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Old 06-03-2010, 07:26 PM   #1
SumnerH
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Default First sours, a couple of questions

So I'm brewing up a couple of sours soon.

#1 is the more interesting; I'd like to do a Oude Bruin with the plan to add sour cherries to secondary in a few months. I've got a recipe together. Bugs will be roeselaire + the dregs of a Lost Abbey Red Poppy and a couple of other sours. I have a few questions:

a) Should I pitch sacch first and wait a while for the bugs, or should I pitch the bugs all up front? Jamil recommends waiting, but I get the feeling he doesn't actually like his sours to be all that sour. If I wait, should it be until x% attenuation is reached, or after primary is done?
b) What sort of timeframe should I be looking at? Is 3-4 months a reasonable estimate for when to add fruit, or should it be further out? Do I leave the fruit until the very end or eventually rack off of it?
c) Same as (b) but with oak--do I add oak at the same time as fruit, earlier, or later? I assume I don't want to leave it too long on the oak chips...

#2 is going to be a Saison mashed higher, with roeselaire blend pitched alongside the French saison yeast; one I'm just going for a little more complexity than a straight saison. My usual Saison recipe I mash at 148; does it seem reasonable to mash around 155 to leave something for the bugs, or should I go higher/lower? I was going to pitch both the bugs and yeast at the same time unless that sounds dumb.

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On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

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Old 06-03-2010, 08:31 PM   #2
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#1 -

a) Spot on, it depends how sour you like your sours. I like pitching all the bugs along with the yeast in primary.

b) I usually wait a bit longer, but 3-4 months should be fine. Cherries hold together pretty well, no reason to rack off them before bottling. I do rack off pulpy fruits to reduce the amount of fruit goo that makes it to the bottle.

c) Go easy on the oak, you can always add more. I like 1-2 oz of oak cubes (steamed or boiled first to reduce the "fresh" oak flavors).

#2 - Mashing a bit higher is fine if you want some sourness. That said, you can get some good funk out of a saison even if it ferments out to only a few points above 1.000 in primary. One of the best American saisons I've had was Bullfrog's Busted Lawnmower which IIRC is fermented with a combo of Dupont and Brett C, great complexity with just a hint of tartness.

Good luck, welcome to the sour addiction.

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Old 06-03-2010, 09:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply!

One more thing:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsock View Post
#1 -
c) Go easy on the oak, you can always add more. I like 1-2 oz of oak cubes (steamed or boiled first to reduce the "fresh" oak flavors).
I'm assuming oak first, fruit later?
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On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

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Old 06-03-2010, 11:03 PM   #4
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this is probably the most important chart you will ever see re: brewing sours. this is a graph is from jeff sparrow's wild brews. it tells you the growth patterns of all your usual suspects in a sour beer.
enjoy the ride

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set I: Pale (3) -> Mild (4-5) -> amber / Victory (20-25) -> special roast (40-50) -> brown (70)
set II: pilsner (2) -> Vienna (3-4) -> Munich (8-10) -> dark Munich (20) -> aromatic / melanoiden (25-30)
encore: smoked (5)

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Old 06-04-2010, 01:32 AM   #5
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cant read it.


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Old 06-04-2010, 03:33 AM   #6
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you should buy the book it's great

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Old 06-04-2010, 05:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeekysheep View Post
you should buy the book it's great


thats where i got my sour beer bug from.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
Thanks for the reply!

One more thing:


I'm assuming oak first, fruit later?
Yep, although you can add more oak with the fruit if you want to (after 6 months there isn't much more flavor for the initial oak to give anyway.)
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:30 PM   #9
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http://www2.parc.com/emdl/members/apte/slides_nchf.pdf page 11 has a very similar graph.
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On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

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