Sour Beer

Posted on 08.05.11 9:01PM under Boden, Brewing, Kegging, Stories, The Session

Tonight is the session. This session is very timely for me. The subject is Sour Beer, and I just happen to have some sour beer activity to report tonight.

On January 1st, 2010 I made my first lambic. It was half barley and half wheat, made with old stinky hops and a variety of bacterial cultures and yeast (Brett B, Sour Mix, Lambic Blend, plus some US-05)

Since then, the beer has sat in my basement, covered in a brown paper bag, tucked in a corner, opened only a few times for flavor sampling.

Ever since the baby came a few months ago, brewing has been slow to say the least. So I’m facing a shortage. I might actually have to buy beer (gasp!). I feel like I’m the US Government about to default on my beer debt. I need a compromise to cover this gap.

So I sampled the lambic this week. It was pretty good. Rather barn-ish and overall funky. Sorta sour, bacterial I suppose. Not yet vinegar. I think that’s a good enough reason to take it out of the carboy and put it on tap. Especially given the circumstances.

For a while (right up to today) I was worried about where should I put it. If I kegged it, the keg and faucet could be bugged for life. If I bottled, the bacteria could keep working and make bottle bombs.

Ultimately, I kegged it. I’ve marked all the plastic I used in case I need to never use it for non-bacterial beer again. I’m using a picnic tap, which I’ll mark for Lambic and probably not reuse for normal beer. But then again I might try it to see if it really matters.

For now I’m just waiting for the beer to chill and carbonate before I can really dig into it. Then I’m sure it will save me from buying beer. Or at least it should minimize the amount of beer I need to buy.

Excerpt from brew day:

Boden (5 YO son): Daddy, you make beer because brewing beer is free, but buying beer costs money, right?

Daddy: Well brewing isn’t free, because the ingredients cost money and my time should be worth something, but it’s still a lot cheaper than buying it

Boden: But isn’t it a lot easier to just buy it?

Daddy: But brewing it is still a lot cheaper than buying it.

Boden: But all this stuff [the equipment needed to make beer] costs a lot of money probably

Daddy: Well I bought that a while ago. Look, I can make this IPA for $25 but if I bought this much IPA it would cost like $80.

Boden: … Daddy can I play on your phone?

Read Comments

  1. Posted by The Session Sour Beer round-up: The Brew Site on 08.09.11 1:59 AM

    [...] at Brainard Brewing also talks homebrew: a homebrewed lambic from January of 2010 that he’s just put on tap. “So I sampled the lambic this week. It was pretty good. [...]

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