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Pesho77

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 Ive decided to start a solera project, this might be a disaster but ….

 Ive decided to keep it simple at first with a recipe of wheat and pilsner and a rosalare blend of yeast for the first go ill give that a year ish in a stainless fermentor 

 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Klarstein-Mashfest-Fermenter-Fermentation-Stainless/dp/B07NJ8SWB9/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=Stainless+steel+fermenter&qid=1557913003&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1 

 Then im thinking of a recipe of 

 10l 
Pilsner Wheat cara red and cara vienne maybe with some more bugs 

then for the third go im thinking the same again but with some special B added too and again maybe with some more bugs.

 It should be fun any way 

 Wish me luck 

 Pesh
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Womble

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Reply with quote  #2 
I must be a dunderhead, what is a solera project ? Okay, a funky fermentation ... but me know nothing

You shouldn't have put the link in for the SS FV .... now I want one.



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Clibit

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Reply with quote  #3 
Womble:

https://www.hopculture.com/what-is-solera-brewing-method/

Pesh - Good luck!  What's the plan? Several similar but different beers that can be blended further down the line? Will you brew a beer for the solera every month or two?
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GHW

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Reply with quote  #4 
That’s cool.
It would be nice to have the space, resources and ultimately, patience to do this.
If you can get it rolling and make interesting complex beer from it, that would be amazing
Keep us posted, of course
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Pesho77

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Reply with quote  #5 

 Probably every 6 month, the fv can hold 25l but im planning 15 - 20l batches at the most, ill blend if it needs it some will some wont, 15l of sour is a lot of beer if thats blended that could be 30l I may add some fruit  too, the plan is to start simple and light then make the beer progressively darker then lighter again, that my change at the time well see. 

 Pesh
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Womble

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:


Thanks Clibit ... on reading the article I am thinking that I have come across this before ... and even worse, it was probably on this forum DUH [poop-facebook-emoticon]



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Pesho77

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GHW
That’s cool.
It would be nice to have the space, resources and ultimately, patience to do this.
If you can get it rolling and make interesting complex beer from it, that would be amazing
Keep us posted, of course


 They do look nice I wouldn't have bothered except for a solera / long term storage wood causes as many problems as it solves I think this should keep oxygen out.

 Pesh
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Pesho77

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GHW
That’s cool.
It would be nice to have the space, resources and ultimately, patience to do this.
If you can get it rolling and make interesting complex beer from it, that would be amazing
Keep us posted, of course


 Im hoping for some thing drinkable / blendable then ill go from there, yeah once it starts it should look after its self, as for space it will just sit on top of a fridge in my loft / brew room, I have a few demi johns ageing at the min so ill add this one to them and for patience ill forget its there till I want it I have a decent stash of beer already so im in no rush for it.

 Pesh

 Ill post about weather its a disaster or not.
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Clibit

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Reply with quote  #9 
You'll be fermenting beers long term in separate vessels, yes? Then blending?
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Pesho77

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Reply with quote  #10 

 Im expecting some beer to require blending if it tastes good why bother, some will be drain pour too, but ill only have 1 solera so only 1 ferment at a time once fermented I can keep it in demi johns to be blended while I ferment another beer.

 The other recipes I mentioned are for refills 

 Pesh
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Clibit

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pesho77

 Im expecting some beer to require blending if it tastes good why bother, some will be drain pour too, but ill only have 1 solera so only 1 ferment at a time once fermented I can keep it in demi johns to be blended while I ferment another beer.

 The other recipes I mentioned are for refills 

 Pesh


A single tier solera then?

"In beer, particularly sour beer, a single stage Solera process has been discovered to be a reliable and easy way to continuously make sour beer. Some have argued that this is a misuse of the word "solera" and that it should only be applied to multiple tiered systems.

"The process of using a solera method in sour beer brewing has become the term used for filling a single fermenter with a sour beer, and every 6-12 months taking one third or half of the beer out for packaging (and perhaps sometimes as much as 70% is taken out). There is no defined rule for what the limit is to take out and still be considered a "solera" in beer. The maximum percentage is also variable in wine. For example, in Sherry a maximum of 35% can be removed legally, although 10-15% is more typical, but other wine styles may not have a defined percentage (ref needed) [1]. The volume that is removed is then replaced with new beer or wort.

"This method provides the brewer with a "perpetual" sour beer that takes less time to age because of the blended components. Over time the beer can continue to develop and change, and the brewer has the option of trying to steer the beer by altering the recipe for the wort or beer used to refill the solera. As a rule of thumb, the larger the fermenter the better. This will allow for larger seasonal pulls from the solera, thus producing more beer. The term could also be applied to a multi-vessel solera in beer, which has been argued is a more accurate use of the term, although multi-vessel solera systems in sour beer production are less common due to the potential for overexposure to oxygen.

"The barrel can be refilled with either fermented beer or wort. Choosing to refill with wort could eventually lead to a lot of trub build up, however, there might not be any negative flavor effects from doing so. Wort will ferment in the barrel and might cause a blow off unless there is adequate headspace (in which case the brewer should top up the barrel after the wort ferments). Choosing to refill with beer that is first fermented with brewers yeast or with a mixed culture might be more practical for avoiding blow off issues and for group barrel projects for homebrewers because individual brewers can brew the refill beer at any time, and then meet to refill the barrel.

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Pesho77

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Reply with quote  #12 

 Yes this isn't a true solera but it should taste good still, im planning to add fermented wort to the solera too to keep as much trub out of the stainless FV, for the primary fermentation ill use a high finishing yeast I haven't sorted that yet but I may not need it for 6 months or so.

 Pesh
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Clibit

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Reply with quote  #13 
This might be helpful...

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/beginning-solera.html

Solera fermentations have been growing in popularity ever since Will Meyers implemented his system at Cambridge Brewing Company to age Cerise Cassee, an Amber colored sour wild ale with cherries. Solera is a technique originating in the production of Sherry but is also used in the aging of vinegar, brandy, wine and many other liquids for where there is a desire to blend old and new vintages. The solera system can be applied to any type of beer which would do well with aging and blending, but has become most popular in the sour/wild brewing community.

Traditionally a “Solera”, which literally translates to “on the ground” in Spanish, is comprised of a series of oak barrels all filled at different intervals with product on a yearly cycle. At the end of each cycle a portion is pulled from the oldest barrel (called the Solera) and packaged. Then, each of the younger barrels (called the criadera, or “nursery”), are transferred down the line to refill the Solera. No barrel is ever fully drained, as the youngest barrels are topped off with fresh liquid to age and wait for next years cycle. The result is an evolving product of an average age year after year. On a more manageable homebrew level the same system can be maintained in a standard 5 gallon size using carboys, kegs, etc contained in one vessel.

There are a few variables to decide on when planning your own Solera, starting with choosing the base beer style. I use a pale Lambic-esque wort in my own cellar, but you could brew a Flanders Red/Brown, a Stout, really any type of beer you want. The goal here is to create a wort that is low in IBU’s, to not inhibit the Lactobacillus, while leaving enough long chain unfermentable sugars for the yeast and bacteria to acidify over time. Keep in mind that when brewing a sour/wild ale, you want to make sure the flavors of the base beer compliment the flavors coming from the blend of yeast and bacteria. Try to keep it simple, stay away from using spices, or over hopping, you can play with those things when you package the beer.

With your base beer planned out, you will need to decide what type of vessel to age the Solera in. Some vessels to consider are glass carboys, Better Bottles, kegs (corny or Sanke), oak barrels, whatever size you’re most comfortable maintaining. Oxygen permeability of the vessel is always a concern when aging beer this long, but especially with Brettanomyces and bacteria in the mix. When exposed to high levels of oxygen Brett can create acetic acid (vinegar flavor) so you’ll want to keep oxygen exposure minimal. Furthermore, acetobacter, which has the ability to convert ethanol to acetic acid when exposed to oxygen, is a spoiling organism that can wreak havoc on your Solera. Although it can be appropriate in some styles at lower levels, you want to avoid as much acetic acid as possible in a Lambic type wort.

Stay away from using a plastic bucket or even a 5 gallon oak barrel (whose staves are much thinner than 50+ gallon oak wine/spirit barrels) both are more oxygen permeable than glass carboys, Better Bottles, and larger oak barrels (o2 Permeability chart from Wild Brews). I use a 15.5 gallon sanke keg to age my Solera as it is only oxygen permeable through the orange carboy cap on top and can store a fairly large volume.

With regard to microbes, they are as important as the vessel you are aging in, and probably more important than your base recipe. The players at work here are Saccharomyces (brewers yeast), Brettanomyces (a type of yeast known for its “wild” character), Lactobacillus and Pediococcus (both of which produce lactic acid). Saccharomyces will do the bulk of the fermenting in the early stages while Brett/Lacto/Pedio will acidify and add a wild “funky” character to the beer. Note, Brett alone will not make a beer sour, that’s what the Lacto and Pedio do. For further reading on these organisms, see American Sour Beers by Michael Tonsmeire.

In my opinion, the best option is to buy a blend of these yeasts from a major yeast lab. I suggest WLP655 Belgian Sour Mix, Wyeast 3763 Roselare, ECY01 Bugfarm or The Yeast Bay Melange, to name a few. I am a firm believer in biodiversity for complexity, so as you age the beer add the dregs of some of your favorite sour beers right into your Solera, If you’re interested in what dregs to use, Tonsmeire maintains an extensive list of viable sour dregs in commercial beers. I also like to add some medium toast oak cubes to my Solera, however make sure they’ve been boiled long enough so there is little to no oak flavor left. The wood can be a nice home for Brett and bacteria to live. In addition, Brett can also metabolize cellobiose in wood and create some unique flavors.

The hardest part after having brewed the first batch for the solera is the waiting. Resist the urge to open the vessel unless you’re adding dregs or removing a sample. Remember oxygen could turn your project into vinegar. Carefully remove samples periodically take good notes on the tasting, take a gravity reading, and take a PH reading if you have a meter. If the gravity is stable after 1 year (it should be), you can pull a portion out to be packaged. I generally bottle or keg the first cycle straight so that you can get to know the base beer that is in your Solera. Usually I will remove one third to one half of the old beer leaving the rest in the Solera to be topped off with fresh beer or wort. Tonsmeire created a handy spreadsheet to calculate the average age of your Solera based on the amount removed and then topped off.

After tasting your first pull, give some thought as to whether you would want to modify the top off batch to adjust the beer for next years cycle. Ask yourself: Is it too sour? not sour enough? too funky? Prior to a recent cycle I felt my Solera was overly sour and needed some Brett complexity so I modified the top off batch to adjust. I mashed the beer at 160F and pitched WLP530 along with The Yeast Bay Brussels Blend, known for some classic Brett funky aromas, and increased the bittering addition slightly. Once the krausen started to fall I racked the fermenting beer into the Solera. Some people will drastically change their top off wort every cycle, and some people will keep it virtually the same each year. On a recent episode of Basic Brewing radio a National Homebrewers Conference attendee mentioned they increased the color on every top off batch from pale all the way to black, what a unique idea!

After the first cycle is complete you will have a good grasp on your Solera and will easily be able to determine when your next cycle should be. Whether you pull some to age on fruit, blend some into some fresh beer, bottle it straight, you can end up with many interesting vintages as your Solera progresses. One thing to keep in mind is that your Solera may have an expiration date – if it becomes overly vinegary (acetic acid) or has aromas of nail polish remover (ethyl acetate), you may want to consider ending your Solera and starting over from the beginning. Take good notes, plan ahead, be patient, and let the beer point you in the right direction. Remember don’t remove that bung too often and keep those airlocks full. Funk it up!

 
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Pesho77

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Reply with quote  #14 

 It is thank you, he mentioned what I want to do too light to dark, then I want to go back again should be a fun project.

 Pesh
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