Saturday, April 28, 2007

My First Wild Brew!

Well, I am finally going to do my first wild brew. I am doing a Flanders Red, a style I fell in love with right away. I don't think I have ever found a beer that I really get cravings for like a sour red. It mine as well be a drug from the 80's the way it gets you hooked. I think the first sour beer I have had and fell in love with was La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin. I remember buying a few cases of Jolly Pumpkin because I wanted to hang on to a few and age them out and all of a sudden I had drank most of my supply and realized that these beers soured to perfection. Then it sank in that I just drank a whole bunch of these before they were prime time. Doh! Then I tried a Duchesse De Bourgogne and I was baffled by the smell. Who in the hell put vinegar in this bottle and tried passing it off as beer. Well.....whoever it was, I love you. The first sip kind of struck me as odd but the second, third, and everyone there after just made me want to get my hands on every beer similar to this. I had got a bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru in the mail one day and that one was Mega-sour compared to the Duchesse. Now I am hooked on this style and decided I would brew up 10 gallons for myself. I am going to do a recipe that Jamil Zanisheff has done very well with in competitions and see what kind of beer I can translate it into. The only difference in my recipe is that I couldn't get Weyerman Munich malt through my supplier so I am going with American Munich. We'll see what it produces. I've been spending tonight prepping for the morning so I can brew bright and early. I like to brew around 8-9 AM so I still have most of the day to relax with my wife afterwards.I will post more tomorrow when I am brewing this bad boy up. To be continued.


Alright, I got up at 7:00 PM this morning, ground my grains and I was doughed in by 8:20 AM. Half asleep I almost forgot to add a little bit of acid malt to my mash to get my pH to were I want it. I added a little bit to my last beer and my efficiency jumped up quite a bit. The recipe I am doing is very odd for a Flanders Red. Jamil Zanishef says that this, if done right, tastes very very close to a classic Rodenbach. Here is the grain bill:

This is a 10 Gallon Batch

10 lb. Pilsnen malt
10 lb. Vienna malt
7 lb. Munich
1 lb. Special B
1 lb. Caramunich
1 lb. Aromatic
1 lb. White Wheat Malt
.5 lb Acid Malt


1.4 oz. E.K. Goldings (60 min)

I also used 2 oz. of med+ toast French Oak Cubes (1 oz. per carboy)


Wyeast Roselare Blend from the VSS (Very Special Strain) Series

Come on, Give me a break, like you look any better at 8:00 AM after about 3 hrs of sleep. I've just gotten doughed in here and I'm making sure my temp is right at 154 F, as it was. Mash at 90 minutes at that temp and then bring it up to 168 F for 10 minutes. Sparge at 170. I am going to batch sparge again because I had good luck with it when I did my smoked porter. And it cuts a ton of time of my brew day.

Just as I was starting to sparge my phone rang, I ignored it, it rang again and I pick it up and it's my boss saying I need to go into work because (sidenote: I work at a TV station) our system that we play our commercials off of went down and we were losing thousands of dollars by not playing these commercials. I had to obviously finish sparging and then siran wrap both of my brew pots so they wouldn't get infected and head out to work. Luckily I was home within an hour and a half and my wort was still hot. I got back into the swing of things and kept brewing like nothing happened except a major delay. I should have been done by 2:00 PM, now we'll see.

Everything worked out O.K. It took me a lot longer than expected. Now I only have to wait 1 year. Great!

I think this is the fastest starting fermentation I've seen out of all the batches I've made. It basically took about 12 hours and the yeast was rockin' out.


MTUYooper said...

Wow, that's a helluva batch! Sounds like an extremely interesting brew. Glad to hear it all turned out well after having to run to work. The HUGE blow off hoses rock man, I have yet to have a primary that aggressive. I hope I can try one a year from :)