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Old 06-20-2011, 12:55 PM   #21
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Adding wine/liquor is much tricker for commerical brewers, so barrels are the loop hole, homebrewers don't need to worry about it.

Glad you enjoyed the article, just got my copy yesterday. McKenzie's is a great place, and the clean saison is one of their year-round beers. They often have some weird stuff in bottles you can take home as well.

Sadly pellicles don't seem to impress anyone but other sour beer nerds, I've learned to compare them to the bloom on brie (even though there isn't technically much similarity).

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Old 07-28-2011, 12:21 AM   #22
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I just took a sample of this, and it has soured up nicely so far! I was going to wait until September to rack it onto some currants in a carboy, but I may rack sooner since I like the amount of sourness that it has right now!

I need to start keeping my eye out for some currants! Anyone have a preference for red/black?

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Old 08-12-2011, 01:57 PM   #23
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I was finally able to find a local farmer's market that carried red and black currants, so I'm excited to use them on the two Flander's Red's I have had ageing.

Two questions though....

I am going to use 1 lb of red currants on the Flanders Red I pitched Roselare into back in December. I'm going to take a hydrometer reading on it today when I add them. I originally pitched Cal Ale yeast on this one, then racked it into a plastic bucket, added the roselare, and haven't touched it since. Should I rack it out of the plastic bucket? Or should it be fine staying in the plastic?

I'm also going to pitch the other Lb of black currants (as well as some oak I've had sitting on Cab Sav for about 2 months now) on the Flanders Red I used the Belgian Sour mix, plus some Jolly Pumpkin and Russian River dregs on back in May. This one has soured up nicely already, so I'm going to rack it out of the plastic bucket it has been sitting in and into a glass carboy. My question for this batch is about the oak cubes. I've used oak twice now, with poor results and I really don't want another infected batch... especially this one! I originally boiled water, took it off the heat, and let the oak cubes sit in it for about 15 minutes. Like I said earlier, they have also been sitting in wine for about 2 months now as well. Should I boil water again, and let the oak cubes sit in it for 15 minutes? There is no growth on them right now and they look fine sitting in the wine, but like I said, I don't want to risk an infection with this batch!

Thanks again!

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Old 08-12-2011, 03:01 PM   #24
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To be honest I have never tried to age sour beers in buckets just because I'm afraid of getting too much oxygen in the beer and I can't take that risk on a year long batch. But I have read about people being successful. Although I don't know how much acetic acid those beers have.

I have never had a problem with Oak cubes. I boil the cubes in the water for 15 minutes, then decant the liquid and add the cubes.

For you I assume the low pH, high alcohol of the wine for the last 2 months has made those cubes pretty safe to use. I would not boil them afterward or you will lose the majority of the flavors.

Good update.

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Old 08-12-2011, 03:21 PM   #25
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I'm suspicious that the permeability of the plastic really is a big issue (neither the math nor some anecdotal stories support it), but I think the seal on a bucket is much riskier than a stopper on a carboy or better bottle. If the seal isn’t 100% you’ll end up with vinegar by the end of the year, if it is perfect your beer shouldn’t have an issue.

No big worries for cube sanitation in a sour beer, a few more microbes won't hurt anything.

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Old 08-12-2011, 05:50 PM   #26
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Sweet... everything sounds pretty good then. The bucket and lid I used with the Flanders that I pitched the Roselare into was a brand new bucket, so there shouldn't be a problem with the seal. I'm going to rack everything now. I'll post pictures after I'm done!

Thanks guys!

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Old 08-12-2011, 07:59 PM   #27
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Here are the fresh black currants! I'm going to add these to the Flanders Red I brewed over Memorial Day weekend.



I was also to get some red currants as well! I'm going to add these to the even older Flanders Red that I brewed last Christmas!



These are 3 ounces of oak cubes, that I have been soaking in Cabernet Savignon for about 2 months now.



Here are the black currants and oak cubes waiting to be covered in the Belgian Sour and dreg mix Flanders...



My first PELLICLE!!!!

Awww...... it's just a Baaaaaby..



1.004 in just about 3 months! (It started out at 1.060!)



Here is pellicle #2!!!! This is the older of the two Flanders I have going right now. It was actually my very last extract recipe, but my first whole boil (5.5 gallons). I originally pitched some Cal Ale yeast into it, and then once that started to slow down, I racked it to secondary and pitched Roselare and an ounce of oak cubes.



The Flanders that I started with Cal Ale yeast, and then racked to secondary and pitched Roselare into (at 1.012) and has only gotten down to 1.006 in 7 months. The Flanders I pitched the Belgian Sour and other various dregs into got down to 1.004 in just under 3 months!



Here are my two Flanders set up for the home stretch! The one on the right (Belgian Sour and dregs with the Black Currants) should be ready by Christmas I'm thinking. The one on the left, I'm thinking Easter???? It is not nearly as sour as the other one even though it has been sitting for more than twice as long!



Sample time! From left to right: The wine from the oak cubes (I decided not to add it and follow your advice of just adding it to taste when I keg/bottle), the AG Flanders with Belgian Sour mix + dregs, and the Extract Flanders with Roselare. Slainte!



The wine was ok, but after letting it sit for a little while, an oily film started to show up on top of the wine? Could that have come from the oak cubes? I honestly don't know where it could have come from otherwise??? I doubt the wine had any oil in it, and the container definitely didn't have any oil in it???

The Belgian Sour and dregs Flanders was awesome! It had a real nice crisp sour taste to it. I'm real excited what the oak cubes and currants are going to do to that one! It's a little cloudy, and seems to be lighter in color than the extract Flanders. I'm hoping the next few months sitting on the currants should solve that, and hopefully it won't get much more sour since I racked it out of the bucket.

The Extract Flanders was really clear, and had a nice red color, however, it wasn't very sour yet. I'm going to let it sit on the currants until Easter. Hopefully by then the Roselare will have done it's job and it will be the nice sour Flander's I was hoping to get all along. If not, maybe I'll pitch some belgian sour mix into it? Or maybe even harvest some dregs to add to that one would be even better? Worked real well for the Belgian sour mix Flanders....

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Old 08-13-2011, 02:41 AM   #28
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Those gravities are pretty low for 3 and 6 months. My Flanders ended around 1.010.
What temp did you mash?

At that low of a gravity already I'm not sure how much more sourness or complexity you will get. Plus I like my Flanders Reds to have some sweetness to balance the sour. You will get some sugar from the currants but not much. I have had good results feeding the bugs throughout the year they are aging. You could add .5 - 1 lb maltodextrin or even better add some wort that was mashed very high (this can help you bump up the sweetness if you want). Remember Consecration is a 10% beer if you are really trying to brew something similar.

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Old 08-13-2011, 04:52 AM   #29
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Uh oh.... lol!

I mashed the Belgian sour one at 155 for an hour.... the one I used Roselare on was an extract recipe.

I actually really like the sourness of the Flanders Red I used the Belgian Sour mix on (the one I got a 1.004 gravity on...). The taste of the black currants I added to that really reminded me of the flavor I get when I'm drinking Consecration. I'm not really looking to add any more sourness to that one. I am just hoping to add "complexities" from the fruit and oak to that one now. That's why I racked it out of the plastic bucket, and into the glass carboy. So no more sourness would be a good thing with that one.

The one I used Roselare on though, the one with the 1.006 gravity reading, I do hope gets a bit more sour. I've heard Roselare takes a long time to actually get that sour flavor to it. This one definitely has that sweet taste to it right now (not much sour), and that is why I added the red currants to it. Those currants seemed to be real tart when I tasted them, and that is more of what I was hoping to add to the Roselare Flanders Red. It's not very sour. It has a sour taste to it, but not much. It is definitely more complex tasting than the Belgian Sour mix, but no way near as sour.

I've heard that Roselare can take over a year to get sour... sometimes, up to a year and a half to two years. I was hoping that would be the case with this one...

Worse comes to worse, I can try blending these two. The one has the level of sourness that I like, but the other has the full mouth feel that I like. So they may be perfect for blending.

Either way, this is fun!

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Old 08-15-2011, 03:31 PM   #30
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Sounds like they are coming along nicely. And I have come to the realization that blending is the best way to make sour beer. If I had more room I would do something similar to what you have and brew a new beer every 6 months. And tweak the recipe depending on what the batch before it needs.

I can confirm that my first pitch with Roselare is just now getting sour after being bulk aged for 15 months and in the bottle for another 4 months. But I am looking forward to the next batch that was pitched on the yeast cake.

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