Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rhubarb Sour

Here it is, the crazy rhubarb sour beer.

Hazy burnished orange. The rhubarb added some color but not the vibrant red of its ripe stalks. Some small chunks of rhubarb appear to have made it through the sieve at bottling and float suspended in the beer but aren't perceptible when drinking. The aroma is mostly lactic sourness and a bretty funk with a slight earthy vegetal note in the background. The flavor starts off with a sharp, austere acidity and morphs into a rounded earthy, herbal bitterness. Not hop bitterness, but, well, rhubarb bitterness. The finish is bone dry, but not harsh despite the acidity and slight bitterness. Still, this is not a beer for the non-lambic lover.

I'm pleased with the rhubarb sour overall. I think one gallon was about the right batch size. Maybe I'll make more someday if I can get more rhubarb. The 11 bottles won't last long as everyone I told about this has been pestering me to try it for the past few months. I know which of them will be agog over it and which will just gag.


jaymo said...

If you did this again, whatever the batch size, would you stick with your 1 lb of rhubarb / gallon of wort?

My only experience was tasting a rhubarb melomel a month ago. The guy used 20 lbs of rhubarb in the primary (for a 5 gallon batch) and then more in the secondary. It was good, but not at all overpowering.

Tim said...

Jaymo, just saw your comment so sorry it took so long to reply. I would definitely use more rhubarb. 1 lb/gallon only gives a faint whiff of rhubarb whereas I'd like it to be a central, obvious flavor.

jaymo said...

Thanks! No worries about taking awhile. I'm in no hurry since I've got about 3-4 batches more to brew between a barrel project & other yeast slurries that need to get re-used before I even CONSIDER doing a rhubarb sour!

I've got somewhere between 20-25 lbs of rhubarb chopped, vacuum seeled, and frozen now, so at some point I'll probably use the majority of it. (May have to save a few lbs for some pies though. . .)