Monday, July 26, 2010

Flanders Brown Ale, July 25 2010

I'm not really into sour beer but this style, BJCP Category 17C. Flanders Brown Ale/Oud Bruin, seems to be a good compromise for this fall's club-only competition.  An Oud Bruin has a sour component but doesn't necessarily overpower the rest of the beer.  Balance between sweet malt and sour is the goal.  Based on readings, brettanomyces and other souring critters take time to sour a beer.  The Flanders that I brewed today is highly likely not going to be ready for the club-only sour competition this fall (I'll submit it anyway) but may have potential during AFC and NHC next year.  Many sours can take a year to develop.  As a first, there's lots to be learned about funky beer.
After harvesting at our hop farm yesterday, we stopped at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido to pick up some "research" for some upcoming brew sessions.  While there were a number of sours in stock, I couldn't find an exact match for an Oud Bruin or Flanders Brown Ale.  I think I picked up something close however, Ichtegem's Grand Cru, Flemish Red Ale, matured in oak barrels, Oud Bruin gerijpt in eiken vaten, 6.5% ABV.  The BeerAdvocate lists the style of Ichtegem's Grand Cru to be a Flanders Red Ale.  We'll sample this Monday.  Most likely, I'll give it a try and pass the rest over to Kara who loves sours.
Ichtegem's Grand Cru - an Oud Bruin matured in oak
Flanders Brown Ale, July 25 2010
5 Gallons, All Grain, Single Infusion Mash, 90 Minute Boil

9 lbs. German Pilsener
1.5 lbs. Vienna
1.5 lbs. Munich
1 lb. Red Wheat
0.75 lb. Crystal 20
0.5 lb. Caravienne
2 oz. Chocolate
2 oz. Black Roasted Barely

Single Infusion Mash 152°F

1 oz. Tettnanger 60 min.
0.3 oz. Spalt 60 min.
1 Whirlfloc tab 20 min.

White Labs WLP001 California Ale Yeast (vial to quick starter) Thanks, Kara!
White Labs WLP655 Belgian Sour Mix 1 added to secondary
WLP655 Includes Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and the bacterial strains Lactobacillus and Pediococcus.

OG: 1.072 @ 73°F

With a grain bill this size, I thought I'd be nearing capacity.  Looks like room for a couple more L.B.s!
Update 8/6: Racked to secondary, current gravity is 1.0125.  Pitched the vial of WLP655 in the secondary.  I'm worried that WLP001 chewed away much of the sugar, not leaving a whole lot for the Belgian Sour Mix to chew on.
After brewing a barley wine today with 15 lbs. of grain and truly trying to keep the grain bed light and fluffy, it looks like this grain bed at 14.5 lbs. was a bit compressed.  I suppose it really depends on the type of malt and the thickness of the mash to determine how much grain a 5 gallon Rubbermaid Cooler can effectively hold.


  1. Alright! A sour beer! Good luck with it. How are you going to pull the stuff for the club only? Just siphon off a couple bottles and bottle condition them? I've done it before, works pretty good actually with 3/4 tsp per 12 oz bottle for regular carbonation and 1 tsp. for high carb.

  2. I knew you'd be proud! That's exactly what I plan to do. I will use a thief to fill just one bottle a couple weeks before and bottle condition with corn sugar and a tad of yeast. The club winner gets paid shipping to the national event. If that's me, I'll be in trouble but highly not likely! After this, I have to get started for our strong ale and wood aged club-onlys.

  3. Great Blog you have going here. I am also a member of QUAFF but only for the past few months. I really like following along with some of your projects, I wonder how many other QUAFFers have blogs also. Mine is if you are interested. We should get them to make a list on the website.
    Oh and I am very jealous of your hop farm. I have a few plants going of Cascade(2yr old) and Goldings (my 2nd 1st yr attempt). Neither has started producing very well but when they do we should do some trading.

  4. @Jeffrey Crane - I'm adding you to my blog feed! I know of only one other QUAFFer that has a homebrew blog (FinalGravity). One of us can toss the idea out there for a list to be managed on the QUAFF website. Actually, I'm not sure who has access to do that. Many have tried to encourage the club to start using more dynamic Web 2.0 tools rather than just the static website and a listserv. This would make it so much easier for all of us to connect and share resources such as member blogs. Too complicated for several members, I suppose.
    I'm totally up to doing some hop trading. I have LOTS of Chinook and Centennial. My Magnum and Vojvodina haven't been very productive this year.


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