Barrel Aged Americanized Oud Bruin Batch 2 Recipe - Brain Sparging on Brewing


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September 8, 2017

Barrel Aged Americanized Oud Bruin Batch 2 Recipe

When I brewed batch 1 of this barrel aged Americanized oud bruin I planned to keep it in my tiny two gallon whisky barrel for about a year. That was March. I checked on the beer earlier in the summer I was both pleased with the flavor and concerned about the tannin content of the beer. The beer is progressing nicely but the tannins are already at the top end of my preference. I need to pull it early and age it outside the barrel or just bottle it. That leaves the barrel available for a new batch which brings me to this post.

Changes between batch 1 and batch 2 of the oud bruin recipe

So far I feel the batch 1 oud bruin recipe hits all the desired notes although I am continuing to learn and understand my sour culture. It's thrown a few acetic beers which I don't like. I am in the process of determining whether it is (1) my fault from underpitching and letting the beer sit too long without developing a pellicle to regulate air exposure; or (2) if it has too much lactic acid bacteria activity early on which is delaying pellicle formation and allowing acetic fermentation; or (3) the culture just has too many acetic acid-producing microorganisms. For this batch I hopped the starter to approximately 20 IBUs which should help knock back some of the LAB and make way for more yeast production early in fermentation. The culture has some de Garde dregs to it and I know at the time the dreg beer was brewed that was something de Garde dealt with as well. The starter smells cleaner, more yeast-forward. Not so much of the acid aromas as in prior starters with this culture.

Otherwise batch 2 will be identical to batch 1. I expect with the barrel having received now three beers the tannins will reduce and this batch will be good for a longer stay in its oaky home.

Barrel Aged Americanized Oud Bruin Batch 2 Recipe

Batch Size: 2.25 gallon
Est. ABV: 7.3%
Est. IBU: 24
Est. OG: 1.071
Est. FG: 1.015
Est. SRM: 25
Expected Efficiency: 72%
Grain BillPoundsOuncesSRMPct. Grist
Pilsner malt40266.80%
White wheat malt10216.70%
Vienna malt63.56.00%
Crystal 804804.20%
Chocolate malt2.63502.70%
Aromatic malt2262.20%
Black patent malt1.45001.50%
Water Profileppm
Bru'n Water Brown Malty Profile
PH: 5.5
Water AdditionsMashSparge
Epsom Salt0.4g00.3g
Canning Salt
Baking Soda0.4g
Calcium Chloride0.9g0.7g
Pickling Lime
Lactic Acid
Mash ScheduleStep Temp.Step Time
Single infusion mash
Mash volume: 7.8 qt
Sparge volume: 1.5 gal
Infuse 7.8 quarts at 167F150F75
Sparge 1.5 gal at 190F
Boil ScheduleVolumeUnitTimeIBU
60 minute boil
Belma [12%]0.25oz6024
Fermentation Schedule# DaysTemp.
Yeast: Oregon Special
Pitch 300ml slurry
Pitch at 70F?Ambient
Bottle to 4 vol CO2 with 2 oz table sugar

Brewday & Fermentation Notes 

Brewed 9.6.17

Preboil volume: 3gal
Preboil gravity: 1.054
Mash efficiency: 75%

Postboil volume: 2.1 gal
Postboil gravity: 1.070
Brewhouse efficiency 67%

Aggressive fermentation--seems probable underpitching on prior uses of the mixed culture caused slight acetic character. Far more aggressive fermentation than other batches.

Failed to take good notes on this one. Bottled April 2018. Went in the barrel 10.17.17.

Tasting Notes

Barrel beer b2 hanging out with the starter for batch three
Tasted on 8.17.18. Approximately three months in the bottle. 

Appearance: Somewhere between cola and dark chocolate brown with a light brown head. Beer was nice and clear until I unloaded the dregs which added some haze. The head is a light brown that initially stood tall but collapsed. After a few minutes only a ring of head remained with a lazy patch in the middle.

Aroma: Dried cherries, vanilla, cinnamon, whiskey, chocolate syrup, roasted marshmallow, aged balsamic vinegar. There is a clear acetic note to the beer but it doesn't dominate the aroma. As the beer warms it develops a whiff of an interesting cigar tobacco aroma.

Flavor: First flavor is moderate acetic acid immediately followed by milk chocolate. Background notes of vanilla, dried currants, chocolate truffle, prune, cabernet savignon wine, cherry juice. Some lumber taste in the finish. The warmer it gets the more the beer opens up and some brett funk shows up. The acetic acid doesn't go away but it's much less sharp. 

Mouthfeel: Initial hit of acid is sharp on the tongue and throat but not intolerable. Mellows with warmth. There is a tannin presence to the beer and the tongue is left with some astringency. Fuller mouthfeel than typical for sour beers, even other barrel aged sour beer.

Overall: Less acetic than batch 1 which is a real aggressive acetic bomb. This beer reminds me a lot of the new single foeder variants of New Belgium Oscar but a little more acetic. I like this considerably more than batch 1 if only because it is less acetic. I feel the wood carries over too much. It adds a nice body but the astringency and lumber taste in the finish really lingers. If the acetic acid and wood character were turned down this would be a fantastic oud bruin. I might brew an English brown ale to put on tap and blend some of this and batch 1 with the clean beer to help balance the oak and acidity. I'd score this a 26 but the flaws are not in the recipe, just with dialing in the barrel aging. 

For now it tastes like a beer on it's way but still getting dialed in. I feel like six months is too much time for wood contact and it's probably also too much time in that small barrel developing acetic acid. Next batch will spend the same month in glass primary but hang out in the barrel for three months. That will allow me to produce this beer four times a year.

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