Do you ever feel that you get behind in your home brewing because other things need your attention? There was a dunkelweizen sitting in my basement for three and a half weeks and it was just waiting for me to take it to its final destination. I finally got around to getting all the things I needed to get done and it is bottled.
Now, I can focus on brewing a lambic.
Since it will be my first time, I plan to use a sour blend from one of the big yeast providers. I am not sold on the idea of using dregs from sour beers. Mike’s less than successful attempt at harvesting bottle dregs convinced me that going down that road was adding too many things I don’t have much experience with to the mix.
The grain bill will be simple and the old hops I have. The real thing to investigate and learn more about was the sour blends that were available to me.
I like the Roeselare Sour Blend from Wyeast since it name drops the region of the world where these beers are from but also from the list of stuff that is in it:
- Belgian style ale yeast strain
- A sherry yeast strain
- Two Brettanomyces strains
- A Lactobacillus culture
- A Pediococcus culture
That’s a quite a group.
With knowing more about the blend, there are two things I’m thinking about and they are related to each other. I have seen recipes that call for adding a neutral ale strain to get things going and then adding the sour blend after some time has gone by after fermentation has started. I am not sure if I need to add another strain.
The second thing, that is if I decide to go down the route of adding, say, a California ale yeast strain, is when to add the sour blend. Should I wait three days or a week to add the blend or should I add it all at the beginning? Does the sour blend get the beer sour enough if I add it later during the fermentation schedule?
The thing is, no matter what I try, I can always do the opposite on a later batch. The real ingredient to these sour beers is time. It takes time for a sour beer to mature into something that is really drinkable and also, it takes time to brew multiple batches that you can blend later. If I can hack it, I will brew a sour beer once a year every year and then blend, blend, blend.