Brewed up a base that will become a sour cherry beer (if I was in the Brussels area I would say kriek, but I’m not, so I won’t). Simple recipe of 70% 2 row pale, 30% flaked wheat, about half a pound of rice hulls and an ounce of Tettnanger hops (~2.5 AA). Mash schedule was not so simple. 112 for 10 minutes, 125 for 10 minutes, 149 for 45 minutes, 160 for 30 minutes, and 170 for 10 minutes. Everything went swimmingly until sparging. It was like oatmeal. I had to blow back through the drain tube until it finally began flowing. Then another vorlauf and I was off to the races.
Collected just under 5 gallons at a SG of 1.052, chilled to just under 85 on a super-hot day. Threw it into the chest freezer and finished cleaning and took a shower. Once I was done it had been a couple hours and the wort was under 80 so I pitched the Roeselare blend. The wort still had a ton of protein in it and was very cloudy. I’m hoping that gives the critters in the mix a healthy source of food to chew on.
I checked on it about 12 hours later – this morning – and it has a healthy kräusen forming and plenty of churning happening. Hopefully it will be sour enough in 6 months to throw the cherry puree into it. I’m thinking it won’t and I’ll have to wait another 6 months after that. In total it will probably be a year. Then cherry puree. Then another 3-4 months, or longer.
Some pictures of the brew day. Notice the grains on the floor. Time to update my “hopper” on my mill.
An update on the sour culture I’m attempting from the wild blackberries I posted about earlier. The small starter turned a beautiful shade or ruby. The berries started to pale from leeching all the color out. The aroma was a nice, soft acetic note. So I bumped up the next starter from the original 250mL to 400mL. I’m hoping it increases the good stuff in there and I can step it up to a full liter within the week. Once it is stepped up to a liter I’ll bump it up to 2 and brew a 70/30 pils/unmalted wheat and pitch it. I’ll let that chug away for the next year or so and hopefully get enough blackberries to rack onto. That is the plan right now anyway. I’m also thinking of going with a 15 gallon version of the aforementioned and fermenting in a barrel. We’ll see. I do want to get another stout or two out of the barrel though before I start making it work on sours.