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Secondary w/ Bugs & Fruit - Sour Help

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Will my process be okay??

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RGIII

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Hey guys & gals, I've got a Belgian Dark Strong ripping away in primary right now that I have intentions on souring using WLP655 and over 5lbs of blueberries & 3.5 lbs of raspberries. My first sour attempt and I don't want to ef this up.
My thought was to sanitize an ale pail, mash my fruits w/ Camden tablet, let sterilize for 24 hours before racking my liquid onto the fruit and adding the 655 blend. Is it safe to leave this in a brew bucket for 3-4 weeks w/ fruit addition before moving to either a glass carboy or corny for additional time? How would you do it? Cheers!
 

Gnomebrewer

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Firstly, you'll get more answers by sticking this in the dedicated sour/wild forum rather than the general forum. My experience is limited (as in I've done LOTS of sour brews in the past year but most are still aging) and I haven't used WLP655, so take this FWIW. WLP655 is a Brett/Sacch/Lacto/Pedio blend. It'll take a year or more to develop the full characteristics from the bugs. You don't want fruit in for that long. So, add the bugs, leave for a year, taste, if it's ready add the fruit and leave for a while longer. That gives the added benefit that you can try the fermented and aged beer before adding fruit - you may decide to leave it as is or change your mind about which fruit to add once you know what the finished beer is like. Pair the beer to a suitable fruit. My experience so far is that the WLP blends are quite lame - WY and TYB have worked better for me, and others have reported success with other brands. A bit of a ramble...I hope it helps.
 

Jag75

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Check out co pitching for further sour brews . I've done blueberry sours using this method . I used wlp644 then 24-48 hours later pitched Goodbellys probiotic juice . RPH guy has a thread on this . I follow his steps and it's worked really well . Go from grain to glass in 5 weeks.
 

RPh_Guy

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Hi & welcome to HBT!

"You're an idiot" is too strong of phrasing, but I would recommend some revisions to the process just based on what you've said.

Few things I want to mention:
  • I recommend using a plastic fermenter that seals air tight. Glass and stainless do not allow adequate micro oxygenation, therefore these vessels will extend the necessary aging period for Brettanomyces (Brett) to develop flavor.
  • Do not bother trying to sanitize the fruit; that's completely pointless in this case.
  • Normally it's suggested to add fruit a few weeks before packaging (both to maximize the fruit flavor and to make sure the beer turns out ok before spending money on fruit).
  • Brett will take a few months to develop flavor.
  • Bacteria may take weeks-months-years to sour the beer depending on the quantity of hops and IBU.
Happy to answer any questions about sour beer.

@Gnomebrewer
Looking forward to hearing your experiences. :)

@Jag75
I'm glad I've been helpful! 5 weeks though? I'm drinking my beers in 1-2 weeks.
 
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Jag75

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@RPh_Guy - my berries soak for 2 weeks in the beer lol. I have like some form of OCD when it comes to brewing . I've always been a 3 week FV kind of guy.
 

Calder

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This reminds me I have a couple of brews that have been on fruit for several years. I went crazy making sour beers and then just stopped drinking them. I like them, but had too many. I think I have about 25 gallons of sour under airlock, and very mature. I should see what they are like, and start bottling some of them.

Sour the beer first before adding the fruit. Don't worry about being on the fruit for a long time, it will not hurt it. I like to sanitize the fruit before adding; add a little water and heat to 160 F for a few minutes.
 

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