Wild Brew Vol. 1 | Ceder Peach Sour

Wild Brew Vol.1 - Cedar Peach Sour

CEDER PEACH SOUR | WILD BREW VOL.1 


We brewed a wild beer in the Cederberg Mountains for Fool's & Fans Beer festival in Greyton on 1 April 2023. 
We had a month before the festival so early March 2023 we headed out to a friend's farm called "Raaswater" (noisy water) situated in the Cederberg Mountains. The idea was to find some local grown fruit and a herbs with floral, spicy or fruity aroma's. This was the perfect spot for a wild brew as the camp area are situated right next to a river (a noisy river that is). This meant crystal clear mountain spring water to brew with as well as cooling the hot wort after boiling.
 
En route to our weekend destination we came across some peach trees. So first ingredient was sorted. On Saturday morning we did a trail run along the river and found Rasp-leaf Pelargonium. This would add some citrus and floral notes to the brew.
As we brought milled grain and yeast from home, we were all set to start the brewing process. 
As the temperatures starting rising rapidly, we made a plan to setup an umbrella right next to the cascading river. Now if you are a brewer yourself, you would think that I used some cascade hops, right? Nope. But at the end of this article you will get the full low-down on the recipe!
Once we carried all the brewing equipment to the river's edge and heated up our mash water, we were now ready to mash in. Mashing in at 11am - a little later than expected, but hey, it's a wild brew, who's checking time!
As we were using a camping Cadac gas burner, things were a little slow on the heating side. But we manage to get the mash to 75C. I then lifted out the grain bag to start the sparging. A little tip: bring at least 2 stainless steel pots as you will need additional storage for your sparge water as you only have one gas burner. I heated the sparge in between mash rests.
Sparging done, now to heat up to 100C for the boil. This was the perfect opportunity to grab a cold Majik Forest IPA and take a river swim! The absolute joys of wild brewing!
No pics of the swimming tho.. ;-)
 
After about 45min, we were on a nice rolling boil. The boil was a total of 60min, adding hops at 60min to go and at 80C in whirlpool.
Now for the tricky part - post boil wort cooling to pitch the yeast. We had to carry the hot kettle to another spot about 15m away where we could stabilize the kettle in the river bed without it falling over! What a disaster that would be..
 
Our precious cargo was safe, stable and chilling hard! 
After about 3 hours (by now we were watching the sunset and orange red mountains), the wort was cooled to 24C. We carried the kettle to our campsite and pitched the Lallemand Wildbrew Philly Sour. Now this was total coincidence! This was the perfect and controlled way to add Lachancea spp. to get the right balance of sour and tartness.
Fermentation kicked in after about 24 hours after pitching the yeast. By day 2, we were heading back home with a very active new "baby" onboard. On day 5 and at 4°P, I added the fresh sliced peaches from the Cederberg. It's important to note the peach slices needs to be sterilized prior to adding to the fermenter. I used a fairly neutral gin to soak the peach slices in overnight. 
End result:
Expect peach, citrus and lemon notes with a hint of rose from the Pelargonium. A tart, dry sessionable ale with medium to low body. Brewed with fresh Cederberg mountain water, filtered through layers of sandstone.
4.8% ABV.10 IBU

The recipe:
Ceder Peach Sour (Berliner Weisse style)
Batch Volume: 20L
Pre-boil Volume: 24L
Post Boil Volume: 22L
Pre-boil Gravity: 9.7°P
Post-boil Gravity: 10.5°P
Efficiency: 74%
ABV: 4.8% 
Bitterness: 10 IBU
Ingredients:
2.5kg Castle Pilsen malt
1.0kg Castle Wheat Blanc malt
0.5kg Rolled Oats
0.5kg Fresh Peach Fruit
5g SAB T90 (or any neutral high AA% bittering hop) (Add at 60min to go @ boil)
10g Columbus (Add at Whirlpool @ 80°C - rest 20 min)
11g Philly Sour Yeast
5g Calcium Chloride
5g Gypsum
8ml Lactic Acid
Add 30L to kettle and heat to 72°C
Transfer 15 L secondary vessel
Add mash salts and mix in
Mash in @ +- 70°C - target 66°C 
Add lactic acid and stir
Rest 1 hour @ 66°C
Start to lauter to kettle
Sparge 15L @ 75°C (add 5L at a time) 
Boil 60min
Whirlpool
Cool wort to 20 - 22°C
Transfer wort to fermenter
Pitch 11g
Leave in at 20°C room to ferment
At +-6°P, chop and de-pit peaches and soak in clear fairly neutral spirit like vodka or gin 
At +-4°P, add peaches to fermenter
Let it ferment till no bubbling occurs (+-1.6 °P)
Cold crash to 2°C in fridge/cold room for 2-3 weeks
Rack into keg pre-flushed with CO2.
Add 2.5bar CO2 and leave 2 days at 2°C
Top up pressure to 2.2bar and leave another 2 days
Highly recommended home brew shop: BeerLab
Enjoy your brew!
Cheers
Anja
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