Salivator II Sour Doppelbock Recipe - Brain Sparging on Brewing


Sour beer, saisons, farmhouse beer, homebrewing, ramblings

May 28, 2019

Salivator II Sour Doppelbock Recipe

Lager and sour beer are two concepts rarely put together in the same sentence. Most people associate sour beers with ales and most sour beer undergoes primary fermentation through some top fermenting yeast. There are some sour beers that undergo primary fermentation with lager yeast (such as New Belgium's base sour beers Felix and Oscar) but we find far fewer traditional lager styles adapted to sour brewing. These styles represent a huge swath of unexplored sour brewing opportunities. One can credibly acknowledge there is much overlap between lager beer styles and other sources of sour beer but lagers tend to enjoy far less inspiration and implementation in sour brewing. 

Several years ago, before making Colorado a permanent home, I made my way to Fort Collins to drink through several breweries. The now closed Fort Collins Brewery on one of these trips offered up a sour doppelbock. I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity of the beer. It could have easily stood in line with oud bruins or passed off as a dark sour beer of its own nature. I had fond memories of that trip and that beer so this recipe is a ode to both.

Formulating the sour doppelbock recipe

Rather than build a recipe from scratch I borrowed the doppelbock recipe from I don't know what caused Kai Troester to fade away from his active participation on his site and various forums but his site remains an invaluable homebrewing resource. His doppelbock recipe takes inspiration from Spaten Optimator, which is not a bad starting point. It's a simple five malt recipe using munich malt as a base blended with pils, aromatic, caramunich II and caramunich III. 

Here I have kept the spirit of his recipe and made only slight changes. The grain bill remains similar although I split the large portion of munich between munich and vienna malt. (Admittedly I did this because I realized halfway through milling grain that I didn't have enough munich malt on hand as I thought.) I swapped hops from German noble to a higher AA hop. I've also switched his decoction mash for a slightly different schedule and adjusted the water profile to account for giving up an acid rest.

I've adapted the doppelbock recipe for souring by swapping out a lager yeast for WY3278 Lambic Blend and aging it for an extended period of time. I suppose not using a lager yeast technically makes this not a lager but I'm most interested in the flavors driven by German malts than what lager yeast drive. I intend to let this beer sit for at least a year but might let it go for a longer slumber. 

With that in mind let's get to the final recipe.

Sour Doppelbock Recipe

Batch Size: 1 gallon
Est. ABV: 9.2%
Est. IBU: 25
Est. OG: 1.081
Est. FG: 1.011
Est. SRM: 15.6
Expected Efficiency: 72%
Grain BillPoundsOuncesSRMPct. Grist
Pils malt08216.00%
munich malt161044.00%
Vienna malt10432.00%
Aromatic malt01262.00%
Caramunich II01462.00%
Caramunich III02604.00%
Water Profileppm
Custom Doppelbock profile
PH: 5.5
Water AdditionsMashSparge
Epsom Salt0.1g
Canning Salt
Baking Soda0.6g
Calcium Chloride0.2g
Pickling Lime
Lactic Acid1.3ml
Mash ScheduleStep Temp.Step Time
Decoction mash
Mash volume: 5.38qt
Sparge volume: 0.25 gal
Infuse 5.38qt at 156F14735
Decoct 0.89qt after 10 minutes
Bring decoction to boil
Return doction to mash15640
Sparge 1qt180
Boil ScheduleVolumeUnitTimeIBU
60 minute boil
Belma [12%] hops 0.14oz6025
Fermentation Schedule# DaysTemp.
Yeast: WY3278
Pitch at 64F36567
Bottle to 3 volumes

Sour Doppelbock Brewday and Fermentation Notes

Brewed 3.30.19.

First runnings: 1.054
Preboil gravity: 1.050
Preboil volume: 1.4gal
Mash efficiency: 62%

Postboil gravity: 1.060
Postboil volume: 1 gal
Brewhouse efficiency: 53%

Fairly typical day except for really bad efficiency which might be a measurement issue over a procedural defect. I am not too concerned with the ABV on my sour beers but something to watch on the next few beers to see if there is a procedural issue to correct. 

Pitched 1/3 of a pouch of WY3278 (Lambic Blend) into the fermentation vessel and set it in my fermentation chamber to age. 

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