‘Author of a Story’
American Wild Ale with Peaches and Calendula Flowers / 6.4% ABV
While sticking to strict processes or rules is not really how I brew, I definitely have an appreciation for those guidelines put forward and draw inspiration from them. With that being said, this beer is about as close as I have come to brewing as traditional Belgian lambic brewers and lambic inspired brewers alike.
There is always some sort of unknown in a beer, but none as much as this one. Taking on brewing methods I don’t do often, the absence of pitched yeast, and still trying to make it ‘my own’ left a lot up time and patience.
‘Author of a Story’ is a blend of ales ranging in age from 8 to 23 months of age, both the same recipe, but handled in rather different ways. Both recipes are made up extremely raw wheat heavy, turbid mashed to make some extremely starchy wort – then gently hoped with aged whole leaf hops in a rather long boil. The younger, 8-month-old version, makes up the majority of the beer where cooled wort was directly pitched into Oak barrels where previous yeast was already living (I don’t consider this spontaneous, but ‘wild’ for sure). Then, I racked this wort onto freshly diced and mashed New Jersey grown Peaches that I picked up at my local farmers market at a rate of over 3.5 pounds per gallon for a little over 3 months. I used a blend of both Yellow and White Peaches because I simply like the flavor of each. Additionally, I ‘dry herbed’ with Calendula (Marigolds) to add my own spin onto things; I really like incorporating flowers into beers. Secondly, I dipped into some blending stock that was brewed in January 2017. Using the same recipe, this beer was 100% spontaneously fermented in the cold air that winter, but yielded less than stellar results up until a few months ago. I had almost given up hope on this, but I am glad I didn’t. Some of this ale was also blended into B2 of ‘get well, soon’, which helped add some funk and (enjoyable) mustiness to help add perceived age of the younger ales it was blended with.
This was a wild one to brew, so I guess I’ll classify this as an American Wild Ale? Sure