G.Y.O. – Grow Your Own
Step One: Enjoy sour beer.
Step Two: Propagate live mixed-culture from the sample.
Step Three: Build up the propagated culture, and use it to brew your own sour beers.
Harvesting commercial dregs offers incredible utility to homebrewers of sour beer. By implementing cultured bugs into your recipes, you’re able to add a diversity of characteristics simply not available from commercial lab cultures.
For example, some cultures can produce tremendous acidity without any attenuation (The Rare Barrel). Others are highly attenuative, but only moderately acidic (De Garde). Taking advantage of these individual attributes, I believe it is possible to create custom blends that express the best features of individual cultures. I’ve completed sensory analysis for three sour cultures harvested from some of the best sour breweries in the country. All cultures were stepped up gradually from bottle dregs and allowed to ferment for two weeks before tasting and measuring gravity and pH.
The Rare Barrel – Forces Unseen
Apparent Attenuation: 0%
Firestone Walker – Sour Opal (Barrelworks)
Apparent Attenuation: 65%
De Garde – Duo
Apparent Attenuation: 80%