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!