Roeselare + dregs + stable fg = ready to bottle at 7 months?

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tyrub42

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Hi everyone,

I'm living in an apartment where the ambient summer temp gets up to around 95f/34c. I've had a sour going that's currently at 7 months and I'm wondering if y'all think I'm safe to bottle it now. Here's all the important info:


-Sour red ale with mulberries added
-Mulberries have been in the fermenter for 5 weeks so far and I'm about to take them out
-Yeast is Roeselare gen 1 plus Lindemann's and Boon dregs
-OG: 1.055
-FG: 1.004 (been 1.004 for 2 months so far but maybe the mulberries make that less reliable?)
-current age: 7 months
-temp range (approximate): 65 for the first two months, then 75 for the second two months, 85ish for the next 1.5, and 90ish for the last 1.5

My plan as of now is to bottle them and prime the bottles for low carbonation of about 2vol, in case it moves down another point or two. I figure I don't mind lower carbonation on a sour, and the bottles I'm using are thicker than standard bottles (about halfway between a standard American bottle and an Orval bottle).

The reason I'm keen to bottle is that I can store them at a friend's place around 75 once they are bottled, which I think would be better for the beer.

Do you think this seems like a safe plan? This way I'm basically happy and safe if the beer stats at it's current gravity, and stay safe even if it goes down another 2 points.

There are two other backup plans as well:

-plan b: add Ultra Ferm a week before bottling. Safer but I feel like it could have a negative effect on flavor?

-plan c: take out the mulberries and leave the fermenter in 95 degrees for another 3 months to be safer. But I can't help but think it'll be bad for the beer to sit so hot for so long, and it would take away lots of mulberry freshness.

Anyway, sorry for the long thread, but thought I'd see what everyone thought.

Thanks!
Tyler
 
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tyrub42

tyrub42

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I think this is solid and well thought out. If it was 1.004 before and after the mulberries, you're safe to bottle.
Consider using something like CBC-1 and yeast nutrient /Go-Ferm to re-yeast; ensure a good bottle conditioning.

Thanks for the tip! I don't have cbc-1, but I have t58 + go ferm or champagne yeast + go ferm. Looks like the champagne yeast is pretty close to cbc-1 from the description. I'll go with that 🍻🍻🍻
 
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I made roeselare sours several times. I tasted throughout, and I should have bottled at 6 mo. At 1 yr, they were too dry and too sour. Not sure all that stops when you bottle, but my suggestion is don't let it go too far, you might not like it as much.
 
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tyrub42

tyrub42

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I made roeselare sours several times. I tasted throughout, and I should have bottled at 6 mo. At 1 yr, they were too dry and too sour. Not sure all that stops when you bottle, but my suggestion is don't let it go too far, you might not like it as much.

Thanks! Do you know if the gravity dropped much from 6 months to 1 year? If so, any idea how many points?

I think that would continue in the bottle, but I'd have the freedom to refrigerate them and stop it if need be once it's in bottles, so that's a plus
 
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Thanks! Do you know if the gravity dropped much from 6 months to 1 year? If so, any idea how many points?

I think that would continue in the bottle, but I'd have the freedom to refrigerate them and stop it if need be once it's in bottles, so that's a plus

No idea. But intuition is that it did not. I really don't know. Roeselare made some very nice sours for me, I got compliments from folks who appreciate these things. But for my palate, would have been better if I stopped earlier.

In winemaking, kmeta (potassium metabisulphite) is used to suppress wildlings from affected wine after some point. Maybe something there for sour makers.
 
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tyrub42

tyrub42

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Hey this is likely going to have to be a separate thread, but just wanted to check here if any of you have input on it.

My other long-term fermentations haven't been fruited. When I bottle them I have always calculated carbonation at .5 vol higher than what the brewer's friend calc says, in order to compensate for CO2 that came out of solution during the aging process.

My instinct here is not to do that, since it's been fruited recently (fruit added twice, last addition was 5 weeks ago and is still in there), and instead just take the brewer's friend calculator at face value.

Does this seem like the right move? Or should I still count on the dissolved CO2 to be lower than what the calculator shows? FWIW that calculator is generally accurate for me with regular 2-week sacc fermentations.
 

cactusgarrett

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Check this out.

Yeah, it's a blending calculator, but it can be used for single components, also. I use it for bottling sours that have sat long-term or are barrel aged. The tool takes into account the highest temp the beer has sat at, and factors in the corresponding lost/off-gassed CO2. I've used this for years; pretty solid. It also tells you how much sugar and yeast is needed to re-yeast and bottle condition.
 
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No idea. But intuition is that it did not. I really don't know. Roeselare made some very nice sours for me, I got compliments from folks who appreciate these things. But for my palate, would have been better if I stopped earlier.

In winemaking, kmeta (potassium metabisulphite) is used to suppress wildlings from affected wine after some point. Maybe something there for sour makers.
I'm fermenting a beer with Roeselare right now and curious where you think the sweet spot is in terms of maturation. Its finishing primary now and going to be racked onto some sour cherries when appropriate; when do you think is best to add the fruit and how long should I let it run before bottling in your opinion?
 
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I'm fermenting a beer with Roeselare right now and curious where you think the sweet spot is in terms of maturation. Its finishing primary now and going to be racked onto some sour cherries when appropriate; when do you think is best to add the fruit and how long should I let it run before bottling in your opinion?

IMO add cherries (and currants, dates, etc) after a month of fermentation. I've waited longer, but I don't think that's a good idea. By then the bacteria are going strong and if you feed them you'll get it really sour, which I like to avoid. So add the fruit while the yeast is still active and barley fermentation is complete.

After adding all fermentables, taste it once a month. I know what my palate likes - and that is slight tart but not too much. In the past, I got excited and let it go for a long time and it got way too tart and way too acidic, and it was heartburn city. So, for ME, I'd add the fruit and taste until it got just slightly tart then pull it.

It's been a while since I bottled, but if you want to keep the germs from continuing to change this beer, you might consider pasteurization. Maybe kmeta (does that kill bacteria?)
 
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IMO add cherries (and currants, dates, etc) after a month of fermentation. I've waited longer, but I don't think that's a good idea. By then the bacteria are going strong and if you feed them you'll get it really sour, which I like to avoid. So add the fruit while the yeast is still active and barley fermentation is complete.

After adding all fermentables, taste it once a month. I know what my palate likes - and that is slight tart but not too much. In the past, I got excited and let it go for a long time and it got way too tart and way too acidic, and it was heartburn city. So, for ME, I'd add the fruit and taste until it got just slightly tart then pull it.

It's been a while since I bottled, but if you want to keep the germs from continuing to change this beer, you might consider pasteurization. Maybe kmeta (does that kill bacteria?)
THANK YOU!
 
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BTW, each time you open the fermentor and add O2, you will increase the flavor of salad dressing (vinegar). At least with roeselare. So be careful and deliberate when opening fermentor.

I think complexity is a big positive with these roeselare beers. Be creative. Remember, the sweet will go away and leave the base flavor. I'd suggest things that aren't just sweet, dark fruits like dates and raisins and other stuff like mushrooms, peas and ginger root. Stuff like that. That's why we brew!
 

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I use thick wall Champagne bottles when bottling sours. I have about 40 of the 750ml size and maybe another 40 of the 330/355/375 ml size. I have them fitted with swing tops. Here are pictures of the tops, this one an old 355 ml Lindeman’s bottle.

Sours can continue to build pressure due to the bacteria continuing. A really strong bottle is recommended.

Champagne bottles use green glass, I ordinarily prefer brown glass, but the hopping levels are usually low with sours and I keep them out of the light and refrigerated to avoid skunking.
 

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