Author Topic: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown  (Read 652 times)

Offline unclebrazzie

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Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« on: September 10, 2015, 07:36:50 PM »
Peepz,

I have two brews I intend to blend.

Bee Barf Brown is a honey brown I brewed back in February. It developed a light pellicle so I left it to dry out.
65% Munich
16% Honey (got it from a bee-keeping friend, no specific variety)
11.5% CaraPils
4.5% Biscuit
1.5% Aroma 150
1.5% Chocolate malt
Bittered to about 25 IBU with ElDorado and fermented with Safbrew Abbeye

It's moderately dry, with Aroma, Biscuit and Honey vying for attention. Enough complexity to not just down it, but not enough to qualify as a sipper. Not sweet; the honey-presence is almost medicinal/homeopatic in that you can tell it's there if you know it.

Black Sour Something is the sour second running from an black wee heavy-ish thing I brewed in April.
50% Pale
20% Munich
26.7% wheat malt
3.3% roast barley
Hopped with Saaz to 10IBU and fermented with Yeast Bay's Sour Melange (Sacchs, Bretts, Lactos and Pediod in a proprietary blend).

It's quite sour (think lambiccy in its mouth-puckeringness), smells a bit like cold acidic coffee, with undertones of burnt toast and Bretts. Tastes somewhere between lambic and unblended Flemish Brown (Rodenbach Vintage), minus either one's maturity.

While each can probably stand on its own, both are lacking the (I detest the term but here goes nothing) balance to make them enjoyable.
I blended 3 parts of the BBB with 1 part of the BBS, which resulted in something...well...different. The sourness was still there, without overshadowing the delicate honey notes.

A 1:1 ratio resulted in the BBS overwhelming the BBB.

Anyone have any experience in blending, particularly where sours + non-sours are concerned?
I know one Catalunyan brew blends a pale ale with Cantillon lambic; maybe this can become something similar...


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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2015, 11:52:24 PM »
I would keep changing the ratios until you find something that you like. Try a few more times and if you don't find any that you like, then maybe think about making a particular beer to blend with.
Dan Chisholm

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2015, 11:58:19 PM »
You'll need to let the blend sit a while before bottling. The bugs of one may do more work on the other.

Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 05:50:45 AM »
You'll need to let the blend sit a while before bottling. The bugs of one may do more work on the other.

I've been thinking along the same lines, but seeing as how they're both over half a year in secondary now, I reckon there's not much left to ferment. The bugs and flavours may very well mingle better over time, but I'm not sure the bugs will have much work left.

Ratios: yes. 1:1 is too much. 3:1 is better. Now to find the sweet spot :)
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 09:59:08 AM »
You'll need to let the blend sit a while before bottling. The bugs of one may do more work on the other.

I've been thinking along the same lines, but seeing as how they're both over half a year in secondary now, I reckon there's not much left to ferment. The bugs and flavours may very well mingle better over time, but I'm not sure the bugs will have much work left.

Ratios: yes. 1:1 is too much. 3:1 is better. Now to find the sweet spot :)

Let me know in advance when your blending experiments will start, so that we can create a safe cordon sanitaire  ;)
Frank P.

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Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2015, 10:46:41 AM »
Let me know in advance when your blending experiments will start, so that we can create a safe cordon sanitaire  ;)

I'm letting you know in advance that my experiments started yesterday.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2015, 01:12:24 PM »
You'll need to let the blend sit a while before bottling. The bugs of one may do more work on the other.

I've been thinking along the same lines, but seeing as how they're both over half a year in secondary now, I reckon there's not much left to ferment. The bugs and flavours may very well mingle better over time, but I'm not sure the bugs will have much work left.

Ratios: yes. 1:1 is too much. 3:1 is better. Now to find the sweet spot :)
If beer A is done and beer B is done, it doesn't mean beer A+B is not going to drop a few more points. A's bugs haven't seen B's leftovers yet, and vice versa. Maybe its fine. But a month with an airlock and a couple stable gravity readings would prove it.

Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2015, 02:05:11 PM »

If beer A is done and beer B is done, it doesn't mean beer A+B is not going to drop a few more points. A's bugs haven't seen B's leftovers yet, and vice versa. Maybe its fine. But a month with an airlock and a couple stable gravity readings would prove it.

Solid point. Duly noted. Much obliged.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2015, 03:19:39 PM »
I agree with Jim; you want to blend those beers and give them some time before packaging.

You say the blend is different but that doesn't necessarily sound like it's different in a good way. Sour and honey work well together and if you've had a pale sour that's 2+ years old you can start to get some honey notes in the beer, especially when a little sweetness is mixed in from a younger beer. Not sure that honey and roast make sense together. If it were me I would probably let the dark beer continue to age on its own and separately sour a pale beer for blending with the honey beer. Something like a kettle soured saison might do the trick if you don't want to keep sitting on that beer for another year or more.

If you are going to blend the beers then keep trying different ratios until you find something you like.

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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2015, 11:16:01 PM »
+1 to continued sampling of variety of ratios between the two.  Get yourself a graduated cylinder and 2 large glasses of both beers (for blending).  You already tried 50/50 and 75/25.  What about 70/30? 66/34 or 60/40?  or vice versa?

Measure out all the new ratios you can think of and set them up in a line in front of you in increasing order.  Sample them each and take notes on what you like and don't like in each of them. Soon you will be able to eliminate ones that don't offer anything special and just focus on the 2-3 that have a better blend.  Then you can slowly narrow down from there.  It sometimes helps to have an initial plan in mind as to what you want the final beer to taste like.  At this point, a friend(s) may be able to help you in your decisions as well. 

Good luck.  And when you are done blending this one, brew up some more sour beers for blending down the road (if necessary). 

Offline unclebrazzie

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Re: Blending: Black Sour Something + Bee Barf Brown
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 07:33:01 AM »
Sound advice. Thanks, y'all :)
All truth is fiction.
--Don Quichote