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Old 02-10-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
dougdecinces
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Default Sour old ale suggestions/advice

I just bottled 10 gallons of my Flanders Red and am looking for something to use the 4 quart-sized jars of washed yeast I saved from that batch. I've kinda wanted to do a sour old ale for some time. I wanted to model the recipe somewhat around North Coast's Old Stock Ale: a very simple grain bill of just Marris Otter and various crystal malts. Here's the proposed recipe:

89% MO
5% Crystal 40
3% Crystal 120
3% Special B

1.071 OG, 20 IBU

First off, what does everyone think about the recipe. I'm also wondering if it would be better to pitch the yeast and the bugs at the same time, or should I mash really high and pitch the bugs in secondary? Any advice or opinions are appreciated.

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Old 02-10-2013, 01:40 PM   #2
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Hate to see an unanswered thread.
Looks cool to me. Is it roselare you havr washed? If so i say go ahaed and pitch it directly. From all accounts the second use will sour very quickly.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:32 AM   #3
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I suggest pitching the bugs with the yeast into the wort. I think that gets things going faster. It works well either way, but i think it's faster.

Also, I think you have it totally right with your grain bill. Something gentle, with not too much of anything. 10%ish crystal malt. You're good.

Just as long as you pitch some fresh yeast along with the bugs/dregs. I think you want fresh clean yeast to do the bulk of the ferment, like from a starter or something.

Either way it will be fine. I've done it both ways. It doesn't matter very much, especially if you have a simple balanced recipe.

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Old 02-16-2013, 04:53 PM   #4
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Just an opinion and, well, you know the saying...but I find that I usually don't care much for MO as a base for beers that are going to be particularly sour.

I think it's a great base for a traditional old ale (just a hint of sourness and funk) but it sounds like your making something that is going to be decidedly more sour than that. There's something about that grainy/biscuity quality that, to me, just seems to clash a bit with an aggressive sourness. Just throwing it out there.

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:18 AM   #5
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So I'm currently reading IPA by Mitch Steel. The part I've read thus far was the history and beers that were predecessors to IPA. Old Ale/Stock Ale was described as being amber or pale and I think you're onto something. My only experience brewing an old ale was the 11-11-11 recipe here and it turned out awesome with the Wyeast 9097 blend. The book discusses sourness and a 2 year aging period because of what is likely a pediococcus/lactobacillus contamination along with brettanomyces most definitely. I am actually hoping to make something similar myself but I'm weirded out about using pedio.

Anyhow I was thinking you could use any English yeast (I'd use low attenuating) and a fairly high mash temp. These beers were like 1.090 and up to like 1.110 I think according to the book. Then it was hopped to hell using 4% aa hops. Due to the purity and CFUs in your culture I'd do a staged fermentation. I'd add my low attenuating yeast and brett L from Wyeast (great cherry flavor). Then once that's gone as least 4 months I'd add the bacteria. It's tough to estimate the level of bacterial contamination in these beers. You could go with my suggestion or just go full bore. For full bore I'd just add my standardish pitch rate of the primary yeast and then just a tiny portion of the flanders culture from the get go.

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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Thank you for all the advice, everyone. I have a couple months until I actually try this beer, but I've got some good information to run on. At this point, it looks like I'll go the route of mashing high and adding the washed roselare in secondary. I might even add some bottle dregs from a brett beer to add to the funk a bit.

If I follow through with this, I will def. keep everyone posted.

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