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SteveG
07/06/09 11:55 AM  
Ambient Ale resurrection
Been a little while since I perused some of my more forbidden carboys. After some number of years - I think 2.5 - my last batch of ambient ale seems to be finding itself. It was unpleasent since it was a pup, an interesting character perhaps but there was a hint of spoiled milk to it. But I have lots of carboys, so I let it live.

Now it has quite a pellecle atop. I took a small sample and was pretty surprised. The spoiled character was nowhere to be found and it had developed an unmistakable essence of what I call "burnt match" - something I've picked up frequently in geuzes. But also to my surprise - no sourness. No funk either. Weird.

Anne did a big black current harvest this weekend. The berries themselves are for shit, the thing to do is put them in a big pot of water and simmer them. You make a liquor, sort of like making pepper sauce. Currents are really tart, thus is the liquor. I'm thinking of making a ambient cassis beer...

MarkO
07/09/09 01:20 PM  
Re: Ambient Ale resurrection
That sounds interesting. I also get the rare ambient fermentation that develops little or no acidity -- I'd guess one in five goes that way. It only happens in carboys, though, the barrel-stored versions are inevitably sour.
SteveG
07/10/09 11:35 AM  
Re: Ambient Ale resurrection
Well, I have the currant syrup made and frozen. I'll keep an eye on the AA, see if the pellicle disappears. If not I'll rack from underneath it and add currant, that ought to pucker it up!
tankdeer
07/10/09 01:22 PM  
Re: Ambient Ale resurrection
I did my first one back in Dec and so far it's surprisingly clean still. Sure hope I don't have to wait 2.5 years for it. I'd probably start pitching dregs before that time.

Very interesting indeed Steve.

SteveG
07/10/09 04:09 PM  
Re: Ambient Ale resurrection
Hey tank, I will say that my experiences run more closely to MArkO's then this current batch. It does tend to take a while to come of age, but I would say more like 8 months than 2.5 years. So this one is an anomoly for me, and one I've been tempted to discard a few times. I guess you never know. I've had some go very gueuzy in the 8-10 month range, even won some blue ribbons entering them as such. When was the last time you sampled yours?
 
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