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Old 08-20-2009, 04:06 AM   #1
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Default 13 gallons of unintentionally wild Brown, can I use it?.

I am a newbie wild brewer, (GET READY TO FLAME!)
We brewed 18 gallons of Brown beer about a 3 months ago, While we took the first runnings and made a high gravity 5 gallon batch which has been consumed. We also made a smaller brown with all the second and third runnings which ended up as 13 gallons.

To make a long story short, the 13 gallons has ended up with a sour infection, It appears to be brettanomyces from the looks of it, I don't know what young brett tastes like. The beer is sour.

I would like to utilize this beer so, keeping in mind that I only want to make an enjoyably drinkable beer and I realize this won't be accepted as a strict style of lambic, I dont intend to enter this in any competitions:

1. Can I use 5 gallons for straight lambic, 4 gallons as a gueuze base and the other 4 gallons as a fruit blended base?

2. It seems the straight lambic should be appx. 6 months old when consumed? The other two are years in the making?

3. Is this even worth trying? seeing that it is a brown beer base with no unmalted wheat whatsoever, the hops were over-ripe/dry home picked chinooks. Would it help to add wheat in the blend of the next batches for the gueuze and fruit blends? Keep in mind I am not trying to hit a specific style or enter this in any competitions. Just trying to further my understanding of traditional beers.

4. Is there any other way to utilize this beer sooner, besides as grill fodder for brats? If that? We have many different sizes of fermentors to try this in.

5. If this works I am going to push for a new GABF style called brownic.

All comments/suggestions/flames are welcome! I am a newbie wild brewer.



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Old 08-20-2009, 05:08 AM   #2
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Sounds like you've got something closer to a Flanders Brown than a lambic (FYI on that note- a gueuze is traditionally made by blending aged lambics).

Does the beer taste sour but good, or just sour? Is it intense sour (like straight vinegar) or more moderate (like lemon/lime juice)? Do you like non-fruity sour beers? Do you have any pictures of the infection?



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Old 08-20-2009, 06:43 AM   #3
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Flanders brown huh, I was actually thinking of a long age in an oak barrel. It appears also that at least earlier in the history some Flanders were blended old with young for balance, according to wiki. Should I plan on blending?

The flavor was initially similar to lemon juice but has changed to a more old sour flavor, not really intense, maybe a stale type flavor.

I haven't had any non-fruity sour beers and the only fruity one I've tried is framboise lambic which I would call too sweet and 1 goes a long way for me. No flanders at all.

I will take a picture tomorrow and post it.

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Old 08-20-2009, 03:35 PM   #4
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Brett gets tart but never sour. Brett needs Acetobacter to get a vinegar character.

Is it sour like vinegar? Acetobacter.

Softer sourness? Perhaps lactic.

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Old 08-20-2009, 04:56 PM   #5
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If it were me I'd put it on oak and add a quart of sour cherry concentrate:

King Orchards Montmorency Tart Cherry Products: Cherry Juice Concentrate

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Old 08-20-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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If you want to understand subtle Brett character, crack an Orval. Note the aroma as well as the taste.

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Old 08-21-2009, 12:28 AM   #7
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Here's a couple of pics,

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Old 08-21-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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Wow, that is an awesome looking infection!

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Old 08-22-2009, 03:32 AM   #9
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Yea, the brown chunks are hops. Anyone have a guess as to what form of animal it is?

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Old 08-22-2009, 03:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Yea, the brown chunks are hops. Anyone have a guess as to what form of animal it is?
If I'd looked closer I'd have known that. I can see the petals now that I look.

That white film with the bubbles says lacto to me. I'd back up the guy above who said put it on oak with some cherries. That sounds pretty tasty. If you go that route, keep the oak mild.. no more than an ounce. It's easy to overpower a beer with oak, especially a brown.


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