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Old 06-11-2010, 01:10 PM   #21
Oldsock
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Is it safe to use the Better Bottle for non-sour beers after it's been sanitized (assuming that I don't use a carboy brush, or anything abrasive to clean the BB)?
Yep, although I am extra careful. After transferring a sour out I'll usually give them a long soak in hot water and PBW/Oxyclean Free/TSP to remove the "crud" followed by a few more hours with Star-San, then repeat both steps before putting a clean beer in. It may be overkill, but I thinks its worth the peace of mind.

The only stuff I keep separate are the things with small spaces I can't see (bottling wand, auto-siphon, tubing etc...) everything else gets shared.
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:05 AM   #22
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Yep, although I am extra careful. After transferring a sour out I'll usually give them a long soak in hot water and PBW/Oxyclean Free/TSP to remove the "crud" followed by a few more hours with Star-San, then repeat both steps before putting a clean beer in. It may be overkill, but I thinks its worth the peace of mind.

The only stuff I keep separate are the things with small spaces I can't see (bottling wand, auto-siphon, tubing etc...) everything else gets shared.
Call me old fashioned but I prefer glass. When my brush hits the glass I know it's scraping a year and a half's worth of brett lacto and pedio out of the carboy and its GONE. Period. That way I can use the same carboy for non-funked beers if needed. I don't have experience with the plastic carboys but I just can't believe that all of that funk is going to get extracted. I could be wrong though. My carboys are pretty nasty after a year and a half.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:25 PM   #23
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If you do use a better bottle you might as well designate it as a sour container. Although you could use it for another beer, if you have the money you might as well separate it to be safe.
I am using a 5 gallon carboy with a normal airlock. It obviously obtained enough oxygen cause after 10 months its nicely soured but not overboard.

To get a beer like duchess that would be a feat. I'd assume you'd have to add a ton of cherries and let it go for a few years to even get close

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Old 06-13-2010, 01:45 AM   #24
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If you do use a better bottle you might as well designate it as a sour container. Although you could use it for another beer, if you have the money you might as well separate it to be safe.
I am using a 5 gallon carboy with a normal airlock. It obviously obtained enough oxygen cause after 10 months its nicely soured but not overboard.

To get a beer like duchess that would be a feat. I'd assume you'd have to add a ton of cherries and let it go for a few years to even get close
Oxygen actually inhibits lactic acid bacteria, so getting sourness isn't an indication that any oxygen is getting through. Getting acetic acid (that is to say vinegar, which Duchess certainly has) would be an indication that oxygen is getting through since acetobacter are aerobic. Duchess doesn't have any cherries, so that certainly wouldn't be required. What is difficult is getting that sweet sour balance that many commercial Flanders Reds have, they do it by blending (and sometimes back sweetening) and then pasteurizing to prevent refermentation of the sugars.

My big concern with glass is breakage, I'd rather run the small risk of losing a young beer to infection rather than an old sour beer to a cracked carboy. Luckily the one glass carboy I broke was intact enough to save the beer (the oak peg through the neck of the carboy expanded and cracked off a chunk while aging a Flanders Red).
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:48 PM   #25
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Another question...

So will I basically need TWO carboys to dedicate to sours? One for primary and one for seconday?

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Old 06-13-2010, 04:49 PM   #26
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Another question...

So will I basically need TWO carboys to dedicate to sours? One for primary and one for seconday?
Depends on your process and your paranoia levels. Many primary with regular sacch and add sour blends or pure brett to secondary. In that case, the primary fermenter wouldn't see anything out of the ordinary.

A lot of people also pitch low amounts of the other bugs into primary. If you are going to go that route, you may want to consider a dedicated fermenter, but as Oldsock has pointed out, you can clean the better bottles sufficiently to minimize the risk.

FWIW, I have made the switch to better bottles, but have three glass carboys still in service. The two 5 gallon ones now contain a flanders red and an oud bruin, the 6.5 gallons one contains a beer fermenting with only brett c for primary. Oldsock, this is the same as your mo betta bretta clone #1 except with a touch more munich. That brett c one will move to a dedicated sour better bottle in a few weeks though. I have enough better bottles and some paranoia, so that better bottle will only see sours for the time being.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:29 PM   #27
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Another question...

So will I basically need TWO carboys to dedicate to sours? One for primary and one for seconday?
FWIW, in reading up on the matter I've heard from 2 kinds of people on cleaning better bottles to go from sours back to normal beers:
1) The ones who've done it and had no problems;
2) The ones who are super-careful and don't do it.

Noticeably absent are many (any?) people who did it and wound up accidentally infecting a later beer that they attribute to infection carried through a cleaned and sanitized better bottle (or glass carboy), and lots of people who do _tons_ of sours seem to switch back and forth regularly with no issues.

It's the tubing/spigots/autosiphons/etc that seem most worth keeping segregated (as well as anything wooden, obviously), plus buckets just because they're so cheap.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:29 PM   #28
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ok. you guys are the best.

I want to know what you would suggest I do about this. I only want to 'infect' on eof my better bottles.

Should I

[a] Make the entire flanders in the 5 gallon better bottle that I plan to sacrifice to the sour cause and add both yeasts at the same time?

[b] make it in a 6 gallon carboy with ONLY the regular yeast. Then rack to the 5 gallon bottle and add the rosalare blend.

I have a 5 gal carboy that I scratched a little inside by using a carboy brush before I knew I shouldnt. I figure I may as well use that for sours right?

Any advice or tips on this would be great.

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Old 06-14-2010, 01:56 AM   #29
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well if you want a red that actually gets sour, you need to add the roeselare from the start

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Old 06-14-2010, 03:00 AM   #30
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So then it is the general consensus that people should add BOTH yeast and bacteria at the same time? At least to get a good strong sour ale?

I am just at loss as to what to do. Should I have a dedicated primary AND secondary for sours?

I am ok with whatever I need to do. I just dont want to [a] over spend when not necessary or [b] ruin a beer because I didnt spend on an extra carboy.

I am very pumped. I think that this thread has been helpful and informative to not just me but others that come to this area. Not a lot of posts here and I am glad that this is generating some discussion.

Please continue with input on this thread.

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