The story of our sour beer
At the beginning of February we brewed what is going to be a wild Saison with rye and spelt malts, fermented directly in a new oak barrel with Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces yeasts as well as Lactobacillus and Pediococcus bacterial strains.
Everything was going smooth as planned. We received the brand new barrel, we applied the special instructions which we needed to swell the barrel for several days and after we made the beer, we transferred it directly in the barrel and added the yeast. In the first days the fermentation was going wild, being very aggressive, causing the barrel staves to loosen. So it began the leaking…
As much as we like to think that everything is going as planned, sometimes the unexpected hits you. The same happened to our beer. Day after day, the leaking was intensifying causing a lot of beer loss. We tried every method that was possible to stop the leaking, but it was all in vain, the fermentation was too aggressive and therefore we had no way of stopping that leaking.
After thinking of a solution and with no single tank available, just the one that we use for bottling, we decided to use this one as an ultimate solution not to lose all the beer from the wood barrel. So we transferred the remaining beer in the bottling tank.
Meanwhile, we needed to decide fast what to do next because we had some beers that were going to be bottled. The best decision to take was to acquire a new tank that we will be using for bottling and to make a half batch of the same beer to add over the one remained in the tank. Done and done.
We were super lucky to find in stock a 1000l Spiedel tank that was delivered within two weeks.
The half batch that we made we added over the beer in the tank and because we didn’t know how much of the yeasts were still left, we bought again that blend of funky yeasts to add for boosting the fermentation. Now the tank is almost full, the yeasts are doing their thing and we will just forget about this beer for a year or two. We shall see if we will put again in some barrels after a couple of months, but that will be a decision to be made in the future.
Meanwhile, the moral is to always expect the unexpected, to learn from mistakes and as we always said, we like to be transparent with all of you and share our thoughts and concerns.
Last but not least, I want to introduce Nora, our wild cat which we want to celebrate with this beer. She is a stray cat that a friend found when she was only two weeks old. We took it in and took care of her, so she became family. She has a very strong personality, so the beer that we brewed will be so much alike her.
Don’t forget to stay home, stay safe and if you want some beers to delight yourself during quarantine, we have our online shop open. And of course adopt a pet, your life will be much nicer.
Cheers & keep it craft,