Author Topic: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?  (Read 960 times)

Offline enso

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When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« on: September 20, 2010, 07:35:50 AM »
I brewed a flanders at the beginning of August.  I pitched Roseleare blend straight from the start with no additional yeast cultures, save for a few bottle dregs.  It has been in the same carboy since.  The gravity is about 1.010 and it is fairly well funky already.  There is very minimal sediment in the bottom of the carboy.  Loads of stuff still in suspension.  No pellicle has been observed.

Do I rack it off the initial sediment to avoid autolysis or other unwanted flavors or does it need to sit just as it stands for maturing, and how long before I rack it if at all?
Dave Brush

Offline ryang

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 07:54:17 AM »
I'd keep it on.  That's what I've done with my sours with no ill effect so far.  Eventually things will start to fall out of suspension and pellicle will form. 

Like the Ranco... just set it and forget it!   :P

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 08:39:11 AM »
Yeah, I leave mine alone as well.  I've left some on the sediment for 2 years+.  They get great reviews, but I haven't entered any in a competition.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline enso

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 10:14:43 AM »
I'd keep it on.  That's what I've done with my sours with no ill effect so far.  Eventually things will start to fall out of suspension and pellicle will form. 

Like the Ranco... just set it and forget it!   :P

In regard to temp then, since you mention it...  What do you store it at?  For the first month of ferment I had it in my fermentation chamber at about 66F.  I pulled it after that to make room for the next brew.  It got as high as 77F for a short time.  The ambient temp. is now down to the mid 60's again where it is.

I am increasing my fermentation chamber capacity so, what temp. do you recommend maintaining?
Dave Brush

Offline ryang

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 10:32:51 AM »
sorry, bad typo... I meant Ronco... https://www.ronco.com/offer/Default.aspx

in my experience,
warmer temps (70+) = quicker sour.  not as complex and has the potential to get harsh alcohol flavors
cooler temps(mid 60s) = longer time frame to get the sour, but it is a more refined sour if you will.  more complex and smooth
cold temps(50s on down) = looong time frame with a rather subdued sour.  most refined and smooth though.

That being said, I don't leave my sours in a set temperature environment (gotta optimize your use of space).  I have them in my basement where the temp varies throughout the year (as low as 60 and as high as 72).  I leave my temp-controlled environments open for more fickle brews.

I wouldn't worry about the temperature swing that your's has had.  It's way more than likely there was no harm done.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 10:59:42 AM »
I agree, it's probably fine.  Mine go into the crawl space, where the temp never gets above 65F and never below 40F.  Probably not ideal to have those kind of temperature swings, but I don't have another place to put them that's any better.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline enso

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How about the oak?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 06:07:26 AM »
I forgot one variable.  I have 2 oz. of medium toast French oak soaking in some Cabernet right now.  I suppose if I add them I will eventually have to rack over to a new vessel so it does not get too oaky right?  I soaked them for a week starting at the same time as the beer.  I then dumped the wine and added some fresh wine.  They have been sitting like that since in a sealed mason jar.

Any suggestions?
Dave Brush

Offline ryang

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 07:07:37 AM »
put the oak in a steeping bag or a ladies nylon.  leave it in until it tastes the way you like it.  keep in mind the oak will fade with time.

take the oak out, not the beer.  easier that way.

Offline enso

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 08:30:32 AM »
put the oak in a steeping bag or a ladies nylon.  leave it in until it tastes the way you like it.  keep in mind the oak will fade with time.

take the oak out, not the beer.  easier that way.

That seems like a plan, except, do you think I will be able to get the bag out through the carboys neck?  I imagine it getting jammed in there.  Also, how to retrieve it?

Thanks.
Dave Brush

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 08:51:58 AM »
I would use only about 1/2 oz, and let it sit in there for a long time.  You're not likely to over oak it that way, and the beer can sit on the bugs for a long time before you rack it.  And yeah, I think you'll need to take the beer off the oak since it's in a carboy.

There's lots of choices for what you can do, I think you'll just need to decide :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline ryang

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 03:45:28 PM »

That seems like a plan, except, do you think I will be able to get the bag out through the carboys neck?  I imagine it getting jammed in there.  Also, how to retrieve it?

Thanks.

Either way it doesn't matter too much.  A little bit of finesse will get the oak out of the neck of the carboy.

I put it in a drawstring bag then tie a piece of fishing line to the drawstring and clamp the fishing line in the stopper.

Offline klickcue

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 05:16:06 PM »
I don't use a sack, just float the oak cubes on the beer since I cut my own oak, 3/4 x 3/4 inch..

Leave until you are satisfied with the flavor, rack the beer and dump the Oak cubes with the yeast and sediment..


Offline drtanglebones

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2010, 12:59:16 PM »
I have racked after 3-4 weeks and then into a secondary.  Turned out fine.  I also have not racked at all and let the beer sit for 1 year...also fine.  So take your pick!

For oak, I have added 1 oz of oak cubes for the whole year and not had a problem.  I just floated them without a bag.  More than an ounce may require earlier removal.

Offline adrie

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Re: When should I rack my Flanders red if at all?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2010, 01:35:46 AM »
Jeff Sparows says in Wild Brews that geuzes should be left on the yeast to get that rubbery autholysis bite, but that Flanders red should lack that taste and smell. So I racked my red after primary and after two months in secondary. Now I let it sit for at least a year, maybe more.
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