Taste test results for my dark sours!
Sampled my most recent creations yesterday and the results are in. I’ll go through them in the order in which I decided to taste them.
Labelled as 2C (forth vessel from the left, 750mL Left Field swing top bottle), this is my control bottle of 100% wort fermented to become 100% beer. This brew came out perfectly and has the flavour and aroma profile of a classic Belgian Dubbel. The carbonation was a bit on the low side, but it has lovely flavours of figs, dates, pumpernickel bread and molasses. There is good balance of sweetness and restrained bitterness.
Moving forward to my first experiment, 2B consists of 3/4 wort and 1/4 kombucha blended after full fermentation, so technically it had already become beer at the time of blending. This one came out really well, and is in my Top 2 favourites! There is a wonderful balance of sweet and tanginess to this brew. In one sentence, I would say that it tastes like toast with candied cranberries. Yum!
Next I tasted 2A, which is a 50/50 blend of fully fermented wort (beer!) and kombucha. This one is very sour and less balanced. It could work for someone who likes really sour beverages, but I feel that the kombucha overpowers the beer in this blend, and I find myself searching for beer aromas. Not my favourite, but drinkable.
The other Left Field bottle here, labelled #3 to the far right, is my other Top 2 favourite. This one is also a 50/50 blend, but was blended after primary fermentation. Specifically, I let the wort ferment for 12 days, then transferred the wort to a larger vessel, and then added an equal volume of kombucha. This blend was then allowed to ferment for another 3 weeks. This brew has nice light carbonation and balanced flavours of sweet and tart. Less toast notes and more bread crust flavours in this brew compared to my other favourite (2B). This blend is less malty and has a lighter mouthfeel than 2B, and is very drinkable!
1A and 1B both consist of 50/50 wort and kombucha blended on brew day. The difference is that French Oak Chips were added to 1A for the final 7 days of secondary fermentation. 1B is very dry, with light earthy flavours, and a bit of funk from the kombucha. This brew is the least malty of all the blends and not very sour at all. 1A is over-oaked and seems boozier than it is because it smells and tastes like whisky and red wine. I’m curious about combining 1A with 2A (the most sour brew) to try to attain a blend that resembles a Flanders Red. Maybe? Excellent carbonation in both 1A and 1B.
Annnnnd, I’m prepping to hit the books soon for my upcoming course!