Kettle-Soured Belgian Brown with Mixed Berries

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strange-steve

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This one was inspired by one of @prog99's brews and is a bit of a fusion beer, sort of cross between a fruit Berliner and a Belgian brown ale. What I'm hoping for is a chocolate and berries flavour, rich, fruity and tangy. What I'd love is something like a Duchesse du Bourgogne crossed with Rodenbach Charactere Rouge, although without the brett.

The mash is on currently, to be followed by a quick sparge and then kettle soured with Swanson lacto pills.

Recipe Specs
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Batch Size (L): 20.0
Total Grain (kg): 4.490
Total Hops (g): 20.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.054 (°P): 12.6
Final Gravity (FG): 1.011 (°P): 2.8
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 5.52 %
Colour (SRM): 21.6 (EBC): 42.6
Bitterness (IBU): 0.2 (Average)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 80

Grain Bill
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4.000 kg Pilsner Malt (89.09%)
0.240 kg Special-B (5.35%)
0.150 kg Chocolate (3.34%)
0.100 kg Cafe Malt (2.23%)

Hop Bill
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20 g Aged Leaf (0.5% Alpha) @ 1 Minutes (Boil) (1 g/L)

Misc Bill
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2.0 kg Frozen Mixed Berries @ 7 Days (Secondary)

Single step Infusion at 66°C for 60 Minutes.
Fermented at 20°C with WLP530 - Abbey Ale

Notes
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After sparge bring to boil for 1 min
Cool to 38c
Pre-sour the wort to 4.3 pH with lactic acid
Pitch 8 lacto pills plus lambic dregs
Stop souring around 3.5 pH
Boil for 15 mins or for raw ale 82c for 15 mins to pasteurise
Add frozen fruit on day 5 and leave for 2 weeks
 
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strange-steve

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I've added the lacto pills (although they are a couple of months out of date so I hope there's still some life in there) and wrapped it up at 38°c until tomorrow. Tbe colour is a really nice reddish brown.
 

strange-steve

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Tested the pH this morning and it has gone from 4.3 to 4.9 apparently :?::?:

Obviously a measurement error somewhere but still rather odd. The starting pH was measured after stirring in the lactic acid by just dipping the meter into the top of the GF. This morning I took a sample from the pump, so it would have been taken from the bottom of the GF (and I didn't stir it first). Maybe stratification causing a false reading?
 

prog99

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I tested the ph on my one with a sanitised spoon and tasting it! So no idea on the ph
 

strange-steve

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How much lactic acid did you use to lower your ph Steve? I cant find my meter and i am planning one for the weekend. That's if the starter works.
I added 10 ml which brought it down to 4.3. I would have preferred it a little lower but I ran out of lactic acid.
 

strange-steve

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Well this was a slow one. My previous kettle sour was done after 24 hours, this one hadn't dropped at all after 24 hours so I chucked in a few more lacto capsules. This morning I checked again and pH was down to 3.3 acheers.

The wort smelled and tasted delicious, sweet and sour and fruity. Yeast is now pitched and it's wrapped up in the fridge.
 

strange-steve

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Just to update this, 5 days after pitching the yeast I added 1.5kg of frozen mixed berries from Lidl and left it for 2 weeks. I then cold crashed to 5° and left it for another week before bottling today. Initial tasting is very promising, this could actually be my first successful fruit beer!
 

BeerCat

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I tried to make a starter with pills and nothing happened so I got some Omega lacto instead. Not tasted it yet but the starter was nice and sour. I am going to add some blackberries to the keg and refermemt some with pineapple.
 

strange-steve

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This has been in the bottle for 2 weeks now, so it's time for the first official tasting...


I'm pretty happy with this. A good depth of fruity flavours, nothing specific, just a general fruitiness which is rather pleasant. Malt flavours are a bit fuller than my last few quick sours, so I see that as mission accomplished.

The acidity level is perfect for my taste, but it's just a tad too clean. A little touch of acetic acid would really lift this and give it more of a Flanders red appeal, and I really wish I had split the batch and added some brett to half. Ah well, next time.

Edit to add: for the sake of experimentation and curiosity I added a couple of drops of balsamic vinegar to the glass (I know, I got some weird looks from the Mrs too) and it's a definite improvement :thumba:
 
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Gerryjo

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This has been in the bottle for 2 weeks now, so it's time for the first official tasting...


I'm pretty happy with this. A good depth of fruity flavours, nothing specific, just a general fruitiness which is rather pleasant. Malt flavours are a bit fuller than my last few quick sours, so I see that as mission accomplished.

The acidity level is perfect for my taste, but it's just a tad too clean. A little touch of acetic acid would really lift this and give it more of a Flanders red appeal, and I really wish I had split the batch and added some brett to half. Ah well, next time.

Edit to add: for the sake of experimentation and curiosity I added a couple of drops of balsamic vinegar to the glass (I know, I got some weird looks from the Mrs too) and it's a definite improvement :thumba:
You can tell your missus that she's not alone as I'm giving you weird looks as well...
 

matt76

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This has been in the bottle for 2 weeks now, so it's time for the first official tasting...


I'm pretty happy with this. A good depth of fruity flavours, nothing specific, just a general fruitiness which is rather pleasant. Malt flavours are a bit fuller than my last few quick sours, so I see that as mission accomplished.

The acidity level is perfect for my taste, but it's just a tad too clean. A little touch of acetic acid would really lift this and give it more of a Flanders red appeal, and I really wish I had split the batch and added some brett to half. Ah well, next time.

Edit to add: for the sake of experimentation and curiosity I added a couple of drops of balsamic vinegar to the glass (I know, I got some weird looks from the Mrs too) and it's a definite improvement :thumba:
I'm pretty stunned by this - I'm gradually learning to pick out and describe flavours. I can sometimes identify specific fruit flavours from the hops or something specific from the malts..... :confused.:

But to be able to describe things about the acidy is just beyond comprehension! Even more so, the insight to then start chucking vinegar in it..... clapa

You're either certifiably insane (hmm... ;)) or some sort of culinary genius! :laugh8:
 
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