Monday, 2 February 2015

First Pull: Roeselare Pale Solera

Just a quick update post today.  Over the past few months I've been slowly increasing the number of six gallon soleras I have on the go, the idea being to eventually have a range of different beers on hand for coupage and blending.  To keep track of things I've decided to name each pale solera after the bug blend it was fermented with.  I currently have three in my closet---Roeselare, ECY01, ECY20---and I'm thinking of adding a fourth with The Yeast Bay's Mélange blend some time in the next month or so.  At the moment each has a slightly different base recipe, but I might start using the same base for each in future.

Last week I took the first 3 gallon pull from my Roeselare Pale Solera, and topped it up again with some freshly fermented beer.  The original solera was a mix of a Flanders Pale Ale fermented with Roeselare blend on October 11th 2013, to which I added another pale beer fermented with Wyeast 3522 on June 24th 2014.  That made the average age of the beer I pulled about 11 months.  The top-up beer I added last week was a slightly lower gravity version of the original recipe, fermented with Wyeast 1318 instead of a Belgian strain.  It had a gravity of about 1.012 when I added it to the carboy.

The beer I pulled still had a fairly high gravity of around 1.006, and was only moderately sour, with a pH of 3.96.  It had a very nice mix of citrus and stone fruit flavours, with only a little funk in the background.  I added a little over a gallon to a four gallon version of this buckwheat saison (recipe was slightly different because I ran out buckwheat), and I'm planning on letting them ferment together for another month or two before adding dry hops and packaging in bottles.  The base saison already has a nice fruitiness which I think will be complemented by the flavours from the aged beer.  Its also already fairly tart, so I'm glad that the solera beer isn't too sour yet.

I also transferred another 2 gallons into smaller jugs for extended ageing, flushing each with CO2 before transfer to minimise oxygen pick up (since I don't have kegs, I use a handheld CO2 charger).  The plan is to use some for cutting other saisons in the next few months, and to draw on the rest as a component in blended beers when I start pulling from the other soleras later this year.  I'll be brewing a 3 gallon top up for my Flanders Red solera in the next few weeks, and allowing the beer I pull from it to age further in a smaller carboy.  Hopefully I should be able to start creating blends from them all at the start of the Autumn this year.

1 comment:

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