Author Topic: Flanders Red fermentation  (Read 8468 times)

Offline Pinski

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2012, 11:44:21 PM »
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
Excellent, thank you Kyle!
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2012, 06:13:03 AM »
When I do sours I generally primary with yeast and rack to a secondary after 3 or 4 days and pitch the bugs. I use an Oak bung that I fashioned. I really like the results, especially in lambics. To me it lets enough O2 in but not to much. Never had a broke  carboy, although the bung does expand quite a bit after a year and it can be a bit difficult to pull out when you eventually take it out.

I think this thread is another example that theres more than 1 way to de-intigument a feline. Do what works for you :)
Jason
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2012, 12:00:31 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.

I pitched bugs and Brett in the secondary as well and didn't get enough sourness for my tastes, so I adjusted by adding a little bit of lactic acid.  My next batch everything goes into the primary.  The commercial examples of this style are really all over the place as far as sourness and Brett character, so you really have to dial it in or blend for your own tastes IMHO.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2012, 09:25:27 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

1) Thanks for all the good info, guys! I'm looking into doing 10 gallons of Flanders Red/Brown before the end of the year and splitting it with Roeselare and WLP665.

2) Am I the only one this link doesn't work for? It redirects me to here: http://www.parc.com/about/people/5/raj-apte.html Sad panda.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2012, 09:39:42 AM »
1) Thanks for all the good info, guys! I'm looking into doing 10 gallons of Flanders Red/Brown before the end of the year and splitting it with Roeselare and WLP665.

2) Am I the only one this link doesn't work for? It redirects me to here: http://www.parc.com/about/people/5/raj-apte.html Sad panda.

1) I've been blown away at the results by doing a fast-lacto souring upfront, combined with wine yeast (for underattenuation) and Brett, and fractional blending to taste. I know I'm a heretic and I know everyone else disagrees with me, but the Flanders Red I made that way was better than any other Flanders Red, commercial or homebrew, I've ever had, and it only took about 4 months.

2) You can use the wayback machine to find a copy of Raj's article.
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Offline saintpierre

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2012, 10:32:14 AM »
2) You can use the wayback machine to find a copy of Raj's article.
Sorry, can someone provide the link for this.  I did not find it using the googler.
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Offline nateo

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Offline saintpierre

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2012, 12:04:27 PM »
Thank you. Link bookmarked!
Mike St. Pierre
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2012, 05:52:44 AM »

1) I've been blown away at the results by doing a fast-lacto souring upfront, combined with wine yeast (for underattenuation) and Brett, and fractional blending to taste. I know I'm a heretic and I know everyone else disagrees with me, but the Flanders Red I made that way was better than any other Flanders Red, commercial or homebrew, I've ever had, and it only took about 4 months...

No disagreement here - My way is the lazy way. And once you have a few vintages laying around, you can use the quick way and blend in some older, super sour (and in my case, oaky :)) stuff for complexity and depth.

Do you bottle-condition your Flanders? I just have mine sitting around in kegs, but I wondered if such a young wild brew would bottle condition much quicker / more successfully than stuff that's sat around awhile (1-2 yrs).
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Offline nateo

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2012, 06:52:53 AM »
Do you bottle-condition your Flanders? I just have mine sitting around in kegs, but I wondered if such a young wild brew would bottle condition much quicker / more successfully than stuff that's sat around awhile (1-2 yrs).

I only bottle condition, and I always re-yeast at bottling for every batch. My target is carbonation in under a week. Usually it's carbed within 2-3 days this way.

Isn't that completely unnecessary? Well, I had a weizen that tasted amazing right before bottling time, but it took about 2 weeks to fully carb. By the time it was carbed, it had already peaked, and by week 3 it was obviously worse than it was at week 2. So now I bottle when it's ready, and carb, then chill it as quickly as possible. Not every beer ages gracefully (just like not every wine ages well), and I don't want to be waiting for it to carb while it's peaking.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2012, 08:23:56 AM »
I only bottle condition, and I always re-yeast at bottling for every batch. My target is carbonation in under a week. Usually it's carbed within 2-3 days this way.

Isn't that completely unnecessary? Well, I had a weizen that tasted amazing right before bottling time, but it took about 2 weeks to fully carb. By the time it was carbed, it had already peaked, and by week 3 it was obviously worse than it was at week 2. So now I bottle when it's ready, and carb, then chill it as quickly as possible. Not every beer ages gracefully (just like not every wine ages well), and I don't want to be waiting for it to carb while it's peaking.

Not to take this too far off on a tangent, but every day I pick up something really useful on this forum. This was definitely an "A-ha!" moment for me, and I'm going to be trying this out soon with my hoppy beers and weizens. I never gave a second thought to bothering with adding yeast at bottling before, but this makes perfect sense to me now.

Do you always pitch the same yeast at bottling that you fermented with, or do you have a particular strain you prefer?
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Offline nateo

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2012, 09:15:30 AM »
Do you always pitch the same yeast at bottling that you fermented with, or do you have a particular strain you prefer?

Sorry to hijack the thread, but: the best (IMO) and cheapest option is to use 2 packs of a prise de mousse strain (Premier Cuvee from Red Star or EC 1118 from Lalvin). You could use one for most beers, but the recommended rate for sparkling wine is 10g/20L, so I use two.
I like wine yeast because it's cheap and there's no way it'll touch any complex sugars. I like the prise de mousse strains because they're fast, clean fermenters with low nutrient needs and high alcohol tolerance. For beer yeast, you can use T-58. It's not a great attenuater so it probably won't touch any complex sugars, but it's a bit stickier than the prise de mousse strains.

If you properly rehydrate the yeast (tap water somewhere around the 105*F range), you should get Kraeusen in the necks of the bottles. Some wine and beer yeasts are stickier than others, so I've ended up with stubborn Kraeusen rings when using other wine/beer yeasts. The prise de mousse strains are good flocc'ers but also not so sticky they leave rings in the neck.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2012, 11:06:22 AM »
1) I've been blown away at the results by doing a fast-lacto souring upfront, combined with wine yeast (for underattenuation) and Brett, and fractional blending to taste. I know I'm a heretic and I know everyone else disagrees with me, but the Flanders Red I made that way was better than any other Flanders Red, commercial or homebrew, I've ever had, and it only took about 4 months.

2) You can use the wayback machine to find a copy of Raj's article.

1) Can you go into this in more detail? I'm hard up for some homebrewed sours right now and I don't know if I can wait until the 20 gallons in planning age out.

2) Thanks for the lesson on the interwebs. <facepalm>
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 01:20:50 PM by AmandaK »
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Offline nateo

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2012, 12:06:18 PM »
1) Can you go into this in more detail? I'm hard up for some homebrewed sours right now and I don't now if I can wait until the 20 gallons in planning age out.

I'm obviously biased and think my* technique is good, so I took a bottle to the brewclub meeting last night. The people who liked sours liked it, and they were all surprised it was only 4 months old.

In a nutshell (20L batch, 1.050-1.060):
1) prepare a 2-3L sour starter with 100g/L of dextrose, 1/2-1 cup of base grain, and keep in the 100-110* range for 2-3 days before brewday.

2) On brew day, mash as usual for a target of 17-18L finished wort.
option a. Mash and boil 100% of the wort as usual
option b. Mash as usual, reserve 7-8L unboiled wort, boil the balance as usual to end up with ~ 10L of boiled wort.

3) If you did option a., separate the boiled wort into 10L and 7-8L, add B. lambicus and BM45 (or wine yeast of your choice) to 10L, add sour starter to the remaining 7-8L. If you did option b. add the Brett and wine yeast to the boiled portion, add the sour starter to the unboiled portion.

4) Ferment the 10L non-sour portion as usual. If you want to start layering oak flavor, add about 15g~1/2oz oak of your choice.

5) Keep the 10L sour portion hot (100-110*) until it's fully soured. If you have a pH meter, mine usually bottoms out around 2.3-2.6 within 2-4 days. Once it's dropped into the 2's you don't need to keep it hot anymore. 

6) Once the non-sour portion is in the double-digits (a month or so), you can blend the portions to taste. You have to use a little bit of imagination, because it'll taste a more sour when it's carbonated, and it'll taste more sour when it hits terminal gravity, but it's not a huge difference. Just err a little on the less-sour side. You can check pH of the blended beer too. I like 3.5-3.6, if you want more sour you can just increase the % of the sour wort in the blend. Don't be afraid to waste some wort if a 60/40 blend tastes better than a 50/50 blend. 

7) Oak your blended beer as usual (maybe another 1-2oz, depending on how oaky you want it).

#8 Once gravity has bottomed out, prime with fresh yeast and bottle in a heavy bottle. If you want to get fancy, you can use Kai's priming calculator based on where you think the Brett may drop the gravity over a long period, and take that into consideration. But if you use a Champagne/Belgian bottle rated to 5 vol and carb to 4 vol, you'll most likely be fine.

OK, so that's really complicated and a lot of work. Why bother? With this technique you can lock in the sourness where you want it. In my experience, the grain-cultured Lacto won't further drop the pH if put into an alcoholic environment with little sugar left to eat. It may form a pellicle again in the blended beer, but from my measurements pH remains stable. You'll need to pull samples to taste every couple weeks. Let your tastebuds guide the process and timing.

What I've done most recently is keep a bucket full (18-20L) of sour wort at all times, and taking off portions as I need it, topping up with excess wort from whatever batch I'm brewing. If you build up a large enough colony of Lacto in the bucket, you won't need to keep it hot, or mess with making a sour starter before each batch.

*This technique is an amalgam of other people's techniques, notably the "fast lacto and brett" thread on HBT, and Mike's (the mad fermentationist) blog. And people have been using fractional blending for a long time, so I'm not trying to take an undue amount of credit. 
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Flanders Red fermentation
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2012, 12:20:33 PM »
+1 to having sour beer around for blending. I read that, even in Cantillon, they have barrels that are so acidic they're "only good for shining the copper".

Not quite as romantic, but it will get the sour stock up a bit quicker!

Nateo - are you worried about over-carb'ing / bottle bombs with such a young, non-soured portion? Do you just drink them quickly enough to avoid this issue?

I'm still in the "low and slow" camp when it comes to wild/mixed fermentation, but I may have to try this to get some acid beer that I can blend into saisons or the second runnings of a wheat beer to make berliner weisse.
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