In the course of aging sour beers, things can go awry. These brew dudes don’t think that should ruin everything. When you put that much time into a beer, it would be a big letdown to pour it down the sink. The beer that was known to us as the “2 year old” was a little off. Watch this video to learn more about how I added fruit to this beer and saved it from a death down the drain.
Why This Beer Needed Saving
In 2017, I had 15 gallons of beer to blend into one gueuze. These volume was attained by brewing one the same day of the year for three years.
After evaluating the beers, we felt like the beer that was two years old at the time was not great. The majority of the blend came from the other beers.
The two year old was put back into the dark corner of my basement until I had an idea of what to do with it.
To save this beer, I had to add fruit to it. I debated what kind of fruit to use – raspberries were in the running – but in the end, I decided to use cherries.
Cherries and Everything Else I Added To This Beer
I typically use frozen fruit as the additions to my beers and this time around was no exception. I bought a thre pound bag of frozen cherries – a blend of sour and black cherries. Then, I added the contents of a couple of 32 ounce bottles of 100% “Just Tart” cherry juice from the R.W. Knudsen Family company.
Then, because I was getting creative or bored or both, I added 8 ounces of French oak cubes (medium toast) and two split-down-the-middle vanilla beans.
After all these additions were made, the beer sat for 9 months before I made plans to bottle it up.
When I tasted the beer, it wasn’t “cherry” enough so I added half of a bottle of pure cherry extract to push that flavor note forward.
At bottling, I added 230 grams of corn sugar boiled in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. I then added one packet of CBC-1 Cask & Bottle Conditioning Yeast properly re-hydrated.
Here’s what Mike thought about this beer.
Lots of acidic notes on the notes. The C02 was pushing a lot of sour notes.
Cherry/berry notes on the nose with caramel and woody notes.
The taste was full of deep, mahogany fruity taste with some sour cherry notes. He got some subtle wheat cracker taste.
I am glad I was able to save this beer. It made for a great Kriek beer.