Friday, September 7, 2012

Houston, We Have Sour

I finally have some positive results from the kefir lambic experiment. I just have a bottle of the control and one of the kefir version.

As a reminder, I brewed with a pretty standard lambic grist and split the batch. Half was fermented with US-05 until stable at about 1.022 then I added some kefir grains. There was no noticeable drop in gravity after another few days so I bottled. The second half was fermented entirely with kefir and settled at the same 1.022. After a couple of weeks in the bottle the control had no sour and light carbonation. The kefir version was almost completely flat. Both were a bit syrupy and had a little rubberyness but were ok other than that.

It's been a few more weeks. The control gushed at room temperature and left a thick, firm head. It had cleaned up in flavor a bit, almost mo band aid present except a very small amount at the tail of the glass. It still wasn't sour but wasn't sugary either. Not a bad beer actually.

Kefir from today
So I poured a bottle of the kefir. Not as carbonated as the control but it still had a tight head which dropped down after a couple of minutes. The aroma is quite a bit more complex than the control. Bready with noticeable stone fruit; it reminds me of a warm bun with apricot preserves. The wheat is at the forefront of the flavor too but there's a hint of a smooth lactic sour hiding in there. I wouldn't call puckery, much more subtle and quite pleasant. It's almost a sweat and sour candy sort of a flavor. I've got one more bottle of the kefir version. I think I'll cellar it for another few months and see how it turns out. This gives me hope for the technique. I still think I'll do a milk stout base next time.