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Old 02-25-2013, 06:55 PM   #1
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Default Taking the plunge!!

Since they're so damned expensive to drink, I've decided to take the plunge and dedicate some equipment to sour brewing. My first batch will be a Flanders red loosely based on JZ's recipe in BCS. I'm hoping to brew this in the next week, but I have a couple (albeit neurotic) questions.

Mash temps? I was thinking of mashing at 154, per Jamil's recipe, but I've heard Vinnie C talk a lot about higher mash temps (158-160F) to leave more long chain sugars in the wort. I know Vinnie does a sacch ferment with his sours before letting the bugs take over, but if I want a really tart and sour beer would I be best to have as many "unfermentable" (by sacch) sugars in the wort as possible? I'm going for a very tart and sour beer, I want to pucker when I drink it.

I'm using the Roselare blend, and I know not to build a starter so the proportions in the blend stay as is. Question is though, do I need to be concerned with pitching rates like with sacch or does a single pack to the trick? OG is targeted at 1.057, I was thinking two smack packs, but if one's enough, that's even better.

Temps? Wy says a range of 65-85 with this blend. Will ~70 get me the right character, or should I keep this one warmer?

Adding dregs? I have a culture of bugs and brett made from dregs from the Bruery's Oude Tart, RR Supplication and 3Fonteinen Oude Gueuze that I want to throw into the mix. I was thinking that I'd add them after the main fermentation subsided, but before the Roselare pellicle formed. Good idea? Or should I just toss them in with the original pitch and let everything fight it out in the fermenter? I'm going for reeeeeeeeeally sour and a nice level of funk. I want tart and funky, my favorite Flanders is Cuvée des Jacobins, and I'd like this to be at least that tart.

Any thing I left out, or if you guys have any tips for a sour brewing n00b, fire away. Thanks!!

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Old 02-25-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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FWIW, I've only brewed one sour red and am brewing a second batch tomorrow.

I've got a bit of a step infusion mash fetish and I love a good cereal mash, so for my recipe I do both and follow the mash schedule from Wild Brews. Looks like JZs recipe skips the corn entirely. I'd probably mash in around 144 and then do a dextrin rest at 160-2 before mashing out at 170. Not sure what your rig is, but even if you mash in a cooler, it's pretty easy if you start around 1q/lb and add boiling water to raise the temp. Looks like he splits the difference and goes for 156 which is certainly easier.

You probably want to either pitch one pack, one pack + sacc, two packs, two packs + sacc, or one pack and your bottle culture or some combination of those. You might get some different opinions on this. None of them will be right and I doubt any will be wrong either. If we're voting, I'd say brew two and do half just bottle culture and half two packs. If you don't like that idea I'd say one pack + bottle culture.

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Old 02-25-2013, 11:39 PM   #3
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FWIW, I've only brewed one sour red and am brewing a second batch tomorrow.

I've got a bit of a step infusion mash fetish and I love a good cereal mash, so for my recipe I do both and follow the mash schedule from Wild Brews. Looks like JZs recipe skips the corn entirely. I'd probably mash in around 144 and then do a dextrin rest at 160-2 before mashing out at 170. Not sure what your rig is, but even if you mash in a cooler, it's pretty easy if you start around 1q/lb and add boiling water to raise the temp. Looks like he splits the difference and goes for 156 which is certainly easier.

You probably want to either pitch one pack, one pack + sacc, two packs, two packs + sacc, or one pack and your bottle culture or some combination of those. You might get some different opinions on this. None of them will be right and I doubt any will be wrong either. If we're voting, I'd say brew two and do half just bottle culture and half two packs. If you don't like that idea I'd say one pack + bottle culture.
Ha! After posting this, I was perusing the Wild threads and saw you were a regular. I was already planning on picking your brain.

I may be able to get my hands on some ECY Bug Country this week from a dude in my club. If I can, I'm using that, maybe along with a pack of Roselare. That's the combo my club has in our Flander's that's in a wine barrel ATM. I'll do my dregs once the main fermentation slows.Heard it's the bee's knees. I was thinking of mashing high high, like 158 in a single infusion. But I'd also read about the two step mash, and thought about it. I'll play around with it in BS2, see what it tells me. Is the two step really necessary since I'm not using anything other than barley and wheat? I'm mashing in a 10 gal bev cooler.

Here's the recipe as it sits ATM.

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 6.58 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.46 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated Color: 13.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 16.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 70.0 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4 lbs 10.4 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 38.9 %
4 lbs 10.4 oz Vienna Malt (Briess) (3.5 SRM) Grain 2 38.9 %
14.2 oz Munich 10L (Briess) (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 7.4 %
7.0 oz Aromatic Malt (Dingemans) (19.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.7 %
7.0 oz Caramunich II (Weyermann) (63.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.7 %
7.0 oz Special B (Dingemans) (147.5 SRM) Grain 6 3.7 %
7.0 oz Wheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann) (2.0 SRM) Grain 7 3.7 %
0.80 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - Boil 60.0 mi Hop 8 16.2 IBUs
2.0 pkg Roselare Belgian Blend (Wyeast Labs #376 Yeast 9 -


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 11 lbs 15.2 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 14.93 qt of water at 170.5 F 158.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.99gal, 3.29gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
------


Created with BeerSmith 2 - http://www.beersmith.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am sort of looking for a "like usual" brew day for this one. First because it's my first sour, and second because a buddy who wants to learn AG is likely brewing with me. If I can get away with a single infusion and still have a really good beer, awesome. If not, well, then me and my buddy are gonna learn something new this weekend.

Thanks for chiming in, man.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:59 PM   #4
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Looks like our trade just got better for you.

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Old 02-26-2013, 12:07 AM   #5
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From my experience, I get another couple points with the 140s/160s approach than a single step. Since you're doing a 6 gallon batch in a bigger cooler, you can mash in at whatever ratio you normally use, and then have room to add enough boiling water to get it up to 160ish. I think that's a good plan and it's fun to put some extra effort in on brew day when you won't be drinking the beer for 18 months. I'm a long boil fan, I'm doing 120 tomorrow. The first batch, I had to go make a delivery, so I sparged twice and boiled 4 hrs.

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Old 02-26-2013, 12:32 AM   #6
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Dude, you rock!! The only quality yeast I can hook you up with ATM is Conan. Or I can get you some more beer, either way, thank you!! I'm playing around with the double infusion mash on BeerSmith. I've honestly never done more than a single with a mashout, but it's essentially the same thing. When you say a few more points, do you mean the OG, FG or both?

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Old 02-26-2013, 12:40 AM   #7
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OG. Maybe gained 3% efficiency. - It's been about 10 weeks since I brewed and haven't checked the gravity. I think I'll have 5.5 gallons to rack over tomorrow, no idea what to do with the extra 1/2 gallon.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:20 AM   #8
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So when you rack after that initial ferment, are you adding more cultures or just letting what rides over to finish 'er off? Or is ECY20 that much of a beast? Skeezerpleezer said it got his Tart of Darkness clone sour sour after ~6 weeks. Not sure of the SG at this time though.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:48 AM   #9
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Nordeast- What type of investments did you have to make to get dedicated sour equipment? Is it everything that touches the beer after yeast pitch? I'm thinking some tubing, siphon, fermenter, airlocks, etc. What about stirplates? Do you have dedicated stirplates for getting the bugs up from dregs? I'd love to start soon. I see ECY01 will be releasing soon, which sounds like it is ECY020 for 2013.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:57 AM   #10
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So when you rack after that initial ferment, are you adding more cultures or just letting what rides over to finish 'er off? Or is ECY20 that much of a beast? Skeezerpleezer said it got his Tart of Darkness clone sour sour after ~6 weeks. Not sure of the SG at this time though.
The 'flanders' i've got going is a pack of saf05 and two wlp665. I'll probably taste when I rack, but at 2 1/2 months, i'm assuming it's gross. Not expecting to be drinking it unti 2014. Not adding anything when I rack, just getting it off the yeast. I've had some sours, both homebrew and commercial, with autolysis defects and it makes diacetyl seem yummy.

Not sure how ECY20 will go in a red. Probably great, I've got mine in a pils/wheat base. You'll either want to pitch it with sacc or do a starter for half. I've had it for a couple months, bought 3 for a barrel I never got only used 1.

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Nordy- What type of investments did you have to make to get dedicated sour equipment? Is it everything that touches the beer after yeast pitch? I'm thinking some tubing, siphon, fermenter, airlocks, etc. What about stirplates? Do you have dedicated stirplates for getting the bugs up from dregs? I'd love to start soon. I see ECY01 will be releasing soon, which sounds like it is ECY020 for 2013.
If you soak in oxyclean and then starsan, i doubt you'll have problems. I have common equipment, brew several times a week, and do about half 'funky' and half 'clean' with no problems to date.
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