Wild Brews

Well maybe not quite as wild…

I have been considering adding some soured beers the line up, but have been putting off the purchase of all the additional equipment that will be needed to do it safely.  Well, that is until I had a spark of inspiration recently.  You see, I have had a 3 gallon carboy just sitting in the brewery for a long time now.  I have used it on a couple occasions where I have needed to blend different ferments. 

This carboy will be the perfect size to treat like an oak cask.  The technique is similar to the birth of a sour dough starter.  I will make the base beer, then let it sour, and then pull off a portion to blend with a new beer.  The amount I pull off will be replaced by the unblended beer ensuring new material for the beasties to feast upon on a regular basis.  I will be adding oak chips into the mix to give it some of the flavor notes of a true oak cask as well.  If I can pick it up, I plan to use WLP American Farmhouse blend from White Labs, for the souring blend.   

The beers that I make from this starter I will be bottling only.  For one it seems a bit more traditional to referment in the bottle.  And then the more important safety reason, I still need to protect my tap lines and keep them away from contamination.  I have no real desire to force carbonate these beers. 

I am still debating on the malts I will use for these beers.  I have concerns that darker malts will affect the colors of following beers.   Of course if I take the approach that the beers made from this will always be a bit different and I throw repeatability out the window, it can make for some interesting future brews. 

I think it is now time for a pint, I have some beers to plan…

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