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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > 1st Sour ale bottle advice
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:16 PM   #11
mattyp1214
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i used extract option pilsen liquid malt and czech saaz hops

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Old 06-29-2010, 01:28 AM   #12
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Default Which WLP Brett?

I'm thinking about doing a La Folie clone and I'm wondering which WLP Brett strain you used in addition to the 655? Also, did you pitch all three yeasts at the beginning or did you pitch the sour during/after primary fermentation?

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Old 06-29-2010, 03:09 PM   #13
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I pitched 1056 initially and about 5 days? later I pitched WLP 655. Its been 10 months and tastes pretty ridiculous. I used the partial mash recipe from byo, but I think I substituted saaz for the hops. I added medium toast french oak about 3 months ago after boiling them off for a few minutes about 1.5 oz. small cubes. It was a little too oakey at first but has rounded out very well. I started it in a bucket then moved to a carboy 6 gal with a standard airlock. The whole oxygen thing is a little exaggerated in my opinion because mine has a perfect sourness comparable to New Belgiums Eric's ale if you've tried that before. I know mad fermentationalist has great luck with better bottles too though.

Next step for me is bottling I'm a little nervous about it since its so good I don't want to mess it up (that is unless I keep taking tasters out and drink it all).

Honestly I think I had some good luck because it is coming along better than some sour beers I've tasted on the market. I'm obsessed with sours and honestly in the future will probably be brewing mostly sours and brett beers.
Anyway if you need any help or have any questions in the future feel free to ask!

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Old 06-29-2010, 07:32 PM   #14
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Yeah, i'm getting to the point where sours are all I'm really interested in. I do have a non (rather extremely mild) sour version of a dark farmhouse that I really, really like. I repitched the oak from an earlier farmhouse that had jolly pumpkin Bam Noir dregs in the secondary. That second batch was much better than the first (I think the bugs had started to adapt to their new home). So my plan is to oak (at least in a small way) and repitch the cubes to maintain consistency of character in my sours (the ones I like anyway).

I did a (roeselare) brown in glass and secondaried it in a corny and it turned out terribly, the temps were perfect but I made some assumptions about available oxygen that I think turned out to be woefully short, it's got a tiny bit of the classic sour cherry but a large helping what smells like the bathroom at Shea stadium... Not to mention that it's not nearly as sour (after more than a year) as I was hoping. I'm still debating between bucket and the better bottle.

I hear that starting the bugs when there's still some easy sugar left to ferment but with all the oxygen scrubbed out helps the acid-producers in their growth phase and achieves sourness quicker. Then, down the line, as oxygen seeps in and brett controls it with the pellicle, the anaerobic bugs already have a stable population and brett is controlling and metabolizing most of the present oxygen, so you end up with healthy concurrent populations. Additionally, according the slides at the brettanomyces masters project, brett really seems to like growing on top of healthy saccharomyces colonies. Until I find a reason to shoot for something different I'm going to keep pitching all of my bugs in the latter third of primary fermentation.

One obstacle I'm running into is how to get the oak involved as home for all my critters at the oxygen interface. I know about the wood dowel technique, but it seems a little silly, plus I'm not sure I could find a good medium-toast French oak chair leg... I guess I'm imagining cutting the top off of a sanke keg and clamping the top of a used barrel onto it, the trick would be keeping a small reservoir above the wood to keep it topped off.

Anyway, thanks for sharing the experience with this beer, it confirms a lot of suspicions I plan on acting on in the near future-

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Old 06-29-2010, 10:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: Bottling

As long as it's below 1.010 you should be fine bottling with an alcohol tolerant yeast. Russian River uses Rockpile for it's neutrality (I don't really like some of the dry champagne yeasts out there). Be sure to add a bit more sugar than the calculators tell you to because your sour ale will be as still as wine after a year.

I would think with Rockpile and a pitching rate below 3 million per mL you shouldn't have any concerns about altering the character of your beer.

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