Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Flower Farmhouse Ale

This beer was my first attempt at using microbes to add complexity to a beer. The brew was inspired by one a tried at my local brewery that was brewed with several flowers. I used dandelions, lavenders, and bachelor buttons to add a flowery flavor to the beer. During the secondary I added Brettanomyces that was cultured from a bottle of Russian Rivers Sanctification. Overall the beer turned out very well although it does not contain the amount of sour taste that I was hoping for.

7.5 pounds of American 2-row
2 pounds German Malted Wheat
1.5 pounds Cara-Pils
0.75 pounds of honey
1 pound of Rye Malt
1oz of US Saaz (AA 4.9%) added at start of boil
2 cups of dandelion flowers added at 10 minutes

Mashed in 16 quarts of water @ 135 F to conduct a protein rest for 15 minutes
Added in 6 1/2 quarts boiling water to bring the temperature to 150 F for 60 minutes

OG 1.058

Added Belgian Saison Wyeast 3724

6/14 Gravity 1.020
6/15 Gravity 1.010
6/30 Moved beer to secondary and added Brettanomyces with 8 lavender sprigs and 1 cup of bachelor buttons.

Bachelor Buttons

A sick beer

8/12 Added freshly cultured Brettanomyces to the beer and bottled the beer in champagne bottles with cork.
9/15 Bottles are sick, ie there is a white pelicile at the neck of each bottle.
12/15 Tasting:

The beer pours a very light gold color and has almost no visible carbonation. The aroma is very funky, present are some aromas of summer like flowers and honey, but also present is barnyard and vinegar. The beer tastes very unusual. It is a little bit tart in the finish and the body is very thin. There is also a lot of funk in the taste,  like a boiled boot.
Overall I think this was a success just because I was able to use Brett that was cultured from a bottle to add both acidity and funk to the beer. I most note that some of the funk could have come from other organisms living on the flowers that I did not sanitize before I added.
If I were to brew this beer again I would want to let it sit in the secondary longer and with some more variety, Brett did a nice job but it would have been nice to have some lactic acid present.

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