Jester King Introduces Colour Five
When we first brought you the teaser from Jester King about its upcoming blueberry beer there was not a whole lot of information about what it was going to be.
Now we know.
Colour Five is the name, and barrel-aged, sour beer is its game. The beer was refermented with Texas blueberries, but the details are much more painstaking.
There was an attempt to make this blueberry offering before. Here is a a recap from the Jester King’s mouth, ” A previous attempt at refermenting sour, barrel-aged beer with blueberries was far less successful. Back in 2013, we added blueberries from east Texas to oak barrels containing sour red ale, and allowed the sugar in the fruit to referment. Unfortunately, the results did not meet our standards, and the beer was sent down the drain. The batch had become acetic or vinegary, a characteristic that we detest in sour beers, but unfortunately encounter far too frequently throughout the beer world.”
The process continues, “On the whole, we’re quite willing to sit back and allow fermentation with native yeasts and bacteria to take our beer in all sorts of interesting directions. But one part of our process that we do control very carefully is temperature. We keep our barrel room right around sixty degrees Fahrenheit year-round in order to keep acetobacter (the bacteria that produces acetic acid) at bay. At extremely low levels, acetobacter can add some pleasant complexity and depth of flavor, but if allowed to grow, it can easily take over.”
Various things needed to change with this current batch. First, a different base beer was used. According to the Jester King team, they used a blend of 889% Das Uberkind. Secondly, the beer and berries were were blended and a stainless steel tank was used to keep plenty of carbon dioxide around. This was important to eliminate the amount of oxygen in the tanks that would lead to increased levels of acetobacter.
The final step dealt with the blueberries themselves. The berries were frozen prior to refermentation. This was essential because acetobacter could have formed on the skin of the berries, and again, that’s no bueno. Jester King says that carbonic maceration was used to open the skins, as opposed to crushing them like grapes.
Make sure you visit the Jester King brewery on Friday, October 31st for this sampling by the glass or available to-go in bottles. $16 will get you one of 2,000 bottles made, and there is a limit of one per customer. Don’t be surprised to see Colour Five at upcoming special events, but for the most part it will only be available at the brewery.
Photos courtesy Jester King Brewery blog.