Tasting a sour beer that's aging in a glass carboy. - Home Brew Forums
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
scoundrel
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Apr 2010
Ellicott City, MD
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With barrels, the method of choice to taste aging sour beer seems to be driving a stainless steel nail in the underside to avoid the pellicle and avoid adding oxygen. I could try this with my glass carboy but I suspect it will result in a trip to the emergency room So, what is the best way to taste your beer when aging in a glass/better bottle? Removing the airlock will let oxygen in and I don't want to disturb the pellicle if one forms. This has been a mystery to me since I know many people age their beer this way. Thank you all!



 
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:21 AM   #2
tasq
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Mar 2010
Denver, Colorado
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A wine thief works well, but I feel it pulls too much at once. I just hold my thumb over the bent tip on a racking cane, and pull out a small sample that way. You know... it is like pulling liquid out of your drink with a straw like we did when we were kids.


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Old 05-04-2011, 06:08 PM   #3
marqoid
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Feb 2010
Tucson, Arizona
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I had the same question. Does removing the airlock allow too much O2 in?
I have a Kriek that has been aging for ~1 year and have only opened the bottle once, at that time my gravity was still way too high and everyone responded to leave it alone and I had already exposed it to too much O2 by opening it once.
What gives?
What's too much O2? How and how often should these beers be tested for gravity and taste?

 
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:20 PM   #4
RJSkypala
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Jun 2008
Philadelphia, PA
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If its in glass I would think you wouldn't have to be extremely concerned about any serious oxidation just from taking samples. There is, to a degree, an amount of oxygen needed by souring microbes anyway. I may be totally off but if the major commercial sour brewers age in barrels then us homebrewers should not have to worry about small amounts of oxygen entering when we take samples, provided the carboys are sitting still and have an airlock on them the rest of the time.

 
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
tasq
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Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJSkypala View Post
If its in glass I would think you wouldn't have to be extremely concerned about any serious oxidation just from taking samples. There is, to a degree, an amount of oxygen needed by souring microbes anyway. I may be totally off but if the major commercial sour brewers age in barrels then us homebrewers should not have to worry about small amounts of oxygen entering when we take samples, provided the carboys are sitting still and have an airlock on them the rest of the time.
I agree 100%.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:14 PM   #6
Almighty
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Jan 2009
San Diego, CA
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I sample mine at the 6 month mark and then every 3 months after. I would use a wine thief, but I don't have one. Instead I use my auto-siphon that has been designated to the sour side. I fill just enough to take a hydrometer reading, which is 4 oz.
I try not to destroy the pellicle, but it happens once in a while. I don't think the added oxygen every 3 months is going to ruin the beer. Plus I also take this time to add more maltodextrin, fruit or fresh wort to feed the bugs depending on what I think the beer needs. This produces some CO2 and will fill the head space pretty quickly.



 
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