Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dirty Gnome - Sour Brown Ale

A couple of months ago I was in a friendly "Brown Off" competition.  We had a total of 6 homebrewers/friends bring Homebrewed Brown Ales.  I ended up brewing 2 Browns for the event.  Partly because I was planning on bringing a Janet's Brown and knowing that this beer is outside the BJBC guidelines (read big and hoppy) I wanted to brew another brown to blend back, if necessary.    Well, I ended up not blending the beer and taking the Janet's Brown.  This left me with a mild brown ale to store.  Today I decided to Sour it and "Dirty Gnome" was born.

I started to de-carb the beer from the keg.  This was stored warm and may take a couple of days.  Right now the yeast in the running is White Labs WLP650 or WLP653.  This means that I have to donate one more carboy to souring (Number #6 for my records).  Once I take a gravity reading I might consider adding some Malto-Dextrin or Sugar to jump start the bugs.  I don't have the recipe for the brown posted anyplace, but it is nothing special.  Just a typical 5% Brown Ale. If I remember right it was from Brewing Classic Styles.

I don't know if I should taste it before the bugs go in or not...I guess it depends on how fast I get the critters for this beer.  I might take a sample, bottle it flat and put it in my beer closet and take it out when the beer is done.  That way I can compare the 2 side by side.

Update #1

Well l added the WLP653 last night to the brown ale base beer.  I took a little sample and I didn't notice any off flavors.  I did not do a starter, I just dumped the Brett in and walked away.  11-14-11

Update #2

The beer is showing signs of an infection as of yesterday.  The striations on the top of the beer is just fucking cool.  Since this beers incarnation is has kinda been a bastard child, so with that in mind I might find some more bugs to drop into it.  I am kinda liking the idea of some Pinot and oak cubes soaked.  Then tossing them in for a couple months.  Anyway...Here is how it looked last night.

Update #3

Well, Since this beer has always been a bastard child I am going to continue down that path.  I have about an inch or so (in a gallon growler) of my Russian River Supplication Dreg beer.  I am going to add 2 oz of medium American oak cubes to it and after about a week dump it into this beer for some added funk.

Update #4

(12-18-2011) So it has been a week and the Oak Cubes have been soaking in the Russian River Supplication Dregs. Today I am adding the Dregs, cubes and some Malto-Dex into the beer.  I am running out a room, so I might transfer it to a Keg.  But we will have to wait and see.

This camera shot is the 1 gallon amber jug that is holding the Russian River Supplication, looking through the neck of the bottle down.  You can see the dregs and the oak cubes with all the bugs.  Got to admit, I think it looks awesome.

Update #5

Getting funky

Update #6

Over the last couple of months I have been taking small samples with my Hydrometer.  Over this time period I've seen the beer get more and more sour.  4 Weeks ago with DeeperRoots Danny The beer was a perfect blend of sour notes, sweetness and funk.  With that thought proudly ingrained in my head I pulled another sour thief last week and the taste changed to old meat of something funky.  After reading a lot of sour blogs/forums etc I saw a common thought, getting really funky at the end is relatively normal and *Should* clear up soon.  Just another reason to be in aww of the sour yeasts we love.

Update #7

 Put a fork in her, I think she is done.  The flavors are pretty awesome as of yesterday (4-23-12)  I really would like to save some for blending but I don't know if that is a option with my brewing schedule.  I am really torn on kegging or bottling the final product.  I'll have to make that choice in the next couple of days.

I made up some labels to make bottling "Official"  I am planning on bottling around 10 to 15 of these.  6 will be in nice Belgian bottles from The Bruery the rest will be in smaller 12 oz bottles to see how they age.  The remainder of the batch will be kegged. 

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