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Author Replies
03/12/09 09:36 AM  
not sour enough
A year and a half ago I brewed a lambic, standard recipe, 1.05-1.06 OG, and used the white labs sour blend along with WLP001, fermented in a better bottle for about 14 months. I also brewed a couple batches of flanders red last summer. Both with roselare (1 as primary, 1 as secondary - primary was us05) Also in better bottles...The Lambic, while a nice bretty beer, is not really sour. The flanders beers, while only in month 9 of fermentation are not really sour either (the one with roselare as primary is noticably more flavorful and a bit more sour though).

All three were fermented in the basement which stays a pretty steady 65-68 year round.

None of them are bad, just not sour enough. I am thinking it is a lack of oxygen that is preventing the more acetic flavors from developing...So my question is has anyone had success getting real sour flavors using better bottles/glass carboys/corny kegs as fermentation vessels? I am probably going to pick up some buckets and re-brew these to see if that has any impact, but obviously it will take a while to find out!

03/12/09 09:53 AM  
Re: not sour enough
I have, but not with store bought cultures.I would suggest putting them somewhere warm for the summer. Bacteria really thrives above 80 degrees.... My sours sit in a closet that gets really cool in the winter and very warm in the summer.

And/or a dose of some hardy lambic dregs might do the trick. I've gotten intense sourness from fantome dregs, cantillon dregs, etc...

Al B
03/12/09 10:25 AM  
Re: not sour enough

When you say "standard recipe" did you mean with unmalted wheat? a turbid mash? Starting from the beginning, we want lots of starches & dextrins for the souring bugs since the WL001 yeast will quickly utilize the typical sugars leaving the bretts & bacteria to compete for the remaining complex starches. Without some starch/dextrinous compounds, acidity to a high level may be hard to obtain in this scenerio.

If so, I would blend w/ a sour batch or add some malto-dextrin w/ the dregs Ben suggests.

I have no problems getting sour beers at that temp range and timefram (although higher temps do favor lactic bacteria) and in glass carboys.

Good luck

03/12/09 10:56 AM  
Re: not sour enough
I was thinking of dregs, but wanted to give these a couple more months and see what they do.

Al - well, for the lambic I used some unmalted wheat, not the 40% or so some use as I was worried about getting a stuck sparge (first time using unmalted wheat/turbid mash) so I split the wheat portion of the recipe between malted and unmalted wheat. I did add about 1/4 lb malto dextrin since I chickened out on all unmalted wheat, but that was probably too little? The original lambic is bottled already, but I will try these suggestions on my next round. I do have some fresher lambic going now (3-4 months old with a similar recipe/process) I will boil up some maltodextrin and DME or sugar to pitch with some dregs and see if that helps. Looks like I will have some cantillon to enjoy this weekend then!

Al B
03/12/09 11:21 AM  
Re: not sour enough
Yes. Enjoy some Cantillon.

Its entirely possible that Pedio never got going from the sour mix. They can be picky, somewhat fastidious in storage. Some yeast nutrient often helps Pedio with important nutrients (especially if you rack off the primary sediment).

03/12/09 12:00 PM  
Re: not sour enough
Al, this may be a bit off topic, but do you think doing the whole turbid mash thing is necessary, as opposed to using say 50% flaked wheat? How might this affect the fermentation?

I am thinking of brewing my first lambic soon and I would like to do it right, but I'd also like to avoid the turbid mash if possible.

Al B
03/12/09 12:36 PM  
Re: not sour enough

It would be interesting to know how much conversion of flaked wheat will come into play when mashed with 2-row. I don't know but it would be better in my mind to use unmalted wheat in some fashion - maybe try the WY abbreviated turbid mash.

But I really feel to get the most out of it is a traditional turbid mash. This sounds time consuming (it is) but it is not diffcult. In fact, its pretty easy (unless you're doing a 15 bbl batch!) ONCE you convert the correct measures of water vs. grain ratios for each step.

Had very little temperature variation (maybe 1-2 F off here or there) which won't affect the finished product and no inkling of a stuck run-off. A smaller batch size may also be easier to control to start off too.

But I think you will notice a difference in dissolved solids in the wort (turbid vs non-turbid), it will look very "turbid" the end product will be less likely to be weak or inferior. Keep telling yourself it'll be easier than a decoction!

03/12/09 12:49 PM  
Re: not sour enough
Regarding the Fantome dregs....is there a difference between their varieties? I know I have seen the Hiver and the regular saison variety locally, but not sure what's currently in stock at my local stores....so should I pick up whatever they have or is there a specific one that seems to work better?
03/12/09 01:01 PM  
Re: not sour enough
I used the BBBlack and White (a one off that's a few years old now...). It's gotten real funky since I bought a couple of years ago and the bottles have some real intense neck rings. The last time I tried newer fantome it was more clean so perhaps one might not be able to get much out of Danny's dregs any more. I always found the Hiver to be one of the more funky ones...at least it was.... Black Ghost might be good to try as well.
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