I spent the last month or so doing on-off experiments instead of really working on developing repeatable recipes. But I’m back in the saddle of recipes. Since bottling my sour brown ale, I’ve got some 2nd generation ECY20 and an open fermenter ready for another sour. The brown ale turned out quite sour, so in my rye sour I was going for just a little bit tart with more funk.

In my sour meads, reusing ECY20 has lead to more brett character than sour character. With that information I also brewed this beer with about 20 IBUs, This should limit any strong acidity almost completely to just a slight tart note. This recipe is for the ale version. My book will be released with a braggot version of the recipe.

Golden Rye Sour Ale:

65% – Pale Ale Malt
15% – Flaked Rye
20% – White Wheat

0.25 oz / 3 gal – Galaxy @ 60 minutes
1.75 oz / 3 gal – Galaxy 7 Day Dry Hop


ECY20 Bug County – Second Generation

1.046 / 1.003 / 5.6%

Golden rye sour transferring to fermenter


The beer was still in lag phase. It continued to be in lag for 3 days before really kicking up fermentation wise. There were some funky sulfurous aromas coming out of the airlock, which to me indicates yeast stress. Likely caused by using a 2 year old bug blend. This should increase the brett characteristic in the final beer as well.

golden rye sour beer in carboy

3 Weeks:

The bulk of fermentation has wrapped up. I’ll check the gravity in a few days to see where it’s at. Based on my experience with this blend, it’s likely finished and ready for long term aging.

7 Weeks:

ECY 20 is a magnificent bug blend. Have I said that enough here? Here I’ll say it again. East Coast Yeast Bug County is a magnificent bug blend. There. That should cover it.

Did a gravity check and this beer is totally done. 1.003 for a final gravity. Just one point off from the sour brown ale made with the 1st generation. Anyways, It’s also completely clear and has an amazing golden color.

Now since this beer actually does have some hops in it (about 20 IBU), there is very little sourness. Like a step under “barely sour”, however that was kind of my plan. There is a mild fruitness from the hops and a prominent spicy rye note. The rye and wheat also help the body by a large margin compared to the sour brown, despite being relatively the same final gravity.

Once I have some bottles free, this rye sour is next on the pipeline for dry hopping and bottling. It should go quickly once carbed.

golden rye sour beer hyrometer reading

9 Weeks:

I added 1.75 ounces of galaxy as a dry hop addition. I have another sour beer in the works (in fact the ingredients arrived today), so I’ll be bottling this after the dry hop, and bottle conditioning for 2-4 weeks before tasting. This should turn out to be a pretty nice brett pale ale. Yes ECY20 contains lacto and pediococcus, but I believe they have been worn down to be totally nonviable. I’ll keep you posted on this promising rye beer.

2 Months:

Bottled this a bit later than I wanted to, so the dry hop was about 7 days long. Also the hops expanded a lot more than I had planned on, making removing them from the carboy a real pain.

finished all grain golden rye sour

4.5 Months:

It’s been in bottles for about a month or two at this point. Has a really nice fruity hop aroma from the galaxy, and a spicy rye kick. Maybe a bit too much for the dryness, so I’ve dialed that back on the recipe listed above. There is also some grassiness from the dry hops. I don’t think it had to do with the extra 3-4 days, but more that the hop bag was squeezed and pressed to remove from the Better Bottle’s neck. This has however faded a quite a bit since I first started drinking finished bottles.


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