Blending is one of the most important steps in sour production, blending is essentially combining multiple fermentation’s into one beer. This process helps remove drastic variations between batches and help maintain a more consistent product.
Blending gives the ability to “tailor” a beer by combining various aspects. For example if you have a beer that is too acidic or too oaky you can blend it with another beer to tone down the acid/oak. Also allows acidity/oak to be added to a beer that is lacking in certain flavor components.
Many brewers keep an “Acid” beer on hand at all times for blending purposes a dry “brett” beer is also recommended to have on hand to mellow acidity or Important to note with blending is that you don’t want to use a beer with fermentation flaws and try to cover it up by blending as the beers will change in the bottle and likely develop the same flavors.
First step is coordinating your brewing to have several beers ready at the same time Ideally the beers used for blending should have a range of flavors. Acidity, maltiness, funky, oaky, etc.
Looking for something to cook up and share that uses beer to make it? Check out our show host Mark’s awesome Spicy Beer Pretzels.
For the Dough
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup beer (an IPA will work great)
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon Ghost pepper salt from savory spice
2 tablespoon butter, softened
For the Bath
1/4 cup baking soda
Flaky salt, for sprinkling
1. Combine the yeast, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Add the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and ghost pepper salt.
3. Cut the softened butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Add the beer to the yeast mixture (it will foam!) and stir briefly to combine. Then add to the flour and mix until the dough comes together.
5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until no longer sticky. Cover with plastic wrap (just leave it right on the counter) and let rise for 30 minutes.
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly oil the paper. Set aside.
7. Divide the dough into 32 pieces, keeping the unrolled pieces covered with plastic while you work.
8. Roll one ball into a 12-inch long rope. Form a U shape and twist the ends together twice. Fold the twisted part backward onto the center of U shape to form a circle. Gently press the ends of the rope onto the dough to seal.
9. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough.
10. Let rise for 20 minutes. While you wait, preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Fill a large pot with at least 5 inches of water and bring the water to a boil.
11. When the pretzels have risen and the water is boiling, add the baking soda to the water and gently transfer as many pretzels that will fit comfortably to the bath. Cook for a minute on each side and return to the baking sheet.
12. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.