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Old 06-09-2014, 07:59 PM   #1
FredTheNuke
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Default Maximum Souring

Thoughts or experiences of the collective group on a few questions:

- What is the longest you have soured a beer at fermentation temperature?

- What temperature do you typically use (I use 68F)?

- How long in regards to souring/fermentation is too long to the point where it is no longer drinkable (assume standard glass carboy or small craft barrel oxygen permeation per Wild Brews data table)? I understand many of these beers can cellar (50-55F) for 10 years or more.

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Old 06-11-2014, 05:35 PM   #2
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I think it depends what you mean by "souring". Are you looking for acid content? Funk?
Many people interchange the two without thinking twice. I have some insanely funky beers that are probably what most people would toss in the "sour" category, and some that are so sour they would just be classified as vinegar.

However, to answer as best as I understand:

I've had beers for as long as 3 years at 68F-ish

I typically use 66-72, however have gone higher.

I've had some go undrinkable in several months.

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Old 06-11-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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Any and all info is appreciated. I am trying to get a feel for what folks are doing.

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Old 06-11-2014, 10:31 PM   #4
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I've aged sours up to 2.5 years at room temperature with wide swings. I'd say during the summer the swings are between 72-78F on a daily basis. At least one of the beers was negatively effected by this (ethyl acetate), but I was able to recover it by blending. In all cases, the beers were too sour to drink on their own, and I ended up blending them in one way or another. These were dregs beers (Cascade Brewing and Russian River).

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Old 06-11-2014, 11:02 PM   #5
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So 2.5 years of bugs chewing a beer over sours it.... Hmmm. My target is a beer like The Bruery's Oude Tart. Amazing stuff - wish I could get it more than once in a blue moon on this side of the US of A.

Thus far I have these creatures going:

November 2013 40% Wheat Flanders Red with Roeselare (60 gallons) Solera
April 2014 40% Wheat Flanders Red with ECY20 (15 gallons)
April 2014 Consecration clone (15 gallons) Brett B plus Roeselare
May 2014 Tart of Darkness clone (15 gallons) Roeselare

I still have some ECY01 in the fridge (dated February so I need to get off my arse).

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Old 06-11-2014, 11:53 PM   #6
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Well, for me, I wouldn't have done anything differently. The extra time may have made the beer too sour, but it also made the beer completely delicious when blended. There is something that age does to the beer, whether that be the compounds that Brett/Pedio produce, or whether some oxidation (perhaps oxygen that the Brett doesn't clean up) occurs like in aged clean beers. I've brewed sours that came out really fast (5 months), and they are just as sour and thin but lack the complexity that the aged ones do. I've also read on sour brewing blogs and here on HBT how aged sours can get less sour (theoretically the Brett breaks down some of the acids).

Personally, I am convinced that blending is the only way to get what you want (or at least what tastes the best with what you have).

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Old 06-12-2014, 12:20 AM   #7
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And just as an experiment I am going to take a 5 gallon batch of Grand Cru Cuvee Van De Keizer clone (OG 1.107, FG 1.032 fermented clean with Wyeast Forbidden Fruit) and pitch a pack of Roeselare on it - currently at 10.0% ABV. Then let is set for a year in a closet at 75F. I wonder what will come out the other side for this one....

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Old 06-12-2014, 04:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredTheNuke View Post
I understand many of these beers can cellar (50-55F) for 10 years or more.
right, but that's once bottled. i think it's a different kettle of fish (wort?) when we're talking about carboys with much more permeable bungs/air locks, more headspace, etc.
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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a hop-bursted IPA w/ Conan, a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: either an imperial stout or something to use up my homegrown hops... TBD.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:42 AM   #9
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Exactly. That kettle of fish is the question. How long can you go at what temperatures without making vinegar?

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Old 06-12-2014, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredTheNuke View Post
How long can you go at what temperatures without making vinegar?
i don't think there is a one-size-fits-all answer to that. it'll depend on how much air is getting in there, headspace, how often you open up the vessel, what the aceto load is in the air, etc. do it right and you can go for years...
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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a hop-bursted IPA w/ Conan, a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: either an imperial stout or something to use up my homegrown hops... TBD.
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