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Old 02-02-2011, 10:51 PM   #1
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Default Sour beer, gravity still high?

I have a very mild Kriek that has been going for almost 1 year. I started from extract with an OG of 1.054. I fermented in primary with Brett C when visible activity stopped I moved to secondary, (and forgot to take a gravity) I added 3# sweet cherry puree and bottle dregs from 2 bottles of cantillon gueuze. In the secondary it developed a fair pellicle. In the past week I moved the carboy a little and the pellicle mostly dropped out. I figured that meant it should be done.
Today I took a gravity and it is at 1.018.???
That seems way too high. It tastes great, very sour, very funky, little acetic. Is this possible or is my gravity reading wrong?
I know there is no rule of thumb and it takes multiple gravity readings, but would it be safe to bottle.
If it is not ready, is there any way to make it stop any addition fermentation/souring so that it can be bottled as is?

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Old 02-02-2011, 11:06 PM   #2
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Put it in the fridge to stop fermentation. Take 2-3 readings and if it is still 1.018 then it is probably done fermenting. Really, you have had it in a secondary for a year. Couldnt imagine that it would not be ready to bottle.

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Old 02-03-2011, 12:20 AM   #3
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Finishing that high with bugs seems unusual.

If the cantillon dregs were dead, you could end up that high just from the Brett-C.

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Old 02-03-2011, 01:43 AM   #4
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Cantillon isnt the best sour beer to culture from, as its generally pretty old by the time it makes its way to the states

1018 is way too high to bottle with a sour, did you make a big starter with the brett C? somewhere in the ballpark of 4L?

If i were you I would get ahold of a bottle of JP calabaza blanca, and add the dregs to the beer, Im guessing that at least another 10pts will come off before its done, also in my experience if you have a pellicle drop you make sure not much O2 gets to the beer or you will have 5 gal of nail polish remover on your hands

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Old 02-03-2011, 02:23 AM   #5
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No, I did not use a starter with the Brett C.
I can't say for sure, but I think the Cantillon that I used was within 6 months of bottling.
Since moving to secondary I have only opened the carboy 4 times, including today. Is opening it today already too much oxygen?
I have another beer that is ready to be soured, I was going to use roselare. Could I splint a package between the two since they are already mostly done?
If I do pitch more dregs will I be waiting another year before it's done?
If it has been mostly just the Brett working could I just bottle (or keg) it?

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Old 02-03-2011, 02:08 PM   #6
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- Cantillon still isnt my first choice, as they are aged quite a bit before bottling

- too much 02

- Yes, although the WY/WL cultures arent as hardy as the bottle dregs

- No, my guess is that with roeselare it will be a while, bottle dregs much less

- This one is tricky, Id bet you picked up at least something in there or else it wouldnt be sour, 1018 is very very high, I like my "clean" beers to finish lower than that, and it only takes a couple points to make a bottle grenade, kegging though would be ok

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Old 02-03-2011, 02:20 PM   #7
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Agreed with Ryan, I wouldn't bottle a sour above 1.010 unless I had a real reason to believe that it should stop higher (high original gravity, loads of crystal malt etc...). We just bottled a sour barrel aged sout that went from 1.080 to 1.014, and I'm still a bit nervous about it.

Give it some fresh bugs and leave it alone for another few months.

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