Warning: I am a novice homebrewer. Partial mash at this point and time.
Late last august I brewed up two beers during the worst heat wave New England has seen in quite some time. 100+ degrees for a couple weeks there. I have no temperature control for fermentation.
One was a Roasty Rye brew, sort of an everything I have leftover omelet of a beer. Starting at an og of 1.089 and never going past 1.032, I bottled half and didn’t even bother bottling the other half. The bottles are still crappy to this day.
The other was a tripel I had high hopes for at 1.100 og. Even though this didn’t ferment past 1.040, I was stubborn and put a gallon on reisling wine soaked french oak chips and bottled the rest. The bottles are still crappy to this day.
The tripel was aging in a one gallon jug with the wine soaked oak and the Rye 2.5 gallons were sitting in the fermenter uncovered. I left for vacation in VA beach with a couple cases of my last successful homebrew so I was happy.
I came back a week later to see the Rye had started to form a small pellicle. I was rather excited as I love sour, acidic brews. Although I didn’t know quite what to think. We are now around late September and I just started throwing in dregs of whatever I had been drinking.
-Bullfrog Jaspers dregs went in
-Several Cantillon dregs went in
-Several Drie Fonteinen dregs went in
-Cuvee De Castleton and Rosso E Marrone dregs went in
A couple weeks later a HEAVY cheesy pellicle had formed so I said screw it and tossed in the gallon of tripel and reisling oak chips and promptly left her alone for about four months.
Fast forward to last week and I sampled her. Broke the pellicle, most of which had dropped out, but the edges were thick and cheesy.;
HOLY CRAP! Two wrongs DO make a right! My two failed beers had turned into something wonderful.
Amazingly acidic, like corked la folie, flaming fury, or even duck duck, 007, or cuvee de tomme.
Loads of granny smith and cranberries, a little ethanol and pretty damn nice clarity too!
This needed to be bottled asap. My plans to cork and cage fell through, but I capped off just under 3.5 gallons into 22 12oz and 4 750mls. Four 12′s and one 750ml were bottled still and the rest were primed.
Even still I think it’s worthy of a price tag and in vein with some very heavy hitting sour ales.
Extremely excited to try this carbonated, I even brewed again today and used the funky cake and bug ridden oak chips on a new brew.
I can’t believe how fast this actually soured. It was sitting in an ale pail with lots of headspace, maybe that helped. I also had a rather large fruit fly larva problem for a little while, but after some reading on babblebelt I cleaned them all up about a month before bottling (which was the only time I had checked it).
So here’s to you homebrewers who just won’t fail!
Not much makes a homebrewing sour head like me happier than having a load of sours to drink!
I’ll leave you with a quick sneak peak of the quick label mockup I did:
A sort of Flander’s Ale I suppose. 66% Rye Ale Base, 33% belgian tripel, 100% aged on Reisling soaked French Oak Chips and multiple strains of bacteria.