Friday, March 9, 2012

If It's Infected, Why Not Infect It?

I've been thinking a lot about sours and wild brews lately, much of this is from the infections in 8 batches and the despair that I may not be able to brew clean beers again. Then a shipment of Cantillon came in and I was able to get a bottle of 1900 and Rose de Gambrinus and a renewed desire to brew sours on purpose arose. I have the American Blonde going in my fermenters right now, and was able to get an extra 2.5 gallons of wort out of it which got straight Brett B from a starter I had made from Orval (huge pelicle right now). I am planning on diverting 3-4 gallons of the Blonde to another fermenter for souring upon bottling, some with oak, some with Apricots, all with a blend of bugs. This new joy for sours got me thinking... I have a case of infected stout that I am not going to drink... why not sour it all? So I did. Last night I popped the top on the whole case of gushers and poured them into 2 - 1 gallon glass jugs. The foaming was outrageous; it took 3 shots of foam control in each jug to get them full. Once I got them filled I hit them each with a bug blend I have of Lacto, Pedio, and Bretts. One of the jugs overflowed when I hit it with the solution. Both jugs were still throwing off tons of CO2 10 hours later (not too worried about oxidizing these since the airlocks are more active then the fermenting Blondes). I'll give them a few months to go wild and see what comes of it. If they turn out to be drain pours then I've lost nothing but part of an evening and a few drops of foam control. If they turn out to be awesome wilds, then great, glad I did it and saved a batch of beer that was just going to get poured out.

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