Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Timeline: ECY Bug County & House Culture

October 2015

In October of last year I brewed a simple golden base and poured that onto what remained in the carboy after I kegged my last batch of sour from my "house culture". This culture is mainly bugs from a bottle of Hill Farmstead Nordic Saison I picked up at the brewery while on vacation in Vermont last year. The beer was excellent so I built the dregs up from that bottle and have made three sours with it since.

I also brewed a Saison this month and inoculated it with a liter of  beer from this culture.

November 2015

I wrote a script that alerts me whenever love2brew has ECY Bug County or Bug Farm back in stock so I was lucky enough to get a bottle last year. I brewed the same golden base for  this beer as the previous one and pitch the Bug County.

December 2015 - February 2016

I brewed a lot of beers during this time frame and completely forgot about the two sours above. Luckily both airlocks still had vodka in them so other than a little oxygen seepage we should be good to go.

February 2016

I finally got around to transferring both golden sours to secondaries. I took gravity readings and added a medium toast oak spiral to each batch.
Bug County Pellicle

House Culture Pellicle

Left: House Culture (stirred the yeast on accident) Right: ECY Bug County

Not the best picture but both beers had reached terminal gravity by month 4, crazy.

Bug County

House Culture

April-May 2016

Our homebrew club participated in the AHA big brew day and we all brought a keg of beer to serve. I decided to taste the Saison I brewed and inoculated back in October 2015 and found it to be not very Saison like at all. It was a pretty typical sour before Brett took over in the bottle. I was disappointed it hadn't turned out the way I expected (slightly tart with all the Saison qualities) so I kegged it and served it as a sour during big brew day. It was a big hit and I went home with only about a gallon left in the corny keg.

Sour Storage :)

July 2016

I had been tasting the golden sours right along and realized they weren't changing at this point. They've been at 1.000 SG for 5 months so I decided it was time to bottle both beers in hopes that a couple months in the bottle will bring out some brett character because right now all I'm getting is lactic sourness. They are tart beers just like the Saison was but pretty one dimensional. I've heard lots of anecdotal evidence about bottling bringing out the Brett character so that's where my hopes are riding. 

Racking to bottling bucket

Mmmm beer

Bottling wand attached and ready for service

We're on our way

1 batch down, 1 to go

Both batches were shy of 5 gallons. The ECY was 4 gallons and the house culture was just under 4 gallons. Being the dumb ass that I am I still carbonated with 5oz of dextrose so I guess I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping to avoid bottle bombs and gushers but I think I'll have some problems with both.

I combined the the leftover yeast and beer from both batches for my new "house culture". I also have a packet of Bootleg Biology's Baltifunk from this year's HomebrewCon Milk the Funk bottle share.  I'll be brewing those beers very shortly. I've very sorry I missed the bottle share but I didn't have anything ready other than a Berliner so I skipped it, maybe this culture will have what I'm looking for in my sours.

I'll have one of these beers in a month and see how they're progressing and post the tasting notes. If you have any tips for me please leave them in the comments.

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