New Brunswick Craft Brewers Association

Beer Recipes and Food => All Grain => 17 - Sour Ale => Topic started by: feldmann on July 04, 2015, 06:24:10 PM

Title: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on July 04, 2015, 06:24:10 PM
This is a recipe I'm trying to build around TYB's Farmhouse Sour Ale blend. I don't want the focus to be taken away from the yeast, but I do want some depth and character from the malts. Since this is the first sour recipe I've ever created all by myself, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Batch Size: 5.5 Gal
OG: 1.054
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.25%
IBU: 2.09
SRM: 7.33

9.5 lbs Bohemian Pilsner
1 lbs Flaked Wheat
1 lbs Munich
0.5 lbs Crystal 40L

5 g Czech Saaz (3.6%)

TYB Farmhouse Sour Ale

Mash @67C for 30 mins

Age for minimum 3 months

EDIT: Modified the recipe a bit based on additional research and feedback.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: Roger on July 04, 2015, 08:18:26 PM
Looks good. I'm not sure you'll need the crystal 40 though maybe something like cara hell or crystal 10-20. I'm not by any means a sour or farmhouse pro but it might be too much caramel flavor. On the other hand migh be worth a try...
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on July 04, 2015, 09:41:59 PM
I'm no sour expert either. I'm reading American Sours right now and it's a great read! I agree with @Roger (http://nbcba.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1911)  I don't think you need the crystal at all. 

You may want to mash higher (154 maybe) to give the lacto more leftover carbs to eat up. You could always add in some acid malt to the grist as well. I do for any saisons I brew, I'm actually brewing one tomorrow. Your FG will likely finish lower than 1.015. If you want to help the sourness along you could always pitch some dregs from a sour beer if you happen to have any.

Hopefully @jamie_savoie (http://nbcba.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1182) will chime in on this, he is the sour Guru!
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on July 04, 2015, 10:59:36 PM
Thanks for the advice guys!

I was really on the fence with the crystal. I've never used it in any of my saisons before but it was actually a part in American Sour Beers that influenced me to put it in. The more I think about it though, the more I think it won't really match very well with the other dominant flavors. I just made an order for some carahell for a different recipe and I'm pretty sure I'll have some left so I might throw that in.

Unfortunately I don't have any sour beers laying around. You said that the FG will likely finish lower, should I start with a lower OG? I'm worried that ABV might push up too high and kill off some of the lacto.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on July 05, 2015, 08:15:14 PM
I don't think you really need to lower the OG, the sacc will do their job and then the lacto will eat the rest. I just meant that it will finish lower than the 1.015 you had posted. I brewed a saison today with an OG of 1.059.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on July 05, 2015, 11:50:19 PM
I posted on /r/Homebrewing and got a reply from TYB themselves, I thought anyone looking to brew with this blend in the future might be interested in what he said. I thought the part about the crystal malt was pretty funny, considering that I didn't mention in that post that I was planning on using crystal.

Quote
Nick from The Yeast Bay here. My recommendations for this blend would be to keep the IBU low (1-2 IBU), ferment in the low 70's and slowly raise to ~75-80 F after a couple days of active fermentation. Most people that keep the IBU low seem to get good sourness within a few months. All of the pro brewers who use it seem to get nice sourness development, though many of them have run a fair amount of trials varying things like the malt bill, fermentation temperature profiles, etc. There is some anecdotal evidence as well that I've heard from pro brewers that a very small portion of Crystal Malt (60L) helps the sourness develop nicely in these style beers.

Regarding the temperature for lacto, some do like it high. We have 2 strains in here, delbrueckii and brevis. The delbrueckii might like it a little higher, but the optimal temperature for brevis is actually around 86 F. It will definitely do well though in the mid-high 70's, it will just take a little longer to get sourness developing. I would definitely recommend against going into the mid-high 80's with this. We haven't used the strains of yeast in the blend at those temperatures, and you could get some not so great flavors.

People actually like the yeast blend so much and the young beer before it sours, we'll soon be offering just the Saccharomyces portion of the Farmhouse Sour Ale as a new blend, Saison Blend II.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on July 06, 2015, 08:52:40 AM
Interesting about the crystal. I had no idea it helped contribute to sourness. He does say a very small portion, so maybe half the original amount you had listed.

If you wanted to use more hops for the preservative quality without increasing IBUs you could bake some low AA hops.

This is an interesting strain, I may order this at some point. Keep us posted on how it's going. Oh and you could always pull a small portion to age on some fruit for some added complexity.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on July 26, 2015, 11:37:05 PM
Finally got around to brewing this today. OG came out a little lower than I planned at 1.054, but other than it went well. I'm not too worried since like Rob said, I think it will finish lower than 1.015. I'm debating whether or not I want to keep it pure and see what the strain can do on its own or pitch some bottle dregs from some things I'll grab from Portland next week.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on July 27, 2015, 07:54:56 AM
I would say it all depends on how quickly you want to be drinking this. If you're okay with letting it age for six months or so you could taste it after a couple of months and if it's lacking the complexity you want you could pitch some bottle dregs then. Or if you think you're going to add them at some point anyway you could pitch now. It does taken time for character to develop from dregs. Brett can start coming through after a month or so but other souring bugs take longer.

Again, I have limited experience with sours. This is what I've found so far. @jamie_savoie has more info and experience and may be able to help more.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: jamie_savoie on July 28, 2015, 08:48:15 AM
1.054 is totally not low for a saison.  Thatís what I usually aim for my saisons.  You can expect (and should expect) 95-100% attenuation. 
IMO a saison over 1.010 is not that great, itís more like just a blonde ale, and well thatís what I would call it.  Saison needs to be as dry as fuck.  Iím happy when my FG is 1.000-1.005.  Iíve even saw once a FG of 0.998! lol

And if thereís Brett you can bet youíll have 98-100% attenuation and a FG of 1.000-1.002.  Just give it a good 3 months aging
Is it a double batch?  You could keep one clean and add the dregs in the other? 
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on July 28, 2015, 11:19:28 PM
Theres no brett in the strain just 2 different straings of lacto and sacc, which is part of the reason why I didn't want to add any dreggs. The description says the strains were picked to match one another and avoid the brett funk.

Its just a single batch, but now that I've started brewing sours and I get so excited to try so many different things on each batch and then have to wait so long so try it I might start splitting them for the next brewday.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on July 29, 2015, 10:54:32 AM
Theres no brett in the strain just 2 different straings of lacto and sacc, which is part of the reason why I didn't want to add any dreggs. The description says the strains were picked to match one another and avoid the brett funk.

Its just a single batch, but now that I've started brewing sours and I get so excited to try so many different things on each batch and then have to wait so long so try it I might start splitting them for the next brewday.
You could always add the dregs of a berliner weisse or Gose. Those are mainly fermented with lacto and sacc. You would have to read up a little to make sure the bottle you have doesn't add brett at bottling. Some like to do that for added complexity, at least with berliner.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: jamie_savoie on July 29, 2015, 01:16:27 PM
lacto would only work in primary.  Once thereís 3-4% alcohol, lacto cease functioning
@feldmann (http://nbcba.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1986)  thatís why for our Sour Occur we pitched lacto alone for a couple days before pitching the rest of the yeasts

also, lacto needs lots of cell to properly work.  think lager size pitch
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on July 29, 2015, 02:35:15 PM
This is why @jamie_savoie is the sour guru! I completely forgot how alcohol intolerant lacto is.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on July 29, 2015, 10:05:22 PM
I read so many conflicting things about blends. I read that making a starter can be bad because certain strains might become dominant and some alcohol produced can stall the lacto. Nick himself said that he just pitches the vials directly into the carboy but that starters are perfectly okay.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on July 30, 2015, 08:10:29 AM
I didn't do a starter for a Flanders red I brewed. I remember reading it wasn't just because a certain strain may dominate but also the ratio of bugs in the packet would be upset.

I do get what you're saying about mixed cultures. The info out there isn't always consistent. And there are always guys going against the best advice out there and still producing great beer. So it's hard to know exactly what the "right"  thing to do is. Try reading up on mash and brew techniques for a berliner weisse. There are so many any variables from the starter to mash to boil (or lack of) that it can take a lot of time to get a game plan.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: jamie_savoie on July 30, 2015, 11:10:28 AM
When I get a yeast blend, I use it as fresh as possible and use it ďas isĒ for the first time but then after that when I re-pitch it I have no clue what the proportions are but they still do whatís theyíre suppose to.  Sometimes its better, sometimes pretty much the same, sometimes not as sour.  What Iím doing now for my re-pitch is I also add at the same time a fresh dose of lacto + sacc.  My thinking is lacto is pretty much dead or just too low cells count after a year+ as opposed to brett and pedio who stay alive by feeding on unfermentable during aging

Last week I racked some 1 year+ old lambics into secondary with cherry juice, rhubarb and honeysuckle.  I was stunned when I saw a blowoff mess 3-4 days later  :o
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on July 30, 2015, 11:23:02 AM
Wow! A blowoff after that long. Impressive.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: jamie_savoie on July 30, 2015, 01:06:25 PM
Impressive.
not so impressive cleanup thought!  I had fruits sticking to the celling lol
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on August 13, 2015, 10:26:48 PM
I decided to rack it into secondary today. I'm not really doing this with any of my other sours, but because this blend is only sacc and lacto, theres no brett to eat the dead yeast so I was worried about autolysis. Its been about two and a half weeks and its down to 1.014. First taste test is pretty damn good, theres a good sour level but it doesn't overtake the saison yeast. I could probably bottle this right now, but I'm going to give it some more time.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on August 14, 2015, 08:23:12 AM
I was wondering about transferring to secondary for a Gose I plan to brew very soon. Normally I only use primary unless I'm aging a beer long term. But sours are a whole different story.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on August 14, 2015, 03:58:41 PM
I debated it in my head for awhile but in the end I decided to just do it. It was at a sour level I was happy with and I don't think its going to go any lower on the gravity so I figured there probably wasnt any harm. My biggest regret was not purging the new carboy with CO2 but I guess thats a lesson for next time.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: robcoombs on January 06, 2016, 08:59:42 AM
Curious how this turned out @feldmann (http://nbcba.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1986)
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on January 06, 2016, 05:33:59 PM
It's still sitting in a carboy but it's on the top of my list to bottle once I get back home either this weekend or the next.
Title: Re: Farmhouse Sour Ale
Post by: feldmann on January 25, 2016, 09:58:05 PM
Finally bottled this. It didn't get any lower than 1.014 and flavour hasn't changed a whole lot, but the sourness has become a tiny bit more mellow and clean.