Monday, January 10, 2011

Final Brew (for awhile)

I wanted to make one last beer before I leave town for 6 months. I had decided it was going to be something that would age while I'm gone and most likely continue aging when I get back. I was toying with the idea of an Adambier that I would oak age and add some black cherries to. The inspiration was Hair of The Dog Cherry Adam From The Wood. I also was thinking of doing a big Russian Imperial Stout that I would maybe oak and add cherries. In the end I decided a Flanders Red would be the way to go. I will have just enough time to ferment it, then stick it in my closet and let the bugs do their thing while I am gone. I have asked Jen to refill the airlock but other than that it will just sit and be left alone.
I went with Jamil Zainasheff's recipe from Brewing Classic Styles. Having never made a Flanders Red before I figured I would start with his recipe and make adjustments down the road.
The grain bill was:
36%  Pilsner malt
36% Vienna
6.8% Munich 
6.8% Wheat
4.8% Caramunich
4.8% Special B
4.8% Aromatic.
I hopped it with 16 IBU's of East Kent Goldings at the 60 minute mark of a 90 minute boil. I also tried to match the high bicarbonate water of West Flanders as described in Jeff Sparrow's Wild Brew's.

I pitched a packet of the Wyeast 3763 Roeselare Blend at the primary stage instead of letting a neutral ale yeast do the primary work and pitching the bug blend at secondary. My thought is that if it's too sour, I can always make another batch when I get back, ferment it with the neutral ale yeast then blend. Time will tell on this one. It's pretty fun to brew a beer that you don't have to think about for a long time. Depending on how it's tasting I may split the batch and add some sour cherries to one half and make a Kriek, or not.
The final photo is what used to be our laundry room but I have pretty much taken it over. It is nice because I can heat just that room, plus there is a deep utility sink that makes cleaning a breeze. I am lucky to have a very patient and understanding girlfriend.


  1. Well if you are going to be gone for so long you might as well do at least 2 sours before you go! If you have time that is. That strain is supposed to be a little tough to get enough sourness out of on the first pitch, at least that's been my experience, but a lot of people really like the 2nd and 3rd pitch which seems to be more sour.

  2. Hmm good to know. Maybe I'll have to brew again.

  3. While I am more proficient with cookies and recipes containing cream cheese, this is fascinating. Mom