Author Topic: First sour - bottle or not?  (Read 1484 times)

Offline gmac

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First sour - bottle or not?
« on: September 13, 2012, 07:19:04 PM »
I've got a strong saison that I put in glass about 2 months ago with an old package of rosealare blend.  I can't really say it ever formed anything that I would call a real obvious pellicle but I'm not sure what a pellicle really looks like.  About a month ago I added 1 oz of oak chips soaked in some rye.  I did make a starter to see if there was any life left in the bacteria and I did have activity before I pitched it.  My plan at the time was to leave it for at least 6 months, maybe a year to do its thing.

Now, I am going to have to move in a couple weeks and I'm not sure if I should bottle the beer as it is or whether to try to move a full carboy.  I'd prefer to move a box of bottles than a full carboy.  But, will it screw up the whole thing (assuming I've got some sort of thing going on)?

My thought is to bottle it into champagne bottles cause it should be about 9% ABV if the bretta eats everthing down to close to 1.000. 

Let me know if you think it would be best to bottle it or leave it.  I am sure that if there is any form of pellicle, it'll be busted up by the time I get it moved anyway.
Thanks.

Offline Mark G

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Re: First sour - bottle or not?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 07:14:17 AM »
I would try my hardest to avoid moving a full carboy. Have you checked the gravity to see where it's at? While you're at it, check the taste. It's probably got a ways to go to fully develop the character you're looking for, but you might have to settle for it developing in the final packaging. If you're afraid of bottle bombs, do you have an extra keg you can tie up for a while?
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: First sour - bottle or not?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 08:48:04 AM »
I say bottle. Since it was a saison it was probably as dry or very close to as dry as it's going to get. I wouldn't expect a lot of continued attenuation but in case I'm wrong, I would bottle in champagne, heavy Belgian bottles, or weizen bottles. You can still get some sour and brett character in your beer without producing excess carbonation, although you'll miss some of that slight acetic acid brett will produce in the presence of oxygen. Losing that slight flavor is a lot better than moving a carboy and getting a whole carboy of nothing but acetic acid.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: First sour - bottle or not?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 09:16:31 AM »
Depending on the gravity reading, I would bottle.

But. If it's too high, you can take solace in the fact that I was in your same position 17 months ago with several lambics and a Flanders Red. I moved the entire carboy stash, destroyed the pellicles and the whole bit. (I was careful to keep the airlocks full.) Every one of those beers has won gold/1st since that shenanigans-fest, so I'd say you can make it happen so long as you're careful.
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Offline gmac

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Re: First sour - bottle or not?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 10:25:13 AM »
OK, I'm convinced.  I'm gonna bottle in champagne bottles and move that way.  The beer was down around 1.004 when I threw in the bacteria/brett so it's gotta be pretty low anyway (original yeast was WY3711).
I think I'll call this one finished for now and then re-start when I get into the new house with a bunch of new batches.
Thanks for the advice.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: First sour - bottle or not?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 05:57:18 AM »
OK, I'm convinced.  I'm gonna bottle in champagne bottles and move that way.  The beer was down around 1.004 when I threw in the bacteria/brett so it's gotta be pretty low anyway (original yeast was WY3711).
I think I'll call this one finished for now and then re-start when I get into the new house with a bunch of new batches.
Thanks for the advice.

At 1.004 you should be fine, even with your desired amount of priming sugar.

With any wild beer, it takes quite awhile to get over-carbonated and esp. to the point of bottle bombs. As long as you open one every month or so, you should have a good feel if you're in any danger of an explosion.

Plus, its a great way to see how the beer evolves over time in the bottle.
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