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Old 06-08-2010, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Time to bottle?

I've had a pLambic (kriek) sitting on cherries and bugs in secondary for a little over 10 months now. I hadn't sampled it for 9 months until the other day. To me, it's tasting about as good as I expected it to. Gravity reading is 1.010.

I know that usually 6-9 months is considered about enough time but I'm a bit concerned about the gravity being only at 1.010. According the BJCP guidelines this is right at the upper end of the style. Though I'm not looking to compete with it I am just a bit concerned about possibly creating bottle bombs since it's still what one may consider not fully fermented out yet. And according to a bottle priming calculator I've used it's calling for about 7 oz of corn sugar. That's a pretty large amount. Though I understand it's because this style needs to be highly carbed, again I'm concerned about bombs especially when giving the bugs this much more food...

So the question is: Do you guys think it's "safe" to bottle?

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Old 06-08-2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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I don't think you can get bottle bombs at 1.010 unless you REALLY overprime.

What was your OG? Most yeasts attenuate around the 75% range.

It's really simple math. Take your OG and divide by 4 for a projected FG. For instance an OG of 1.060 will be 60 / 4 = 15. The 15 is your projected FG. For an OG of 1.040 the FG would be 10, etc.

Yes, generally speaking 7 oz of CS is a lot to prime with, but if the recipe calls for it then it should be good. Did the recipe give you any projected OG/FG readings?

Overall, I'd say it's bottling time.

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Old 06-08-2010, 03:11 PM   #3
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I don't think you can get bottle bombs at 1.010 unless you REALLY overprime.
It only takes 3gravity points to drop off to carb to 3vols of CO2, 1010 is pretty high for a lambic style, especially with the added cherries, 10months is pretty young as well, Id bet that a few more points will drop off if given some more time

If you were to bottle now, and say primed normally and it dropped an additional 2-3pts you would have bottle grenades on your hands, you cant really move too quickly with sours and in my experience 1010 is to quick
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:17 PM   #4
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What was your OG? Most yeasts attenuate around the 75% range.
I dig that fact for yeast-only brews however, it's the fact that I have the lambic bugs in there that is causing me to ask this question. I know those suckers will eat anything and everything and I'd heard that even an FG of 1.010 is still risky since they work so slow.


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It only takes 3gravity points to drop off to carb to 3vols of CO2, 1010 is pretty high for a lambic style, especially with the added cherries, 10months is pretty young as well, Id bet that a few more points will drop off if given some more time

If you were to bottle now, and say primed normally and it dropped an additional 2-3pts you would have bottle grenades on your hands, you cant really move too quickly with sours and in my experience 1010 is to quick
This sounds awfully familiar and is probably why I had the "fear" in me to begin with! Thanks for the reminder here...I suppose I'll just practice more patience, let it sit, and see what happens.

My other concern is that I've had half of a pellicle for the past month or so and it doesn't seem to be growing any larger. Since it's an indication of oxygen in the fermenter and the pellicle isn't "complete" I am a bit concerned about acetobacter taking over. Would you see any issue with me racking it off the cherries at this point into tertiary so it can finish up? Or am I increasing my "vinegar lambic" risk even more by doing that?
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:51 PM   #5
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did you use brett only or a combo of bugs? if brett only you might be done w/ fermentation @ 1.010, but with a combo of lacto and pedio you can expect the brew to superattenuate to very low SG and be somewhat dry. you'll need extra CS to make up for the CO2 usually found in brew's that is lost over the long life of a sour. also, be sure to add new priming yeast since brett and bugs will not really prime a beer since they don't create CO2 as a byproduct of their munching. as for your 1/2 pellicle, what are you storing it in and how. if you have a carboy w/ airlock there's not much O2 exchange, and therefore you might not get a full pellicle.

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Old 06-08-2010, 07:37 PM   #6
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did you use brett only or a combo of bugs? if brett only you might be done w/ fermentation @ 1.010, but with a combo of lacto and pedio you can expect the brew to superattenuate to very low SG and be somewhat dry. you'll need extra CS to make up for the CO2 usually found in brew's that is lost over the long life of a sour.
I used the Wyeast Belgian Lambic Blend 3278 after I fermented with a regular ale yeast (can't remember what kind without my notes in front of me but probably Nottingham back then). 3278 has some brett and lacto but no pedio. What do you think about 1.010 with that info?

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as for your 1/2 pellicle, what are you storing it in and how. if you have a carboy w/ airlock there's not much O2 exchange, and therefore you might not get a full pellicle.

I am storing the beer in a glass carboy with an airlock...however, suckback has happened several times over the 10 months it's been sitting there and with the few samples I've taken recently more oxygen may have gotten in there than I would have liked...also, about half the cherries are still floating on top so maybe that has something to do with the 1/2 pellicle...about that: will they drop on their own eventually or will there just always be some at the top no matter what?

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also, be sure to add new priming yeast since brett and bugs will not really prime a beer since they don't create CO2 as a byproduct of their munching.
I've heard of pitching extra yeast at bottling but the question I have is how much and what type?
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:43 PM   #7
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3278 does contain pedio, in fact its pedio rather than lacto that is the primary souring bug in a lambic, lacto is much more prominent in flanders sour beers than in lambics

I still think 1010 is far too high, to top it off your only 10mos in, let it sit another 3 and see where your at

BTW, bottling something thats not quite ready is especially bad during the warm summer months, as all the bugs will become a lot more active due to the higher ambient temps

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Old 06-08-2010, 08:29 PM   #8
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3278 does contain pedio, in fact its pedio rather than lacto that is the primary souring bug in a lambic, lacto is much more prominent in flanders sour beers than in lambics
Interesting...I didn't see pedio mentioned on Wyeast's site but I may have missed it...good to know either way...

Thanks for the help everyone. I'll let this guy sit a couple more months.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:38 PM   #9
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Interesting...I didn't see pedio mentioned on Wyeast's site but I may have missed it...good to know either way...

Thanks for the help everyone. I'll let this guy sit a couple more months.
Pedio is a lactic acid bacteria, as is lactobaccilus, so the phrase on they wyeast site is a catch all for both types, if you ever noticed a ropiness or sliminess of the beer during fermentation, a lot of times people refer to it being sick, that time is usually due to the pedio population

"Contains a selection of Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces including Belgian-style wheat beer yeast, sherry yeast, two Brettanomyces strains and lactic acid bacteria. While this mixture does not include all possible cultures found in Belgian Lambics, it is representative of the organisms most important for the desirable flavor components of these beers as they are brewed in West Flanders."
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