I’ve been experimenting off and on with a second mash to reclaim extra sugar for a parti-gyled lower-gravity batch, usually aiming for just a single gallon. The results have been totally disappointing so far.
I pulled a fairly high-gravity 1.070 second yield from #024. My original thought was to throw in a bunch of fruity hops to complement the dark malts. It didn’t work at all, the finished beer was grossly vegetal, it reminded me of celery.
Instead of dumping it, it had a high enough gravity that I thought I’d let it sit and wait for the hops to drop out. And if it was going to sit for a while anyway, why not add some bacteria to work on the residual sugars? So I tipped the dregs of a few bottles (Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus and Driftwood Bird of Prey) into the batch and let it hibernate for a good chunk of a year.
I’ve read enough about sours at this point to know that oxygen is your worst enemy. I filled the jug up to the neck to minimize exposure, which may have also minimized pellicle formation; I had a few bubbles and a bit of scuzz, but nothing solid. About six months after brewing, it was tasting sour. A very strong lacto character had developed, with no noticeable acetic. The hops were still there, but they had definitely started dropping out. I bottled, and cracked the first a month later — since the beer had been sitting around for so long I forgot to factor in the fact that the yeast would be completely gone, so it was mostly flat and still too hoppy. Seems like it has potential, but I’m not touching it again for a while to let more hop character fade, and hopefully allow some carbonation to build up in the meantime.
More when more bottles are cracked. Probably not before summer 2013.
The Recipe / Numbers
I didn’t keep track with this one. The mash was leftover from #024, the hops don’t matter since my goal is to let them completely fall out. It’s probably around 9% alcohol.