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Old 02-25-2009, 11:31 PM   #1
cmdrico7812
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Default Can you sour any beer?

This might be a dumb question, but can you turn any beer into a sour (ala Jolly Pumpkin brewery)? Could I, for example, brew up a straightforward amber ale and, and it's finished its primary fermentation, add Brett and let it sour? Does it work that way? Just curious. thanks



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Old 02-25-2009, 11:39 PM   #2
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Yes, I believe so. I have a chunk of oak which I left in a sour fermentation. After I finished that fermentation, I would take that chunk of oak and throw it into a normal batch. It would sour it quite nicely and fairly quickly too.



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Old 02-26-2009, 12:13 AM   #3
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you can, but some styles lend to "souring" better than other imho.

also, just adding brett wont necessarily add "sour". Orval for example, isn't particularly sour, but has alot of leather like funk

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Old 02-26-2009, 12:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peck View Post
Yes, I believe so. I have a chunk of oak which I left in a sour fermentation. After I finished that fermentation, I would take that chunk of oak and throw it into a normal batch. It would sour it quite nicely and fairly quickly too.
not to hijack, but I have been thinking about using the "dowel in the stopper" for this very reason. Getting a dowel good and infested with brett, and then using that in the stopper instead of an airlock when I want to add brett to the secondary.
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:39 AM   #5
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Brett doesn't sour a beer that much, it mostly adds the funky "barnyard" aroma. Also, I think Jolly Pumpkin actually uses wild yeast harvested in an open fermentation.

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Old 02-26-2009, 02:39 AM   #6
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IIRC jolly pumpkin pitches yeast like any other brewery, but ferments in an open fermenter, which they claim adds some of the character to their beer, but most of their brett funk comes from the barrels they age their beer in

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Old 02-26-2009, 08:20 PM   #7
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you gotta be carfull with bret too if you us a 80% yeast and then pitch brett and bottle in 3 weeks and leave those bottles for to long they will blow up as brett will finish most of that 20% over time.

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Old 02-26-2009, 09:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxcar View Post
not to hijack, but I have been thinking about using the "dowel in the stopper" for this very reason. Getting a dowel good and infested with brett, and then using that in the stopper instead of an airlock when I want to add brett to the secondary.
Hmm... I'm a little confused by this. Wouldn't it be more efficient to just drop the dowel in the beer? Or are you worried about contamination of your dowel with whatever Sach you're using?
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peck View Post
Hmm... I'm a little confused by this. Wouldn't it be more efficient to just drop the dowel in the beer? Or are you worried about contamination of your dowel with whatever Sach you're using?
Someone correct me if I am wrong... but, I think the use of a dowel allows for "microoxygenation" the same way aging in a barrel would work. It allows for the exchange of small amounts of oxygen over time to the beer so that, in theory, the brett can stay healthier longer.

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Old 02-27-2009, 06:08 PM   #10
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Neal is correct on this, the main reason a dowel is used is to restrict O2 transfer into the environment. The permeability of plastic is very high and glass is essentially a medium that allows no O2 transfer, so the dowel allows a decent surface area for a standard carboy. Now the bugs can possibly take up residence in the Dowel, but it would be a crap shoot if there is a significant amount to get a solid inoculation in a future batch. In the case of an immersed chunk, it seems reasonable that this should work. Personally, I'd just choose to reserve a small amount of inoculating liquid and refrigerate it.

As to the OP, as has been answered...some styles just lend themselves better to being soured.



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