SourAleGroup E-BIAB Sofie Clone

What a great brew day, by far it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had as a home brewer.  The culmination of a lot of thought and work came together today for a truly satisfying experience. Read more about the E-BIAB system Setup Here

The Sofie Clone Recipe
Grains:

10 lbs Pilsner 2 Row
2 lbs Wheat Malt
1 oz  Amarillo Gold @ 60 Min
.5 oz Amarillo Gold @ 0 Min

Yeasts:
Brettanomyces Bruzellensis (Wyeast #3112)
Belgain Saison (Wyeast #3724)

Brewday Notes:
(25 minutes to get to strike temp, 1 hour Mash, 14 minutes to get to boil temp, 1 hour Boil, 33 minute chill, 20 minutes primary prep and cleaning)

Turned system on at 9:40pm (8.9 gallons of water at 60 degrees)
Hit Strike Temperature of 162 degrees at 10:05
Mash started at 10:05
Mash out started at 11:06
End mash out at 11:13
Strain grain until 11:20

Boil Volume = 7.5 gallons,
Preboil gravity: 1.040

Switched the Element to Boil setting at 11:27pm
Reach Boil temp at 11:41pm
Boil ended at 12:41

postboil volume : 6.2 gallons
postboil gravity: 1.051

Chilling Started at 12:42
Chilling ended at 1:15 @ 79 degrees

Pump to Primary at 1:20

Finished brewday at 1:40

Pitching the Souring Organisms

4 of us managed to score vials of East Coast Yeast 20.  “Bug County”.  From the love2brew site description: “The mother bugger for sour ales. Contains ECY01, ECY02, ECY03, ECY04, and ECY05. Also includes: Brettanomyces lambicus, bruxellensis, anomulus, clausenii, custersianus, nanus, and naardenensis. Various Lactobacilli and Pediococci were added to round out this LIMITED RELEASE sour blend for 2013. “

LYEC20-2

I tasted the beer for the first time in months on Friday Dec 29th.  I was a little worried for two reasons.  When I removed the air lock, I saw this:

barrel

Was this an infection of some sort?  The beer is exposed to more oxygen than normal in a barrel so perhaps this is the native yeast trying to protect the beer from oxygen?  Whatever it is did not affect the taste in a funky or bad way at all.  In fact, the beer tasted very good but boozy.  I was worried that that the ABV may affect the viability of some of the organisms that are part of the ECY20 blends.

At this point, I scrapped the idea of racking half of the beer to kegs to avoid infecting anyone’s equipment.

On Saturday the 30, Mike came by.  We enjoyed some awesome Toppling Goliath beers while we went to work.   The original plan was to remove 15 gallons and rack to carboys/buckets and replace as much as we could with fresh beer.  2 things deterred us.  First, we decided the beer tasted great as is (tasting notes: clean, oaky, apple brandy boozy, crisp, no hops, damn good, will add more details upon bottling).  Second, two of the batches we had on deck were deemed subpar.  They were not  horrible-one had a fruity twang and one may have just sat too long (and had a suspect floatie in it).   We felt these batches would not improve the overall blended product.  Therefore, we replaced back into the barrel 10 of the gallons we removed and added 5 gallons of fresh beer.  We then pitched 2 vials of ECY20, 2 slap packs of 7 month old  WYeast Roselare, and 1 vial of i year old White Labs 655 Flemish Sour.  I plan to bottle the 5 gallons of aged beer that was removed.  We pitched all sour mix dregs and a pack of Roselare into one of the batches we did not use.  That will be fun to watch.

yeasts

Filling the Barrel

Collective Golden Ale Batches 1-7 ready to be racked into the barrel.
Collective Golden Ale Batches 1-7 ready to be racked into the barrel.
No, this is not the name of his ska band.  Jon and all 7 batches of Golden Ale ready to be racked in to the barrel.  Not Jon, the primaries.  I don't think he would fit through the bung hole.
Jon and all 7 batches of Golden Ale ready to be racked into the barrel. Not Jon, just  the primaries. I don’t think he would fit through the bung hole.
When we peeked inside, we noticed these oak infusion spirals in net bags.  Why are they there?  Was the distillery hoping for extra oak character in the apple brandy?  It's a mystery.  Since we can't remove them, we racked the beer onto them.
When we peeked inside, we noticed these oak infusion spirals in net bags. Why are they there? Was the distillery hoping for extra oak character in the apple brandy? It’s a mystery. Since we can’t remove them, we racked the beer onto them.
We tasted all 7 batches prior to transferring.  Tasting notes are included in the posted recipes.  It was interesting to note the slight differences-mostly attributable to the different yeast strains used.
We tasted all 7 batches prior to transferring. Tasting notes are included in the posted recipes. It was interesting to note the slight differences-mostly attributable to the different yeast strains used.
All in all the transfer went smoothly.  We could have used a longer tube on the racking cane
All in all the transfer went smoothly. We could have used a longer tube on the racking cane
A closeup of the charred wood that was stirred up.  Beautiful.
A closeup of the charred wood that was stirred up. Beautiful.
The barrel is filled with 30 gallons.  We have batch 2 left on deck to use as the Angels' share makes it's way to the heavens.  The airlock showed immediate activity.  The entire filling process took a little over an hour.  It would have been nice to take out time but we were up against the clock.  Neither of us wanted to miss the Breaking Bad finale.
The barrel is filled with 30 gallons. We have batch 2 left on deck to use as the Angels’ share makes it’s way to the heavens. The airlock showed immediate activity. The entire filling process took a little over an hour. It would have been nice to take out time but we were up against the clock. Neither of us wanted to miss the Breaking Bad finale.