Petrus Aged Pale Clone Update #4 - Brain Sparging on Brewing


Sour beer, saisons, farmhouse beer, homebrewing, ramblings

July 15, 2013

Petrus Aged Pale Clone Update #4

I last checked in on this beer in May when it was the beer that won't sour and finally I can say this beer is finally starting to sour. I brewed this beer in the fall of 2012 with the hope of bottling it this fall but due to it's unwillingness to get sour it looks like I am going to be bottling in the summer or fall of 2014. Right now I'm just happy it's doing something.

As a recap, I dumped this Belgian blond ale (based on the Petrus Aged Pale recipe in Wild Brews) into a corny to ferment with the dregs of some bottles of Petrus Aged Pale. I got nothing for months and months so in the last couple months I have added the dregs of every sour beer I've opened. Mostly that has been my own lambic and the sour stout blend I made last year (that did not stabilize as well as I had hoped). The dregs of a bottle of Green Flash Rayon Vert also went in. Even after hitting it with more dregs, nothing was happening. So I did something I consider nearly unthinkable to a beer. I shook the shit out of the corny to get some oxygen in the beer (actually I just picked it up and shook it a few times). Then I unscrewed the posts on the keg so it would continue to get some oxygen flow.

The aeration worked. A couple weeks later a pellicle showed up and the beer is starting to take on a funky, sour aroma. I'm not really sure why the aeration kicked off a secondary fermentation with all the stuff I have added but it seemed to do the trick. I know the corny keg does not allow any aeration and I suspected that to be a problem in my last update on this beer because brett does like a small amount of aeration. Maybe the rousing was also a key factor. Regardless of the reason, I'm happy it's finally starting to sour. It's not acetic, so I am thankful I didn't create five gallons of vinegar.

Going forward, I have a few other sour beers I'm going to open soon and I plan on using the dregs of those bottles to add to this beer. I hope to form sort of a house blend that I can keep active and use this beer to start other sour beers. Once it sours I still want to break the batch up and bottle some straight, some with fruit, some with different liquors/wine for "barrel" flavors and try dry hopping some. However, it looks like I am still quite a ways off from that happening.  


  1. So when you say you want to use this as a 'house blend', how do you plan on going about this? Do you mean you are going to harvest/reuse the yeast, or do you mean you'll use it as the base of another solera?

  2. I haven't decided for sure. I would probably just use some of the sour beer to infect other beers. I might convert this one into a solera but given the problems I've had souring in the corny keg I'll probably take some of the slurry and some of the beer and stuff it in a jug with some fresh wort and just try to keep it going as an ongoing beer.