March 14, 2017

One Gallon Spontaneous Fermentation #2: January 2017

This batch will follow the same technique as the previous turbid mash/spontaneous fermentation batch brewed in November 2016 with a little adjustment to the hops due to inventory and adding oak. I had hoped to brew another one gallon batch last month but we haven't had a consistently cold winter where I could find time to brew and it would be within the right temperature range. We have a cold streak so it's as good of a time as any to brew more beer. As this batch will closely follow the last batch's recipe I won't waste space duplicating the recipe. I'll just note the changes and use this post to track the batch from brewday through fermentation and aging.

Changes from Batch 1 to Batch 2 of One Gallon Spontaneous Fermentation Recipe

Two small changes to the recipe: (1) adjusting hops to the aged hops on hand; and (2) adding oak. The oak addition will be light. Three medium char oak cubes are steamed in the microwave to remove some of the fresh oak flavor. I find this is about the right amount to gain minimal oak flavor and a good balance of tannins. 

A lot of aged hops for one gallon
Hops will include a blend of 2011 Belma, like batch 1, and a mix of 2014 Cascade and Mount Hood from my garden. I wish I could say I had some better explanation for the combination of aged hops but there it is. I had less of the 2014 mix than I thought. I had 0.25oz of the 2014 Cascade/Mount Hood blend. I added 0.25oz of 2011 Belma. I'm only using 0.50 oz of aged hops for this batch because I fear the Belma may still have too much alpha acid left behind.

Brewday & Fermentation Notes

Brewed 1.5.17.

Sent outside at 4:28pm. Transferred to heated cooler at 5pm. Realized the volume was significantly low at this point and added waves of hot distilled water from 5-5:30pm to get up to one gallon of wort. This explains the variance at the 5:30pm reading. I added about a third of a gallon of water so clearly my boil off calculation was way off.

Day ended up colder and windier than expected but even with approximately ten degrees cooler ambient temperatures the wort was only a handful of degrees below what batch one's warmer evening produced at similar intervals. Here's the cooling:

Time                            Ambient             Wort

Fermentation Notes

2.14.17: Gave a quick taste. Tastes very similar to other wild/spontaneous cultures. Muddled estery profile with banana, melon, cherry, strawberry, peach. Muddled bottom end with musty, generic phenolic spice. Slightly mushroom-y. Apple juice-y. Still fairly sweet and thick like a hefeweizen with a big sweet orange slice. Not far from the batch coolshipped in November 2016 but less bitter, likely due to dialing back the hopping rate.

7.17.17: Approximately seven and a half months old. Appearance following batch 1. Clear beer with thin, white pellicle. Flavor is bitter, thin, some acidity. Fairly clean flavor. No expected brett flavor. Thin body. Definitely needs some additional time.

11.2.17: Approximately eleven months old. Appearance is clear with thin, filmy and blocky pellicle. Bitterness remains with a noticeable tannic presence--likely from the oak. Mushroom flavor has taken over but a long, lingering cherry flavor emerges in the end. Acidity is extremely light. Heading the right direction.

1.28.17: Appearance the same. Strong tannin flavor. Mushroom is present but less than the November 2016 batch. Some lemony acidity.

3.27.18: Same appearance. Aroma is barnyard and cherry pie. Very much expected for spontaneous beers. Flavor is mushroom, cherry pie, lemon, barnyard, hay, wet grass, orange. It's more acidic than before and definitely more acidic than the November 2016 batch but still not what I would describe as a sour beer. Continuing to head in the right direction. The oakiness has thankfully mellowed. Far more complex than the November 2016 batch. Is this a positive result from using less hops or just lucked into a better batch? Not sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment