November 2, 2015

Troy Brewers’ Blog #5

As some of you may have noticed, we have been delving into sour beers here in Troy and are very excited about the endless possibilities with regard to experimentation that they present. Many of you have tried our first few releases, and we want to keep you in the loop as to what we have coming down the pipe line! Here is a taste of what’s new with the sour program here at Brown’s Brewing! House Sour While all of our sour beers up to this point have been soured in oak barrels, where we inoculate the beer with lactic acid (shown in the photo above) producing bacteria and wild yeast, we have decided to brew a “kettle sour.” Unlike its barrel-aged counterparts, this beer is soured over a couple days (rather than months), prior to boiling, and then fermented with brewers yeast. The sour character of kettle soured beers is less nuanced and complex, focusing more on a clean lactic tartness that is an excellent platform for additional flavors from fruit, spices, etc. The first incarnation of this beer will feature tart cherries, cranberries, and lime zest. Pseudo-Lambic On the complete opposite end of the sour beer spectrum, we have begun an experiment in spontaneous fermentation, inspired by the Lambics of Belgium. These beers are produced by allowing the natural microbes in the air to land in the wort (the liquid that will be fermented into beer) overnight, after the brew. The wort is then transferred to oak barrels and left for a year or more to ferment. The resulting product is going to be very nuanced and complex, and will be unique to the area in which it is produced, with all of the fermenting yeast, wild yeast, and bacteria coming from the place where the beer was made. A true exercise in patience; we are hoping that this will yield a product unlike anything we have created in the past. Barrel Farm To make excellent and balanced sour beer, blending is key. Each barrel has its own character, and finding balance between them all is where the art of sours really comes into play. It is with that in mind that we are constantly trying to grow our barrel collection to allow us more opportunity to blend to taste and create the best beer possible. After just about a year or so we are up to over 30 barrels in our “farm” and hope to continue to grow our reserves to elevate the quality of the sour beer we are producing. Saison 4.0 The next in our series of Farmhouse Ales will be an interesting one for sure, pairing saison yeast with grapefruit zest and a touch of ginger. We are also blending in one barrel of soured Belgian Blonde Ale to give it a crisp, clean finish. Keep an eye out for this in late November. Obviously we have a lot of exciting “clean” (not soured) beers coming down the pipeline as well, from Bourbon barrel aged products, to hop forward IPAs and Pale Ales. We will do our best to find time to keep you all up to date on what’s new here in the brew cave in Troy. Cheers! Dan and Lee
December 21, 2015

Troy Brewers’ Blog #6

Brewers’ Reserve Sour – Blend #3 We are very excited about our upcoming Brewers’ Reserve Sour blend as it incorporates quite a few new techniques that contribute to the nuance and complexity of the final product. This is our first beer that is 100% fermented in oak barrels, as well as our first to blend different base beers, so we wanted to share some of our thought process behind the blend. 44% of the blend consists of Weizenbock wort that was fermented on oak with a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria and then aged on plum puree. This has spent five months in barrels and has big notes of sour cherry, toffee, and plum (obviously). This was the platform on which we wanted to build the beer, and we searched through our barrels to find beers that would enhance and deepen these flavors. 31% of the blend is our American Sour Red, barrel fermented with a mixed culture and aged on oak for four months. This portion of the blend contributes some subtle funk, moderate acidity, and more vinous, tannic notes. 25% of the blend is our American Sour Brown, barrel fermented, and aged three months on oak. This relatively “young” sour beer, is much less tart, contributing vanilla, raisin, and fig, as well as a more rounded body, providing balance to the acidity and a complementary flavor profile to the plum of the Weizenbock barrels. These three come together to create something that is much greater than the sum of their parts. We are excited to share this with you and it will be pouring in the Troy Taproom beginning on January 4th. Soon after, the Walloomsac Brewery in Hoosick Falls should be pouring it as well. Cheers to sour beer! Dan and Lee