There is just as much room for complexity in a small beer as you'll find in a barrel aged stout if you can balance your flavors just right! And the more time I spend making beer, the more Ive come to appreciate subtlety and balance. This beer is about bringing together two different styles, a session beer and a lightly lactic (sour) ale. The idea behind it is to try and make a refreshing low alcohol sour beer that has a focus on the malt and retains some richness to the body.
I really enjoy the added layer of complexity that sourness can bring to a low alcohol beer like this. Combined with a good dose of late hops and a heavy hand of dry hops, the resulting character has notes of fresh grapefruit. You see real fruit has sweetness, tannin's, bitterness and sourness all in one bite and its this very sensation that I'm trying to replicate with Forbearance.
Ive added a lot of Gladfield Munich and Gladiator malt to give the beer heaps of body and hold back the sourness a little. Soured the beer to a PH of 3.6 in the kettle using a culture that Ive been propagating for the last year. And finally hopped the sucker generously with a vibrant mix of New Zealand heavyweights. The result is a lightly tart, quenching ale with loads of complexity and a good measure of alcoholic restraint!
For more details on my souring technique you can see this blog entry. I haven't changed anything other than the temperature, which I now hold at 45 degrees C. Build the starter up from 1L, then on to 6L then 50L. I then send this keg down to Scott's Brewing facility and we pitch it into 250L of wort. This gives us enough cells for a very rapid sour over night. I pull some of the starter before adding it to the kettle so I can use it again later. Unfortunately this time round I pitched the starter onto some freshly made and hopped wort (after I had filled and sent the keg to Scott's thankfully) at home and the hop oils effectively killed off the bacteria so now my starter is no more. On top of this, Scott's failed to keep some of the starter as well, so this batch of beer is the end of the road for this little colony of microbes, making Forbearance a special one off release for our brewery!
Forbearance - Dry Hopped Session Sour
ABV 3.6 %
60% Gladfield Ale Malt
20% Gladfield Munich
20% Gladfield Gladiator
Yeast nutrients and Koppafloc at 10 minutes
1.8 IBU Wai-iti - Whirlpool 30 min
3.3 IBU Cascade - Whirlpool 30 min
Ferment at 18C with US-05
Once terminal, drop the beer to 15C to clear yeast then dry hop
0.5g/L Nelson Sauvin
Force carbonate to 2.6 volumes of cO2