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Old 05-10-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
bribo179
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Default Flanders Red Input

After sampling a few Lambics and Flanders Reds I want to make some of my own. I'd like to age some of it on sour cherries and some possibly on cranberries.

I have been all grain brewing for awhile and have about 30 batches under my belt and I have enough patients to brew a beer and let it sit downstairs in my basement for a year or more. My question is...

What recipe would you guys recommend? I don't know if i want to do the Landers Fred recipe or maybe Jamil's recipe. I kind of like the idea of the Landers Fred, making 2 5 gallon batches staggered over 4-5 months and then blending them 50/50 and then letting them sit on my fruit for another few months.

I also was thinking about OldSock's Lambic 3 turbid mash ...but since this is my first attempt at a sour I want to start a bit easier than this.

Since I have never brewed a sour I really would like some input. The underlying beer needs to be something that would take readily to fruit.


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Old 05-10-2012, 01:52 PM   #2
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the book wild brews by jeff sparrow has some pretty nice recipes in the back complete with mash and fermentation schedules. It's also a pretty good read if you are getting into these types of beers.


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Old 05-10-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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I brewed Jamil's Flanders Red from Brewing Classic Styles. Batch #1 was brewed last October and #2 was brewed last month. I haven't tasted #2 yet but #1 is tasting great. I've been fermenting in Better Bottles in a basement utility room and pitching dregs from commercial sours whenever I have them.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by microbusbrewery View Post
pitching dregs from commercial sours whenever I have them.
Is that a normal practice to keep adding yeast and bacteria over the course of the aging? Does it help speed things up any?
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #5
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Did you rack and pitch batch number 2 into the original fermenter?
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:39 PM   #6
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I brewed Jamil's Flanders Red from Brewing Classic Styles.
microbusbrewery - Did you follow the clean ferment using Cal Ale then wild pitch or wild pitch right at primary? I just did the former in January and also threw in dregs from 2 commercial sours just for kicks.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:28 PM   #7
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Is that a normal practice to keep adding yeast and bacteria over the course of the aging? Does it help speed things up any?
I can't remember where I first heard about pitching dregs, but I know I've heard it on a few different podcasts and also read about it on oldsock's blog (http://www.themadfermentationist.com)...maybe in some books too. I suppose it could speed things up, but I think it's more about adding complexity by getting deifferent bugs from different sources.

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Did you rack and pitch batch number 2 into the original fermenter?
Nope, #1 has been in the same fermenter since brew day back in October. I know some people rack to secondary but I'm planning on keeping mine in the same fermenter until they're ready to bottle. When #1 is ready to bottle, I'll add the oak cubes from #1 to #2.

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microbusbrewery - Did you follow the clean ferment using Cal Ale then wild pitch or wild pitch right at primary? I just did the former in January and also threw in dregs from 2 commercial sours just for kicks.
For #1 I pitched Roeselare from the start; no other yeast strains were added (except for dregs). I did the same for #2, but it was an older smack pack of Roeselare (about 6 months old). I wasn't seeing any signs of fermentation for a couple days so I went ahead and added some WLP001 to help kickstart fermentation. I'm really interested to see if #2 develops differently because of the older smack pack.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:37 PM   #8
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I did a Flanders red in February roughly following Jamil's recipe, and pitched Roselare straight in the primary and after fermentation slowed I added some Russian River and lambic dregs I had cultured in sterile wort starters (8oz jars). 2 weeks ago I took a sample and it went from 1.055 in Feb to 1.009 in less than 3 months. It's pretty sour already too, like Rodenbach sour. The taste is fantastic, similar to any good commercial Flanders that I've had.

I think I'll be kegging half of this batch soon, just to have a tasty sour on tap - the rest will be bottled in Belgian bottles to see how it changes over time.

The point is that if you pitch Roselare or bugs in primary, you'll likely have a more sour beer that will sour more quickly than if you do a clean ferment and then add bugs later. But, if you are going to add fruit (which provides additional sugar for the bugs later on as well as some tartness), you might start with a clean ferment and pitch bugs in secondary, since the fruit you add later will add more acidity to the beer as the bugs feed on the added sugars.

Edit: One change I did to Jamil's recipe was cut back on IBUs. His recipe has 16 IBUs, I went about 11. I think that allowed the lacto to do it's thing more quickly since it wasn't restricted by the hops.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:05 PM   #9
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Edit: One change I did to Jamil's recipe was cut back on IBUs. His recipe has 16 IBUs, I went about 11. I think that allowed the lacto to do it's thing more quickly since it wasn't restricted by the hops.
Good point. I hadn't thought of that, but that might be why my #1 already has a real nice lacto character. I used aged homegrown hops in mine, so I'm really not sure what the IBU level was. Mine is pretty tart right now but it's still missing the acetic acid character that I would associate with Rodenbach Grand Cru...hopefully it'll get there in the next couple months.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:23 AM   #10
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I have enough patients to brew a beer
How do you get them to brew for you doc?


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