Archive for May, 2010

Kriek Sample

So I decided to sample the Kriek (Cherry Lambic) that has been fermenting away since the CO2 production has drastically decreased.  The beer has a terrific red color, and a very nice balanced flavor.  It could have perhaps used a bit more cherry flavor, but has a nice sour and cherry/sweet flavor at the same time.  When this is brewed again, I will likely increase the cherry additions to 2.5 lbs/gallon from 2.0 lbs/gallon.  I also think for fruit lambic batches going forward, I am going to have to use slightly larger fermenters to account for the additional space taken up by the fruit.  This beer is good as-is, so I will likely bottle it next week.   I think for this year, I will also hope to do a peach/apricot lambic, cranberry lambic, and another batch of the framboise I tested out last summer.   I currently have 2 batches of base lambic in process I can use for two of these, but the third will have to wait a bit as I will be a bit short, unless I take some from the barrel.

Nailed it!

So, I installed some “sample ports” on my barrels today….that is to say I drilled a couple of holes in the barrel heads and plugged them with stainless steel nails.   I was a bit nervous about this holding a seal, but it seems a LOT of breweries are successfully now using this method made popular by Russian River.  Upon completion of drilling the holes, I had some taster glasses ready to get some samples before inserting the nails.  I am surprised at how good these taste already.  The beers have not been in the barrels that long, so the level of sourness must be do to the high pitching rate of bugs that I used on these batches.  There is a very slight hint of oak flavor in each, but nothing overpowering which is good.  I was a bit concerned that the barrels may have still had a lot of oak character remaining to leech into the beer.   I will probably check them again sometime around August to see how they progress and decide if I should pull any off for blending or just packaging straight as-is.   I also pulled a small sample from the sour stout I brewed up at Jeremy’s a couple months ago…still needs some time as the brett and lacto still have some work to do, so I will probably also check this one out again in August & decide what to do with it.