Sample of Honey Sour

Honey-Wheat Farmhouse Saison

February 17, 2017 2:02 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Ever since I tried my first sour beer about a year ago I’ve been intrigued by the process of brewing my own sour. I’ve also been very intimidated. After a few months of research I finally decided to take a whack at a sour batch. I had some WLP566 (Saison II) in a mason jar in the fridge from a previous batch so I decided to go with a Saison base. In addition to the WLP566 I pitched a vile of WLP670 (Farmhouse Ale) and the dregs from a bottle of Odell Meddler.

The brew day went pretty well and I ended up with a pale wort that went into the fermenter with a SG of 1.054. I decided to go with the Michael Tonsmeire technique of pitching everything at once. The sacch, the farmhouse culture and the dregs all went into the fermenter at about 75 F. I for the first 24 I used a piece of sanitized foil – no airlock. I had some great fermentation and the kreusen dropped after about 4 days. I

added 16 oz of orange blossom honey after about two weeks and the fermentation took off again for about two days at 74 F in my storage room.

The plan is to let this sit in primary for about 6 months and then bottle half as-is and rack the other half onto whatever fruit will work best. I’m thinking either peaches, plums or cherries.

Honey Wheat Farmhouse Saison

Numbers

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Batch Size: 5 gal
Estimated OG: 1.061
Estimated FG: 1.009
Boil Time: 60 minutes

 

Equipment

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5 gallon igloo cooler mash tun
5 gallon igloo cooler HLT
9 gallon Bayou Classic pot
Electric stovetop

 

Grain

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(51.2%) 5 lb 8 oz German Pilsner
(27.9%) 3 lb German Wheat Malt
(4.7%) 8 oz German Crystal 10L
(2.3%) 4 oz Carafoam
(2.3%) 4 oz American Honey Malt
(11.6%) 16 fl oz Orange Blossom Honey (Add after primary fermentation)

 

Hops

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0.3 oz Czech Saaz (2.5 Alpha) – 10 minutes
0.6 oz Amarillo (7.0 Alpha) – 5 minutes

 

Yeast

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WLP566 Belgian Saison II (0.5 L Starter from old cake)
WLP670 Farmhouse Ale (Pitched vile)
Odell Meddler Dregs (Swirled and straight from the bottle)

 

Water

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City of Houston tap water (I know….not the best)

 

Mash Schedule

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156 F for 60 minutes
Batch sparged in three steps to collect 6.4 gallons of 1.053 wort into the kettle

 

Brew Journal

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1/21/17 – Brew day started around 10:50 AM, cooled and pitched everything around 6:30 PM. First running gravity was 1.088. OG was 1.054. siphoned just under 5 gallons into the primary. Used a piece of sanitized foil for the first 24 hours of fermentation.

 

2/4/17 – No pellicle, but the yeast has flocculated. Nothing unpleasant in the aroma yet.

 

2/8/17 – Moved to the storage unit. Sloshed around a little along the way. Thermometer strip read 74 F in the storage unit.

 

2/14/17 – Liz added 16 oz of orange blossom honey to the primary.

 

2/17/17 – Pulled a sample for pH , gravity and tasting. Hydrometer reads 1.005 which is pretty close to the estimated finishing gravity. My pH meter is reading about 3.8 and I calibrated it right before testing this sample. There isn’t really much tartness in the flavor but the aroma is somewhat acidic. Liz pointed out the honey flavor, which I agree is there. I think there’s definitely more brett character (bandaid) than lacto. The plan is to add a lacto culture to try and get the pH down to 3.3-3.4 and maybe add a little tartness to the flavor.

 

4/15/17 – Added dregs of  a bottle of Avery Apricot sour from their Botanicals and Barrels collection. Very lactic beer with great apricot flavor and aroma. Definitely should have made a starter. I don’t think there is enough bacteria to make a difference.

 

6/10/17 – Definitely funky. Pulled a sample today. Extremely clear and very dry. Fruit forward from the honey. pH reads 3.5 and gravity is 1.000. I will be leaving this for another month or two. Plan is to bottle 1 gallon as-is, 3 gallons on pluots for 6 months and the remaining gallon will be blended with a batch of the same recipe. Cidery-apple flavor with the brett horse blanket aroma.

 

7/15/17 – Tasted a 12 oz bottle with Liz. Carbonation is medium. Head disappears after about 10 seconds but small bubbles are still rising from the bottom. Funky brett aroma and a slight smell of grapes and a little honey. No hot alcohol but you can tell this one is above 7%. I think more time in the bottle will do this beer justice, but there’s only one 750 ml bottle left. The rest of the batch was racked onto cherries and apricots.

 

 

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This post was written by SmallBatchBru

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