March 14, 2011

Brewing of an Oud Bruin Part 6 -- 2 month update

I don't really want to write updates on the oud bruin and lambic just to write an update, since nothing interesting is going on with either this month. Although the pale ale portion of the oud bruin is sitting silently in seemingly post-fermentative slumber, I did purchase a stainless steel thief (can't we just call it a big turkey baster???) that fits in the mouth of the jug and allow me to sample a tiny taste of the sleeping beer. One thing I discovered during this attempt to sample the pale ale is that the thief really likes to suck up liquid very fast. At any rate, I took about an ounce. Here's a couple pictures of it:





My apologies for the typically crappy pictures.

One thing I noticed immediately is that the beer is slightly more turbid than you would expect a beer that has been sitting in a fermenter for two months. It has a very typical pale ale smell mixed with very noticeable lacto sourness and something funky in there, which is probably from the brett. It is a musty, pineapple-y smell. The aroma is very strong. I could smell it from half way across the kitchen.

Flavor wise it is very interesting. The first taste is a sweet-sour flavor, followed by some of the musty, pineapple for a second before it is overtaken by the soft lacto sourness with a finishing touch of a very acrid, vinegar-like bitterness. It's very dry tasting, almost like a white wine. What's interesting is that even though it is well hopped, there is very hop flavor or aroma. Also, although I didn't add a lot of oak, there is definitely no prominent oak character. It lacks the complexity normally associated with sours (even Petrus Oud Bruin) but I think some of that is the result of the grain bill for the pale ale being 95% pale malt. Once it gets mixed into the sweet brown ale I suspect the Belgian ale esters and specialty malts will add a lot of complexity to the flavor.

Although I was hoping for a little more brett character, I am really happy with where this is for being two months in. I guess I will see if introducing some oxygen during the sample removal process will affect the beer.

I am getting more and more excited about this beer. The more I think about it the more I want the next oud bruin to be a full brown ale sour mashed (to get lacto character) and then pitched with Hot Carl for more brett flavors.

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