Not long ago, we wrote about our efforts to refine our recipes as we work toward opening the brewery. One recipe we want to get nailed is a kettle sour that we can dose with a variety of fruit, using whatever is in season. Early returns suggest we're heading in the right direction.
Our most recent sour is based on one of Alex' saison recipes and fermented on black cherries. We wanted to get some feedback, so it was entered into the 22nd annual Shamrock Open competition hosted by the CARBOY Homebrew Club. This competition draws entries from all over North Carolina, even as far away as South Carolina.
We were really excited to learn that it earned 1st place in the Specialty - Brett/Wild/Sour category. It also came in 2nd overall for Best of Show.
There's a back story on this one, though, it was a true collaBREWation! Alex brewed 10 gallons of the base saison recipe and set it to souring, intending to let the lactobacillus do its souring while he was out of town for a couple of days. When back from his trip, he'd move the soured beer on to boil and the usual fermentation process. Unfortunately, the trip out of town became extended and he couldn't get back in time to stop the lacto from getting too much time to work.
This is where the collaBREWation comes in. I ended up taking the soured beer over to my house, walking it home bucket by bucket, making five trips back and forth. Once home in my kettle, it was boiled, pitched with yeast and set to fermenting in my fermentation chamber.
We hope the next time this gets brewed it will be done in just one location - our new brewery! We'd love to serve it to you in our taproom!
Speaking of the Vicious Fishes taproom, construction is moving along quickly with plumbing and electrical ready for rough-in inspection. More about that and some pictures coming soon.