Friday, June 9, 2023
HomeHomebrewQuick & Shoddy | Wild Specialty Beer: Smoothie Bitter

Quick & Shoddy | Wild Specialty Beer: Smoothie Bitter

Creator: Jordan People

I’ll always remember my first bitter beer. I used to be a beer geek dwelling in Portland, OR circa 2010, an easier time for craft beer, or “microbrew” because it was typically referred to as, when the geeking out was over Pale, Amber, Brown, and Crimson Ales, in addition to the budding Cascadian Darkish Ale. The idea of bitter beer was international to me till I had the possibility to go to Cascade Brewing Barrel Home, a bitter and barrel-aged brewery that occurs to be native to me. My first sip on that day was little doubt organoleptically electrifying, inflicting the hair on my arms to boost and my mind to tingle, however… I wasn’t actually a fan.

As bitter beer continued to obtain extra consideration over the next couple of years, I finally developed a deep appreciation for them, in the end inspiring me to brew my very own variations. I learn American Bitter Beers by Michael Tonsmeier, joined the unimaginable Milk The Funk Fb group, and dove headfirst into the world of bitter beer. Like many, my preliminary focus was on fruited sours inoculated with lab-sourced cultures, which the BJCP categorizes as Wild Specialty Beer and describes as:

A bitter and/or funky model of a fruit, herb, or spice beer, or a wild beer aged in wooden. If wood-aged, the wooden shouldn’t be the first or dominant character.

For practically a decade now, I’ve made many fruited bitter beers the place I employed long-term combined fermentation and mixing earlier than refermenting on domestically sourced entire fruit. I used to be actually conscious of fast souring strategies, however given my success, I tended to stay with the extra conventional strategies. That’s, till lately. I had a public tasting occasion on the calendar and thought it’d be good to supply one thing fruity alongside my beer-flavored-beer for people who don’t usually imbibe, so throwing warning to the wind, I brewed a Quick & Shoddy fruited bitter beer counting on various fast souring strategies.


Based mostly on my years of bitter beer making expertise, I designed a recipe with a barely greater OG in hopes of it being nearer to a cocktail expertise quite than a session Berliner Weisse that I really feel typically defines American fast sours. Because of the good F.H. Steinbart for hooking me up with the grains for this batch!

Quick & Shoddy Wild Specialty Beer: Smoothie Bitter

Recipe Particulars

Batch Measurement Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
6.5 gal 30 min 3.6 4.3 SRM 1.065 1.01 7.22 %
Actuals 1.065 1.01 7.22 %


Identify Quantity %
Pilsner 20 lbs 86.96
Wheat Malt, Pale 2.25 lbs 9.78
Rolled Oats 12 oz 3.26


Identify Quantity Time Use Type Alpha %
Nectaron 7 g 30 min Boil Pellet 9.5


Identify Lab Attenuation Temperature
Dieter (G03) Imperial Yeast 77% 60.8°F – 68°F
Lacto. Brevis (W25) Imperial Yeast 83% 84.9°F – 100°F


Water Profile: Ca 41 | Mg 4 | Na 10 | SO4 25 | Cl 50

The night time previous to brewing, I collected the total quantity of faucet water and adjusted it to my need mineral profile. At 11:16 AM the next day, I lit the flame beneath my kettle then ready the grains.

When the water appeared sizzling sufficient for an affordable saccharification relaxation, I stirred within the grist then checked to search out it was proper round my goal mash temperature of 153°F/67°C.

When the temporary 30 minute mash was full, I collected the candy wort and began heating it up after I realized I used to be out of propane. After a 20 minute journey to swap tanks, I proceeded with boiling the wort for a mere 5 minutes, the aim being to sanitize it previous to including souring microbes.

When the boil was full, I let it sit for about half-hour to relax a bit earlier than including lactic acid to scale back the pH to the beneficial vary for fast souring.

4.35 pH

At this level, I transferred the nonetheless very heat wort to a sanitized souring keg. The time was 1:11 PM for a complete brew day time of simply 1 hour and 55 minutes.

The keg was positioned in my chamber the place it was left to relax to my desired souring temperature of 100°F/38°C, which ended up taking 11 hours, at which level I pitched a pouch of Imperial Yeast W25 Lacto. Brevis.

After purging the headspace of the keg with CO2, I hooked up a warmth wrap, lined it in an insulative blanket, and positioned it in an outdated kegerator that I now use as a heat chamber.

After 5 days, I took a measurement exhibiting the wort had dropped to round 4.0 pH.

4.04 pH

I then strain transferred the bitter wort right into a kettle and commenced heating it up, throughout which I weighed out the miniscule hop addition.

The soured wort was then boiled for half-hour, after which I chilled it throughout switch to a fermentation keg earlier than taking a refractometer studying exhibiting it was at 1.065 OG for a brewhouse effectivity of 49%.

1.065 OG

Subsequent, I pitched a single pouch of Imperial Yeast G03 Dieter.

I positioned the stuffed fermenter within the nook of my basement, which oscillates between 59°F/15°C and 61°F/16°C this time of 12 months. After 11 days of fermentation, I took a hydrometer measurement exhibiting FG had been reached.

1.012 FG

I additionally took a studying indicating fermentation additional lowered the pH to three.65.

3.65 pH

The beer was strain transferred to a sanitized and CO2 purged keg that was positioned in my kegerator on gasoline for two weeks, at which level I strain transferred it to a different keg that had Oregon Fruit Ardour Fruit and Mango puree in it.

After making use of CO2 strain to make sure the keg was sealed, I gently turned the keg the wrong way up and rolled it on the bottom to combine the puree into answer. Curious of the affect the fruit addition had on particular gravity, I took one other hydrometer measurement.

1.020 SG

A last pH measurement additionally confirmed the fruit addition had the impact of accelerating the acidity of the beer.

3.17 pH

After a couple of days of chilly conditioning on gasoline, the beer was carbonated and able to serve to tasters.


A complete of 21 individuals of numerous ranges of expertise participated on this Quick & Shoddy analysis. Individuals had been knowledgeable of the particular beer model and supplied the BJCP description previous to finishing the survey. Tasters had been then instructed to charge how hoppy, malty, and dry they perceived the beer to be on a 0-5 scale the place a ranking of 0 indicated “in no way” and 5 indicated “extraordinarily.”

Tasters had been supplied a listing of frequent hop, malt, and yeast traits then instructed to pick out from every the one they perceived as being most distinguished within the beer.

Hop Traits

Malt Traits

Yeast Traits

Subsequent, members had been requested to point whether or not or not they detected any off-flavors within the beer; those that did had been supplied a listing of frequent off-flavors and instructed to pick out the one they perceived as being strongest. A single particular person recognized this beer as possessing a vegetal off-flavor.

Tasters had been then requested to charge how effectively the beer represented the supposed model, based mostly on the supplied BJCP description, on a 0-5 scale the place 0 meant “in no way” and 5 meant “precisely.”

Lastly, tasters had been requested to charge how a lot they loved the beer on a 0-5 scale the place 0 indicated in no way and 5 indicated extraordinarily.

My Impressions: I perceived this beer as having an enormous, daring tropical fruit with basically zero malt, hops, or yeast-derived fermentation character. This Wild Specialty Beer was all fruit, on a regular basis with a pleasant acidity that was effectively balanced by the unfermented fructose. Not solely did it drink like a smoothie, it regarded like one too.


From kriek-inspired spontaneous fouder-aged ales which might be refermented on natural hand-picked cherries throughout harvest season, to lactose and canned fruit puree-infused smoothie kettle bitter beers that will or might not explode within the package deal, fashionable fruited American bitter beer takes many kinds. Whereas I are likely to brew variations that resemble the previous, I used to be curious to see how a Wild Specialty Beer brewed utilizing a far much less typical Quick & Shoddy strategy would prove.

As has come to be anticipated from these Quick & Shoddy brews, tasters of this Quick & Shoddy Wild Specialty Beer not solely felt it was illustration of the model, however most appeared to get pleasure from as effectively. With only one particular person noting a vegetal off-flavor, it’s attainable this was a fluke, as neither I nor another taster detected something off about this beer. Total, members perceived the malt and fermentation traits of this beer to be most distinguished, albeit quite restrained, whereas the hoppiness was rated lowest.

I felt this Quick & Shoddy Wild Specialty Beer was a superb instance of the burgeoning smoothie bitter model, although the shortage of lactose actually enhanced my private enjoyment of it. The average acidity previous to the puree addition was counteracted properly by the puree-induced acidification, making this an ideal use case of the much less aggressive souring that some have discovered with Lactobacillus brevis. The sweetness of the unfermented fruit puree mixed with the ultimate acidity of the beer was a match made in tiki heaven– this beer was dangerously scrumptious! Though I are likely to choose the extra nuanced flavors contributed by refermentation of fruit additions, this was actually a enjoyable cocktail-esque beer that was good for sipping on a sunny day.

When you’ve got ideas about this Quick & Shoddy brew, please be at liberty to share it within the feedback part beneath!

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