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Old 07-16-2009, 08:03 PM   #1
Matt Up North
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Default Barrel Aged Sour Beer

Allright, so let me just start by saying a couple of things. If it weren't for Russian River Brewing Company, I would never ever ever think of making this beer. I have a friend that took me there about three years ago and I had Deification which was (I would think) a kind of lead up to Consecration because it was a barrel aged sour on Plucots. So I have to thank my friend as well for introducing me.

Then with the terrible thread that nobody should read about some guys across the country that decided to clone Consecration. They actually put it into my head to go forward with making an insane quantity of beer. I am not even going to link the thread mentioned because it is far too long and full of BS that if you read it, it will officially dumb you down. You will then become like them and start talking about which farm animals you really want to take out on a friday night. Alright, here is the thread.

So this is still in the design stage, so go with me here.

I sat down yesterday with a good friend that makes some sweet beers. He tasted me on a couple of barrel aged beers he has going and also on a sour that just bottled. It was fantastic! 6% abv, summery, refreshing, sour, complex and beautiful. We chatted about style, barrels to use, different bugs, recipes and technique. We haven't decided on a recipe yet, but will have one in the next week hopefully or so.


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Old 07-16-2009, 08:15 PM   #2
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You thread jacked me, so I'll thread jack you! Any way, I too just started a sour (flanders red) about 4 weeks ago, and Pitched the WL-Sour ale blend about 3 weeks ago after I split the 10 gallons in to two secondary fermenters.

I'm souring mine in a Corny keg with a missing In valve, and just have a tube with some foil over it, to get air flow and help the bugs work. I tried pitching some Oak chips in with the beer, but was told from the guys at the LHBS that I should have leached out the Oak chips before pitching them, or they will over power the beer aging for over a year with Oak flavors.

The good thing is I can smell the souring already, but I cant really taste it. So now the trick is to get the oak chips out...or I might just leave them in and blend the beer with come young beer next year.

I'd like to hear how the barrel aging goes, how much do you plan on brewing?



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Old 07-16-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
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Meh, just rack off the chips. The added oxygen it would seem to me would just make the bugs grow. Watch out for acetobacter though because remember, you are making spoiled beer, not spoiled vinegar.

I have a corny of high gravity that I am going to add Brett to tomorrow and it will ferment in a corny. Since I have two cornies I am going to brett them both and try to get the gravity down to around 1.008 or less.

Good luck and post away. You can't Jack This!
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post

I'm souring mine in a Corny keg with a missing In valve, and just have a tube with some foil over it, to get air flow and help the bugs work. I tried pitching some Oak chips in with the beer, but was told from the guys at the LHBS that I should have leached out the Oak chips before pitching them, or they will over power the beer aging for over a year with Oak flavors.

The good thing is I can smell the souring already, but I cant really taste it. So now the trick is to get the oak chips out...or I might just leave them in and blend the beer with come young beer next year.
I wouldn't worry about taking your oak out, unless you put in more than an oz or two. You'll get to a point where the oak will hit its peak and then start fading away (at least in my experience). Over a year I think you'll be fine.

Plus the brett will eat up the cellulose and other stuff in there. When your brew is done you might not even have any recognizable oak chips in there
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
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Thanks, I'll most likely leave them in, than risk adding any more bugs to the mix. The 5 gallons I split, is carbonating now and tastes real good, I can't wait till the sour is done though.
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:17 PM   #6
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Well I have been emailing back and forth with Wyeast about the bugs and the Brett and it seems to me that Brett can basically be considered a slow beer yeast (ie, takes longer but accomplishes the same thing) so a starter for Brett is made and fermented the same as for say WLP001. The bugs are slightly different as they like warmer temperatures and need a little bit smaller starter. So I am going to make up a 1L starter for the Brett I just picked up and will pitch that into my 10 gallons of high gravity beer to get it from 1.025 down to around 1.008 or less. I am ordering the bugs and they should be in by next week, so I will start them in a starter in the next three weeks or so, ready to pitch into 60 Gallons in August.

I know this is just a boring update, no real progress or recipe or pictures, but I will come through, I promise.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:19 PM   #7
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Are you planing on adding any Lactobacillus and Pediococcus? or just Brett.

Wow a starter for 60 Gallons will be quite a feat, I guess it will be a 6 gallon batch with out an air lock?
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:40 PM   #8
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Are you planing on adding any Lactobacillus and Pediococcus? or just Brett.

Wow a starter for 60 Gallons will be quite a feat, I guess it will be a 6 gallon batch with out an air lock?
Lacto and Pedio are needed for the souring for sure. I am using both. For a 60 gallon batch, the starter is 5L for the bugs and about 10L for the brett.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:50 PM   #9
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I was thinking about this the other day, are you going to keep a 5 gallon keg separate from the barrel, so you can re-fill the "Angels Share"of beer you will loose to evaporation.
I was doing a little research in to the topic and read that you have to consider replacing the beer lost to evaporation over the course of the year it will age, I don't know what temp this beer will be at, by i though I saw that at 70F you will lose about two pints a month, and more at higher temps.
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:03 PM   #10
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You are correct. I will make up around 70 gallons and have set aside some beer to top with. The key though that I have heard is that you want to top up in the first month or two, but not as much after because of the pellicle disruption. I could be off on this, but it is what I have heard and so that is what I am thinking I will attempt to do.

Second is that I was just reading a BYO article on Lacto and found that it is anerobic and that the oxygen will make other bad bacteria grow on it. Now if you are fermenting with brett, it should be keeping a little C02 blanket on the beer, but if not then you have a possible problem. Also, I read that Pedio creates C02 and Alcohol (Lacto only creates Lactic Acid) and so you might be safe there as well.

In all, I am new to it all, so I am just going off speculation. It is interesting though finding out all of these new things.


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