilsner Malt
16.3% White Wheat Malt
4.50% Flaked Oats
4.50% Aromatic Malt
4.50% Caramel 60L
1.10% Dehusked Carafa III

0.20oz Willamette @ FWH (4 IBU)

1 vial of ECY20 Bug County

Mash @ 160F for 60 min

1/30/2015 -- Brew day went fine until I flooded my kitchen.  Gathered 5.5 gal of 1.063 wort.  Fermenting after around 24 hours at 67F.


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