Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blackberry Sour

I brewed a Saison for our wedding last December. For the Saison I wanted it to be a reddish color and I wanted to use Fantôme dregs. Well the beer ended up being infected, probably by the Fantôme dregs because not even they know what is in their beer. I decided to see if I could salvage it since it didn’t taste bad I just didn’t want to serve it as a wedding favor, knowing it might be a little too out there for most people. In the meantime I added some Brettanomyces from my Cantillon IPA for some funk and a little extra complexity. 

I knew I wanted to perhaps add fruit to the beer but I wasn’t sure what type of fruit to add. Generally fruit is added to beer during the harvest season. I originally wanted to add cherries but it is well past cherry season and I think it would have been a little much. I eventually decided on using blackberries because they are in season currently and I think they would work well with the flavors I was getting from the beer. 

Since blackberries can have a strong flavor I decided to go with a pound of fruit per gallon. I estimated I would get 4 gallons of beer so I went with 4 gallons of fruit. My process consisted of washing the black berries to remove all chemicals and dirt, etc. Then I put them into a plastic Ziploc and placed it into the freezer to freeze the fruit and break down the cell walls of the fruit. After two days I removed the fruit and let it defrost while I was sanitizing and preparing for transfer into secondary. 

I cut a hole into the corner of the Ziploc bag and used it like a piping bag to squeeze the fruit into my secondary carboy. After all of the fruit was in the carboy I flushed it with CO2 and then racked the sour Saison into the carboy for refermentation on the fruit. It took about 4 days for signs of refermentation so show. The fruit slowly started to float to the top and now there is a good layer of fruit and bubbles and some activity had started to show up in the airlock. 

The plan is to leave the fruit on the beer for 2-3 months and then bottle it. Hopefully by then I’ll have my stand corker and I can cork the bottles. 

Saison Recipe:

OG est: 1.048
OG measured: 1.050
FG est: 1.006
SRM: 15o
IBU: 30.6
Grain Bill:
64% - 12 lbs – Belgian Pils
14% - 2 lbs 10 oz – Vienna Malt
11% - 2 lbs – Dark Munich Malt
4% - 12 oz – D80 Belgian Candi Syrup
3% - 8 oz –Flaked Wheat
3% - 8 oz – Special B
1% - 3 oz – Roasted Barley
Hop Bill:
2.5 oz – East Kent Golding – 75 minutes
0.5 oz – East Kent Golding – 30 minutes
Fantôme Noel dregs (from a starter made a week and a half earlier, stepped up twice)
Mash Schedule:
149oF single infusion saccharification rest for 60 minutes
Four pounds of blackberries
11/3/13 - Four pounds of blackberries added to secondary carboy.

11/7/13 - Signs of refermentation have started.

3/2/14 - Blackberry sour bottled.

6/29/14 - First tasting of the Blackberry sour

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