One of my favorite cocktails is a mezcal drink with pineapple in it. If I see that on a menu, it’s likely going to be touching my lips shortly after. One of my favorite styles of beer are sour beers…so why not try and combine the two?
For those who don’t know about mezcal, it is a smoked tequila. It’s smokey because they break down the agave plant underground using heat (roasting brings out the natural sugars of the agave), this heat creates smoke, which then retains all the way through the process to the product.
I happen to like smoked beer. While I know it’s not for everyone, there is something about it that just gets me. Maybe it reminds me of food? The way I get smoke into my beer is by smoking 1/3 of the grist on the grill for about 30-45 minutes. You can of course just buy smoked malt.
I did do a smoked sour one other time that turned out really nice, so I figured I was fairly safe from weird off flavors…on paper.
For the souring portion, I have been using a handful of 2-row with the best success, but for this I figured I would use a commercial pitch as I had some commercial bacteria lying around. There is a caveat to this in that it wasn’t a fresh pitch, but a harvested one from a beer starter that ended up growing mold on it. I ended up regrowing it and using it with success in another beer, so I figured it was safe for this.
For the pineapple portion my main goal was for it to be fresh. I have had success with 1 lb of fruit for one gallon of beer on denser fruits.
Getting weird is the best.
Batch Size: 1 Gallon
Est ABV: 4.5%-ish
Boil Time: 15 min
100% – 2-Row
60 Min @ 153F
WLP672 Lactobacillus Brevis
Smoked my grains and did my usual mash steps. I didn’t boil, just pasteurized at 180F for a few minutes. I then cooled it to 100F and pitched whatever I had left of my lacto and held around 90F.
8/27/18: The pH is at 4.
8/28/18: The pH is at 3.9.
8/31/18: The pH is at 3.9. I don’t think I pitched enough bacteria. Pitched US-05 in hopes it ferments.
9/8/18: I had about 1/2 gallon total of the beer by some miscalculation, so I got 1/2 lb of pineapple, cut it into peaces, did a quick pasteurization, cooled it and added it.
9/18/18: Pulled it off the pineapple. The pH is at 3.8. Added lactic acid to get it to 3.5. I hated to do it, but it needed to be done.