beachwood sour fest, patersbier revisited, basque cider update


last week AP and I caught wind of a serious sour lineup geting poured at beachwood BBQ’s seal beach location for their sour fest.

  • news of lines, crowds, and general chaos (at lunchtime on a tuesday no less) had me skeptical at first, but while grabing a pour at naja’s I heard that some of the sours were making their way up to beachwood’s long beach location.
  • upon making our way to long beach on saturday, our suspicions were confirmed – long beach was stocked with over a dozen sours, all available as five-ounce pours (for a price). to top it off, there were no lines, no crowds, only an enthusiastic homebrewer/bartender who gave us tons of great advice on both food and brews.
  • within a few minutes I was tearing into a smoky chopped brisket sandwich and chasing it with rarities like BFM’s abbaye st bon chien 2010, craftsman’s fireworks saison, ballast point’s sour wench, allagash’s interlude 2009, deschutes’ the dissident 2010, and lost abbey’s red poppy 2010.
  • the next day I dusted off the brew rig and got the strike water going for a rehash of my patersbier.  I decided to redo this brew as a SMaSH:
    • 18.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 100.00 %
      2.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (60 min) Hops 12.3 IBU
      2.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (10 min) Hops 4.5 IBU
  • I also tweaked a few other elements, such as upping the mash temp from 148 to 152 for a little more maltiness, opting for a vigorous 90 minute boil to drive off any DMS in the malt, and cooling the wort to a balmy 69F with my bootlegged fermentation fridge before pitching my stepped up WLP500 slurry from my yeast bank.
  • the boil got a little too vigorous at times, resulting in a couple boilovers, but I was more than satisfied with my OG of 11 brix (1.043), which was dead on, accounting for an efficiency of 80%.
  • however, the best surprise of the day came as I kegged my basque cider attempt for long-term aging.  I was hoping for any signs of funk at all, but was wholly unprepared for the viscous pellicle that gretted me upon cracking open the fermentation bucket.  the cider was viscous and ropy, a sure sign of “sickness” during wild/sour fermentation.
  • to top it off, the cider smelled fantastic – the aroma had a great barnyard/lambic character similar to the basque ciders that donated their dregs.  I’m definitely excited to bottle this up in a few months and try it sporadically (and to try another batch with dregs and a less attenuative yeast).

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