I finally received the malt I ordered on Tuesday — not that I was impatiently waiting for it, but I was wondering when it would turn up. I now have a grand total of five kilos of wheat malt, four or five kilos of munich malt, and about twelve kilos of pilsner malt. (I should have gotten some Vienna, but I guess I didn’t think of it when I ordered it.)
Tonight, I’ll be bottling my JAO (of which I nabbed a sample, and it’s pretty nice — I’m bottling most of it still, but one bottle carbed in a beer bottle, if I can manage it) and also my wild pediococcus brew — the Suddenly Sour Cream Ale (originally called the Bangkok Summer Pilsner, till it ended up not being a lager and also getting some pediococcus bacteria from the lemongrass introduced into it). It is actually a steam ale, brewed with a mix of lager yeast and ale yeast at higher temperatures, but Suddenly Sour Steam Ale sounds less funny.
Tomorrow evening I’ll be defrosting the wild black raspberries I bought, and maybe the persimmon, and then bottling all my wheat beer except two gallons — one to rack onto each fruit. The fruit beers won’t be ready for a few months, but I think they’re going to turn out pretty wonderfully. We’ll see, though. Thats leaves only my Belgian Pale Ale to bottle, a task I hope to do Monday (while heating up some water for a mead I’ll be making then, likely a 3-gallon batch with some more wild black raspberries). I was thinking of adding another batch of berries to the sour ale, but I am happy with the current level of sourness and feel like I want to stop it before it goes too much farther, even though the pellicle is nice and resilient and even though I’m curious how it would go if I left it longer… or dumped a little brett into it… or some other souring bugs and dregs and so on. I may, though, try something like that (like added brett, for example) with a smaller sample of the same beer, if I can get my hands on another one-gallon fermentation vessel.
Meanwhile, I’ve still got my 100% Brett beer sitting around–still not really showing signs of active fermentation despite having been brought into the warm house and set on the warm ondol-heated floor for a few days, though maybe I need to take a gravity reading (I can see the detritus of the krausen line just a bit above the top of the beer, so maybe it fermented vigorously the first few days, though I doubt it)–and the Stout I brewed last night still isn’t showing signs of fermentation, so I’ll be diluting it to bring the sourness and the hops into line with my target goals. (And that will bring it down to a final state of about 4.8% alcohol, which is a tolerable degree of dilution in my opinion.)
UPDATE: Whew, I bottled (with far less mess than usual), both the JAO and the Sour Cream Ale, which, now that I’ve tried it a bit more, doesn’t seem all that sour after all. So now I’m wondering whether I ought to have added the Brett to the beer to see what would happen, and whether I could have had a truly sour ale. But, never fear, I’ve saved a good quart jar of the stuff, and will be inoculating it with as much crazyassed goodness as I can get my hands on. A bugfarmer I shall be.
In the meantime, the JAO tasted pretty damned good for no bottle conditioning and for having been fermented with cheap (though fresh) Russian bread yeast. I’ve bottled some to condition still, and some more to condition carbonated, though I’m wondering whether the yeast will be able to chew that up. I might have been wiser to re-yeast the carbonation bottles. Well, if they don’t carbonate, I can always add a little yeast, perhaps a tiny sample from one of my high-gravity Belgian yeasts.
Oh, one more thing. Ignore the grammar, and focus on the content of this blog. (Although, yes, the various fellow English teachers reading this blog might not be able to stop silently correcting the grammar as they read along, it’s worth trying.) The Drunken Polack reviews all kinds of wonderful-sounding beers, especially Belgian-styled American craft beers by the looks of it. This guy, I know I could sit down and drink with.