We are not experts in blending sour beers, that’s for sure. In our semi-illustrious homebrewing careers, we have brewed traditional sour beers and have blended them – you can see our work here. Now Ethan from PA wanted to know what we thought of the sour beers he brewed, so he shipped them to us. He asked us to taste them all and come up with a blend that would make a superior beverage – greater than the sum of its parts. Watch this video to see what we thought of each individual beer and the steps we would take to blend them.
The Four Sour Beers
Like we stated, we were sent 4 individual beers. As a bonus, Ethan sent one of his blend attempts to try but the main task was to come up with a blend for him. Here are the 4 beers.
Beer #1: The first one is a two year old Golden Sour. We thought it is the fruitiest of the bunch with a cherry note, and not a lot of Brett character. It has some detectable tannins.
Beer #2: The second beer is a 1.5 year old Golden Sour. It was aged in a whiskey barrel so it has some oak/vanilla notes. It is lighter in color than Beer #1. This one has an earthly, celery seed quality. The flavor is muted, and has zero tannins. It is lowest in terms of acid content.
Beer #3: This beer is Ethan’s attempt at an Oud Bruin. It is a dark sour ale and it is tough to take. The aroma reminded us of wet, musty, shoe leather. The flavor profile was rough but it was the most acidic. Mike thought the bad quality beer came from a bad fermentation character.
Beer #4: It is 2 year old red sour and it is his take on a Flanders Ale. This beer smelled of a solventy bananas and has just a smidge of acidity. There are no tannins present in this beer.
What Was Our Blend Plan?
One thing we learned from our own sour blending is that there is no need to be a completist. If there is a beer that isn’t good, there is no need to use it in your blending. We provided Ethan with our parts system, where we experiment by measuring out parts of beers and mixing them together. Whatever the singular measurement you want to use becomes a part, may it be a cup or a teaspoon or a glass. Use the part system to make your initial tasting mix so you can scale it up to the quantities of beers you have to blend.
We thought that he shouldn’t use Beer #3. The other three would work well in a blend in these quantities: 2 parts of Beer #1 and a part each of Beer #2 and Beer #4.
Thanks Ethan for the beer and we hope you enjoyed our blend plan. We also hope you non-Ethans learn something from this post and video.