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Old 10-20-2011, 06:32 PM   #1
stephc
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Default Blending sours

I brewed a Flander's red that has been fermenting with Wyeast Roeselare blend for about 6 months. I took a sample and to my surprise it is already very sour (maybe even too sour), but it seems to lack body and complexity. Perhaps it fermented to warm... I may add .5 oz of oak chips for a few weeks, which will hopefully add some flavor. I am also considering blending it with a non-sour ale just before bottling. If I do blend, will I need to kill my sour to prevent bottle bombs? Any recommendations as to what/how to blend this sour with? I could probably bottle now to prevent additional souring since the gravity has reduced from 1.064 to 1.002. What should I do?

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Old 10-20-2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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The souring process won't stop unless you pasteurize it. It will slow at cold temperatures (< 40F) and produce a different flavor than room temperature.

Has it been souring in a carboy? If so, place a wooden stick in the neck to allow a small amount of oxygen to enter. This will simulate souring in a wooden barrel. It may take another 6 months to reach your desired complexity.

I recommend you blend 75% sour with 25% non-sour (fully fermented). If you bottle it, I recommend 750ml bottles (with cages) since they're designed to withstand higher pressure.

Personally, I prefer to pitch:

  1. ale yeast + brett for primary
  2. sour culture (lacto, pedio, etc) in secondary with slight oxygen exposure
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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Have a read: http://ryanbrews.blogspot.com/2011/03/blending-and-fruiting-lambics-my.html

Courtesy of our own ryane...

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Old 10-21-2011, 02:46 PM   #4
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Complexity will really only come with age. The french oak cubes will also help add complexity and our my preference even though the flavor is not traditional for the style.

I would hold off on blending for a little while because these beers change considerably with time. And yes sourness can be reduced over time. The Brett will interact with alcohol + acids to produce esters. If you look on the chart near the bottom of Raj's article
http://www2.parc.com/emdl/members/apte/flemishredale.shtml
You will see that the Brett and Pedio have barely started working by 6 months. This will add much more complexity.

I'd say wait at least a year before you decide to blend. And if and when you blend, definitely follow the instructions on ryane's blog.

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Old 10-21-2011, 03:22 PM   #5
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you won't regret leaving it as is for another year.

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