Viability of Belgian Sour Mix After Delay in Shipping

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johndan

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I'm making a sour Belgian blond (sounds like the punchline to a bad, sexist joke) and the primary fermentation is finished and I'm getting ready to transfer it to secondary and add raisins and a vial of WLP655 (Belgian Sour, includes Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus). The vial of 655 was delayed at a USPS facility in Albany for about a half a week, so a little over a week passed in shipping. I normally add an ice pack or two to the More Beer order but didn't this time.

The package finally made it to me but I'm not sure how to assess whether it's still viable. I'd normally make a starter, but I'm not sure if (a) the Belgian Sour mix lends itself to starters and (b) if pitching the yeast at the start of secondary is something that I should do for a secondary.

(I wouldn't normally transfer anything but it's currently tying up my only Ss Brew Bucket and I plan to condition it for at least a few months, so I'm going to transfer it to a keg and put it in the basement until later this spring. This is also my first time venturing outside of my normal IPA, porter, or stout routine; I don't have any experience with sours.)

Any advice?
 
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johndan

johndan

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Raisins were recommended in the MoreBeer kit. I don't know a lot about sours but this Brülosophy article on sours mentions a raisin flavor (although not from the addition of raisins). And I saw raisin flavors mentioned in a Brew Your Own recipe for a strong Belgian. So I'm guessing adding raisins directly might be a short-cut.

(The last time I made wild conjectures on Homebrewtalk I was described as operating with "inadequate knowledge," so take the above with a grain of salt.)

It's just an extract kit I ordered on a whim while my Grainfather was briefly out of commission.
 

Dr_Jeff

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your conjecture statements, once again, . . .

The raisin flavors mentioned come from grain combinations, certain candy sugars, and yeast via manipulating fermentation temperatures.

The raisins won't provide what you are seeking.

and it's going to take a while for the sour bugs to do anything noticeable.
 
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johndan

johndan

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Haha--yes, I can see that the other mentions of raisin flavors in recipes I found on the web (w/out actual raisin additions) would be due to more complex reactions. (My chemistry is pretty rusty but I made my way through several semesters in college.) But do you have any idea why More Beer would spec the raisin addition? They were even specific about the variety of raisin (California Golden). Maybe just so the recipe would have a weird vibe?

your conjecture statements, once again, . . .

The raisin flavors mentioned come from grain combinations, certain candy sugars, and yeast via manipulating fermentation temperatures.

The raisins won't provide what you are seeking.

and it's going to take a while for the sour bugs to do anything noticeable.
 

Dr_Jeff

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No idea.
I only did a few kits, Coopers extract, most turned out pretty nasty, one was so so, for it I didn't follow the instructions and changed things up.

Immediately went to all grain. I followed some advice that I got from the brewmaster and a local craft brewery, didn't like his advice, but followed it anyway, and since then have been making great beer. The first time I made a Wit, I wasn't real sure about it, someone came over and told me that Blue Moon was their favorite beer and this was much better than Blue Moon. Haven't changed the recipe, always brewed it the same, it is a crowd favorite when we have parties.
 
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johndan

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Similar start, different trajectory. I made two or three extract brews, then went whole grain. The extracts weren't awful but also not great. I think the high IBUs of IPAs probably hide my brewing limitations but that's OK with me. We'll see how the sour goes.

No idea.
I only did a few kits, Coopers extract, most turned out pretty nasty, one was so so, for it I didn't follow the instructions and changed things up.

Immediately went to all grain. I followed some advice that I got from the brewmaster and a local craft brewery, didn't like his advice, but followed it anyway, and since then have been making great beer. The first time I made a Wit, I wasn't real sure about it, someone came over and told me that Blue Moon was their favorite beer and this was much better than Blue Moon. Haven't changed the recipe, always brewed it the same, it is a crowd favorite when we have parties.
 

jrgtr42

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YEah, nothing to worry about. |If you were down south, and it was in the 90s or something, then it would be time to worry about it. Presuming the USPS facility was in the cold area too, that is...

and yeah, in a case of a sour, with extended aging, that's one of the few times to actually go ahead and transfer to secondary. Do your best not to agitate it too much, though a little bit of oxygen isn't a terrible thing with these beers - gives the bugs a little bit to work with.
 
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