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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > First sour saison
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:47 AM   #11
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I know the best way to make sour beer. Get at me if you are interested.

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Old 09-07-2013, 08:27 AM   #12
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I know the best way to make sour beer. Get at me if you are interested.
The sour boil I mentioned before would sour without harming the saison-ey flavor. Is that what you're talking about?
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:36 PM   #13
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I know the best way to make sour beer. Get at me if you are interested.
Let it be heard. I'm always interested in hearing how people are doing soured beers.

To me the best way is just adding a sour culture (I think the Roeselare sacch is a saison strain) and letting it play out. You end up with the appropriate sour character and a nicely complex beer. I don't know how roeselare would play out in a saison on its own due to the claims of it being tame. Additionally I think the spicy "saison" flavors are attributed to the widely held standard of Dupont. That and pure culture techniques have removed the brett and bacteria that I am sure was in all the saisons of the past. Sure brett and so forth is making a bit of a come back, but the "saisons should taste like Dupont" viewpoint has already put people's mind in a box. So for some style geeks if you make a beer and call it a saison and it doesn't resemble Dupont they'll claim it's not a saison or whatever.

So I say brew on and call it saison. I'd just add Roesalare from the start with no additional saison yeast (at least in one fermentor) because like I mentioned, I believe the sacch. strain is a saison yeast in the culture blend. Also don't be worried about underpitching with a souring culture like Roesalare I do it intentionally. I drastically underpitch my lambics/sour saisons with great end results. I base that on cell counts done on "American Coolship Ales" that was published in a paper listing the cell density near 1mil/ml/degree plato at the PEAK of fermentation. So I drastically underpitch to lightly mimic that.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:38 AM   #14
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What. A. Day! So, I worked up the 10-gallon batch starting at 8am, hit my mash-in temp almost dead on, and ended up deciding to take the RIMS system for a test-drive. While initially I had a fast-enough circulation rate and was watching the temp steadily increase to the set-value, at some point I decided to slow down the flow. Bad move. I think I know the factors involved, but in any case, after completing the boil and preparing to cool and pitch, something didn't seem right. I pulled off a sample and it tasted bitter. Not wanting to just be paranoid I gave my wife a small sample, which she described as bitter as well. Long story short, I ended dumping out the entire batch, and started over from scratch. As much as I hated to do it, I would rather waste the grain and 5-hours of work, rather than waste weeks and months to end up with burnt ass saison and a sour burnt ass saision. Thankfully I was able to scrounge up enough Hallertau and more wheat malt, and started round 2 at around 2:30pm. By 8:30pm, the house and garage were cleaned, and I now have 2 carboys sitting in the corner. In the end, I did a 5-gallon batch with the Belgian Saison, and a 5-gallon batch with just the Roesalare. I'll work on prepping the aquarium heater to start ramping up the fermentation temperature for the Belgian Saison once I start to see signs of active fermentation.

I've never gone through an entire 50-pound sack of grain in 1 day before. Have to admit, it felt kind of good! Although, next time I would rather have twice as many fermenters full!

After a 12.5 hour brew day, and a shower, I'm going to finish my pint glass and call it a night. I appreciate everyone's comments and feedback. I'm patiently looking forward to the eventual outcome(s).

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Old 09-08-2013, 08:14 PM   #15
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Wow, what an adventure. I'm a BIABer with little understanding of RIMS processes, so forgive the dumb question - what made the grain bitter? Tannin extraction due to low flow in a heating coil somewhere?

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Old 09-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #16
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I believe the primary cause was slowing the circulation of the wort through the RIMS tube, allowing excessive wort contact with the element. An easy comparison is a coffee pot that had been left on a burner, or when you get a drink from a coffee shop and the coffee is burned. It just has that underlying bitterness about it.

I'm going to have to take my system for a test drive with just water before I feel comfortable enough to attempt another brew with it.

All that being said, the carboy with the Belgian Saison is working away. And to think I was concerned a 24-hour starter wasn't going to be sufficient. This is 13-hours after pitching. And yes, it now has a blow-off tube!

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Wow, what an adventure. I'm a BIABer with little understanding of RIMS processes, so forgive the dumb question - what made the grain bitter? Tannin extraction due to low flow in a heating coil somewhere?
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:37 PM   #17
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Sad that you had to dump 10 gallons, but your plan for the 10 gallons from round 2 sounds awesome. I'll definitely be curious how all the variations turn out.

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Old 09-09-2013, 08:07 AM   #18
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It was one of the toughest brewing decisions that I've had to make, to throw away that much time, grain, and resources. As I sit on the couch, listening to both carboys chugging away, I know I made the right decision!

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Sad that you had to dump 10 gallons, but your plan for the 10 gallons from round 2 sounds awesome. I'll definitely be curious how all the variations turn out.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:13 AM   #19
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You have no idea how much I was appreciating the simplicity of BIAB Saturday afternoon/evening. I'm currently sitting on the couch, winding down from my "Monday", drinking the last bomber of bourbon vanilla porter that I made from my BIAB days!

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Old 09-09-2013, 08:13 AM   #20
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Absolutely. If the mash doesn't taste good, none of it can.

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