|Sometimes I use the dryer as a stir plate, kidding of course.|
Tasting Notes after 26 months since the birth of this Solera, 14 months since top off:
The Brett aromas I was trying to add to this are there, not huge but I can pick up on some more classic barnyard aromas reminiscent of a stable. They are subtle but should pop even more in a carbonated sample and as things develop under pressure in the bottle.
The ethyl acetate I picked up from the first bottling is still there but I really have to spin the glass to find it in this sample. It's more on the fruity ethyl acetate end of the spectrum then a nose hair burning aroma of nail polish remover. No better or worse than last year so thats a good thing I suppose.
It's sour and very dry, but not as sour as year one, 3.39pH down (or is it up?) from 3.32 last year. Its tough to judge without this being chilled and carbonated in a finished bottle but I would have to say I've at least improved things by way of the adjustments I made in the year 2 top off. Gravity at the moment is ~1.002.
Things can of course, and likely will, change in the bottle but this was pretty promising. So much so that I was at a bit of a loss on how to tweak the top off recipe for adjustment, more on the top off batch in a later post. I racked off about 4 gallons of the Solera and bottled 1.5 gallons straight unblended, as I plan to with each pull to see how it all changes over time. Thanks to Tonsmeire's Solera spreadsheet, I know that the average age of this year's bottling is 1.53 years old, once we reach year four it will always be at least 2 years old. The remaining 2.5 gallons from this pull was racked on top of 4lbs of organic Blueberries that my family and I picked over the summer at a pick your own farm nearby. I froze the fruit in my chest freezer until I was ready to rack the beer, which is my standard process when using fresh fruit. I also blended in two 22oz bottles of the same sour quad I used for the recent Tart Cherry beer for some added malt backbone to keep from the beer thinning out and being one dimensional.
I am super super excited for this variant, but the blueberries might have been even more excited then I as they tried to climb out of the fermenter. I attempyted a punch down on the fruit but that proved futile as the re-fermentation was so vigorous that I ended up having to remove the bung and airlock and let it go open to the elements, after four days I was able to replace the bung. Three weeks after I racked onto the blueberries there was still activity, lots of sugar in the Blueberries I guess. I hope to have this in bottles 3 months after the fruit addition, I cannot wait.
|Frozen Bluebs prior to racking.|
|It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.|
With how quickly things are progressing with this Solera I am planning to top off and package again after 6 months, assuming things taste good of course. Year 3 top off post up next, then a tasting notes post on the Unblended Solera bottling #2, and a follow up on the Blueberry variant.