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Author Topic: How did I make this (sour) beer?  (Read 2071 times)

Offline enso

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How did I make this (sour) beer?
« on: June 18, 2010, 01:03:49 pm »
So, I just posted another topic asking for advice/recipe for an easy first sour beer.  However, I am sipping one that I made several years ago.  Completely unintentionally.  I quite like it though it has a murky history and I have no idea how it came to be...

I believe I know the source of infection if not the actual mechanism.  I will describe all that I know and where I think it turned.  Then I will describe the results.  Perhaps folks can help me figure out what I have.

The beer started life as a batch of my lovely Scottish heather ale.  Marris otter malt (90.9%), Medium British Crystal (4.5%), and CaraAmber malt (4.5%).  No hops, just heather and a touch of sweet gale.  It is a pale/golden beer normally.  It was also a pretty well tested and good recipe.  Won one first place the only time I had entered it.  What I did different with this batch is I attempted to add some dried heather to the fermenter post fermentation.  Things got weird after a few days.  Sadly I did not take any notes so everything is a bit fuzzy.  I recall it was a bit off when I kegged it up.  Somewhat sour.  I decided to keep it anyway.  It sat for many months.  I sampled it now and again and was not sure what to do with it.  Twice I opened the keg and was about to dump it but could not bring myself to go through with it after taking one last sample each time.  It was not treated with the greates of care.  If I needed space in the kegerator it got the boot, so it warmed up and cooled down.  Not sure i purged the airspace every time I aborted the dumping urge.  I never noticed any weird growths or formation (pellicles or what not).  I finally had sampled it enough over time that I had only a couple of gallons left in the keg and I needed the keg empty.  So, I bottle up what was left.

Every now and again I sample a bottle.  Only 2 left now.  I find it pretty nice each time.

I will do my best to describe it.  It is quite effervescent.  Seemingly more so than the level I had force carbonated it to, but again, no notes.  Remember I had described the beer as pale gold in color when it comes out the way intended.  This is dark amber.  Not sure if that is relevant.  The aroma is tart and fruity.  I remember at one point thinking it smelled strongly of pineapple.  I can still perceive that but there seems to be something else that I cannot place my finger on.  Floral?  The flavor is quite tart and puckering.  Not harshly, I find it refreshing.  I can also taste some pineapple as well as other things.  Not sure what as the tartness makes it hard to pick out.  I entered it in one competition in hopes of figuring some things out.  It bombed pretty bad iirc.  I remember some judges calling it oxidized.  I do not perceive that but I am new to sour beers.  I can certainly see where oxidation may have occurred all those times I tried to dump it!

I myself really enjoy this.  I have no idea how it actually came about so sadly I can not repeat it.   :'(  I may pitch some into another beer some day if I don't drink the last 2 bottles first.  Though without knowing what I have that may be risky?

Any ideas?  I know a strain of brett is reported to have the pineapple character but surely I have other critters at work?  Brett. is not known for puckering tartness is it?  Can anybody pick this one apart?
Dave Brush

Offline dean

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Re: How did I make this (sour) beer?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 08:58:34 am »
Send me a bottle and I'll do my best to help you out.   ;)