May 26, 2015

Proletariat Sour Rye Pale Ale with Tempranillo-Soaked Oak

This sour rye pale ale is the second beer in my new sour blending program. In the intro post I discussed my desire to add rye to the mix and to include a beer with some bitterness over strictly lactic acid production. This beer fits that role. It is designed closely upon Firestone Walker's Barrelworks Agrestic, which is a soured version of their flagship Double Barrel Ale (DBA). DBA is an English pale ale at around 30 IBU with a lot of vanilla-oak character from their union fermentation system. Thanks to the apparently alpha acid-resistant lactobacillus in their possession they have no problem souring this pale ale. Agrestic also has brett, further drying out the beer and transforming all that oak and hop flavor into an interesting complexity of funk. The bitterness in Agrestic is present but does not clash with the acidity. Instead it melds well and creates a more interesting acid profile. That is my goal here.

The recipe for this rye pale ale used the Can You Brew It? recipe as a starting point for this recipe. I substituted out some of the pale malt for a blend of flaked rye and rye malt for some complexity to the rye flavor with rye making up approximately 30% of the grain bill. For this first batch I opted for a lower IBU target at 24 just to make it a little easier on the mixed fermentation culture. For the flavor additions I have targeted 30 minutes and whirlpool. Firestone Walker uses lots of mid-boil hop additions, although they have mostly fallen out of favor in homebrewing, so I have followed suit with a 30 minute addition. Both the 30 minute and whirlpool additions will be experimental hops 4190 which are reported to be the mix of character from Fuggles and Cascade. I thought that split the difference between an English-influenced pale ale and an American-influenced pale ale. EXP 4190 doesn't seem to be too popular of a hop and that's probably because Fuggles isn't a very popular hop. I picked these up on a deep discount so if they aren't impressive hops I won't feel bad about sacrificing them for brett to manipulate.

The hard work in this beer will be performed by the dregs of a bottle of Firestone Walker Barrelworks Lil Opal (2013) aided along with some fresh US05. I am most interested in culturing the lactobacillus from the beer so I can take advantage of the hop resistant strain employed in their Barrelworks program. I also want the brett, of course. I believe I will end up with some saison yeast in the mix as well which is fine. I'm fermenting this beer far cooler than I normally ferment saisons and do not expect the saison yeast to be too dominant. The starter smells strongly of the cheesy acidity of lactic acid so I think the lactobacillus has held up and is hungry for a larger buffet.

I've long wanted to try to produce a wine barrel-aged sour beer (without the barrel) and picked the more neutral tempranillo for this beer. Tempranillo is predominately leather-earth and berries which I expect will play nicely with the brett funk and add some fruitiness to the overall flavor. I have some oak cubes that have aged in a mason jar with tempranillo wine for about eight months and plan to unload all the oak (I believe it is an ounce of cubes) and all the wine (the mason jar is close to full) into the beer as it goes into the fermentor with the expectation of getting back out of it a hint of the wine and oak. I can always add more if I want before bottling.

Proletariat Sour Rye Pale Ale with Tempranillo-Soaked Oak

Batch size: 5 gallons
Est. ABV: 5.5%
Est. IBU: 24.4
Est. OG: 1.054
Est. FG: 1.012
Est. SRM: 9.1

Grain Bill

57.1% 6 lb. U.S. pale malt [2 SRM]
19.0% 2 lb. Flaked rye [2 SRM]
9.5% 1 lb. Rye malt [4.7 SRM]
9.5% 1 lb. Munich malt [9 SRM]
2.4% 4 oz. Crystal 80 [80 SRM]
2.4% 4 oz. Crystal 120 [120 SRM]

Mash Schedule

75 minute mash at 152F
Infuse 13.65 qt at 166.6F
Sparge 4.62 gal at 185F

Water Profile

Calcium: 50
Magnesium: 16
Sodium: 10
Chloride: 50
Sulfate: 110
Bicarbonate: 33
PH:  5.4

Mash Additions

Gypsum 1.1g
Epsom salt 2g
Canning salt 0.3g
Calcium chloride 0.9g
Chalk 0.3g

Sparge Additions

Gypsum 1.5g
Epsom salt 2.8g
Canning salt 0.5g
Calcium Chloride 1.2g

Boil Schedule

60 minute boil
0.37 oz. Belma [12.10%] at 60 min 15.1 IBU
1.00 oz. EXP 4190 [3.6%] at 30 min 9.3 IBU
1.00 oz. EXP 4190 [3.6%] at whirlpool 0 IBU

Fermentation Schedule

Pitch 1/2 packet of dry US-05 and 12oz. starter from bottle of Lil Opal

Brewday & Fermentation Notes

Brewed 5/12/15.

Accidentally substituted a pound of munich for pound of two row.

First runnings:1.079
Pre-boil volume: 6.5g
Pre-boil gravity: 1.046
Mash efficiency: 80%

Post-boil volume: 5 gal
Post-boil gravity: 1.051
Brewhouse efficiency: 68%

Pitched 1 l. acidophilus at 130F as wort cooled. At 100 pitched slurry grown from FW Lil Opal.

Pitched half packet of US-05 approximately 24 hours later. Added dregs from Jolly Pumpkin bottle approximately six months later.

1 comment:

  1. In the latest sour hour, they talk about their bottling strain too, which didn't ring a bell to me, bd01 I think?