Acquired Sour

Funky Saison Trappist Weisse beer bottle
When I found out brewmaster SF had bottled his Funky Saison I wondered how it turned out. The beer had spent six months developing a sour earthiness. Being a Belgian styled beer brewed for the working class saisons can be fermented with strange things. SF had pitched a wild collection of yeast into the Saison in true farmhouse fashion. I was given the Saison and a Trappist Weisse. Once home the bottles stopped for a brief photo shoot and were chilled for sharing.

I had mentioned SF’s brewing practices to my brewpals before this time they could share my excitement. We served the Saison first. Unknowing to them the brew was decidedly sour. The malt sweetness had taken a back seat. The hop bittering pushed aside. What remained as tart forward with an earthy lemon grass complexity.

In silence I wondered if the Funky Saison was more sun-kissed than I could appreciate. I finished my pour and another. I had experienced sour by new measure.

My brewpals found reason to expect the unexpected as we poured the Trappist-Weisse. SF had crafted the second beer for a more agreeable palette. He wanted something refreshing not-bitter, not-sour. In brewing terms this is session beer an easy-drinking-malt-forward-brew. Session beers are also low-gravity-low-alcohol. SF had brewed a wheat beer using trappist yeast. I could see the correlation —a moderate gravity beer with sophistication. Confidence was returning as we poured more. Finishing both bottles we had spent the day brewing beer and drinking homebrew.

Petrus Sour Ale Sign
The next day I set out to find a sour beer on tap. I noticed the saison was sour forward and I needed a quick lesson in sours before reporting back to SF. I found Petrus Aged Pale Ale on tap however sour it was malt forward nothing like the saison. I queried SF for a lesson in sour beer. He assures the saison is a rarity and sours an acquired taste. I left with list of beers to try. I placed the saision bottle dregs aside for future use. I have since cultured the trappist bottle dregs. SF offered the recipe. It’s been converted for my own brew house efficiency.

SF’s Trappist-Weisse Beer: 5.5 Gallons OG 1.055 12 IBUs
7.75 lbs White Wheat
4.25 lbs Pilsner
0.75 lbs Rice Hulls

90 Minute Infusion Mashing:
6.5 gal Strike at 160°F
Batch Sparge:
3 gal at 170°F

Boiling:
60 Minute Boil
45 Minute Hops
0.75oz Hallertau
15 Minute Hops
0.25oz Hallertau
OverCarbed.com -good beer blog

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