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Old 01-25-2013, 07:00 AM   #1
Aug 2011
Carroll, IA
Posts: 452
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I have 3 sours gong right now, all in the 5-6 month range. One was a screwed up grain bill, planned IPA but added way too much acid malt, one Flanders red and one Flanders red/brown. The screwed up bill got turned into a Belgian Golden/Sour with WL Belgian Sour blend and tastes a lot like cider right now, the 1st Flanders is a solo pitch of Roselere and kind of bland, slightly tart and zero complexity. The last batch is a Flanders Brown with ECY 20 second generation and it is mouth puckeringly sour!

Question 1; I left the Belgian Sour blend alone, should I expect some more sourness as time goes on, or is it abut where it will be?

Question 2; I pitched some dregs ( JP, Boulevard Love Child, ODells Medler, PT Jack D or, etc) to the Flanders Red, should I feed some Maltodextrin to this to help the bugs?

Question 3; The Flanders with the ECY yeast is awesome, smells like sour cheery pie, tastes amazing, but the clarity is crap and it is a little "thick" and has a massive pellicle on top. I want to finish this beer up so I can pitch on the cake ASAP and maybe blend, can I cold crash this to clear it up or will that not take the thickness out?

These are my first sour attempts so please bear with me! I am happy with the flavors in the one I want to keg now, just looking to finish it off if possible. Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:08 AM   #2
bottlebomber's Avatar
Apr 2011
Ukiah, CA
Posts: 14,342
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2 aren't sour and one is ropy. They need more time. Don't take them off the yeast cake whatever you do.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:23 AM   #3
Nov 2011
Twin Lakes, WI
Posts: 1,001
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You need to give them all the time they need to finish up. I have a lambic that was brewed in August that tastes like meat. It just needs more time. The first lambic I brewed tasted the same around that age, but after nine months turned into a bright, lactic, funky wonderland of flavor. You can't rush the funky stuff.

If you want the yeast from the ECY 20, maybe try taking a gravity sample from under the pellicle and use that to inoculate the new beer. It won't be a perfect representation of the original blend, but given time it should produce a delicious beer.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
Nov 2010
Groton, CT
Posts: 24

Bottlebomber -what is the basis for not taking the beer of the yeast cake? Roger, you may get "slightly" less funk... but you will not in any way damage the beer. I have produced several very good sours (lambic and flanders red) by racking at about 4 months and putting a new wort on the yeast cake. The beer racked off was not done but had plenty of bugs to finish the job. The wort put on the yeast cake took >24 hours to start and got sour in a hurry (big surprise - the dominate bugs in the yeast cake were likely pedio and bret). All of my recent sour beers have used ECY (Bugfarm and Rodenbug last 2 years, this year I stared with Bugcounty) and have aged 1-1.5 years (could go longer but I am impatient).

The only real risk you will be taking by racking is not being able to fill the new container, ie excess oxidation (macro-oxygen vice micro-oxygen). I use other neutral beers to top off a carboy if I have excess head space.

Does anyone have experience where similar methods were not effective?


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Old 02-03-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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smokinghole's Avatar
Nov 2009
Lucid Dream Land
Posts: 2,920
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If you want some ECY20 yeast just siphon some out from the bottom of the carboy into a jar for repitching. I do it all the time for friends. I have a saison that is 100% fermented with lambic bottle yeast/bacteria I saved up as an experiment. I had a friend looking for something that will help them make a lambic in a barrel and I said "well I have got the thing for you". He gave me a 1L flask and I filled it with a siphon from the bottom of my 10 gal keg with the almost 10 gal of sour saison in there. You don't need alot of culture with these yeasts depending what you're making. With a flanders I suggest closer to tranditional pitch rates, but with lambic or other really funky beers I would suggest underpitching by at least 50% of what you'd typically use. I tend to go even more extreme than that. In a 10 gal batch I'll typically pitch 1/4 a ECY sized culture for a lambic or funky sour saison. This has given me amazing results in comparison to when I did full proper pitches.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:51 PM   #6
Feb 2010
Philadelphia, Pa
Posts: 75
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1. Yes it will get more sour over time. Just wait.

2. You could add more maltodextrin, but check gravity first. If it's about 1.008 or higher, there is plenty of residual sugar.

3. the thickness is problem the effects of Pediococcus. Lambic brewers often refer to this as the lambic getting "sick" it will pass in time. If you are impatient and want to brew with that blend again. You can draw the still fermenting beer into another ferment to continue aging and pitch new wort onto that yeast.

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