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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Split Batch Sour Red

These starters are making me thirsty
As you may know a while back I got my hands on four vials of  East Coast Yeast (ECY01 BugFarm, ECY02 Flemish Ale, ECY04 Brett Blend #1 and ECY07 Scottish Heavy).  For my first forte in I used the ECY07 Scottish Heavy for my Project S.C.O.T.T. Strong Scotch Ale.  I have to say that so far I'm pretty happy with the results I'm seeing (In Progress Tasting).

I knew that I needed to the remaining vials soon than later so I put together a quick schedule for the next several brews.  The best way to work through them fast was to a couple of split batches, but which to use first?  

Initially I planned on doing a 10 gallon version of My Funky Brother Brett, using WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii in half and ECY04 Brett Blend #1 in the other.  I decided that it would be more purdent to come up with a recipe that would allow me to use more of what I had on hand.  I therefore decided to do a 10 gallon split batch of a red ale to make a Flemish Red and a red sour (BugFarm).

My other piece of new equipment
Mark II Keg Washer
At the beginning I was leaning toward doing all 10 gallons clean, like I did for Halvtreds, adding the bugs to secondary.  I had also planned on using my standard red ale grist modified for a lower gravity.  In the end I decided to do a more standard Rodenbach grist with a few SNB modifications. I also decided after researching Flemish Reds to add the ECY02 Flemish Ale for primary. Most of the recipes had called the sour yeast (mostly Wyeast's 3763 Roeselare Blend) in primary so I figured why not.

Brewday also gave me a chance to break in some new equipment I'd recently procured for myself, primarily in the forms of pumps.  I'd found a pump on Craigslist a while back and picked it up.  Not knowing the full history of what it was used for I decided that it would only touch cooling water.  The other was a Chugger Pump I'd convinced Eric to carry at The Shop that I planned to use initially just for recirculating but ended up using to fill the kettle as well.

So far I'm really digging the flavor I'm getting from the ECY02 Flemish Ale.  At first I was concerned given the not existent activity I'd seen.  Apparently it was in fact hard at work reducing the gravity into the 20s during it's first week.  I'd watched a Wyeast video about berliner wiesses where they found they got more sour results starting with the sour strain for the first week then adding a second clean strain to fermenting beer.  I decided to do something similar to the red by adding the remaining pack of US-05 I'd used to prime the single "barrel" bottles of Barrel Aged 33


Split Batch Sour Red
Flanders Red Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 9/2/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.00 gal
Brewer: Scott Bennett
Asst Brewer: DG 
Boil Size: 12.80 gal
Boil Time: 90 min
Equipment: SNB Brewhouse (Keggle and Cooler)
End of Boil Volume 10.92 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency: 67.30 %

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.058 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.6 %
Bitterness: 13.6 IBUs
Est Color: 12.8 SRM 

6.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
6.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) UK (1.0 SRM)
6.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
2.00 lb Carared (20.0 SRM)
2.00 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Acid Malt (3.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)
0.25 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)

1.00 oz Perle [7.20 %] - Boil 75.0 min

Batch 1
1.0 pkg Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) - Primary
1.0 pkg BugFarm (East Coast Yeast #ECY01 ) - Secondary

Batch 2
1.0 pkg Flemish Ale (East Coast Yeast #ECY02 ) - Primary
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) - After 1 week in primary

2.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
2.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)

Mash Steps
Mash In Add 7.82 gal of water at 167.9 F 156.0 F 45 min
Batch sparge with 3 steps (Drain mash tun, , 4.06gal, 4.06gal) of 168.0 F water

Split batch red -
1 half gets ECY02 Flemish Ale from a stir plate starter - USE THE BUCKET and CUBE 2 with US-05 added a week in
1 half gets WLP007 Dry English Ale from a swirled starter for Primary with ECY01 BugFarm in Secondary

Gearing up the starters
On the burners
Set up the night before as I needed a fast brewday
given the heat wave we'd been having
I need a plug in drill
The pump in action
Filling it up
My cooling systems
Providing some O2
The clean half the next morning


  1. Hey Scott ... I am wondering about your choice of 1.00 lb Acid Malt. Does this low amount help add to the sourness of the beer? Is it in there to help keep the mash PH down?

    I've never used acid malt, but I recently did a sour mash (let my mash cool to about 120, inoculate it with lactobacillus, and let it sour for a day or two).

    I have been wondering if I can get the same result of the sour mash using acid malt instead.

    1. I got the idea to use acid malt from The Mad Fermentationist. It adds a nice sharpness to the beer. Generally whenever I do a sour I toss a lb in. It's a little pricy and only comes in 1 lb bags from the shop but so far it's been worth it.

    2. Interesting. At my homebrew shop, weyermann acidulated malt is the same price as all the other specialty grains, so there is not really pricey for me. I have decided that at some point, I am going to do a small experimental batch (or maybe a few) with this. I am really wondering how much sourness comes through using it without other souring techniques.

    3. I use acid malt quite a bit, both to adjust mash pH and for a tartness. At 5% or less, I have never been able to detect a flavor change, but getting to 10% you will start tasting a light tartness (Which I like in Saisons, plus the light malt bill needs pH adjusting anyways). I have read about people going up to 20% and still thinking the beer was only mildly sour (and sorta medicinal sour).

      I like your malt bill with mixing in Vienna and Munich. Every year I keep upping the amounts of each and dropping down the Pilsner. It gives a much better malt character that stands up to the big flavors of the yeast/bacteria.


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