Back in the fall I tried my mixed fermentation using a saison strain and some dregs I harvested from a few different Crooked Stave bottles (petite sour raspberry, wild sage, l’brett d’raspberry). The sour was a hoppy light success and I wanted to use the yeast cake for a new beer to keep the bugs alive.
I haven’t done an extract batch in awhile at least a year, and that was for a group brew day. I was a little skeptical about trying out a extract sour but I knew I wasn’t going to have time to do anything else for awhile. I found the backbone for this recipe in the November 2016 issue of BYO Magazine so if you are a subscriber you can go check it out. If you don’t subscribe you should the style profiles in each issue are great for competitive brewing.
Here is what I did. I’ll be honest my notes are a little fuzzy on this one simply because I wasn’t expecting much from a partial boil extract batch.
5 gallon batch
O.G. 1.049 (without juice) F.G. 1.001
3 gallon boil and I topped up to 5 gallons
3 lbs wheat dry malt extract
2 lbs Pilsen extra light DME
1 lb flaked corn
Heat to 150° mix in all the DME place flaked corn in muslin sack and steep for 30 minutes at 150°ish
Pull the flaked corn and squeeze the wort out into the kettle. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes then cool to 66° top up to 5 gallons. I shook the carboy to aerate as this is my buggy carboy that I don’t want any non bug related equipment touching.
At this point pitch:
1 carton (32oz) Good belly Blueberry acai probiotic drink along with your bug starter. After 4 days I sampled the beer and it was super tart but had only moved .020 points or so I tossed in some Belle Saison dry yeast. 2 days later I added 64oz of pure blueberry juice and 12oz of grapefruit juice. then raised the temp to the mid 70’s.
This sour would have been ready to drink in about three weeks however somewhere in those crooked stave dregs was some pedio which made the beer super ropey it was like boogers out of the cobra tap. I let it sit out of the keeper for a month or so and the brett went back to work and cleaned up the rope.
I entered the beer as a American Wild Ale – Wild Specialty Beer it scored a 41 and won gold.
While recreating this exact beer is not possible for anyone who doesn’t have access to my yeast cake. Consider the simplicity of the recipe and the time invested in an extract batch yet it yielded a great beer. I will be attempting this method of sour brewing again for sure. As always with bugs keep the equipment separate or you will be in for a bad time.
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