Thursday, July 31, 2008

Temptation Clone - First Tasting

At almost three months in the bottle it was time to get a tasting of the Temptation Clone Seth and I brewed last November.

– Beautiful clear golden with a thin white head. Retention is moderate with a thin covering remaining for most of the glass.

Smell – Huge funky Brett nose, back to where it was on bottling day. Very fruity (cherries, apricot) with some floral notes, no aggressive/objectionable funk. There might be some grape in there as well, but it is hard to tease out what is from the bugs and what is from the wine. Those Russian River bugs really are some of the best I have worked with, so complex and without any harshness.

Taste – The flavor is good, but doesn't live up to the nose. It is lightly tart with a mild bready malt/wheat character, but it doesn't have the sourness that the nose suggests. It has enough tartness to balance out the minor residual sweetness giving the beer excellent balance. The flavor does not have the complexity of the nose, but it certainly isn't objectionable in any way.

Mouthfeel – Very quick finish, but with a bit of lingering slickness on the tongue. Carbonation is moderate, but it will likely increase slightly as the bugs slowly continue to work.

Drinkability & Notes – The lack of a gripping sourness gives this beer great drinkability (especially at 7.5% ABV). At this point the beer is somewhere between an aged Orval and a fresh Temptation, I can't wait to see where it goes from here. If I brew this again I will mash this a bit warmer to leave more fermentables for the bugs, and add more wine/oak for a more noticeable contribution.


Mr Mohawk said...

Hey, the timing of this posting was perfect. I made a Belgian Blond/Abbey/Golden Strong Ale this weekend and just so happened to have a batch of Berliner Weisse standing. This was made with the Wyeast 3191VSS Blend which contains a mix of Lacto and an unknown Brett strain. So I took half a gallon and pithed it with some Weisse. Should be fun to see how it turns out. Maybe the Brett is too weak in this blen to really have an impact. I thought I'd spice it up with some Merlot oak shavings soaked in an Australian Riesling too.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I had good results with 3191, made a nice clean/tart beer. I passed off my slurry to a friend who told me it had his beer down to 1.000 in just a few weeks.

You are right on the mild Brett character (so far anyway), it would certainly benefit from a bit of added oak/wine complexity. Sounds tasty, good luck.

Josh said...

So are you handing out the dregs of this?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

I was referred to your site via a comment I received on a post I wrote up about Brett. Great stuff. I am going to read your other beer posts now.


Anuj said...

i am planning on brewing something along the line of this in the next couple weeks.

you say that if you ever brew this again you will add more wine and oak to it.

how much would you recommend i use, i see at the very bottom of the recipe post it says vinnie used 3 oz? that sounds like a lot.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

3 oz is certainly too much. I think about 1.5 oz would be a god place to start, you can always add more if it needs it later in the aging process. 2 cups wine again would be a good place to start, you can always add more at bottling if it needs it.

Hope it turns out well, make sure to give it a bigger pitch of bugs at the start to make sure it sours up more than mine did.

Anuj said...


i made a starter of lacto, pedio, brett B, and dregs from almost every sour beer i drink at home (continuously just pour it in). do you think i should pitch the whole thing or just a portion?

also what would be a good method for "washing" the oak cubes i am going to use so it doesnt add too much flavor? i just rinse in boiling water?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

How big is the starter? How have you been treating it? I doubt you'd need the whole thing, 1-2 cups of funky starter is usually sufficient.

I like to boil the oak for about five minutes in plenty of water, steaming is good to leave a bit more oak character, soaking in wine/liquor leave still more, and adding them right out of the package adds the most wood flavor.

Anuj said...

i made an initial "starter" starter (dme) with the bacteria packets and after just continuously add dregs. i dont think i have ever once added more sugar too it.

did i fuck up?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

No, that sounds just about perfect. The microbes will slowly work on the more complex sugars in the DME over time, no need to keep feeding them unless you keep it for many months. I’ve been making a bit of extra starter wort for my bug starters once every few months when I make one for a clean beer. If you use some of your starter feed it some wort so they’ll be enough to use next time you want to do a sour, keep adding dregs and you’ll always have a house culture on hand (something I need to work on).