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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > souring a bottled and finished beer.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
deputyandy
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Default souring a bottled and finished beer.

I made a Belgian dark strong that didn't quite attenuate like I wanted it to. It's got a lot of residual sweetness, a sort of candies Apple flavor that's fairly dominating in the flavor. It dawned on me I could try and sour this beer by taking it out of the bottles(its been conditioning for a few months) and adding some dregs and bugs to try and sour it up. If I pour very gently, is this conceivable or am I just dreaming up reasons to pour my beer out?


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Old 11-04-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
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it's not inconceivable, but does the beer taste bad? That is a whole lot of effort if the beer isn't terrible.


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Old 11-05-2011, 12:18 AM   #3
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Its a combination of having a lot of it leftover for one guy and just sure curiosity. I guess i'm just wondering if it's even feasible to take the carbed beer out of bottles and sour it in bulk then rebottle it. i know it'd have to be done delicately but are there any real impediments besides tediousness?
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:24 AM   #4
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I wouldn't. It'll be oxidized for sure.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:52 AM   #5
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It's quite feasible to de-bottle a portion of a batch back into a carboy for further fermentation. Obviously, this plan B is a bit of a hassle but sometimes it is just the thing that can redeem a mediocre beer.

The fear of oxidation is overblown. I've done this with about four different ales in the last two or three years and in all cases so far I am far happier with the re-refermented ale over the original.

Decide what you're going to do to the beer. Are you adding Brett, oak or blending with another beer? Are you adding some sugar at the same time to help reinitiate fermentation? If you don't want to funk/sour this batch, you could always pitch some WLP099 and sugar to hyper-attenuate it. I've had quite pleasing results with 099 doing the finishing work that other sacc yeasts won't do.

To make it go smoothly, be sure to refrig all the bottles you plan to drain (be sure to save a few of the original batch so you can compare them!). Fill a blanket of CO2 in the carboy. Don't worry if you don't have a CO2 source, since the beer will vent protective CO2 as you pour it gently down the wall of the angled carboy.

Happy experimenting.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:11 PM   #6
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I'm leaning toward oaking it with some wyeast Lambic Blend and maybe some dregs from a commercial sour. why not go all out? I'm just a little worried about how attenuated it is and how much there is for bug to munch on in it.

I've heard differing opinions on whether you can achieve a good sourness with only secondary souring vs souring from the start. i'm curious to see if this will work!
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyandy View Post
why not go all out?
because its already in bottles...this batch is finished. Issues with your proposal aside (oxidation, etc) For the amount of work you are talking, you can brew a new batch and experiment on that one.

Just my 0.02. I also think that people spend alot of time trying to "make a silk purse out of sow's ear" when they should instead cut their losses on a batch and just move on. Again, my opinion.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:42 PM   #8
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Aside from opening the number of bottles i need to get one gallon to bulk age, what other obstacles would there be?
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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Just empty enough bottles to fill a 1 gallon jar. Add some dregs and enjoy a small amount of this beer soured.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:35 PM   #10
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If your beer is carbonated you can blend in a glass with a second beer to achieve what you are looking for.

I had a sweet Quad that I blended with a sour raspberry before serving. That worked out really well for me.

Good luck.

BW


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