Sour Ale fermentation vessel
I've been looking into sour ales and deciding which vessel is appropriate. I was thinking of doing the primary fermentation normally and then transferring to an ale pail for secondary (adding bugs here).
The thought is that the ale pail would help give the bugs plenty of oxygen to sour well. How long could I leave it in the ale pail like this without off flavors occuring?
This link should answer most of your questions.
you should not be using a bucket for long term secondary aging of sours/lambics/brett beers. you will let in too much O2 leading to too much acetic acid production. if anything, start with a bucket and use the carboy, better bottle, corny or even better and oak barrel for long term aging. in wild brews there's a chart that shows how much O2 is let into each vessel. the bucket itself breathes, not the gasket or lid at the top, but the actual plastic itself. some have asked about submerging a bucket in water, but even that's prob not the best idea.
here's some talk on using an ale pail for secondary:
and another thread with some good info:
compliments of landhoney:
"Some oxygen can be good, too much is bad. From 'Wild Brews':
Type // Gallons(size) // ( O2 cc/L/year )
Rodenbach tun(small) // 3,168 // .53
Wine Barrel // 80 // 8.5
Homebrew Bucket // 5.3 // 220
Glass Carboy w/wood stopper // 5.3 // .10
Glass Carboy w/immersion tube // 5.3 // .31
The last number is how much O2 gets in contact with the beer per Liter per year. So the homebrew bucket is letting in waaayyyy more than any barrel commercial brewers are using. And I don't think the plastic 'flavor' ever comes out into a beer. People do leave beer in them for many months, and I've never heard of anyone complaining about this."
I actually found that madfermentationist site just about an hour ago. I've been researching this all morning. It sounds like you only need O2 for the vinegary taste. I'm not a huge fan of that part of a sour ale so I shouldn't need to worry about it.
My only other question that that site didn't have an answer to is whether a secondary is needed or not? I've already decided that I will use the Roeselare Blend straight from the start. Is it preferrable to ferment for a few weeks in primary and then move to secondary for the remainder? Another thread I read had a few people say that no transfer is truly needed for a sour beer.
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