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Old 01-10-2013, 09:48 PM   #1
BroStefan
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I am brewing my first sour, a Flanders Red. I've read Wild Brews, Brewing Classic Styles and this forum but there are 1 or 2 things that are still unclear.

I use 6.5 gal carboys as primaries, I pitched a pack of 3763 and the fermentation went as expected. It is now 2 weeks in and I can smell wonderful things going on.

My question is about the headspace in the fermenter. Will that be a problem? Or should I let it go longer in the primary and rack to minimize head space? If so when? (In my normal brewing I am primary only unless I am lagering / bulk aging.)

Thanks.


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Primary -
Orange Blossom Mead
Long Winter's Nap English Barley Wine
Lagering -
Conditioning -

Tap 1 - British Golden Ale
Tap 2 - Titania American Wheat
Tap 3 - Helles
Tap 4 - 6 Jolly Fellows Porter
Tap 5 - Semi Sweat Mead
Tap 6 - Old Oddity Ale

Bottles - Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere clone, Long Winters Nap Barley Wine - 2012, 2013 & 2014, Flanders Red, Apple Pie Mead (Cyser) & some odds and ends
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:17 PM   #2
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IMO, this is basically the "should I secondary or not" debate, with one added plus to the 'not' side. It appears that Brett and other bacteria actually feed off the yeast cake, and this promotes a bit more sour and funk. Further the headspace in the fermenter is filled with CO2, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Most important thing is to let these yeasts age.

(n.b. I'm pretty new to brewing sours, so you should probably take my advice with a grain of salt)


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Old 01-11-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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headspace will be fine, its mostly CO2 at the moment and the brett in the mix will limit oxygen exposure once any gets in. i'd leave it in primary til you make another sour to throw on the cake

also, add some sour dregs to the mix if you can get any, Roe is too slow on its own
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:16 AM   #4
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I'm on the other side. I'd say rack as soon as fermentation slows. That way you get the beer off the trub for the long haul, and still have lots of yeast still in suspension to provide food for the Brett. Racking to a smaller vessel will also reduce the headspace, that while it is CO2 now, will eventually dissipate (the airlock and bung will breath, allowing O2 in and CO2 out).
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:34 AM   #5
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My opinion is that you should keep it on the yeast cake because:
A) 1st generation Roeselare is notorious for being weak.
B) Keeping it on the yeast cake increases the sourness which is wanted with a 1st gen Roeselare.
C) More headspace in the primary will add acidity which is actually wanted in the style your brewing (Flanders Red).
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
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The sour stout I'm doing is supposed to sit in the primary on Roeselare for a minimum of 6 months. It's also in a 6.5g carboy. Blanket of CO2 should keep things covered up and keep O2 from coming in, just make sure you keep your airlock filled with sanitizer.

If you do decide to rack to a smaller carboy I would make sure you try and suck up as much of the yeast as possible.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:54 AM   #7
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i just bottled a flanders red that was brewed march 3 2012 and it stayed in the same fermentor with oak and cherries the whole time, i don't see what could be a negative consequence of doing it this way. some people think it's important to get the beer off of the trub/yeast as if it's somehow bad but i don't see the science indicating that this is true.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder
I'm on the other side. I'd say rack as soon as fermentation slows. That way you get the beer off the trub for the long haul, and still have lots of yeast still in suspension to provide food for the Brett. Racking to a smaller vessel will also reduce the headspace, that while it is CO2 now, will eventually dissipate (the airlock and bung will breath, allowing O2 in and CO2 out).
Listen to Calder. Did an awesome homebrew funky beer swap tasting this week and the two beers that were left on the yeast had serious autolysis off flavors. It's a strange cured meat taste. Not good.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:42 PM   #9
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Thanks to all for sharing your experience. Reading the back and forth really clarified the issues. What I've done is rack to a 5 gal carboy, 1 week later I have a noticeable yeast layer on the bottom and I can smell really interesting things going on.
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Primary -
Orange Blossom Mead
Long Winter's Nap English Barley Wine
Lagering -
Conditioning -

Tap 1 - British Golden Ale
Tap 2 - Titania American Wheat
Tap 3 - Helles
Tap 4 - 6 Jolly Fellows Porter
Tap 5 - Semi Sweat Mead
Tap 6 - Old Oddity Ale

Bottles - Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere clone, Long Winters Nap Barley Wine - 2012, 2013 & 2014, Flanders Red, Apple Pie Mead (Cyser) & some odds and ends
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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How did this turn out? I'm pitching a no chill Flanders red tomorrow night with the roeselare and I'm curious how moving to secondary sooner worked for you.


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