Sour Company

Written by Damon on July 24, 2009

So I’m brewing my first ever sour beer.

It’s not a copy of any particular sour beer that I’ve had, which means I only screw it up if I don’t like it.  I’m using the cherry nut-brown I made last summer as a base and Wyeast’s seasonal Roeselare blend of beasties as my grand priests of funk.

I remarked at the time that the cherry nut-brown would work well as a sour beer. It being cherry season and one of the plastic buckets I use for primary fermentation starting to wear out, I decided that now was definitely the time to give it a try.

As I started my boil, some friends who share my love of food and drink dropped by. We talked about our favourite subject and pretty soon were thoroughly salivating. They quickly ran home to pick up a few goodies and the party started.

With the wort boiling in the background we laid out our entirely impromptu and home-made spread:

I’ve remarked on porter’s affinity with duck-breast prosciutto before and rye bread slips in nicely between those two.

The unique mix of musty goat-milk flavours and yoghurt sourness from the labneh balanced well with the other treats and gave a kind of funky milk-stout effect to the porter.

The revelation was chutney with duck-breast prosciutto. The powerfully sweet and spicy chutneys worked really well with the concentrated game flavours of the duck. Porter is not the ideal complement to chutney, but the chutney, duck and porter combination wasn’t bad.

Great company, great food, great drink: an excellent way to make a 3 hour boil evaporate into the warm summer evening.

Chutney is now on the menu and with a significant peach and plum crop on the way expect to see some ideas here soon.

The beer is now safely in the fermenter while my post-brew mess remains. Before I start cleaning up, I have a bunch question for anyone who has used any of Wyeasts bacteria and yeast blends to ferment a fruit beer.

If I remember correctly, Cantillion beers spend their entire lives in one fermenter. Isn’t this a recipe for the yeast autolysis? or does the bacteria inhibit autolysis in some way?

Fruit normally gets added to 6-month old beer. I presume this is because they can only make these beers in the colder months and only get fruit in the hotter months. Does the timing of fruit additions affect the final beer?