After reading Michael Tonsmeire’s excerpt about soleras in Home Brew All Stars, I decided to start a solera of my own. Since I don’t currently have a any barrels in my possession, I guess you could call my current program a “pseudo-psolera”.
My Honey Wheat Farmhouse Saison had been aging for about 6 months, and I decided to split the batch and turn it into three different beers. I bottled three 750 ml bottles of the “straight” beer, racked 3 gallons onto 2 lbs of fresh apricots, and racked 1 gallon onto 2 lbs of frozen tart cherries.
I had a funky brett yeast cake and a half-gallon of beer left over at the bottom of the carboy and I decided to dedicate this carboy to my pseudo-psolera project. The Honey Wheat Saison finished with a little more honey character than I really want in a beer – it was almost a braggot. I decided to go with a Flanders Red base for this solera and ditch the honey. Also, good honey is expensive.
This brew day was also my first time using the Robobrew All-In-One brewing system. I’ll be posting a full review on the Robobrew soon. It’s basically a half-priced Grainfather without the fancy bluetooth controller.
I really enjoyed this brew day. The Robobrew was fun to use, and I was able to take it outside on the balcony as opposed to being stuck by the stove. I ended up hitting my numbers and getting about a 78% efficiency from my system.
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Fanders, Ned: A Flanders Red Farmhouse Ale
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
Estimated OG: 1.063
Estimated FG: 1.010
Boil Time: 90 Minutes
Robobrew All-In-One Brewing System
5 gallon Lowes hot liquor tank
3.75 lb Vienna Malt
3 lb Light Munich Malt
3 lb Pilsner Malt (Rahr)
1 lb Caramunich
1 lb Flaked Wheat
10 oz Aromatic (Lowlands)
3 oz Crystal 40
4 oz Carapils
1.0 oz Crystal 75 min
1.0 oz Crystal 15 min
Yeast cake from the Honey What Farmhouse Saison
HEB Texas Spring Water
90 min @ 152
10 min @ 167
Brew day began around 10:00 AM. Heated 5 gallons of sparge water in the Robobrew to 190 F and transferred to HLT. I’m filming most of this brew day and will be posting a video review of the Robobrew. Mashed in when the display read 152 F. I checked the temp coming out of the recirculation pump and it was 149. Bumped temperature setting up to 156 and then got closer to my planned mash temp of 152 F.
Took a sample of recirculated wort about halfway through the mash and let it cool to room temp. Mash pH was 5.05 according to my pH meter. A little low, so I think it’s time start playing with my water chemistry on the next batch.
Boil took a while longer than the stovetop. Finally got to a boil with the display reading 219 F.
Post-boil OG: 1.064
Cooled with the included wort chiller down to 90 F then put the lid on with some sanitized saran wrap over the hole. Let the wort cool overnight and will transfer to the yeast cake tomorrow morning. I ended up with 6.5 gallons after the boil, so I’ll probably have to dump about a gallon.
Transferred 5.5 gallons onto the yeast cake at about 78 F and dumped about a gallon. I would have saved the wort for starters later, but all of my mason jars are full and my one gallon fermenter is also occupied.
Fermentation os going strong at about 2-3 bubbles per second. Fermenting rather warm in the storage unit at about 77º F.