Hoppy English Pale on Nitro (and Sour Split Batch)

IMG_1147This will be an experiment in splitting a 10 gallon batch after the mash and doing separate boils: one half really hopped up with a standard boil followed by London ESB Yeast, and the other a very minimally hopped short boil that will get lactobacillus for a sour. Brewed 9/7/15.

Both:

  • 22.6 lb English Pale
  • 0.4 lb Amber malt
  • Mash-in 1.5 qt/lb at 154 for 60 min, sparge to collect 13 gal 1050 wort.  Water: 3.5 tsp gypsum 1 tsp CaCl in mash and sparge

English half

  • 0.3 oz Columbus 60 min
  • 0.25 oz Simcoe and Galaxy @ 20
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe Galaxy and Citra @ 10
  • 0.5 oz Simcoe Galaxy and Citra @ 5 min
  • 0.75 oz Simcoe Galaxy and Citra @ Flameout
  • Boil 60 minutes, let flameout hops sit for 5 minutes.
  • Chill to 85. Pitch 1L starter.

Sour half:

  • 1 oz Willamette (2 yrs old, 5% aa)
  • Boil 15 minutes, chill to 100F, add 2 vials of Lactobacillus Brevus.

9/9/15  Interesting layer of foam formed on the surface of the sour batch. Tasted it – no sourness yet. English half is fermenting away.

9/13/15  Kegged the English half. FG 1020. Great hop and malt aroma. Classic English esters. Slightly sweet from the low attenuation, but it just adds more body and covers up the hops a little. Put it on low pressure and hooked up to my new nitro tap. Tasting almost like a hand pumped ale! Sour half is still bubbling away slowly with a 1/2″ layer of foam and bubbles on the surface. Smells super sour and funky coming from the airlock. I added a vial of WhiteLabs flanders ale yeast to speed things up.

10/1/15. Gravity of Lacto half is down to 1020. Still not much sourness. There’s an interesting peach/citrusy thing going on, but it’s not very acidic. The residual sweetness left in the beer may be covering up some of the sour, but it doesn’t seem like it. Added bottle dregs from midnight brett by Alagash and Cuvee de Rene Gueuze.

12/12/15. Gravity at 1014. A brighty acidity is forming. There’s some lemon and funk flavors with obvious ties back to the Cuvee. Like where this is heading, just needs much more time for the bugs to chew.

2/21/16.  Great level of sour! It’s very lacto-ish but there is some complex peddio character forming. The nose is mostly Brett, funky but a bit muted, only slightly musty.

6/12/16.  At some point I added 3 lbs of peaches (probably sometime in February/March) and forgot to document it. They fermented out quickly, and now most have sunk to the bottom of the carboy; there are maybe 9 peach slices still floating on the surface. Great funky/sour aroma. Lots of tartness, a little brett character, slight apple/peach bite in the finish. I think this is about ready to keg!

THE VERDICT

The English half of this was awesome. I actually wound up putting it on my new nitro tap with beer gas, and the result was spectacular. Creamy, smooth, tight white head and delicate malt flavors balanced with citrus and pine from the hops. It was a little heavy for a “classic” English ale, but I actually tried adding about 1/4 glass of water to the pint and this put it right where it needed to be. Tasted like a true hoppy English pale ale on cask. This beer went quick!

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Filed under All-grain, English, Experimental, Funky / Sour, Hoppy, Sour

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