I’ve been noodling around with different sours and funky beer now for the past 6 months. I’ve done everything from wild yeast harvests, to using bottle dregs, and pitching commercial yeasts. Sadly the only finished aged sour/funky beer I’ve been able to consume have been these Brett beers. I’ve tried one of the other sour beers that’s still souring, but I’ve been nervous to try more because oxygen has hated me and the beer I’ve brewed in the past. I really don’t want to introduce any oxygen into this, which can turn beer to vinegar or nail polish remover. Though I like the smell of the later, I wouldn’t able to get high off it, rather just cry in a corner holding my legs in my hands knowing where it wall went wrong.
The only commercial sour beer that I can think of on a larger scale that uses rye is Sour in the Rye by the Bruery. I’m told that wheat can help impart more Brett flavor, so I would imagine rye can impart some of those similar phenols Brett can utilize to enhance the funk.
As for the bugs, snot, and poop to put in this I am going to use more bottle dregs. While I don’t mind trying some more commercial pitches, I like the idea of the complexity dregs can impart, and with 1 gallon batches it shouldn’t take a lot (one, maybe two bottles at most, is plenty).
Original Batch Size: 2 Gallons
Target OG: 1.053
Est ABV: 5.2%
Boil Time: 70
59.4% – 2 Row
16.2% – Rye Malt
10.8% – Flaked Barley
8.2% – Aromatic Malt
5.4% – Carapils
.25 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrüh (2.4% AA) @ 30 Min
WLP028 Edinburgh Scottish Ale
Prairie Snake Ape
Prairie Funky Gold Simcoe
This is a split batch from a total of 2 gallons. I was low on efficiency yet again. I did do a beta-glucan rest to try and break down some of gummy sugars that are in rye and flaked barley. I did this for almost an hour (rather than the 20-30 minutes called for) as I got my car washed during this time. I’m not sure if that fucked my shit up some, but I was about 3 gravity points below where I wanted after running off the mash.
I did not treat the water with salts, cut it with distilled water, nor take a pH reading.
7/3/16: Strong activity.
7/9/16: Slight activity still. Transferred to two separate 1 gallon jugs: Dregs of Prairie Snake Ape and Ladyface Derailleur. The other jug got the dregs of Prairie Funky Gold Simcoe and Ladyface Trebuchet.
Ladyface Derailleur/Prairie Snake Ape: Gravity is at 1.008. It has a weird rubber smell to the nose, but the taste is great. I keep getting this with my sours that I’m trying. This can be a sign of wild bacteria, but I think the Brett strain may just be too intense, or shifting. It has a nice acidity to it, but I can’t pinpoint what I like about the taste. I guess just a nice clean sourness.
Ladyface Trebuchet/Prairie Funky Gold Simcoe: Gravity is at 1.010. It’s less rubbery in the smell the the above one, but it’s still there slightly. It’s less complex and acidic than the above one, but less off flavors.
Ladyface Derailleur/Prairie Snake Ape: Gravity is at 1.006. The rubbery smell has faded is more on the plastic side of things, but a little more harsh on the Brett harshness than the other one. The acidity is a bit more well rounded and ever so slightly less intense. The body is fuller too than the below one. This can benefit from blending or adding something to it like dry hops or fruit. It’s more on the Lambic side of things, yet not as good.
Ladyface Trebuchet/Prairie Funky Gold Simcoe: Gravity is at 1.008. Pretty damn solid actually. The rubbery smell is hardly there, but more on the lambic side of things. Nice acidity. No fruit aromas or flavors to speak of. I wish the Brett was slightly less harsh, but this can easily be “salvaged” with blending or a dry hop/fruit addition.
Ladyface Derailleur/Prairie Snake Ape: Gravity at 1.006. It tastes good. Slight weird rubber ending, but the nose is fruity and wine like. Nice acidity.
Ladyface Trebuchet/Prairie Funky Gold Simcoe: 1.008. Burning acidity. Hurts the throat kind of. Fruity aroma though.