I started my first sour beer at Crooked Run last week. It will be a sour version of our Belgian dubbel, Heartsong. I am using a unique process that I thought I’d share. First, the souring culture I am using: my friend stopped by with 3 Crooked Stave and 3 Cascade beers, all sours and brett beers. I harvested the dregs from all of these beers. The commercial souring cultures available from the big yeast labs are pretty tame and just don’t give you the same results as breweries like Crooked Stave. Using these will ensure interesting results.
Each sour beer I make will be blended from four other beers:
1. A fully-fermented beer with souring culture added. This will become somewhat tart over the course of one year.
2. An unfermented beer with sour culture and saccharomyces added. This will become very tart over the next year.
3. A beer fermented with 100% Brett brux. This will be used to blend and add more brett character.
4. A beer 100% fermented with BM45 wine yeast and amalyse enzyme, to achive a final gravity of below 1.000. This will be used to cut sourness and ensure a stable final product. Since I’ll be bottling this beer, even a few points of remaining gravity can lead to bottle bombs as the beer super-attenuates.
I’ll be putting aside more beer in similar glass carboys for a sour dubbel and also a sour single as well. Looking forward to trying the results, but it’s going to be a while!