Barrel Aged Americanized Oud Bruin Batch 4 Recipe - Brain Sparging on Brewing


Sour beer, saisons, farmhouse beer, homebrewing, ramblings

January 14, 2019

Barrel Aged Americanized Oud Bruin Batch 4 Recipe

Sometimes in homebrewing, especially sour brewing, things don't work out the way you want them to and you have to adapt to what happens rather than what you want to happen. I feel that is where I've landed with this string of barrel aged sour beer. After racking out batch 3 to bottles I wasn't in love with the sample I took from the bottling bucket. I'm not sure if that is a result of filling the barrel after moving it and leaving it full of a sanitizing solution for too long or if it's time to rethink filling this barrel. As a result of my uncertainty I've elected to follow the same process a fourth time to see if I can steer this project back on track. If not, I may consider changing my fermentation blend from my house culture to a lab blend. My house culture is sensitive to oxygen and throws too much acetic acid if given the chance and a two gallon barrel (plus all the racking) is a really good opportunity for oxygen exposure. Alternatively I may change my process to primary ferment in the barrel and then rack out to bottles after two or three months. For now, we'll see what happens with the current process.

Barrel aged oud bruin batch 4 process

This beer follows the same process and recipe for the prior three batches so I'll just link to the original recipe post for the oud bruin and talk about the process. As in the past I brewed the beer and sent it to glass for a month before transferring it to the barrel. I racked out Batch 3 immediately before racking in Batch 4 to the barrel along with priming sugar to help consume any air picked up by racking and hopefully reduce acetic acid production. This beer will age in the barrel for three months before heading to bottles for extended aging.

With each batch of this Americanized oud bruin I've had a small amount of beer that wouldn't fit into the barrel. I've collected this beer for additional aging in smaller vessels and added the excess from each batch into a growing blend of beer. After racking Batch 4 to the barrel I have enough excess beer to fill this 64oz growler. I'm not sure what I'll do with this beer (or if it's even worth drinking or blending) but I'll keep this beer as blending stock.

Freshly filled barrel with Batch 4 and the companion excess beer

For batches 2-4 I've set the brewday ahead of bottling day by about a month to ensure I do all the racking at once. For Batch 5 I'll wait to make that decision until I've tasted a bottle of Batch 3 to help make a decision about whether to stay the course or change the process.

Barrel aged Americanized oud bruin recipe

Barrel aged Americanized Oud Bruin batch 3 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

Barrel aged Americanized oud bruin brewday and fermentation notes

Brewed 12.11.18. Did a lousy job taking notes this brewday. Procured 2.3 gallons of 1.071 gravity wort. Pitched house sour culture.

Racked to barrel with 1 oz. table sugar on 1.14.19. Beer smelled and tasted similar to previous batches. Racked excess 0.25 gallons to excess container with 0.25 oz table sugar.

Some very delayed tasting notes for this oud bruin batch

Tasting notes from 1.18.20.

Appearance: Beer pours a dark chocolate ganache that brightens to a milk chocolate in direct and bright light. It maintains a slightly tan head that lingers and provides nice lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Woodsiness arrives first like freshly cut lumber followed by a curious mix of lemon, red currant, bourbon, hay and milk chocolate.

Flavor: The beer hits right off with a nutty chocolate reminiscent of a walnut-filled brownie. It follows with an oaky vanilla then red currant. The finish lingers with vanilla while lemony sourness arrives with white grape, cherry and a touch of flowers? There is no funkiness to this beer and the acidity is detectable but extremely restrained. A touch of boozy burn is there but it isn't distracting. It lets you know this beer spent some time in a former whiskey barrel. As the beer warms the acidity takes a more prominent roll with both lactic acid and a tiny amount of acetic acid. The beer changes with warmth away from the fudgy/nutty flavor to more acidic currant and cherry flavor with the nutty and chocolate flavors taking a back seat. I liked the beer better cooler but it is an interesting ride as the beer changes.

Mouthfeel: For a sour beer this is an extremely full bodied beer but it would be a solid medium judged against clean beers. The barrel is clearly flexing by adding structure and fullness to the beer which is a really nice touch. Acidity and tannins linger after the finish. The lingering tannins are a bit much but the acidity helps cut through and keep it from ruining the experience.

Overall: This batch is easily the best of the four batches that have come out of the barrel with the first culture. Undoubtedly shortening the time spent in the barrel was a huge benefit--which makes me a little concerned for batch 5 which has been in the barrel for about a year now (but with a different culture). This is virtually everything I could ask for in this beer. It has a really nice flavor and hits my preference for a sour beer that is not a huge acid bomb. It isn't the most complex sour beer in fact it is fairly simplistic and straight forward but it does such a good job hitting each flavor distinctly that it doesn't need the complexity to carry the beer. If I have one criticism to hand out it would be that the tannins are a touch too much but I will take it happily for all the positives of this beer.

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