Sour beer brewing is the next frontier in beer home brewing it seems. Its really starting to take off. For John and I its no different. We both have a sour project started and we are talk about what will come next. This week however we revisit my Flanders Red project with a quick tasting and we are pleasantly surprised.
My initial attempt at brewing a sour was sort of doomed before it started. If you recall, I had accidentally froze my Roeselare blend. When I was ready to pitch I had no microbes to pitch. To save the wort I pitched some Saison slurry and I pitched the thawed out Roeselare blend.
Fast forward to 9 plus months later and I had an interesting surprise. The base beer was pretty good, John suggested I split some for carbonation and the rest I would try and resurrect as a sour with fresh extract and a new pitch.
When I racked the beer into two separate vessels (keg and carboy) I tasted a small sample and was surprised at a true touch of sour. I forced carbonated the kegged half and with carbonation it really started to shine.
The beer has a definite clean sour character. Lightly acidic, very little if any acetic acid notes. There is a wood aged quality from the oak cubes and a nice balancing tannin quality late on the palate. The specialty malts and the wood and the sour seems to all come together with a subtle dark cherry Rodenbach like flavor.
Overall, I can’t complain. This one somehow turned around enough to be a minor success. I still have the other half that I plan to reseed and repitch into. From there I use those dregs to start a new 5 gallon batch. Maybe a golden sour is next.
Anyway, I got lucky this time. Pleasantly so.
How are your sour brewing efforts? Are you afraid to sour in your “brew house”?
Let us know with a comment and join the conversation.