Time, Temperature and Sour Ales
About four months ago I made a Rodenbach Grand Cru clone using 3278. This is my first sour ale. It smelled like socks for a while, but now smells absolutely amazing.
1. I have heard that time is my friend, and the longer that I can allow the beer to age the better with sours. Can it age in a bottle, or should I keep it in the secondary?
2. I have heard that seasonal temperature variations help the brew in that some of the differing bacteria love the warmer temps summers, while others love the cooler winter temps. I try to live like a neanderthal man, and skip the A/C and keep heat to a mininum in the New England Winters. How warm is too warm and how cold is too cold?
Thanks, in advance for the replys!
#1 ) I think its good to age both places. A friend reported that after over a year in carboy his Flanders got more sour after some time in bottle. The problem with bottling too early is that the gravity will continue to drop in bottle, over carb, and booom!
What if the gravity is realllly low now, you ask? Can I bottle it then even if its only 4months? What's the difference?
I don't know the answers to these questions. I made a pLambic that got down to 1.002 in a few months, and because I was moving decided to bottle it way too early. But I know that the gravity can't drop much lower than it is already, so the bottles are safe. What affect on flavor this had, I can't say.
#2) Over 75F and your risking acetobacter turning the beer to vinegar if it can get any O2, and in Wild Brews it says something like below ~50F and you're really slowing the bugs down, colder and they go dormant till it warms up.
Hope that helps.
This answers my questions, and helps immeasurably. It is tough to find good resources on this genre of brews.
All the Best!
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