Author Topic: Flanders Red fermentation  (Read 8515 times)

Offline Pinski

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Flanders Red fermentation
« on: July 24, 2012, 07:44:09 AM »
I have 5 gallons of Flanders Red that's been in the fermenteezer for almost two weeks.  I'm about to tuck it away in a closet for the next year and have a couple questions.
1. Should I leave the beer in the primary carboy with the oak chips and the pellicle for the entire fermentation or rack to a clean carboy at some point?
2. I was thinking about whittling an oak stopper for the carboy to replace the airlock now that fermentation has slowed down. I read that this will allow oxygen to penetrate the headspace and aid in the development of sour characteristics. Have folks had good results with this technique?  Anyone ever blown up a carboy from pressurizing it by using an oak stopper? 
Any Flanders tips are welcome.
Thank you BEER!

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 08:03:50 AM »
1. Rack it to secondary before tucking it away. Lambic is really the only fermentation profile that benefits from autolyzed and trub.

When you add oak chips it depends on your preference for oak flavors in the style. I really like the vanilla character in mine, so I add cubes when I rack to secondary. I use 0.25 oz or so since it will still sit on them a long time, but so I dont have to pull a lot of samples to taste for oak when I know the beer isn't nearly ready. A little goes a long way for a Flanders, and it isn't necessarily traditional to have a lot of oak character, so judges can ding you for it.

I always err on the side of keeping as much O2 out as I can through conditioning. Acetic WILL develop over time, so don't worry about an oak stopper. Use a rubber stopper w/ filled airlock since you will get some gas evolution over time.

If the beer is ready and it doesnt have enough acetic for your liking, you can doctor it with actual vinegar (or older flanders as you brew more).

If its for a competition, judges are many times over-sensitive to acetic. I doubt a judge will comment "boy, this could SURE use some more vinegar!"

Limit samples. I don't even touch it for 6 months.

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Offline nateo

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 01:34:57 PM »
This doesn't really help you now, but I'd look into the fast lacto method of making sour beers. A lot of people say you need extended aging, but with the fast lacto method I've made sours better than many commercial sours, though not better than the best commercial sours. You can dial in the acidity really well with that method. I've had some homebrewed sours that went way past "sour" to the point where they were hard to drink.

Basically, you can make a clean sour this way in about one or two days longer than a "normal" beer, and if you want to use Brett that cuts the time down to about 2-3 months, vs 12-18 months for "traditional" souring.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 12:13:07 AM »
Get a breathable silicon bung - it will let in a little O2, but not too much, and will release pressure if needed.

I usually don't rack before aging, although I rack it off the primary yeast before adding the bugs.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Pinski

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 01:42:05 AM »
 Silicone bung? Well, that sounds better than sanding down a hunk of oak.
I pitched with Roeselare blend and added my oak to the primary so everything that needs to go in is in.  Thats why I'm wondering about the necessity of racking it off of the yeast and the sludge in neck of the headspace.
Thank you BEER!

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2012, 07:13:26 AM »
You can refill that primary with a simple wort to make another wild beer. Maybe pitch dregs from a few bottles.

Those chips will harbor the bugs for future batches - AND you'll have more wild beer! (eventually)
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 07:42:48 AM »
You can refill that primary with a simple wort to make another wild beer. Maybe pitch dregs from a few bottles.

Those chips will harbor the bugs for future batches - AND you'll have more wild beer! (eventually)
I'd love to keep it rolling but I'll need to carefully plan my sour fermentations so as not to take over all of the closet space.  That would be agressive following the assimilation of the garage.  ::)
Thank you BEER!

Offline Pinski

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 07:53:55 AM »
I usually don't rack before aging, although I rack it off the primary yeast before adding the bugs.
I thought that the bugs go in prior to aging to produce the sour. 
Or, are you saying that you:
-do a primary yeast fermentation
-rack to second carboy
-add bugs
-secondary/aging

I'm just trying to decide if at this point I will make a better beer by leaving everything in the primary carboy for the duration or if there is a reason I should transfer to a new carboy since I won't be adding more bugs or oak. (unless I rack, then I'll need to add more oak)
Thank you BEER!

Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 10:52:24 AM »
As I recall, the book "Wild Brews" suggests not racking the beer at all for either lambic or Flanders reds to give the Brett something to eat over the course of the 1 - 2 year fermentation. My latest attempt scored pretty well in a recent competition and I just pitched a pack of Wyeast Roselare blend right at the beginning and let it go. After 15 months I racked it, not to get rid of the yeast, but because I wanted to clear out that carboy for a different beer and I wanted to add some heavy toast oak chips for the last 7 months.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 12:05:27 PM »
As I recall, the book "Wild Brews" suggests not racking the beer at all for either lambic or Flanders reds to give the Brett something to eat over the course of the 1 - 2 year fermentation. My latest attempt scored pretty well in a recent competition and I just pitched a pack of Wyeast Roselare blend right at the beginning and let it go. After 15 months I racked it, not to get rid of the yeast, but because I wanted to clear out that carboy for a different beer and I wanted to add some heavy toast oak chips for the last 7 months.

Leaving it on the trub is normally a lambic procedure, where Brett is a much more dominant component. Lambic is conditioned much longer, and the trub/yeast cake aids the Brett in continuing to produce esters and reduce diacetyl produced by Pedio. Since Flanders beers are primarily soured with Lacto, the conditioning period can be shorter and does not rely on a Pedio/Brett combo.

That being said - if you like a Funky and more acidic Flanders, GO FOR IT.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2012, 11:45:13 PM »
Silicone bung? Well, that sounds better than sanding down a hunk of oak.
This: http://www.mountainhomebrew.com/breathablebungsmall.aspx  No airlock to dry out for extended aging.

I usually don't rack before aging, although I rack it off the primary yeast before adding the bugs.
Or, are you saying that you:
-do a primary yeast fermentation
-rack to second carboy
-add bugs
-secondary/aging
Yep, this exactly.  I typically use 1056 for the primary.  Mash high, don't aerate, underpitch, ferment cold.  I leave lots of stuff for the Roeselare blend to work on when it goes in.  I might just go straight with Roeselare next time, but the method above works well.
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2012, 01:51:27 PM »
The first batch of flander's I made didn't turn out nearly sour enough for my tastes.  I fermented with 1056 and added the Roselare bugs in the secondary and inserted a rubber stopper with an oak dowel in it.  The second batch I made I pitched directly on the bugs and added a pack of US05, let it ferment out and tranferred when the pellicle fell after 1 year.  That beer took 2nd at the NHC this year.

I've heard from other brewers that the 1st generation of Roselaere isn't sour enough, the 2nd generation is just right and 3rd generation is too sour.  YMMV.
Dave Barber
Orwigsburg, PA
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2012, 02:17:22 PM »
The first batch of flander's I made didn't turn out nearly sour enough for my tastes.  I fermented with 1056 and added the Roselare bugs in the secondary and inserted a rubber stopper with an oak dowel in it.  The second batch I made I pitched directly on the bugs and added a pack of US05, let it ferment out and tranferred when the pellicle fell after 1 year.  That beer took 2nd at the NHC this year.

I've heard from other brewers that the 1st generation of Roselaere isn't sour enough, the 2nd generation is just right and 3rd generation is too sour.  YMMV.
Congrats!
So wait, you pitched round 2 on top of the bugs left from round 1 (year old)?
Also, do you rack after primary or do you complete all fermentation and aging in one carboy?
Thank you BEER!

Online dbarber

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2012, 02:51:37 PM »
The first batch of flander's I made didn't turn out nearly sour enough for my tastes.  I fermented with 1056 and added the Roselare bugs in the secondary and inserted a rubber stopper with an oak dowel in it.  The second batch I made I pitched directly on the bugs and added a pack of US05, let it ferment out and tranferred when the pellicle fell after 1 year.  That beer took 2nd at the NHC this year.

I've heard from other brewers that the 1st generation of Roselaere isn't sour enough, the 2nd generation is just right and 3rd generation is too sour.  YMMV.
Congrats!
So wait, you pitched round 2 on top of the bugs left from round 1 (year old)?
Also, do you rack after primary or do you complete all fermentation and aging in one carboy?

The first batch I racked to a secondary and added the bugs.  The second batch I pitched on the the 1 yr old bugs.  The second flanders I completed all fermentation in one carboy and transferred after the pellicle dropped.
Dave Barber
Orwigsburg, PA
Lehigh Valley Homebrewers

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 10:37:09 AM »
I read through Raj Apte's article on Flemish Red yesterday. One HELL of a resource!

Take a look: http://www2.parc.com/emdl/members/apte/flemishredale.shtml


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