Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sour Beer #2 - Sour Blonde & A Levitation Clone

I'll start with a short review of my recent American Amber, which was a clone of Stone Brewing Co.'s Levitation ale. Funnily enough since I brewed this, Stone have announed, they are retiring the brew, and it will no longer be available. A shame, as it's one ofthe better beers around,  especially since it is a perfect session beer. Aptly named Bathed in Blood II (My first iteration was amber, but beared little resemblance to this one).

Aroma: Nice Caramel/crystal aroma, with a hefty whack of lovely amarillo hops, a hint of Simcoe also comes in with nice hints of pine.
 Nice Bright clarity, with a nice dark red hint to it, the glass here doesn't do it justice, as in a nice goblet, its a nice dark blood red colour. head is off white, and carbonation is good.
Flavour: Yum, nice maltiness, body I thought to start with was slightly thin, but I'm finding now that its perfect for what I'm looking for. Big hop presence, big amount of fruity Amarillo hops, with again a small hint of Pine from the simcoe. this is where I'm stuck, the crystal hops in the recipe, I don't believe they come through, but I could be wrong, as to be fair, I'm not sure what to expect from them.
Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, nice mouthfeel for a lighter session beer, about where I want it, head retention is perfect.
Nice Red colour on the Levitation Clone.
Overall: Despite the darker colour, its a perfect session beer for the summer days.If I made any changes, the only one I would actually make, if I did, as to make the Shepherds Delight 250g instead of 240g Wedding beer #2 is sorted. Heres the recipe:
Bathed in Blood II

OG: 1.049
FG: 1.014
FV Volume: 21 Litres

4.2kg PGladfield Pale
0.1kg Acidulated (pH)
0.4kg Medium Crystal - Gladfield
0.24kg Shepherds Delight - Gladfield
0.03kg Dark Chocolate - Gladfield

60min: 15g Simcoe
30min: 30g Amarillo
00min: 15g Simcoe / 35g Crystal (25min Hop Stand, prior to Chilling)
Dryhop: 50g Amarillo  - 4 Days

Yeast: WLP090 Slurry - San Diego Super Yeast

Goal #6: More Sours - I have plans to add to my Guts and Glory Flanders Red, I plan to add a Sour blonde and a Darker beer as well through the watch this space.

I have somewhat acheived this goal, I have brewed Sour beer #2. I kep things quiet while I sorted the recipe, and tossed up between a lighter brew and a darker beer. In the end the Lighter version won out, but only because Instead of a primary yeast, followed by secondary fermentation with bugs, I threw 2 vials of THIS into the fermenter and I'll let it fester for a couple of weeks. Hardly vigorous fermentation, but it seems to be moving, and we'll see how it progresses over the coming months. I'm yet undecided (I have plenty of time) on how to splitthis batch, whether it be fruit, hops or otherwise, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.

On a separate note, I am still running the new vessel via BIAB, however for the sour, I skipped the Mash out step, to see what sort of difference I would get based off my projected system efficiency (includes mashout) and without. It seems the difference is negligible. I've approximated 1 OG point in total. This will be to do more with the extended time mashing, rather than any temperature changes/differences. So an interesting outcome on that one.

As I said, I'll now be posting recipe straight to here, to save time etc. but if you don't have brewtoad or any brewing software I suggest you invest in it.

Spartan Series: Grace & Glory  Brew Date: 14/02/2015
OG: 1.060 (Measured)
IBU: 25 approx
Spartan Series - Grace and Glory
FV Volume: 20 Litres
Efficiency: 67%

Gladfield Pils 4.5kg
Gladfield Wheat 1kg
Gladfield Vienna 300gm
Acidulated Malt 200gm

NZ Hall ertau (Wakatu) - 7%AA
60min: 18g
30min: 15g

2 Vials (No Starter due to blending) TYB Melange
The Melange yeast vials

this will sit in primary for the entire duration of the beer, and be racked onto separate places for blending/ageing on fruits wines/ oak etc where needed. 

I should also update on Sour #1 (Guts & Glory Flanders Red). To be honest this is going great, its pretty close to oaking, and racking, Plan is to oak right on 12 months anniversary, with about 30gm of cubes. Cubes will be boiled for 5-10 mins to sanitise and remove excess tannins.  Then from there, I'll taste and rack where needed (I've guesstimated about 3 months) half will be bottled straight, the otherhalf will be fruited, and given the difficulty we have here in New Zealand getting Sour Cherries, I'll probably be going with Raspberries, and ageing for another 3 months probably. By that point the carboy will be free, and Sour #3 will be brewed.

Pretty exciting stuff. for those who have been paying attention, let me know if you've brewed a sour, and how it went, and how often you brew these to get pipelines etc. going.

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