Monday, June 22, 2009

Sour Beers

I apologize for the lack of activity around here. Things are happening, but not the types of things I should be publicizing yet. I'm not terribly paranoid about people having sinister motives, but securing a location for the pub is a big exception. In my mind, the threat of somebody buying a site for the sole purpose of preventing me from moving there is very real. So is the threat of somebody opening a brewpub right next door and, more importantly, beating me to opening day because they don't have to deal with such time-consuming nuisances as raising outside capital.

In less fear-mongering news, I bottled my year-old sour red ale last week. The one I talked about here. The acidity is smooth, but it's primarily lactic. I was hoping for more acetic acid, but that's the way things go. Once carbonated, it should be a refreshingly tart session beer for these hot summer days. The beer didn't have any wood character, which means the vodka (and subsequent boiling of the wood chips) did its job. The woody vodka was nasty, by the way. It tasted like whiskey to me, but it probably tasted worse than whiskey to people who like whiskey.

Wanting to keep my souring microbes healthy, I brewed an old ale two weeks ago. After bottling the sour red ale a week later, I pulled a gallon of old ale from its fermenter and added it to the wood chips. I dry hopped the remaining beer in the fermenter and will bottle it next week for fresh, bacteria-free consumption. New ale, if you will. Around this time next year, I'll brew another batch of old ale and blend it with the wood-aged gallon. Hopefully the result will be a complex ale with a subtle sourness and - if I'm lucky - some controlled oxidation.

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