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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > How to fix sour recipe with low primary FG?
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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I've found an article specifically discussing brewing and it carried out various microfermentations with different boil times to demonstrate the apparent extract difference of fermentation (among many other things). The boil times were 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120. Anyhow to summarize the trends in the paper the longer the boil time the higher the final gravity. Instead of splitting hairs and saying whether caramelization or maillard reaction, longer boil will contribute to a higher FG for your souring bacteria/brett yeasts to ferment. This paper also mentions "HPLC analysis did not show the amount of unfermentable sugar fractions present in wort, therefore, effect of wort boiling on sugar levels cannot be ascertained." However I think we can glean from the data that a longer boil increases terminal gravity, that's the only point I'm trying to make. The degree of fermentation possible by the bacteria/brett would depend on the unfermentable sugars present. I believe that the use of caramel malts, or a long boil will produce a higher amount of non-fermentable sugars in a sour beer. Remember even with an apparent degree of fermentation at 100% or more there are still plenty of sugar and carbohydrates remaining in the beer. That would be evident by simply leaving the bottom of a glass of lambic to dry over night into a sticky syrup.

http://dalspace.library.dal.ca:8080/...pdf?sequence=1.

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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Good find! You are correct, although to be fair looking at the charts it appears the difference from a 30 minute boil to a 120 minute boil is an increase of just .2P for apparent extract. So while "significant" from a statistical point of view, it is a very minor factor in wort fermentability as far as real world brewing in involved. Obviously you may be boosting this with an even longer or denser boil.

I'm also still not sure if those undfermentables will boost the final FG of a sour beer, or if the compounds created are only unfermentable by the primary yeast, and would be added food for the bugs to follow.

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Old 03-18-2013, 04:00 PM   #13
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I guess the best way to find out would be to get someone to do a masters project on basically the same set of experiments but swapping out the saccharomyces for a wild culture. If I ever pursue my M.S. I will keep it in mind. Unfortunately that probably will never happen though.

I have going three and four hour boils. I also will boil a portion down to a syrup sometimes as some do for scotch ales or other beers. With a long boil I can keep Brett imperial stouts at between 5.5P and 7.0P. Bacteria will certainly change things but as we both said, who knows how much?

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Old 03-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #14
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Given the high degree of fermentation and their extended boils, I'd guess that the long boil isn't excessively impairing the mixed fermentation. However, as you said, given the real extract hidden by the alcohol, it could be that they’d finish even drier with a shorter boil.

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Old 03-19-2013, 12:39 AM   #15
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Well if the OP decides to extend his brew day by an hour or two by extending his boil he'll lose an hour or two. It's very low risk, the most that will happen is a little color deepening, loss of fuel, and loss of time. If it turns out to do what he wants then he gets what he was after.

As a side note: The first RIS was boiled down from about 11 gal volume to 6 gallons. It was 1.117 and finished at 1.026. It was mashed at 158 too. I combined everything I learned from brewing the 11-11-11 Old Recipe from this site's trade. That attenuated to 1.016 for me and I figured I'd try a couple other anti-attenuation techniques to prevent a dry RIS. Fermentation went to about 1.045 in the first month. Then somewhere between month 6 and 8 it settled at 1.026 measured by a .0005 precision hydrometer.

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