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Old 09-28-2012, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default Oak furniture legs - oak dowels- air locks

Ok so I'm a pretty expierenced brewer as far as standard beers are concerned. Now when talkig about sours I'm kinda flying blind but , after a lot of communication with Wyeast and reading themadfermentationists site for awhile now I have decided to make the leap. I'll be making 2 sour beers at once due to the amount of time to make these. I'll be making a Straight lambic as well as a flanders red. I'm going to be using wyeast lambic blend for the lambic (obviously lol) and Rosealare for the FR. The recipe is not really a concern for either but the fermenting schedule and procedure is. I keep on hearing about furniture legs or dowels which make sense as it will allow a small amount of oxygen in I believe to allow aceobactor to grow but stay in check. My question is this what do others use the dowel method with a bung- furniture legs- or nothing at all? Finally where can I get these ? I'm assuming noone is buying a new kitchen tabl and cutting the legs off so there must be a source for them. THanks for any inout and advice !!

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Old 09-28-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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I use a solid cork stopper like you would use for an air lock but no hole and cork so it's more oxygen permeable seems to work well for my Flanders thus far. If I had more head space like a 6gallon carboy that would give more room for O2

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Old 09-28-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
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Raj Apte is the guy who is known for the table leg trick. He found a source for an unfinished table leg. I don't remember where. The easiest and least likely way to crack the neck of your carboy(wood expands when wet) would be to find a white oak dowel that would make a friction fit in a carboy cap.

Here is a start. I don't have any experience with them or know what their shipping costs would be. Check the hardware and craft stores first.
http://www.midwestdowel.com/pages/shop/category&CatID=15&SubcatID=26

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Old 09-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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I use a solid cork stopper like you would use for an air lock but no hole and cork so it's more oxygen permeable seems to work well for my Flanders thus far. If I had more head space like a 6gallon carboy that would give more room for O2
that's another option I never considered.... what do you do for oaking ? chips , chunk etc.? and this may be a dumb question but can you leave oak in for the long haul 1 year plus with a strain like Rosealare ?
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Raj Apte is the guy who is known for the table leg trick. He found a source for an unfinished table leg. I don't remember where. The easiest and least likely way to crack the neck of your carboy(wood expands when wet) would be to find a white oak dowel that would make a friction fit in a carboy cap.

Here is a start. I don't have any experience with them or know what their shipping costs would be. Check the hardware and craft stores first.
http://www.midwestdowel.com/pages/shop/category&CatID=15&SubcatID=26
perfect that is a great source !! I will also check out craft shops like A.C.Moore but I guess the key is to make sure the dowel has not been treated in any way. Also if I went with a dowel do I need to toast it ? and how do you do that if it is nesassary ?
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:58 PM   #6
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perfect that is a great source !! I will also check out craft shops like A.C.Moore but I guess the key is to make sure the dowel has not been treated in any way. Also if I went with a dowel do I need to toast it ? and how do you do that if it is nesassary ?
I would. A quick google pulled this up. From the looks of it I would go 30-60 minutes @ 350-400F and maybe hit one side of it for just a second to char a portion of it.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/oak-dowel-stopper-procedure-177814/
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:07 AM   #7
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I have not seen any need for any steps to allow O2 into the brew. I have split the same batch(s) (several of them) between glass and HDPE fermenters with standard bungs and airlocks on the fermenters, and plastic screw caps with drilled holes (with seals) for airlocks in the HDPE containers.

The HDPE supposedly lets in a load of O2 and the glass lets in none. I have not noticed any difference between the beers in the two containers. I suspect there is sufficient O2 entrained in the beer at the start to meet the needs of the bugs.

Oak is not a traditional ingredient in Lambics. They use old barrels so they don't get the oak flavor. More modern breweries use stainless steel. I always use a few inches of old oak dowel in each batch, and move it from batch to batch. It supposedly provides food for the brett, but also allows me to inoculate new batches.

That's my 2 cents worth.

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Old 09-29-2012, 04:12 AM   #8
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I have not seen any need for any steps to allow O2 into the brew. I have split the same batch(s) (several of them) between glass and HDPE fermenters with standard bungs and airlocks on the fermenters, and plastic screw caps with drilled holes (with seals) for airlocks in the HDPE containers.

The HDPE supposedly lets in a load of O2 and the glass lets in none. I have not noticed any difference between the beers in the two containers. I suspect there is sufficient O2 entrained in the beer at the start to meet the needs of the bugs.

Oak is not a traditional ingredient in Lambics. They use old barrels so they don't get the oak flavor. More modern breweries use stainless steel. I always use a few inches of old oak dowel in each batch, and move it from batch to batch. It supposedly provides food for the brett, but also allows me to inoculate new batches.

That's my 2 cents worth.


THanks for all the input the oak is for a Flanders red not the lambic and from what I understand the oak allows a bit of oxygen in to let aceobactor grow.
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:17 AM   #9
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Buckets are a no no. Too much O2. Glass is a maybe not. Practically zero O2. Better Bottles offer a compromise of the two. Of course, barrels are preferred, but small barrels can deliver too much oak flavor before it gets sour.

History: The indigenous beer of West Flanders, typified by the products of the Rodenbach brewery, established in 1820 in West Flanders but reflective of earlier brewing traditions. The beer is aged for up to two years, often in huge oaken barrels which contain the resident bacteria necessary to sour the beer. It was once common in Belgium and England to blend old beer with young to balance the sourness and acidity found in aged beer. While blending of batches for consistency is now common among larger breweries, this type of blending is a fading art.

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Old 09-29-2012, 04:28 AM   #10
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Buckets are a no no. Too much O2. Glass is a maybe not. Practically zero O2. Better Bottles offer a compromise of the two. Of course, barrels are preferred, but small barrels can deliver too much oak flavor before it gets sour.

History: The indigenous beer of West Flanders, typified by the products of the Rodenbach brewery, established in 1820 in West Flanders but reflective of earlier brewing traditions. The beer is aged for up to two years, often in huge oaken barrels which contain the resident bacteria necessary to sour the beer. It was once common in Belgium and England to blend old beer with young to balance the sourness and acidity found in aged beer. While blending of batches for consistency is now common among larger breweries, this type of blending is a fading art.
So if I'm understanding correctly for the flanders red I should use a better bottle ? I do have a few of them and just air lock it and because they are somewhat oxygen permeable this will allow enough O2 in to grow the acetobacter over the 18 months ? Also in this scenario should I use glass as a primary using adrennes strain than secondary in the better bottle with roselare for the remaining 17 months ? And as for the lambic I will be using wyeast lambic blend and that's a primary for a year or so and no oak and in glass with a airlock ?
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