Friday, July 15, 2011

Kentucky Common ........Update

I had really high hopes for this beer when I first brewed it, and I still think that the style is something I would really like to master. However, as with all my other experiences in sour mashing or sour worting this one turned out terribly.

I'm starting to think that the storage and shipping of grain down to the desert significantly impacts the microflora available on the grains and not in a good way. No matter what Ive done beers where I use these techniques on always turn out, well, a bit like hot garbage and vomit stew.....

This one was really nasty when I drained the keg for boiling, and the smell coming off the boil were terrible. Still I filled the carboy up and pitched in a packet of Nottingham. Within hours the yeast began to take off and the airlock was happily bubbling away..... That is until I noticed the smell......

The burping airlock was purging some of the terrible vomit/garbage smells from the wort! This made me fairly optimistic, maybe most of the smell would dissipate with the CO2 coming from the fermentation? To keep everyone happy, and my dog from being too curious I had to stash the carboy in an old fridge in the garage, and remove everything else from it...

Fast forward a couple months, and I decide to taste the beer to see how its coming along. Pouring the sample into my glass and the color is beautiful, clarity is great, but then the smell hits me. Not as strong as before, but still terrible. I think, eh its not that bad, lets see how it tastes. Taking a sip it tastes wonderfully grainy, slightly sweetish with notes of corn and a really nice subtle twang of acidity, but just as I'm feeling good it hits me. The smell of baby vomit.

Its on my lips and I cant get rid of it. Its in the glass and is filling the room. I was both with soap, I scrub and scrub nothing works. So for the next hour or so I really begin to understand the saying "It's your upper lip"

Not being able to stand the looks of disgust as SWMBO comes near me after I drank the beer, and not enjoying needing to rub deodorant under my nose I decide to do something I haven't in a long time.

video

I wish it ended there, but unfortunately it just rubbed salt into the wound....My backyard stunk for 2 days like an old hobo


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've had consistent success with sour mashes. I, too, do Kentucky Commons and sour saisons (once in a great while slightly sour BSDAs). I usually take 25-50% of the un-sparged mash, place it in a pickling crock, wait for it to cool down to 100 F, and toss in a handful of unmashed 6-row. I then carefully seal it with plastic wrap, pushing out any air bubbles present. This is to inhibit aerobic microbial growth. I then place the entire thing in a water bath and attempt to hold it between 90 and 100 F for 2-3 days. Then I sparge as usual and add it to the runnings of the remaining non-soured wort. I've never had vomit/garbage smells as long as I've maintained the wort under high temperature anaerobic conditions.

Last KC I did I soured 1/3 of the mash (63% US 6-row, 30% flaked maize, 2% US caramel-120, 2% black malt, 3% housemade dark candi syrup/mash temp 154 F) for 2 1/2 d. Aimed for OG of 1.047. Hopped it with German Northern Brewers to 22 IBU (60 min and 10 min additions). Fermented with SafAle US-05. I, too, haven't had a commercial example of this style, but I thought it tasted as others have described. I found it both session-able and thirst-quenching. In fact, I wouldn't mind one right now.

Scott said...

Well, there is a quote from Peter Bouckaert along the lines of "if you're going to brew good sours, be prepared to dump some batches". I'll be dumping one of my "lambics" for the first time (3rd attempt so i'm counting myself lucky).

Andrew said...

I inoculate my sour-mashes with a bit of my sourdough starter, to keep things from getting nasty.

Jorge - Brew All Grain said...

I'm still not into sours... but maybe some day I'll catch the bug...

scone said...

The first and only time I tried a sour mash the same thing happened to me. I kept it for a long time but ended up dumping the entire batch instead of bottling it. I may try again sometime given what I've read of other peoples' successes, but that vomit smell is indeed hard to erase from my mind. :)

David said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know that I saw this website (http://brewbeeranddrinkit.com/how-to-make-beer-at-home.html?utm_source=HomeBrewTalk&utm_medium=HomeBrewTalk&utm_campaign=HomeBrewTalk) using an ad with a gif made from the video you posted above. Don't know if you gave permission or what, so just a heads up.

Ryan said...

David,

I took a link and didnt see what you were referring to. Do you have a differnt link to it maybe??

As always I appreciate the heads up

Ryan

David said...

It's a bit hard to see but here is the ad I was referring to: http://tinypic.com/r/2w2gdc9/7 . I don't think that it shows it on the website that I linked to after all.

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