Funny thing happening to my beer

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savestheclash

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First off, disclaimer that this was an experimental beer idea and I knew going in that it may not turn out.

I brewed a Belgian Stout with dark cherries added and fermented it with a Belgian Sour Yeast Blend from White Labs.

The first few bottles were really enjoyable. Started off a stout as it was cold, bits of cherry coming through, especially in the aroma, then tart and cherry as it warmed up.

Had a bottle this weekend and it was still nice cold, really big stout and cherry. But as it warmed, it lost all decent flavors and took on a lifeless character, some weird flavors and a really thin mouthfeel.

Should note that it was bottled and carbonated with those new Prime Dose tabs from Northern Brewer, which contain sugar and a bit of yeast. Wondering if it's a yeast issue, or an issue that stems from mixing the sour yeast with the normal yeast in the carbonation stage. Or, simply a bad batch that may have been infected.

Wondering if anyone has any thoughts on where the issue might lie. Would love to brew it again and try some tweaks unless it simply sounds like a weird recipe concept from the get go.

Cheers!
 

Pie_Man

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Considering you added a mixed strain of yeast and bacteria, I would expect "funny" things to happen to your beer, that's kind of the point :).

That strain includes Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. The Brett and Pedio can take a lot longer than beer yeast to finish fermenting. I am guessing those two are slowly working on your beer. Many brewers let their sour beers ferment and age for at least a year, many times two or more years.
 

DocScott

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I think Pie Man's got it. The "wild" bugs in that yeast blend will continue to work on your beer long after the sacc. (beer) yeast do.

How long has it been since you fermented? You need to be careful of overcarbonating as well, as the yeast and bacteria will continue to ferment the sugars left behind by the sacc. yeast after the primary ferment. This will create excess CO2 and since they are bottled, can cause the glass to explode.

The concept of this brew sounds fair enough, but I think you probably rushed the fermentation on it. The wild strains need time to develop a population, digest their sugars, and then time to let everything meld together. This takes 1+ years in many cases.
 

broadbill

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Did you ferment this and bottle according to what you do for your typical beers (1-4 weeks in primary then bottle)?

If so, I wonder what that will mean for the lacto, brett and pedio doing their thing for the next year (i.e. bottle bombs?).

Don't know; I haven't done any sours....just thinking out loud.
 
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savestheclash

savestheclash

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Considering you added a mixed strain of yeast and bacteria, I would expect "funny" things to happen to your beer, that's kind of the point :).

That strain includes Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. The Brett and Pedio can take a lot longer than beer yeast to finish fermenting. I am guessing those two are slowly working on your beer. Many brewers let their sour beers ferment and age for at least a year, many times two or more years.

Thanks to all of you for the thoughts. I had this in primary for a month and then secondary for a few weeks. It has now been sitting in bottles for a month, and I think I'll let those age for a while before I pop another one.

May try this recipe again soon and let it age for a year or so. To do that, would I age it for a year in the carboy? Primary or secondary - not sure how to best utilize the yeast in that scenario.
 

DocScott

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I don't have much experience with sour beers, so others may be able to help more...

For long term aging, I would let it ferment out in primary, them transfer to a carboy and let the wild yeast/bacteria grow and work long term in the secondary. Long term aging of sours can be done in glass, wood, plastic. The more O2 permeable materials like wood and plastic make for more acetic flavors I believe. The one I tried is sitting in plastic carboy going on 8 months an is starting to get interesting now.


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