In the long days of this seemingly never-ending cool summer – I’m left with even keeled and mellow wild beers.
Solera #1 is still sitting on its cakes and fearfully, had a dry airlock one of the couple of visits I made while Gary was out West. A sample was pulled and it’s right where I wanted it. A bit worried about it getting too tart now, but we’ll see 1- where everything ends 2- if it indeed does tart up.
This past brew day went swimmingly – besides a watery mash – hit high 80s on my mash efficiency and right about the amount I wanted ending up in the fermentor. I relied on the local homebrew store having the WL670 I use, but alas. I trudged on, thinking big picture: all wonderfully blended anyway. #2 ended up with Wyeast 3209 Oud Bruin Blend & Wyeast 3278 Belgian Lambic Blend; both fitting well into the larger puzzle of the solera pretty well. Letting the yeast thing go I’ve opened the doors allowing for shifts and subtle changes as it ages. Let it go and let it grow.
side notes: sampled the Quad finally and it’s got me hot and bothered. Wheat wine was overbearing & “hot,” and <1gal got a treatment of #2 cherries & #1 of raspberries – making it more of a fruit wine, still tasty and interesting. Most of what is pouring is quite good and things are finally coming together.
Like many homebrewers I only grazed the info of what other posters were talking about and pieced it together to create my kind of story. A lot of “sour soleras” for homebrewers means whipping up a massive 30-60 gallon batch, letting it age in a barrel, then at X number of months/years pull 5-15 gallons and replace with new. Headspace fills back in, you’ve got aged beer and fresh beer, it’s in a neat in a little package, and so it goes. To me this sounds like someone took the idea of what Rodenbach does with bottling for their Grand Cru and ran with it. Only, this isn’t really what on is, this a solera is:
Quick details: Brew 8 gallons of ‘house’ every other month for a year (solera -> 5). Bottle 4 gallons (solera), blend 2 gallons from each fermentor down newest (6) added to stack while birthing a 4 gallon one-off.
First thing one would likely notice is the painful vertical nature of my solera. I toyed with a building a ‘base’ solera first to then move build up and attempt to blend down, but this is simply a starter project. It’s really a peek into how much I’ll hate brewing the same thing over and over, how much I’d enjoy working a brewery, and an exercise in patience. I may end up not loving the idea after a year and a half and just bottle the thing and give up. It’s a working example.