Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Flanders Red Brewday

In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda tells Luke “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” I think this is an apt description for beer brewing as well, specifically once you begin brewing sour beers. Having immersed myself full-scale into the realm of sour, I might as well accept that my destiny is to be dominated by the wild and the unpredictable. A fate worth having, might I add. And I have the carboys to document it. Any-who, this is my most recent sortie into the land of bugs and deliciousness. I’ll be reporting back in about a year.

153. Flanders Red
6 lbs. MFB Aromatic 
5 lbs. MFB Vienna
1 lb. Weyermann Light Munich
1 lb. Breiss White Wheat
½ lb. Dingemans Special B

Mash @ 155° F for 90 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 2 g. gypsum; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.088
Batch sparge @ 169° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 2 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.032

Collected 6 ½ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/90 to go: 1 ½ oz. UK EKG leaf 5.41% AA

Chilled and pitched ECY02 Flemish Ale & ¾ oz. Hungarian oak cubes (house toast)

Primary: 9/10/2013 @ 70° F
Bottled: 1/24/2015; ½ kegged for Brew Ha Ha (1/31/2015) and other half bottled w/1.75 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.064
FG: 1.008

P.S. I know the numbers aren’t in order. Deal.

Tasting Notes (2/28/2015): Flanders Red pours a crystal clear brown with plenty of orange and red accents; the thin white head put in an appearance, and then became a floating skiff across the top of the beer. In the nose, there is lactic tartness mixed with a slight tannic oak, followed by cherry and plum fruit aromas and candy and cracker malt aromas. There is just a hint of acetic acid, but it is very much to the back. Flavors open with intense, fresh fruit—cherry, plum, and currant—and bright lactic acidity. There is some malt sweetness and residual mouthfeel in the middle: it is thankfully missing that thinness of body that tends to ruin otherwise delicious examples of the style. The finish is slightly mineral-like, accompanied by a tannic bite mixed with fruit sweetness that lingers on the tongue. I am also getting a slight flush on my cheeks now that I am halfway through the beer, which I appreciate. The beer is bright and crisp on the palate, even with the medium to low carbonation—the acidity and fruit flavors brighten and sharpen the beer in a refreshing and enjoyable manner—although there is a touch of alcohol warmth as the beer warms. All in all, I am quite pleased with this beer, especially having been in the bottle only a month. I am also pretty certain I will shortly be upset that I gave half of this beer away. I’d call it sour grapes, but that might be too bad of a pun for even me.

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