Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: ynotbrusum on January 24, 2014, 01:55:55 AM

Title: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 24, 2014, 01:55:55 AM
First time with this yeast - a 10 gallon batch primaried in one vessel.  Racked 5 gallons in glass and 5 in an oak barrel back in September.  Pulled a taste from the glass and wow, fantastic (to my untrained palate).  I was going to take some of each straight and bottle them, take a blend and add sour cherries to it.  Or just take a third from both and make three batches for bottling - straight glass, straight oak and blended?  Should I do that?  If so, what is the suggested volumes to do with this?  Add cherry puree to the oak barrel with about 4.75+ gallons of the blended batch?  I haven't pulled a sample of the oak batch, but I was thinking of giving the cherries about another year to year and a half.  Just a newbie on the sours front.

Any help would be appreciated.  Just have a great opportunity and want to maximize the goodliness.
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: lornemagill on January 24, 2014, 02:51:21 AM
I have read that you should try to use cherries with pits if possible, the pits have an almond like flavor to them.  if you cant find them with pits you can add a spice called mahlab, its made from cherry pits and is available from middle eastern grocers.  sorry, don't have any answers to your specific questions.
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on January 24, 2014, 03:09:16 PM
Are you using a 5-gallon barrel?

I like the idea of splitting the batch between barrel and glass. I'd be really interested to hear the differences in flavors as the beer ages! If you decide to bottle straight oak and straight glass, I'd love to beer swap you for some samples!

Its nice to have several batches at bottling time to blend. If the beer in the barrel starts to get too oaky or acidic, brew up another 5 gallons, rack from barrel to keg, and go right back in with the new batch.

I've used cherry juice in Flanders, and it is quite nice, but I agree that whole fruit is definitely the way to go. The fruit skin adds a lovely tannin structure to a beer that can thin out over time. You've invested a lot of time/effort/space in this beer, might as well wait until cherry season, right?
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 24, 2014, 03:32:33 PM
Personally I would bottle some of each straight, bottle a blend and then age some on cherries. You won't get a lot of beer of each version but you'll get lots of versions to enjoy.

I would be careful about adding fermentable sugar to the barrel. It's going to ferment and unless your barrel is partially empty--which it shouldn't be--you're going to get beer coming out of the bung hole. Might be better to rack the blend for the cherries into another fermentor until fermentation wears off and then if you want you can rack it back into the barrel. I'd wait until you're happy with the oak character and then pull the beer out of the barrel, do all your blending and bottling and then add cherries to the desired portion in another fermentor. Then start something new in the barrel.
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 24, 2014, 08:06:05 PM
Thanks for the insights.  Yes I have a 5 gallon oak barrel from Balcones (bourbon).  I was thinking of keeping some blended portion going in the barrel at all times, kinda like a solera (at least until the dregs take up too much space) or a Kosmic Mother Funk (at Boston Beer) for blending in with other batches down the road.  I agree that enough headspace needs to be maintained in the barrel if any fruit is going in it, so maybe just add fruit to the blend in glass and then return to the barrel if more oaking is necessary. 

Guess I have to sample the barrel first (I have it under a table in my basement, so moving it is not going to be easy - next time it is going to a more accessible space! My weightlifter son who is 21 put it under the table like it was nothing to lift....)

If bottling shortly (at least a portion of the glass fermenter batch, if nothing else), should I re-yeast with some US-05 and use priming sugar?

 
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: morticaixavier on January 24, 2014, 09:11:08 PM
Thanks for the insights.  Yes I have a 5 gallon oak barrel from Balcones (bourbon).  I was thinking of keeping some blended portion going in the barrel at all times, kinda like a solera (at least until the dregs take up too much space) or a Kosmic Mother Funk (at Boston Beer) for blending in with other batches down the road.  I agree that enough headspace needs to be maintained in the barrel if any fruit is going in it, so maybe just add fruit to the blend in glass and then return to the barrel if more oaking is necessary. 

Guess I have to sample the barrel first (I have it under a table in my basement, so moving it is not going to be easy - next time it is going to a more accessible space! My weightlifter son who is 21 put it under the table like it was nothing to lift....)

If bottling shortly (at least a portion of the glass fermenter batch, if nothing else), should I re-yeast with some US-05 and use priming sugar?

on the headspace and secondary fermentation front I would go ahead and run the ferment in the barrel but have some more beer available to top up when it settles down.
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on January 27, 2014, 09:58:53 PM
If bottling shortly (at least a portion of the glass fermenter batch, if nothing else), should I re-yeast with some US-05 and use priming sugar?

I don't think you need the additional yeast. Brett will provide adequate carbonation, so adding yeast just adds more sediment and nucleation points.

Check your FG before adding priming sugar. I assume that brett will work the beer down to 1.000 in the bottle and figure that into my priming sugar addition.
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 28, 2014, 01:14:12 AM
The FG was 1.006 by the way.  Anything special about the priming sugar vs DME vs something else?  I have some cherry wine base in a can that I got at the LHBS.  I intend to add to the cherry juice to a blend of the oak barrel batch and the glass batch and leave it in the barrel, but maybe I could use some for priming... Just don't know how to avoid gushers/bottle bombs.  Any thoughts? 
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: majorvices on January 28, 2014, 02:47:26 PM
Regarding cherries with pits in aging: Does anyone have a yes or no answer to wether the pits can produce a substantial amount of carcinogens?
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on January 28, 2014, 02:53:50 PM
Regarding cherries with pits in aging: Does anyone have a yes or no answer to wether the pits can produce a substantial amount of carcinogens?

I've heard that for peach/apricot pits. It may or may not be an old wives tale, but I'm not going to be the one that does the research! Plus - the whole peach doesn't fit through the barrel bung, anyway...
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on January 28, 2014, 03:40:28 PM
The FG was 1.006 by the way.  Anything special about the priming sugar vs DME vs something else?  I have some cherry wine base in a can that I got at the LHBS.  I intend to add to the cherry juice to a blend of the oak barrel batch and the glass batch and leave it in the barrel, but maybe I could use some for priming... Just don't know how to avoid gushers/bottle bombs.  Any thoughts?

Fruit:

I like to add fruit (in whichever form) in bulk and allow any sugar to ferment out before packaging. If bottling, I am certain of the residual gravity going into the bottle, and I can adjust the priming sugar (or omit it entirely) based on FG. Its usually tough to figure fermentables from the info on the can. Also - any solids (skin, pulp, etc) will create nucleation sites in the bottle and cause gushing.

Priming:

GREAT explanation of priming sugar calculations in this thread:
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=2177.0

Basically, Kai says every point of gravity added for priming equates to 0.5 volumes CO2.

If you assume brett will (eventually) work that 1.006 down to 1.000 in the bottle, you'll be left with 3 volumes of CO2, which is nice for Flanders. (I prefer it to be lower, but its completely up to you and your palate!)

Eventually is the key phrase there. Depending on cell count, storage conditions, and brett species, it may take 8-18 months for brett to finish off those last few gravity points. So, if you plan to hold on to these bottles for a year or more, I would just omit the priming sugar and allow brett to carbonate naturally.

If you want a few ready in a month or so, drop priming tabs into a few of the bottles and mark those "DRINK FIRST".

If you want a Gueuze/champagne-like carbonation, add priming tabs to get to 4.5 vol or so. With this much fizz, you'll want bottles that can handle the pressure and reduce nucleation points, so go with 750mL, punted, Cork n' Cage bottles.

If you don't know what you want, just try both!
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: morticaixavier on January 28, 2014, 03:48:47 PM
Regarding cherries with pits in aging: Does anyone have a yes or no answer to wether the pits can produce a substantial amount of carcinogens?

I've heard that for peach/apricot pits. It may or may not be an old wives tale, but I'm not going to be the one that does the research! Plus - the whole peach doesn't fit through the barrel bung, anyway...

I've never heard carcinogens. they have cyanide precursors though (AKA Vitamin B something). And in exactly the right circumstances could produce the dangerous kinds of cyanide compounds if eaten in large amounts. I am NOT a doctor and do not have a definitive answer on this.
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: erockrph on January 28, 2014, 07:55:25 PM
Regarding cherries with pits in aging: Does anyone have a yes or no answer to wether the pits can produce a substantial amount of carcinogens?

I've heard that for peach/apricot pits. It may or may not be an old wives tale, but I'm not going to be the one that does the research! Plus - the whole peach doesn't fit through the barrel bung, anyway...

I've never heard carcinogens. they have cyanide precursors though (AKA Vitamin B something). And in exactly the right circumstances could produce the dangerous kinds of cyanide compounds if eaten in large amounts. I am NOT a doctor and do not have a definitive answer on this.

All fruits of the Prunus genus (Peach, Plum, Apricot, Cherry, Almond, etc) contain varying levels of amygdalin in all parts of the plant (including the stone), except for the edible portion of the fruit. Amygdalin gets broken down in your GI tract to several compounds, one of which is Hydrogen Cyanide. HCN is very nasty stuff. I'll never forget seeing my rat in tox lab, and hearing the dreaded words from my prof "I don't think he got the antidote quick enough". Which is a nice euphemism for "you killed him".

Now the amount is present in varying levels depending on the species. Apricots and bitter almonds are on the high side, while plums are on the low side, IIRC. Since I've heard that some of the pro's include the pits of cherries, I'm guessing that your exposure is likely to be below the threshold of toxicity at the amounts of cherries typically used in beer. But you're on your own with that. I sure as hell ain't trying it myself.
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 29, 2014, 11:49:21 AM
The FG was 1.006 by the way.  Anything special about the priming sugar vs DME vs something else?  I have some cherry wine base in a can that I got at the LHBS.  I intend to add to the cherry juice to a blend of the oak barrel batch and the glass batch and leave it in the barrel, but maybe I could use some for priming... Just don't know how to avoid gushers/bottle bombs.  Any thoughts?

Fruit:

I like to add fruit (in whichever form) in bulk and allow any sugar to ferment out before packaging. If bottling, I am certain of the residual gravity going into the bottle, and I can adjust the priming sugar (or omit it entirely) based on FG. Its usually tough to figure fermentables from the info on the can. Also - any solids (skin, pulp, etc) will create nucleation sites in the bottle and cause gushing.

Priming:

GREAT explanation of priming sugar calculations in this thread:
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=2177.0

Basically, Kai says every point of gravity added for priming equates to 0.5 volumes CO2.

If you assume brett will (eventually) work that 1.006 down to 1.000 in the bottle, you'll be left with 3 volumes of CO2, which is nice for Flanders. (I prefer it to be lower, but its completely up to you and your palate!)

Eventually is the key phrase there. Depending on cell count, storage conditions, and brett species, it may take 8-18 months for brett to finish off those last few gravity points. So, if you plan to hold on to these bottles for a year or more, I would just omit the priming sugar and allow brett to carbonate naturally.

If you want a few ready in a month or so, drop priming tabs into a few of the bottles and mark those "DRINK FIRST".

If you want a Gueuze/champagne-like carbonation, add priming tabs to get to 4.5 vol or so. With this much fizz, you'll want bottles that can handle the pressure and reduce nucleation points, so go with 750mL, punted, Cork n' Cage bottles.

If you don't know what you want, just try both!


Thanks again - last question:  I am thinking of bottling some in brown PET half liters for a local competition - any problems with short term use of PET? What about longer term?  My thought is that I don't have immediate access to a corker for the long term storage and I need to bottle some for the comp, anyway.....
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: morticaixavier on January 29, 2014, 03:39:46 PM
[...]
Thanks again - last question:  I am thinking of bottling some in brown PET half liters for a local competition - any problems with short term use of PET? What about longer term?  My thought is that I don't have immediate access to a corker for the long term storage and I need to bottle some for the comp, anyway.....

do the rules of the contest allow .5 liter PET bottles?
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 29, 2014, 03:51:10 PM
I add wine yeast to my sours when I bottle. I've had some early sours not carbonate well when I did not re-yeast. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but I've never had a carbonation problem since I started reyeasting. I use dry wine yeast and just tap a few cells into the bottle before corking or capping.
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: morticaixavier on January 29, 2014, 04:04:10 PM
I add wine yeast to my sours when I bottle. I've had some early sours not carbonate well when I did not re-yeast. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but I've never had a carbonation problem since I started reyeasting. I use dry wine yeast and just tap a few cells into the bottle before corking or capping.

at risk of being totally pedantic, those little pellets are not cells, you are tapping a few thousand, maybe a couple million cells into each bottle.[/pedantic rant]
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on January 29, 2014, 04:25:43 PM
Thanks again - last question:  I am thinking of bottling some in brown PET half liters for a local competition - any problems with short term use of PET? What about longer term?  My thought is that I don't have immediate access to a corker for the long term storage and I need to bottle some for the comp, anyway.....

I dont have much experience with plastic bottles, but I bet you could get away with it short-term. If the comp is soon, bottle a few with priming tabs and some dry yeast to make sure you get them carb'd in time, then store them cold until you turn them in.

Mort made a good point - are PET bottles allowed?

I've always rented a stand corker from my LHBS. I bought a handheld model, but its worthless.
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on January 29, 2014, 04:41:00 PM
I add wine yeast to my sours when I bottle. I've had some early sours not carbonate well when I did not re-yeast. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but I've never had a carbonation problem since I started reyeasting. I use dry wine yeast and just tap a few cells into the bottle before corking or capping.

Maybe it all depends on how much viable brett is left in solution (just like bottle conditioning clean beers). Length of conditioning, strain, initial pitch rate, acidity levels, etc. etc. Maybe I'm just getting lucky w/ bottles. I have had kegs of funky beer not carb on their own...

Pitching new yeast is definitely more predictable and shortens carbonating time. I just hate to lose so much beer to the thick layer of sediment, and I especially hate getting that sediment in the glass. I like 12 oz bottles or 375 mL, where sediment is a bigger issue than 750mL.

Also, at the 2011 NHC, Chad Y mentioned that large amount of sacch in the bottle gives off a precursor (capric acid?) that brett turns into goaty aromas.

On a commercial time frame, I would be much more inclined to re-yeast (especially if I had better control of pitch rate).

Maybe next time I bottle, I'll try pitching a bit of fresh brett?
Title: Re: 7 months in on a Flanders Red with Roeselare
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 29, 2014, 07:25:26 PM
I can always bottle some in 12 oz brown glass bottles; I was just thinking that bottling in plastic would allow me to feel whether the beer was carbed and I thought the plastic could withstand a higher pressure (since not corking...).

Looking at the rules, there is no mention of container size.  BJCP categories apply and they reserve the right to combine subcategories based on number of entries for a category.  Finally, the number of entries is limited to 800.

While I am thinking -- what about for the NHC competition, only 12 oz bottles and only glass?

Thanks for answering all the dumb questions - but I've never entered a real competition before and this is my first Flanders Red.  (I brew a ton of lagers, but want to branch out to other styles that I can store and savor, because my lagers go in a heartbeat to my group of buddies who love to visit my garage and basement).