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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Hallway-de-Sour


I like the idea of having lots of different wild homebrew aging in the cellar. Just hanging out down there, slowly maturing and developing. Not in bottles as finished beer, but in bulk. Ageing on different fruits and in different woods, ageing at the hands of different yeast and bacteria.

Trouble is - what with me not living in the 18th century - I don’t actually have a cellar. Nor do I have any wooden barrels to age beer in. What I do have though is a TESCO, a TESCO that’s started selling glass Demijohns. A TESCO, and a hallway with a bit of spare surface space. Sorted.

About ten months ago I made this. I then soured it further with a lacto culture and left it to do its thing. Rhubarb ‘Lambic’ therefore becomes batch 001 in my Hallway-de-Sour. Batch 002 is equally fun.


Batch 002 is 55% pale malt, 23% pilsner malt and 22% oats. It’s fermented with a German weissbier yeast, it’s bittered with hops to 10 bittering units and it has an original gravity of 1.057. It’s currently sitting in primary where it will stay for around 10 days. The plan is to then rack to glass and pitch a lacto culture and some dregs from assorted bottles of Cantillon. Once we’ve hit 1.000 and picked up some funk, I’ll pitch loads of lovely apricots and leave for further ageing.

My thought process is that the clove and banana phenolics produced by the weissbier yeast strain will work well with apricot. Tartness alongside that could be fantastic. I used oats instead of wheat because that’s all I had.

Batch 003 will also be fun ...

7 comments:

@zatytom said...

Nine months ago I brewed what was supposed to have been a Belgian dubbel but it unfortunately soured in the secondary. I transferred two 5l portions to demijohns, one over raspberries and the other with some oak chips, and added a sour yeast culture. We bottled the raspberry after three months and I tried a bottle at Christmas - obviously it hasn't got the complexity yet but it was pretty good. The oak one is still sitting in a demijohn in my bathroom. I have no idea when I ought to bottle it or whether I want to do anything else with it? I remember you posted about the raspberry lambic when it had got the ropey filaments on top. Mine started to do that a little bit a couple of months ago, but never to the extent that you showed, so I don't know if it's "working" or not...

Mark said...

I'm still learning about this stuff too, but my guess is that the ropeyness in my beer was due to oxygen exposure. Prior to the pellicle forming, I noticed that the airlook went completely dead and (before I could do anything about it) the water in the airlock dried out to the point where air could get in. I think the pellicle was as a result of O2 and was acting as a form of defense.

I think it's a case of tasting. Keep tasting it over time. When it tastes good, bottle it. If you're not in any rush, it won't hurt to leave it in glass. (Just keep it away from light and keep it under airlock). Good to hear you might've been able to salvage something from a disaster!

@zatytom said...

Ah, I've been paranoidly not letting air get to it (I keep the air-lock topped up with vodka, so it's sterile but won't hurt the beer if it's sucked back in)

I haven't tasted it since putting it into the demi-john. Maybe I'll give it a try later..

Leigh said...

Your tesco sells demijohns?

Mark said...

I know, crazy isn't it!

I need to get down there and buy a couple more before they sell them all or change their minds.

Carl said...

Wow that sounds crazy, but is it something similar to the new style of brewing like the xyauyu beer( I read something about it on this german page: http://www.lebouquet.org/feinschmecker-biere.html)? Would be great to get some infos. Carl

arn said...

my local mega tesco also sells demijohns, barrels, big all-in-one kits, and all the the little knick knacks needed for brewing also.
Looks like Boots home brew section did 20 years ago!!