Our second draft-only beer will be released this week in Sacramento, and is our first collaborative beer - made with the help of the Homebrew Chef, Sean Paxton! This is called Beersel, a name that pays homage to the place our yeast culture originated - in the bowels of the famed 3 Fonteinen brewery! This is a true Sour Ale, but not technically a Lambic (which is a spontaneously fermented beer) or Gueuze (lambics, blended). The grist and hopping is pretty much what the Senne Valley brewers use to make their lambics, however, with raw wheat, pale malted barley and whole flower hops aged 10 years. Additionally, our Brewmaster Peter Hoey, implemented a-labor intensive mash schedule, known as "turbid mashing" to create some pretty amazing results.
What is turbid mashing, you ask? Well, here it is in a nutshell. According to Mr. Hoey:
Turbid Mashing is a process that extracts long starch chains from the barley and wheat. Basically, you mash in at 120 degrees and run off into the kettle right away. Then you dump boiling water into the mash tun to raise the temperature up to 132 degrees. Run off again. Then dump boiling water in to raise the temperature to 148 degrees. Run off. Then add water again to raise the mash temp to 158 degrees and sparge the rest like normal.
The results? With longer starch chains they yeast is assured some food for a longer period of time, they really have to work to feed on these. This is a big deal for a beer like this, which has aged for 20 months!
As alluded to previously, the beer is fermented with a brettanomyces culture from 3 Fonteinen as well as a dose of lacto bacillus. These critters make for a sharp, acidic beer that is fairly light in body and shows hints of leather, intense fruitiness and an overall pungent aroma. If you're unaccustomed to sour ales, this one will certainly shock you. Rest assured though, the beer is supposed to taste like this!
If you're in Sacramento, we hope you can find these rare beers. If you do, we'd love to hear what you think about them - drop us an email at sales [at] odonatabeer [dot] com. This will help us as we make our final tweaks before making production size batches - what can we say, we aim to please!