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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Souring Halvtreds Part 2

The sour starter
Last post I went through the process of collecting bottle dregs and added it to a start wort so that I could create a culture to sour Halvtreds.  It too multiple days to get going and teetered out after a little over a week.  Once it did I put it in my fridge for 5 days to fully cold crash it and left for a business trip.  

Last weekend I pulled the Halvtreds base beer out from where it had been stored and added the decanted yeast to it.  This was a simple process of pouring off the top portion of the liquid then swirling the last bit to get the yeast cake into suspension.  I then poured it into the Halvtreds base beer via a sanitized funnel.

Never one to miss an opportunity to sample one of my beers I pulled off a sample to check gravity (1.018) and give it a taste.  While I was at it I also sampled the decanted liquid from the sour starter.

Pouring it in
Halvtreds Base Beer: Clean nose, malty backbone, nice level of sweetness and is crystal clear.  It comes off as a really nice mellow red ale (yet is a lager).  It hides the fact that it is 7% very well.  I wonder how it would taste overly dry hopped? This one would play very well with those would dig malty beers (maltsters) and if it was a style I was into it would be something to brew again and not sour.  

Halvtreds Sour Starter: Really nice mildly sour aroma. I pick up the citrus (lemon?) sourness from the Batch 50.  On the aroma there is a nice bit of funk and I pick up a little bit of the leather aroma from the Duchesse. I didn't get a chance to really let it warm before I had finished drinking it.  I'm really hopeful that both the flavor and aroma will carry over well and become a lot more amplified.

With the bugs pitched I'm going to let it go for a few months before I add the fruit.  I know what fruit I'm going to go with (you'll have to wait to find out) but I can't decide if I want to fruit the whole batch or just half.  I guess I'll decide after I see how the beer develops over time.




Checking the gravity
Checking the color, clarity and taste
Hanging out with 33


  1. Sounds like a good beer and I'll be interested in your results. I have quite a bit of experience with using sour dregs and have been very pleased by my success. The starter is definitely a good idea when pitching into 5 gals as it will help the older bugs wake up.

    From all the research I have done, it appears that the Duchesse is filtered and back-sweetened. Did you see dregs in the bottom of the bottle?

  2. Jeff, there was definitely something on the bottom. I might see if I can grab a small bottle today and really take a look at it. I'll pour 2 glass, 1 with a proper pour and one with a rough pour and see if it changes the color and clarity

    That does make me wonder on the affects filtering would have on sour beers. Would it be able to get all the bugs?

    I did some quick research and you are right the Duchesse is a filtered and ->force-carbonated<- blend of 8 and 18 month old beer, 60/40. The force-carbonation is the real point here. I know of several beers that are filtered then re-primed and bottle conditioned.

    This raises additional questions, perhaps the leathery notes I got off of the starter was more from the dregs of the Duchesse then anything created by it.

    Had I known that it was filtered and bottle conditioned I would have selected a different beer.


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