Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013 Porter (1923 Courage Stout)

For Christmas this year my Dad and I decided to brew up a beer to share with the family. He really likes the London Porter served by a local brewery and wanted to create something similar to share with family and friends. I spent quite a bit of time looking for a recipe or some style guidlines for what exactly makes a porter a "London Porter". I eventually turned to the blog "Shut up about Barclay Perkins", which has a wealth of information about British beer. I came across a recipe for 1932 Courage Stout and decided that it would be a great place to start. With a few modifications my Dad and I soon had a recipe.

The most challenging element to brewing this beer was the Black Invert Sugar. I poked around on the internet and found that you can create your own invert sugar using heat and acidity. Invert sugar is table sugar (succrose) which has been split apart into its two components, fructose and glucose. It tastes sweeter than table sugar, retains moisture better, and is less prone to crystallization. Hydrolysis (the addition of a water molecule) will cause succrose to break apart. In order to create our own invert sugar we catalyzed the hydrolysis reaction with heat and acid.

Invert Sugar Recipe
  • 1 pound Table Sugar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Add the sugar to the water and bring to a boil on the stove, keep stirring so that no sugar falls to the bottom and burns. Add the lemon juice. After about 7 minutes at a simmer you will have invert sugar. If you want Black Invert sugar continue cooking it. It will start to turn a golden yellow color, then a deep red. When the color is deep red take it off the stove, as it cools it will continue to darken in color until it is finally black.

As we made the invert sugar we were also working on mashing and bringing the wort to a boil. The rest of the recipe was as follows (mostly copied from Barclay Perkins )

Christmas 2013 Porter (1923 Courage Stout)

5 Gallons
OG 1.044
FG 1.007

3 pounds Maris Otter
1.25 pounds Golden Promise
1.25 pounds Peark
0.75 pounds Black Malt
0.5 pounds Brown Malt
0.5 pounds Black Invert Sugar

17 IBUs Challenger at 90 minutes
12.2 IBUs Challenger at 30 minutes

Yeast: Yorkshire Ale, Ferment at 68 F

Primary for 2 weeks and then straight into a keg. Force carbonated to 1.8 Volumes of CO2.
Served at 55 F.

ABV 4.9% (Tested by Gas Chromotography)

Tasting Notes:

Beer pours full of tiny bubbles, looks just like a cask beer, strong tan head turns into a wonderful lacing around the glass. Jet black in color with no highlights.
Aromas of toast, coffee, chocolate, and a deep maltiness. No hop aroma, very well balanced.
Taste is smooth, chocolaty, and a little bitter roast bite at the finish. The beer is dry and has notes of coffee and toast. Roast increases as the beer warms.
Overall I am very pleased with this beer. It looks awesome coming out of the keg and it is a nice smooth drinker.

I found a bottle of this beer in the basement. It was hidden in a box of bombers in the fridge and I stumbled upon it while looking for some old sour beers. I was pleasantly surprised to find the beer was still in great condition. Despite the low alcohol content everything tasted great. The coffee and chocolate flavors were a little subdued compared with the first tasting but the beer was still silky smooth.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Beer 2013

It is that time of year again. Pumpkins are starting to show up at the stores so that brewers like me can turn them into beer!

This year I followed the same recipe, almost, that I did last year. Despite knowing what I needed to do the brew day turned into quite a disaster. I decided to brew with my buddy Chase who just got hired as a brewer at Bristol. We also invited some of our co-workers from the Brewing Science Institute. This dream brewing team was unable to handle what was ahead of them.

Problems started when I showed up with not enough grain, I was about 4 pounds short. This was easily fixed by scaling back our 10 gallon batch to 8 gallons. As we pulled out the equipment that we needed for the day we found that it had been put away wet and dirty and was covered in mold. Before we could even start brewing we had to clean everything.

Things went from bad to worse when our roasted pumpkin turned our mash into cement. It took an extra hour and a lot of stirring to get what we needed out of the mash tun. When it became time to add hops we found that no one had any hop bags. We opted to go without, which was a terrible idea. When it came time to run the beer through the chiller all the hops immediately jammed the chiller which left us with 8 gallons of beer and no way to cool it.

I decided to cut me losses and take the beer home hot. I then placed it back on the stove, boiled it again for ten minutes, and then cooled it with my own chiller. Finally getting the beer into the carboy after an almost 8 hour brew day.

Despite all the disaster the beer turned out great. Here is the recipe and a review.

Recipe for 8 gallons of beer

OG 16 Plato
FG 3.5 Plato
IBU 27
ABV 7.5%

90% Marris Otter
10% Caramel 20
3 pound toasted pumpkin added to the mash tun

60 minutes 1 oz 13% AA Magnum
10 minutes 0.75 oz 6% AA Sterling

5 minutes from end of boil 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
AT BOTTLING 2oz sugar (for carbonation)
AT BOTTLING 1/4 oz Vanilla
AT BOTTLING 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Beer pours with a strong and sticky head. The foam turns into a lovely white lacing around the glass. The beer is orange-gold in color and is almost crystal clear. Small bubbles rise to the top of the beer from the nucleation site, excellent carbonation.

Aroma is a little sweet and filled with pumpkin pie spice. The spice is not overwhelming, it is clearly a beer that has been spiced to smell like pumpkin instead of a pumpkin pie bomb. It would be nice to have some caramel or grain notes to add some pie crust aroma.

The taste is excellent. Pumpkin pie spice is subtle and in the finish. The vanilla went a long way to smooth out the palate. The alcohol is not perceptible which is pretty impressive for the ABV.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full.

Overall this beer turned out very well, despite the rough start. It will be a great beer to share at Thanksgiving this year.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Isolating Wild Yeast

I think any enthusiast in the hobby of home brewing at sometime or another becomes enchanted with the multitude of yeast strains that are available. Suppliers such as Wyeast, White Labs, and the Brewing Science Institute have hundreds of options (although not all of them are offered to home brewers). Despite the options from suppliers this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as yeast are concerned. Wild yeast live all around us on trees, fruit, and even in the stomachs of bugs. Who knows what unique and wonderful yeast could be waiting to be found. I recently set out to collect some of these "Wild Yeast". I thought I would share some of what I have learned and found.

Isolating Wild Yeast

This is the procedure that I have found works best for isolating Wild Yeast. I have mostly used this method to isolate yeast from wild beers (Cantillon and Drei Fontenien) but have also used it to collect yeast from barrels.

  1. I take a small sample of the beer and add it to a container filled with sterilized low gravity wort that is made with a little bit of hops. This first step will make sure that any of the bugs (Yeast and Bacteria) are able to ferment wort and live in the increasing level of alcohol. This also works to kill or stop the growth of any bacteria that is present, which I am not really interested in (the hops should also help cut down on bacterial growth). I allow for 2 weeks of growth since some of these bugs are coming out of a bottle that has set for a while.
  2. I next take about 1 mL of the new culture from step 1 and place it on a large wort agar plate. This will give me the chance to grow up single colonies. I allow for 1 week of growth.
  3. Take any colonies that have grown on the first agar plate and transfer them to their own new wort agar plate and allow them to grow into separate single colonies. (You may notice that some of the colonies do not look similar, in which case you may have mutants).
  4. Next, take single colonies from the 2nd set of plates and grow them up in small (250 mL) wort samples. If the yeast is able to attenuate the wort in these samples they can be moved onto the final stage.
  5. Step up the cultures to about 1/2 gallon test batches. If you like the results you can save the yeast for further batches of beer.

I have used the above method to collect a dozen separate wild yeast strains. Most of the time the yeast is pretty unremarkable and has little to no aroma that it produces. Other times the yeast does not attenuate well or take weeks to finish fermenting. However, I have found several strains that I like so far and will continue to look for other keepers. It is really rewarding to spend all the time isolating a strain and then get to figure out how best to use it!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Citra Saison

I have finally been sucked in by the hype of Citra. A newer hop variety that claims to have tropical fruit aromas like pineapple, mango, and papaya. A friend and I decided to use the hop in a Saison to try to make a nice summery session beer. The results- I should have brewed alone so I didn't have to share the final product with anyone!

Recipe for 3 gallons

6.25 pounds 2-row base malt
1.33 pounds Munich
0.5 pounds wheat malt
0.25 pounds carapils

mashed at 152 F for 1 hour
sparged at 178

Added 0.4 oz of Challenger at 60 minutes
Added 0.5 oz of Citra at 10 minutes
Added 0.5 oz of Citra at 0 minutes

Original Gravity 1.065

Fermented with a blend of 3711 (French Saison) and 3724 (Farmhouse) [Blend was 10% 3711 90% 3724]

Fermented at ambient temp for 1 week, placed in secondary 2 weeks, bottled with table sugar

Final Gravity 1.008


Beer pours  a cloudy orange/yellow color with a good head that settles back into the glass. It can easily be revived with a swirl. The foam is very very sticky and forms a wonderful lace on the side of the glass.

Aroma is filled with tropical fruit notes, mostly dominated by pineapple but with hints of mango as well. There is also a nice spice from the 3711 that rounds out the nose nicely.

The beer taste like a saison, a little sweet and wheat/bread like to start with a wonderful phenolic and dry finish. The 3711 delivered the typical silky mouthfeel.

Overall this is a great success. The tropical fruit is overwhelming and continues to develop as the beer warms. The beer looks great and is so smooth and drinkable despite the 8+% ABV. This really turned out well and I will certainly be making a second batch.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bavarian Hefeweizen

First, a little bit about wheat beers. Wheat beer (Weizen) is beer brewed with a portion of malted wheat replacing malted barley. Weizen can be split into a couple additional categories, Hefeweizen and Kristallweizen, along with styles like dunkelweizen and weizenbock. Kristallwezien is wheat beer that has been filtered to remove the yeast and any haze from the beer. Hefeweizen ("yeast wheat") is unfiltered Weizen that contains haze from the yeast.

To make matters even more complicated there are multiple forms of Kristallweizen and Hefeweizen. I will be writing today about just Hefeweizen, as it is the focus of this post. Hefeweizen in Germany can be sub-categorized by region, either North, Middle, or South (Bavarian). What sets these areas apart are the aromas of the Hefeweizen. In Northern Germany Hefeweizen most often shows clove like aroma along with nutmeg and other phenolics. In Bavaria banana esters are emphasized along with apple. While in central parts of Germany a Blanche is often seen between the two (clove and banana). While this is not a hard and fast rule it gives a good generalization of Hefeweizen in Germany.

The focus today is to make a Bavarian Hefeweizen (a banana bomb). To do that we need to create as much isoamylacetate (which smells like banana) as we can. There are several things we can manipulate to do this, (1) the yeast and (2) the grain bill.

To create as much isoamylacetate (banana) as possible we want to pick the correct yeast strain. In the example below I will be using a proprietary strain from the Brewing Science Institute. Your best bet to obtain this strain is to culture it from a growler of Prost beer. If you do not have this option available to you I would recommend Wyeast 3068.
Yeast produces isoamylacetate in response to stress. So in order to stress the yeast out you can do several things, under pitch and under aerate. You should pitch only 25 % of the cells you would normally use and only aerate half of what you normally do. These two factors in combination will produce a very banana like beer.
You also want to manipulate the fermentation temperature and ferment the beer at > 68 F.

Grain Bill:
Some of the precusors for the phenolic compound that smells like clove are created while mashing.  In particular a step mash that has a rest at 111 F and 125 F produces ferulic acid which will result in an increase in clove in the finished beer. To prevent this and create more isoamlyacetate a single step mash to create a highly fermentable wort is suggested. I have also heard it recommended that 3 % glucose added to the boil will increase the level of isoamylacetate.

Using all of the above knowledge I decided to brew a simple Bavarian Hefeweizen.

I used a very simple grain bill with 50% malted wheat and 50% malted barley. I added a single hop addition for about 12 IBUs.

Bavarian Hefeweizen

OG: 1.046
FG 1.012
Grain Bill
50% Malted Wheat
50% Malted Barley

Single step mash at 148 F

60 minute addition of Hallertau for 12 IBUs

Propriertaty yeast strain at <8 million cells/mL

Fermented 70 F


Apperance: The beer is straw yellow with an intense and sticky head. A little cloudy from the yeast but not too much.

Aroma: The beer is a banana bomb, I also detect a little bubblegum and some wheat aromas.

Taste: Wheat beer! Very simple, a little bit on the sweet side but very very drinkable.

Overall: This was a great success. I was able to produce loads of isoamylacetate and create an incredible refreshing wheat beer.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Wild Brewing: Savage Tasting

For anyone who has been following what is going on I recently completed 4 barrel aged sour beers with the help of two friends. The barrels are all bottled and I will be posting tastings of them one by one. Here is the recipe for the first beer, code name Savage.


Beer pours a slightly hazy golden color with a thin head that becomes a lacing on the glass. The golden hues of the beer make it appear very refreshing and go to show how simple the original recipe for this beer was.

Aroma is very crsip,  the first thing that hits you is sour and funk balanced on the side of lactic acid. There is a little bit of barnyard but it is very subtle and helps to support a roundness in the aroma.  There is a hint of lemon or of lemon grass at the finish of the beer.

Flavor: The beer is sour. The first thing that hits you is a lemon like sourness, the middle is bright and warming, with a sour puckering finish. There are not a lot of individual flavors throughout but the sourness really makes the beer refreshing.

Mouthfeel: The beer is very crisp, medium in body. The sour really cleans the palate.

Overall: The beer is a great example of what a sour beer should be. The beer is tart without being harsh or vinegar like. The sourness is very bright and plays well with how light the beer is in color. A perfect display of sourness in a beer.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring Time in the Rockies!

Last weekend the crew of Wild Brewing got together and with the help of some friends and family bottled the remaining 3 barrels of sour beer. It took almost an entire afternoon but by the end of the day we had a pile of freshly labeled sour beer. In case anyone is curious about how we bottled our sour beer I have included the directions at the bottom.


The three beers that we bottled were a Flanders Red, Flanders Sour Pale, and a Cherry Saison. Early on I noticed that the Saison had some kind of bacterial growth in the barrel and based on how ropey the growth was I guessed that it was pediococcus. I had read somewhere that Brett can break down some of the proteins that are produced by pedio. I inoculated the barrel with several strains of Brett and within 2 months the ropey layer on the top of the beer had disappeared. What could have been a very unpleasant barrel of beer turned into a very tasty sour.I will post reviews of how the beers taste as they finish their bottle conditioning period.

Bottling Sour Beer:

I have now used this method for 5 batches of beer and it has worked out very well each time. I would like to note that the beer that I use this for is almost completely flat and has no fermentable sugars left. I use freshly cultured champagne yeast because it is both acid and alcohol tolerant. It may produce a tiny amount of fruity aroma but I have not noticed it in the bottles. For 5 gallons I dissolve 3.5 ounces of table sugar in 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil. I then add the sugar water to the bottling bucket along with about 5 milliliters of Champagne yeast slurry (the slurry is fairly liquid). After a quick and gentle stir it is ready to bottle!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Home Brew Competition

My local home brew store recently had a homebrewing competition. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that two of my entries had placed. The first, a Flanders Red that I brewed well over a year ago came in 3rd with a final score of 40 (Excellent). The other beer, a Farmhouse Ale, placed second with a score of 39. Both of the beers moved onto the mini best of show.

I thought I would share the judges comments so that if anyone wanted to brew either of these beers they would know what a judge thinks of them. The recipes for both can be found using the above links.

Flanders Red:

Aroma: "Great Nose" "Tart Fruit, Berries, Currant"

Appearance: "Copper-red, Clear, poor head retention. Bubbly" "Nice color a little light"

Flavor: "Nice Tartness. Not Overwhelming - or underwhelming" "Tart balanced, fruity overtones - well balanced. Tart Aftertaste. Food phenolic balance"

Mouthfeel: "Medium body, moderate carbonation, tart." "Nice and Dry. Good carb level."

Overall Impression: "I enjoyed this beer!" "Very nice beer! Well balanced, tart, and refreshing with good complexity."

Farmhouse Ale:

Aroma: "Pleasantly sweet, wheat malt dominates, a subtle tartness of hay is perceived, a light fruit (pear) is noticed, something almost spicy as it warms." "4-ethyl phenol is good, nice spicy character, sweet smell."

Appearance: "Pale straw, hazy and had mild head that faded quickly" "Hazy, golden in color, minimal carbonation"

Flavor: "Wheat malt balanced with refreshing carboxylic sting, hops have a balancing and excellent bittering effect, finishes pleasantly dry with a little hint of phenolic (pepper and clove)." "Nice barnyard flavor, good grainy taste with a little citrus pop in it as it warms also pepper flavors."

Mouthfeel: "Medium body )appears very light because of high carbonation) no warmth, no astringency" "Nice body, needs more carbonation"

Overall Impression: "A very pleasant wheat based beer, It had all the right characteristics of saison. I do not perceive individual accessory spices but I can taste something different. Try colder bottling procedures and keep transfers as cold as possible." "Really enjoy this beer, really good for the style, love the spicy character in this but feel it could use more carbonation"

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I just got back from an awesome beer tour of Belgium. I though I would share a little bit about what I learned and saw there.

First, it was great to be somewhere where great craft beer was available at every restaurant. Colorado certainly has it fair share of eating establishments that have craft beer on tap or a couple in the bottle, but nothing like Belgium. Every place that we ate had several beers on tap and a bottle list so that you could pair whatever you were eating with a great beer to have along the side.

Second, I was able to visit some awesome breweries, such as Cantillon. Cantillon is one of the last producers in Belgium of authentic lambic and is the last brewery left in Brussels. On a self guided tour you got to see their old brewing equipment and barrel after barrel full of lambic. What I enjoyed that most was seeing the coolship and the roof that it was under. The slits in the tiles allowed for amble air circulation and I could just imagine the wild yeast populating the cooling wort.

Third, I made sure to hit up as many of the Trappist breweries as I could. This included Rochefort and Chimay who make some of my favorite beers. The trip also included a stop at Maredsous where cheese, beer wurst, fresh bread, and beer were available... all of which were delicious.

Finally, to ensure that I would remember my trip I stuffed a suit case to the brim with beer to take home!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rocky Mountain Microbrew Symposium 2012

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend for the 3rd year in a row the Rocky Mountain Microbrewing Symposium (RMMS). This is event gives brewers the opportunity to hear talks from experts in the brewing industry and share knowledge between scientists who are doing brewing research and the people who are actually making the beer.

This year talks were given on brewing weiss beer, yeast flavors, marketing, distribution, gluten free brewing grains, and creating Lager beers. I thought I would go ahead and share some of my notes with anyone that is curious.

The first talk was by Dr. Chris White (White Labs). For someone who already knows a lot about yeast it was a little dull. The big highlight was a focus on Acetyl-aldehyde. White showed a chart that outlined the amount of this nasty compound produced at different temperatures. I was pretty shocked to see that at 65 F only 8ppm are produced but that at 75 F 153 ppm are produced! Another good reason to control your fermentation temps.

The second talk was by Bill Eye of Prost Brewing. Bill knows a ton about brewing beer and in particular about making great wheat beer (he won a gold medal at GABF while at Dry Dock for this category). Bill outlined two separate directions to go when brewing a wheat beer, phenolic or banana. Here are his suggestions for creating a beer that is focused on one or the other.
  • Use well modified malt
  • Stick with 50% wheat malt
  • Do a ferulic acid rest at 111 to create more of the phenolic precursors
  • Boil the beer longer (120 min-150 min)
  • Use Eric's Rule (The knockout temp in Celsius + the fermentation temp should equal 30 C)
    • Bill suggested knockout at 12 C and fermentation at 18C
  • Pitch a healthy amount of yeast into a fully oxygenated wort
Ester (Banana)
Malted Buckwheat
  • Use undermodified malt
  • Use 60 % or more wheat malt
  • Mash with a single infusion to create a highly fermentable wort (150 F)
  • Do not fully oxygenate the wort, do about half the usual amount
  • Ferment at 68 F or higher
  • Underpitch (Bills uses 2 million cells/mL)!!!
  • Add zinc which helps boost the amount of isoamylacetate
The final talk I thought people might find interesting was one on Gluten Free Malts produced by Colorado Malting Company. The grains that they malt include buckwheat, millet, quinoa, Amaranth, Coix Seed, Sorghum, and Teff. All the malts are low in diastic power but can still be used to brew beer when amylase is added. I took some sample bags home to play around with and will be ordering some of the grain in bulk from them to play around with.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


As I mentioned in my post about Essens Wheat I brewed 5 different beers for Christmas. For the 4th and 5th beers I wanted to play around with yeast a bit more. I had two strains that I wanted to compare, the Dupont Saison strain (White Labs 565) and a strain from the Brewing Science Institute labeled "S-26 Farmhouse Ale".

The plan was to brew one 5 gallon batch of beers and split it into two equal parts. I could then add 565 to one carboy and S-26 to the second. The recipe was very basic...

11 # Malted 2-Row (Rahr)
1 # Malted White Wheat
1/2 # Unmalted Wheat

Mashed at 148 F for 1 hour at a grist to water ratio of 1/3 (pounds)
Sparged with 3.5 gallons of water at 178 F.

First runnings 1.082
Second runnings 1.038

60 minutes 3/4 oz Challenger 8.8%
25 minutes 1 oz German Hallertau 3.3% (2011 crop)
5 minutes 1/2 oz Hallertau 5.5% (2012 crop)

Original Gravity was 1.055 (14 Plato)
Oxygenated with aeration stone

12/6 Brewer
12/12 Moved to Seconday (Both beers at 1.010 (2.5 plato))
12/16 Bottled S-26 portion (1.010) with 40 grams sugar. Moved 565 to keg to force carbonate (gravity still falling and now at 1.008)

As you can see the 565 portion finished a little drier than the farmhouse portion. Now onto a tasting of the two.

1/27 Farmhouse S-26
Appearance: The beer is very hazy. A lot of yeast is in suspension along with some haze from the unmalted wheat. The beer is impossible to see through despite being very light in color. A wonderful head sits atop the beer for the entire tasting and just refuses to go anywhere.

Aroma: The aroma is a mixture of so many different flavors. There is banana, strawberry, bubble gum, some clove, wheat, yeast, bread, and ripe fruit. Very pleasant.

Taste: The beer starts of sweet, like a wheat beer. The finish is dry but not bitter. The beer tastes mostly of bread and yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium, and medium in body. Not cloying or silky. Fairly typical.

Overall: I am very pleased with how this beer turned out. The aroma is just wonderful and makes for a very pleasant drinking experience.

1/27 Saison

Appearance: At first glance the Saison is not near as hazy as the farmhouse ale. The head retention is also not as strong. It does form lace around the glass which the farmhouse did not.

Aroma: The aroma is very different. There is still some bread but the beer is more spicy. Some fruit aromas are present but they are subdued.

Taste: The beer is fairly similar. Sweet to start but with a more bitter finish. The spice of the hops come through better in this version.

Mouthfeel: A little more crisp and refreshing than the farmhouse, maybe due to a lower terminal gravity.

Overall: This is certainly a saison. It is crisp, refreshing, and the hops come through. Still a very tasty beer.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Flanders Red
I recently attempted my first beer blending. About two years ago New Belgium released a beer called Clutch. It was an awesome combination of sour and stout. It was a tasty combination of chocolate, coffee, and something lying just at the edge of sour. I decided to save a gallon of my Flanders Red to try to recreate this beer.
I had two hurdles to overcome 1) create a base beer that would include the flavors that would transform the Flanders Red into Clutch without conflicting with it and 2) find a way to keep the bugs in the Flanders Red from turning the stout part of the blend into a bomb as they slowly ate all the sugars that the primary stout yeast left behind.

I decided to use a tame stout recipe to create the base beer using a yeast strain (scottish ale) that would create few esters and leave the beer malty. Here is the recipe I used...

4.5 gallons

OG 1.075

72.5% Belgian Pilsner
10 % Cara Vienna
10% Cara Munich
2 % Caramel 80 L
5 % Chocolate Malt

Mashed at 155 F

Bittered to 50 IBU with 60 minute boil of zeus hops.

Used 1056 yeast

Flanders Red in pot with blanket of CO2
I then took the gallon of flanders red that I had and purged a 1.5 gallon pot with CO2. I added the flanders red to the pot and then added more CO2 over the top. I heated it to 170 F for 30 minutes to try to kill all the bacteria in the beer.

A weird foam formed over the beer as I heated it

After the brown ale finished I added the two beers together and bottled them.


Beer pours a very hazy brown color with amber highlights. A strong fluffy head sits atop the beer for the entire tasting session, never falling back into the glass.

The aroma is a mix of the fruit, funk, and sour of the Flanders Red with a little bit of roast from the Stout half. No notes of chocolate of coffee as I anticipated.

The beer is sweet, malty, and sour in the finish. I can pick out some chocolate and roast at the end but the sour kind of overtakes them.

The mouthfeel is wonderfully full and very creamy.

Overall the beer is a curious creation. It is certainly tasty but it was not what I was going for. The sour seems a little over the top and I am suprised that at 20% it is able to dominate the finish.

Note: I have had a couple of bottles since the original tasting and they are continuing to develop more sourness, so I am not sure I held the beer at a high enough temp for long enough to kill all of the bugs. That being said the malt and sweetness is still present so at least the desired affect has been achieved. I have moved all the bottles to the fridge to prevent much further change in the beer.