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Old 09-13-2012, 01:42 PM   #1
drchris83
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Default Accidental sour - how long till it's drinkable?

About two months ago I spontaneously decided to use the second runnings of a dark bock to make a gruit. Not having a second carboy, I figured I'd let it ferment in my auxiliary boil kettle. While the bock fermented without issue, it seems as though a fruit fly or two found their way into my makeshift fermenter. I'm reasonably certain that the bug they carried in was lacto. So, while not actually having intended to brew a sour but being an avid reader of HBT's lambic section, I figured I'd let it ride and see what I get. So far, I've racked it once (into a glass carby I bought in the meantime), and it tasted fruity and sour, actually pretty good.
The question I have now is: howlong will it take to finish?

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Old 09-13-2012, 01:58 PM   #2
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Sours have no set timetable. Only a combination of taste/smell/gravity readings/appearance will tell you if it's done and ready for a bottle.

That being said, most people don't like to bottle before 1.010. In my own experience, sours usually get really sour, then "sick" or "really, really funky", then back to sour again. I would bottle after the sick (aka ropy) stage has passed.

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Old 09-13-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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First of all, thanks for the answer. However, it raises a new question: is the sick aka ropy phase gonna come for sure?

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Old 09-13-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
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Every sour I've done has gone through a ropy stage. That includes 3 lambics, a Flanders Red, a funky BDSA, and a Golden Sour.

So I can't say it will happen "for sure", but it's happened in my experiences.

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Old 09-13-2012, 05:06 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot! Do I have to expect some sort of "dormant" phase or will these phases likely overlap?

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:53 AM   #6
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If you sour mash then boil do you still have a sick/ropy phase? Or is that just when the bugs are introduced post boil?

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drchris83 View Post
Thanks a lot! Do I have to expect some sort of "dormant" phase or will these phases likely overlap?
Usually overlap for me.
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeyWestBrewing View Post
If you sour mash then boil do you still have a sick/ropy phase? Or is that just when the bugs are introduced post boil?
I don't do sour mashes because I find them to be unpredictable, but I would theorize that the ropy stage would only occur if the 'bugs' were active in the fermenting wort, of which they are not in a sour mash.
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Souring: #32 Lambic 2.0, #49 Lambic 3.0, #60 3763 Flanders Brown, #61 WLP665 Flanders Brown
Conditioning: #38 Golden Sour, #58 Hooch Cider, #79 Dopplebock, #84 Amy Cider
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #9
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No ropy stage if you sour mash and boil because the boil kills off all the bacteria.

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Old 09-14-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
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I am not wanting to hijack this thread. but I have a directly related question:

I currently have a lambic that was started the first friday in April of this year. My O.G. was a bout 1.054. I pitched Wyeast lambic blend. it has gotten dregs from a few sours. Its gravity is currently 1.002. It has never "gotten sick" and has never formed a pellicle (the closest it has come is a very faint "scum" on the surface). It is noticably sour (think lindemans cuvee rene Geueze level) and slightly musty (in a good way). is it at all likely to get ropey or sick?

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