Friday, March 11, 2011

Apple Cyser + Brettanomyces and Malolactic Bacteria

Pellicle [ˈpɛlɪkəl] n - a growth on the surface of a liquid culture.

You may have thought initially that I was showing you an image of some distant planet, why would I do that? Planets don;t have anything to do with brewing. What you are looking at is a view down the neck of a carboy at a thin start to a layer of pellicle on a cyser I brewed last Halloween.
It's kind of a tradition now that every Halloween I whip up a German Apfelwein or some variation of apple wine. This year I went a little differently in that I boiled 5 gallons of apple juice with 1lb of crystal 20L and 10lbs of honey. I used a safale us-05 yeast and it has been done fermenting for several months and is crystal clear, I could have bottled it, but I didn't. One night I was sitting here drinking a Bretted beer and looked at the thick brett dregs at the bottom of the bottle and decided to crack that carboy of cyser and pour it right in there. That's exactly what I did, plus 1lb dextrose to kickstart fermentation #2. I then thought of something else I could do to make this stuff very unique, I added a vial of malolactic bacteria. Malolatic fermentation converts the tart malic acid to the soft buttery flavored lactic acid. So I've got a tart apple cyser, that I'm souring a bit with brett, and then taking the tartness away and replacing it with a softer mouthfeel. Now this thing has to set many, many more months (at least 6) to allow malolactic conversion and the brettanomyces to make its presence known. Looking forward to this one... Stay tuned.

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