January 22, 2011

Brewing of an Oud Bruin Part 4 -- Completing the Pale Ale

This is a little delayed because I have been caught up with trying to get in gear for the new semester and some other stuff around the house but the pale ale portion is complete and working away.

The final recipe was fairly straightforward:

1 gallon
5.88 ABV
4.2 SRM
33 IBU
1.061 OG
Est. FG 1.016

Grist:
2 lbs. pilsner
4 oz. carahell

Mash schedule:
Mashed half once for an hour at 150 and sour mashed for two days with grains for lactobacillus growth
Mashed other half at 155 for an hour

Boil:
Combined two mashes together and boiled for 90 minutes

Hop additions:
.40 oz Fuggles at 90 min.

Post-boil additions:
1 oz oak chips (repeatedly boiled and left to soak in water for over a month)
Stepped up culture of Brett B from orval dregs
1 tbsp white vinegar


The recipe is basically the same as I posted before. I dropped the hops a little. I added some oak, partially for flavor but mostly as an additional source of sugar for the brett and to use as a source to transfer bugs to a future batch. You may also note that I added one tablespoon of white vinegar. I did this for two reasons: one it would help lower the pH and encourage brett fermentation; and two as a slight flavor addition for complexity.

Although I aerated the wort before pitching, I still experienced a delay in seeing signs of fermentation. It took about a day for fermentation to start up. Although some people say brett fermentations are very explosive, I find that mine was not. I'm not sure whether I ended up getting a lot of fermentation from the saccharomyces in the Orval culture or what but the fermentation looked fairly similar to a saccharomyces fermentation. Krausen fell after about five days. A week later the beer is very turbid for having finished fermentation, which leads me to believe that there is still a lot of activity going on in there. So far, there is no pellicle or unusual activity beyond the turbidity, but since there is probably a lot of CO2 sitting on the beer it is unlikely that a pellicle would form. Nonetheless, I plan on keeping the beer in the fermenter for at minimum three months but depending on how it looks (and possibly tastes) I may leave it for up to six months.

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