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Old 12-13-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
Morkin
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Default Pellicle on Flanders Red Ale

I'm planning on a Flanders Red next week. Problem is, I only have a bucket and 5 gallon fermenter available, as I'm lagering some beer in my other fermenters....

I was planning on a 5.5 gallon batch, with primary fermentation done in the bucket with airlock, then a transfer to a 5 gallon fermenter for the bugs to go into.

I'm planning on putting a little less in the secondary to account for the pellicle formation, but I want to know how tall to expect the pellicle to be...

I've never made a Flanders before, is the pellicle as tall as krausen, or is it just a little film on top of the beer? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,

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Old 12-13-2010, 07:32 PM   #2
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I've never made a Flanders before, is the pellicle as tall as krausen, or is it just a little film on top of the beer?
the pellicle is very thin so don't worry about space. in fact try to leave as little air space as possible in the vessel. a pellicle only forms in the presence of O2. see here pellicle photos: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/pel...ection-174033/
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:25 AM   #3
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i thought that the microbes need a small steady supply of oxygen to sour the beer in a timely manner. are you saying the beer will sour the same way without creating a pellicle if you can limit the O2?

i'm glad you asked this question because i just pitched bugs into a 5 gallon fermenter with the concern of too little surface area for the pellicle.

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Old 12-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #4
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i thought that the microbes need a small steady supply of oxygen to sour the beer in a timely manner. are you saying the beer will sour the same way without creating a pellicle if you can limit the O2?

i'm glad you asked this question because i just pitched bugs into a 5 gallon fermenter with the concern of too little surface area for the pellicle.
I'm just gearing up to do my first sour beer. From my understanding (and obviously I'm no expert) you want some O2 so that you get some acetic acid, but not too much that it turns the beer to vinegar. themadfermentationist.com is an excellent resource. Apparently you don't want to sweat it if you don't get a pellicle, either.

I have a surpless of cornys so was going to ferment initially with neutral yeast (high mash temp) in a carboy to about 1.025 before transferring it to a keg and adding the oak and bugs. Nor very scientific, but I think I'll just crack the lid once every few months so that some O2 gets in there. I also read somewhere (I forget where) that a carboy with a carboy cap would likely work well as it's slightly porous. Also heard that using a bucket is a bad idea because it is too porous, but seen contradictory comments that some home brewers have made outstanding sour beers with buckets.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:50 PM   #5
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Where do you get the Oak stoppers that Jamil talks about? Is it just the oak dowls that you can get from northernbrewer and austinhomebrew? Or do you have to stick them into a stopper? Also, how is C02 released when you stop it up like that?

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Old 12-14-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
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Where do you get the Oak stoppers that Jamil talks about? Is it just the oak dowls that you can get from northernbrewer and austinhomebrew? Or do you have to stick them into a stopper? Also, how is C02 released when you stop it up like that?
Take a peek here. I'm pretty sure the mad fermentationist posts here sometimes in HBT. His blog has lots of good stuff about "funk".

http://www.themadfermentationist.com...ew-barrel.html

Good luck with it.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:56 PM   #7
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He goes by OldSock here. Helps out a lot in the lambic/sour section of the forums. Somewhere I read on his website he doesnt bother with the wood stopper anymore.

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Old 12-14-2010, 08:43 PM   #8
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Where do you get the Oak stoppers that Jamil talks about? Is it just the oak dowls that you can get from northernbrewer and austinhomebrew? Or do you have to stick them into a stopper? Also, how is C02 released when you stop it up like that?
I think the originals were oak chair legs from the hardware store that fitted in the corboy opening.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:31 PM   #9
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I think I'll just crack the lid once every few months so that some O2 gets in there. I also read somewhere (I forget where) that a carboy with a carboy cap would likely work well as it's slightly porous. Also heard that using a bucket is a bad idea because it is too porous, but seen contradictory comments that some home brewers have made outstanding sour beers with buckets.
using a corny works well. just try not to touch it too much. for all you know there IS a pellicle inside that you can't see, and if you open it and disturb the gentle monster it may fall prematurely. not a big deal, but patience is key! wait as long as possible before opening. an oak barrel will allow a certain amount of O2 in and out of the barrel which is really optimal, but a corny will work by pulling the pressure release from time to time. taking the ball lock off and replacing with a bung and airlock works great, too.

buckets will expedite souring since it's so porous, but if you walk a fine line it may work out well. it will also expedite your precious sour to vinegar. i've aged with plastic for up to a few months, but no long term aging. there are stories of failing buckets and losing whole batches so why risk a long term project like this...
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessup View Post
using a corny works well. just try not to touch it too much. for all you know there IS a pellicle inside that you can't see, and if you open it and disturb the gentle monster it may fall prematurely. not a big deal, but patience is key! wait as long as possible before opening. an oak barrel will allow a certain amount of O2 in and out of the barrel which is really optimal, but a corny will work by pulling the pressure release from time to time. taking the ball lock off and replacing with a bung and airlock works great, too.
I was planning on replacing the gas connector with an airlock, and when it's done to do a CO2 push for bottling and further aging. Do you think I need to cut an inch off the bottom of the dip tube? Not too bothered about clarity but getting the tube blocked after a year and a half of waiting because of pellicule debris, yeast and other particulates would be rather annoying.
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