1st Sour Attempt (1st Post Ever)

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Hi All,

I'm really new to homebrewing (6 batches under my belt), and I'm brand new to sour brewing and this board.....in fact I'm so new that I don't really know what I'm doing post wise. i attempted to make this post last night, but i think i must have messed up because it is no where to be found.


Anyway, I have some questions that I hope you all can help me out with....The general plan with this beer is to let it sit in primary for a month or two before racking to secondary...perhaps on some oak and then on fruit for the last couple months....

Here is the recipe:

Malt & fermentables
% LB OZ Malt or Fermentable
55% 4 0 Briess Pilsen Light DME
21% 1 8 Malto-Dextrin info
14% 1 0 Briess Bavarian Wheat DME
5% 0 6 Belgian CaraVienne
5% 0 6 Belgian CaraMunich

hops
use time oz variety form aa
boil 60 mins 1.0 Saaz info pellet 3.9
Boil: 3.5 avg gallons for 60 minutes

Bitterness
10.8 IBU

yeast
Wyeast French Saison (3711)
I will also pitch dregs from one bottle of Orval and one bottle of Jolly Pumpkin 'the firefly'

O.G. 1.06
estimated final: 1.006
estimated abv: 7.2%

I have a few questions:
1. What do you think about the maltodextrin? i included it to feed the bugs because i fear that the 3711 will eat everything else. do you think this is too much maltodextrin, not enough, etc.?
2. what do you think about the malt bill in general? too much of anything? not enough?
3. what do you think about the abv? this is a question related to the malt bill...i'm concerned that the OG and the abv are too high.
4. as far as yeast....i got advice on another site to stress the 3711 a bit, so i am planning to pitch a small starter of it and not aerate the wort...what do you think of this advice? the rationale is that doing this will leave more stuff for the bugs to eat.

do you have any other general tips or advice? im excited to begin this but definitely very new to it.

thanks!
Joey
 

beeber

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I would remove the Malto-Dextrin totally and increase the Pilsen DME. If you want more body then increase the caravienne and caramunich to 10% each. There is no need, in my opinion, to "feed the bugs".

Have patience with the fermentation, your general plan looks reasonable. Make sure to age well in the bottle too.

I would put the fruit and oak in at the same time, no need to complicate the process by doing them individually. Be conservative with the oak, a little goes a long ways, especially with american oak.

7.2% is fine if you're looking for a heavier product. I've just finished 2 farmhouse ales, both under 5% abv and they are fantastic, maybe too easy to drink. Good luck!
 
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beeber...


thanks for the reply.

i guess my problems and questions right now illustrate the beauty of homebrewing well....lots of opinions and no 'best' way to do things....

i included the maltodextrin in large part because some veteran homebrewers suggested it was a good idea because the 3711 is such an aggressive yeast it may eat everything in sight (but won't eat maltodextrin)...

guess i have some thinking to do.

thanks again.
 

joshareed

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I do a very similar beer in both the grain bill and the yeast selection (3711 + JP dregs). The 3711 is a beast but I always get a nice level of Brett tartness without any maltodextrin. Mine comes in pretty low either right at 1.000 or just under. I always save a bit of the yeast cake for the next batch and then re-pitch it with a fresh 3711 smack pack in the primary.
 
OP
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thanks for the info....that's interesting that you are able to do a 3711 plus dregs beer without any maltodextrin. is your beer pretty sour? i may just give that a shot...

i really like the idea of saving some of the yeast cake too....great call. thanks.
 

Almighty

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One thing that I really like about use the 3711 in my Saisons is that it ferments down so low. And this makes it possible to dose the beer with Brett at bottling without a big fear of over carbonation.

So from one batch you can make a whole bunch of completely different beers. For example with my last batch of Saison
http://jeffreycrane.blogspot.com/2011/06/traditional-french-saison-big-brew-day.html
I kegged up 2.5 gals to be drank at a party.
Bottled
6 plain
6 w Jolly Pumpkin dregs
6 w Avery 15 dregs
6 w White Labs Brett C
all with priming sugar to 2.8 Volumes.

And remember that Brett (depending on the strain) does not produce much acid and if it does it is mostly acetic acid. Unless a good amount of oxygen is introduced.

So I don't think you gain too much from adding Brett upfront on this type of beer.
 

joshareed

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Not sour, more tart. As Almighty said, Brett doesn't really produce sour.

I'll also agree that with the 3711, adding Brett in the primary doesn't buy you much unless you're planning on funkifying the whole batch and are lazy like me :) Set it and forget it for a couple of months.
 
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