Monday, January 13, 2014

Citrine (Batches 5&6): Recipe

This is a 10-gallon batch of my wild blonde, the base of which will make of Batches 05 and 06. For one portion, I'm using East Coast Yeast 20 "Bug County," and for the other half I'm using a mixture of dregs from previous batches of Citrine as well as from bottles of Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze, Cantillon Gueuze, Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L'Ancienne, Oude Geuze De Cam, and Girardin Gueuze 1882. The second portion is also getting some White Labs Brett B, Brett L, and Brett Trois that had previously frozen in the garage. I didn't want to test their viability in anything else, so I thought I'd pitch them in here.

This will hopefully be one of my last Citrine batches that does not include at least some spontaneous fermentation. As soon as the overnight temperatures are consistently above freezing, I'll be doing quasi-spontaneous batches involving leaving the wort out overnight in the garden, and then putting into a carboy with two ounces of well-boiled oak cubes that have been aging in lambic dregs, which will hopefully replicate the mixture of ambient yeast and bacteria plus "barrel bugs" used by lambic producers.

Plenty of aged Liberty hops for the boil.

Base Recipe

Batch Number: 76
Brew Date: December 21, 2013
Bottle Date:
Batch Size: 10 Gallons

OG: 1.045 (est.)
FG: 1.000 (est.)
IBU: 4.2
ABV: 5.9% (est.)
SRM: 3.4
Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 158 F.
Boil: 90 minutes


12lb 0oz French Pilsner
4lb 2oz White Wheat Malt
3lb 2oz Flaked Wheat

I would normally use all flaked wheat, but I wasn't thinking and didn't pick up extra so I had to use plenty of white wheat malt.


I used 6.0g of calcium chloride and 5.5g of gypsum (all in the kettle) to roughly approximate the Brussels-area water described in Wild Brews:

Calcium: 79
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 7
Chloride: 59
Sulfate: 75

I added 8mL of 88% lactic acid to the mash to achieve an estimate mash pH of 5.45 (5.5 as measured).


5 oz Liberty (Aged) at 90 minutes


East Coast Yeast 20 BugCounty (half)
Dreg blend detailed above (half)


12.23.2013: Initial fermentation going well.  Excited to see how these diverge.

07.28.2014: Did a good amount of transferring today, getting all 10 gallons of these batches transferred elsewhere.  The "dreg blend" portion was used in crafting a new blend of Science & Art #3, with the rest going into a 3-gallon Better Bottle.  This portion has a nice citrus acidity with light funk and minerality.

3 gallons of the ECY20 version was transferred onto 6 pounds of tart cherries that we picked up in Michigan over Fourth of July weekend, all in a 3-gallon Better Bottle.  The leftovers were placed into two single 1-gallon jugs.  This portion was lightly acidic, but a little plain.  The was pH down to only 4.2, even with gravity at 1.002. Some faint melon character.  Hoping the cherries will add some depth and acidity, especially with the inclusion of the pits.

Adding the cherries to the carboy.

ECY20 portion after transferring onto the cherries.

08.04.2014: After coming back from vacation to check on these, there was plenty of fermentation in the tart cherry portion.  The airlock had some beer in it, and when I removed the airlock, the cherries were nearly spilling out with a steady stream of upward pressure from fermentation.  I washed out the airlock, re-filled with StarSan, and then removed some of the cherries from the neck.  I didn't need to do the punch down technique is with the Black Raspberry Ruby, as there as still plenty of liquid covering up all the cherries.

11.01.2014: The cherry portion will be named Garnet. The yield was 21 bottles. Would have been 22, but the rubber stopper fell off the Beer Gun on the first bottle. Had around 2 gallons, and was shooting for 3.0 volumes of CO2, so I used 59g of table sugar.


  1. I really like the idea of combining spontaneous fermentation with reused cubes. I've been storing oak cubes from recent batches in vials of beer in my fridge, I'll have to give this a try once the temperatures cool down.

  2. Thanks for the comment! I really like the idea of this combo. Back in late April, I ended up doing just that. I did half of the batch as a completely-spontaneous fermentation, and then the other half sat out overnight under a blooming tree as well, but also got dregs from a bunch of Drie Fonteinen bottles. Not quite oak cubes, but that's something I will hopefully get started on in the futures. I can't wait until fall comes so I can get a few more batches in utilizing spontaneous fermentation. I've also thought about doing the same for saisons come winter, skipping chilling and leaving the 10 gallons out overnight, then pitching saison yeast, hoping for a bit of wild character from the critters picked up overnight.