Author Topic: Flanders attempt- initial recs  (Read 1112 times)

Offline rbowers

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Flanders attempt- initial recs
« on: August 16, 2012, 06:53:14 PM »
I got excited about trying to brew a Flanders red ale these past few weeks and have done some initial research in preparation for the brew day (8/31).  I have some general questions though:
I am going to use the wyeast roselare blend but I've read a lot about pitching a primary clean sacc ale yeast first then rack to secondary with roselare.  Doing a straight ferment with the blend from the get go seems to yield a much more sour end beer vs. a primary fermentation followed by the bugs.  I'm leaning towards the latter option as I don't want something too sour for my first run at this.  Any recs?  How long do you let the initial sacc ferment go- completion? 5 days?
It seems deliberately under pitching and under oxygenating will help leave some fuel for bugs.
A high mash (158F?) also seems to leave additional fuel for bugs after primary ferment?  What about a shortened mash time(~45min?).  Does the roselare blend have the capacity to dry out otherwise unfermentable portions of a typical wort over time?
In terms of oak chips in the secondary I assume they stay in the whole time?  A little goes a long way over a year I imagine
The last concern comes with the extended aging.  I've read a lot about the need for micro-oxygenation over the year long maturation with the bugs.  What is the best way to achieve this?  The dowel in the stopper seems easy enough- does this require maintenance? If the initial yeast is pitched onto underoxygenated wort should i i try to oxygenate it after pitching the blend or will transfer to a secondary (not evacuated with CO2) suffice.  Does the dowel need to be down in the beer or just above in the headspace?  What is a good aging temp over the course of the year?
Again this will all be new to me so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.  The time investment on this beer really makes me want to get it right or at least get it close to good.  Thx in advance

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Flanders attempt- initial recs
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 08:58:29 PM »
I pitch 1056, underpitch, don't use O2, ferment cool, underattenuate.  It takes as long as it takes to stop.  i mash high for 60 minutes.  There is a brett strain or two in the blend, so it will chew up some stuff the sacch doesn't.

I leave oak chips in the whole time, 1/2 to one ounce is enough for me.  For extended aging I age in glass and use a silicone bung, it lets in some air but not too much.  Do not add O2 after pitching the blend.  There will be enough, and it's going to age for a long time so dont rush it.  I age it around 60-65F.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline erockrph

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Re: Flanders attempt- initial recs
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 05:35:52 AM »
I've been thinking of brewing a Flanders Red as my first sour soon myself. How do you get that deep red color? Can you get away with using a lot of crystal malt since the Brett in the Roselare will eat the residual sugars, or do you end up needing to add some Carafa, too?

How does look for a grain bill?

40% Belgian Pils
40% Munich
10% Caramunich
10% Special B
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Offline rbowers

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Re: Flanders attempt- initial recs
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 06:00:13 AM »
I'm not sure how much the bugs will deal with the residual sweetness but I know the goal is a pretty dry beer.  That seems like a lot of special B- I've used it in a few beers and a little seems to go a long way.  I assume the silicone bung is solid or is there a need for an airlock?

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Flanders attempt- initial recs
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 07:10:15 AM »
I am going to use the wyeast roselare blend but I've read a lot about pitching a primary clean sacc ale yeast first then rack to secondary with roselare.  Doing a straight ferment with the blend from the get go seems to yield a much more sour end beer vs. a primary fermentation followed by the bugs.  I'm leaning towards the latter option as I don't want something too sour for my first run at this.  Any recs?  How long do you let the initial sacc ferment go- completion? 5 days?
It seems deliberately under pitching and under oxygenating will help leave some fuel for bugs.

I pitched US-05 with my last Flanders Brown, transferred to Roeselare at around 1.030 from 1.065 OG and it is plenty sour for me. I've entered it as a Fruit Beer (Flanders Red aged on tart cherries) and it does well, to give you an idea of the level of sourness.

A high mash (158F?) also seems to leave additional fuel for bugs after primary ferment?  What about a shortened mash time(~45min?).  Does the roselare blend have the capacity to dry out otherwise unfermentable portions of a typical wort over time?

Yes, it will dry out considerably. I stopped mine at around 1.012 so I could still have some body to speak of (still feels quite thin for 1.012) and pasteurized. From what I've been reading, Brett can ferment chains of sugar 9 bonds long, where as Sacc can only ferment maltotriose (3 bonds long).

Good luck and cheers!
Amanda Burkemper
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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Flanders attempt- initial recs
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 07:45:08 AM »
When to add the Roselare definitely depends on how sour you like your beers. I direct pitch the Roselare blend into my Flanders and the sourness is perfect for me, but if you want it bit less acidic for the first go round pitching a pure Sac strain would probably be a good idea. Same thing with the mash temp, the more residual sugar after primary the more sour the beer will eventually be, but you definitely need something for the Brett and bugs to chew on for a while. As for the oak chips, you should leave them in the whole time. My last batch I used 1 oz of heavy toast French oak cubes for just the last 8 months and any oak character is muted if detectable at all. As the other posts suggest, don't oxygenate. More oxygen means more acetic acid, which you need, but if you get too much you might be brewing vinegar.


I've been thinking of brewing a Flanders Red as my first sour soon myself. How do you get that deep red color?

10% is a lot of special B, especially with 40% Munich and 10% Caramunich, assuming you want a pure red. I think that bill will get you on the reddish-brown side of things, which is what my last Flanders was, and it tastes really good but its not "red" per se. Cut the Special B to 5% and you'll probably still get good flavor and preserve the deep red color.