Solera Project (Part 2)….Bugs and Beer.













What’s this all about? Read part 1 here.

I write this in the beginning of May, but this dated back to the end of November and preparations for Christmas beer, and a plan to kill two birds with one stone. 1) A re-brew of Tilley’s Brown Ale a Chocolate Lime American Brown Ale and 2) The first fill of the Solera, as the keg was primed with oak and ready for some wort/beer and it’s own little ecosystem of yeast and bacteria.

The following recipe was brewed and split between two FVs, one of which, bound for the Solera, was inoculated with WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend and WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii and left to ferment for 7 days.  The other fermented clean and dry hopped for festive imbibing.


Tilley’s Brown Ale.

Batch Size: 19L

Estimated OG: 1.055 SG

Estimated Colour: 46.7 EBC

Estimated IBU: 45.0 IBUs

Mash: 60 Minutes @ 66.7

Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Maris Otter Blend (6.0 EBC) – 76.0 %

Cara-Pils (2.5 EBC) – 7 %

Munich Malt (40.0 EBC) – 5.5 %

Crystal Malt 60L (120.0 EBC) – 5.1 %

Chocolate Malt (1050.0 EBC) – 4.5 %

Torrified (3.9 EBC) – 2.0 %


Pacific Jade [10 %] – 12.5g @ 60.0 min (15.0 IBUs)

Wai-iti [2.8 %] – 41g @ 15.0 min (7.5 IBUs)

Citra [13.50 %] – 9g @ 15.0 min (7.5 IBUs)

Protofloc – ½ Tablet @ 15.0 min

Wai-iti [2.8 %] – 67g @ 0.0 min (7.5 IBUs) 20 minute steep.

Citra [13.50 %] – 14g @ 0.0 min (7.5 IBUs) 20 minute steep.


Once the Saccharomyces of the Farmhouse blend had done the bulk of the work, the partially fermented beer was transferred off the trub to the Solera Keg and further inoculated with the dregs from a bottle of Boon Oude Gueuze.

Four months later 6L was transferred out of the Solera to be carbonated and bottled.  I’m really pleased with how this beer came out, slightly tart and fruity, citrus up front then caramel malt ending in a big hit of Dark Chocolate on the finish.  Possibly a little heavy on the Oak, although to be expected on the first fill.  All in all a drinkable beer with plenty of complexity.

Find out what joined the remaining 2.5L of beer in the Solera, in Part 3.


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