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09/30/09 02:37 AM  
Need additional sourness in my flanders!
I've had a Flanders red aging in carboys for about a year now. I racked it to the keg before we moved out west. Just tasted it today. It's OK, but I'm frustrated as hell that this thing isn't very sour at all! I used the Roselaire bend as a primary fermenter.

Isn't this thing supposed to be sour? I'm wondering if maybe the fact that we made a starter to split the pack into 10 gallons somehow threw off the bug blend.

Anyway, time to take extreme action. Aside from getting my hands on AlB's Roselaire blend, which I may well try to do, what are some other bugs I could throw in the keg to speed along the sourness? Maybe some commercial sour beers that I can pitch the dregs of? Starter or no starter? Whatever I do, it has to be without the use of plates or a microscope, because I'm not that advanced in yeast handling.


Al B
09/30/09 07:29 AM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!

First off, send me yer new addy in Portland. I will send a souring agent which I already have for you to try - it contains several bacterial bugs. You can also blend the batch later on as well or add some cherries for some fermentables and thus creating some sourness. Lots of options, don't panic!!!

09/30/09 07:52 AM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
Mike and myself (and others) have had great success with supplimenting Roselare with bottle dregs. My oud bruin had dregs from some La Folie added to secondary and it's coming along well. The other issue is that it seems Roselare doesn't really come into its own until it reaches 3-4 generations. For commercial beers, I'd go with JP, RR, Cantillon, La Folie (unsure about the new bombers whether or not they're filtered), Drie Fonteinen. At a year you should definitely see some acid. Give the bottle dregs a shot. You can make a starter to speed things up, but not necessary.
09/30/09 09:57 AM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
Fantome dregs have worked consistently for me even in beers that were seemingly fully fermented out. BPotts should get credit for this though.
09/30/09 10:30 AM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
I have tasted a lot of Roselaire bend beers that had little or no sourness, its always been my belief that you need to get a couple generations in before it really performs. Cisco has refuted that though, saying he has had success by being patient for longer.

>>what are some other bugs I could throw in the keg to speed along the sourness?<<

I hate to say this, but maybe the right answer is not to speed it along.

09/30/09 11:48 AM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
Sean, I had the same experience. The answer for me was - blend!
09/30/09 01:10 PM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!

Thanks and I'm going to have to take you up on that. Whatever bugs you send out, I can share them around out here and we'll make sure to send a care package back your way.

I'll email you my new address.

Thanks for the advice guys on good commercial dregs to pitch. I will keep that in mind when doing some lambic in the near future.

09/30/09 02:28 PM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
I soured mine in a buckets for about 9 months post glass. Its sour alright.


09/30/09 05:07 PM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
Question off of Sean's question. I've heard to leave the beer on the yeast cake over the life of the beer so the bugs have stuff to feed on? If that's the case how do you go about harvesting new generations?

Should you just rack the first few beers off the yeast cake and save them for blending later and start with the 4th generation or so for souring?

09/30/09 07:38 PM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
Hey Sean,

What about adding some boiled maltodextrin (sanitized) back to the brew along with adding some of those other bugs everyone's talking about. Couldn't that give some extra munchies for the brett and bacteria to feast on if your beer is already attenuated down? Just a thought...

10/01/09 09:41 AM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
I'd never leave the beer on the yeast cake, I think that's inviting autolysis. When the primary ferment is done the yeast will drop out, but the bacteria - assuming it was all pitched at the same time - will still be in solution and active. I've made several Flanders type brews back to back, brewing a week or two apart. They all soured except for the first one. To be fair, I did not really give that one all the time it needed. The subsequent brews soured right up though.
10/01/09 10:49 AM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
I made a malt vinegar and blended it into a batch to sour it up. While this might sound like a bunch of BS, it won a gold medal in the Dominion Cup. I took the last pint of a belgian dark I had made and put it in a mason jar. 2 weeks in a kitchen cabinet with opening it every other day to get a whiff soured it up nicely. I taste-tested it before dumping it into 5 gallons of flanders red (that would've sucked to have ruined a years worth of fermentation and patience). IMO, the malt vinegar provides a much better balance with subtleties you won't get from adding straight lactic/acetic acid.

The dregs additions seem to work for a lot of people too. I suspect that dumping dregs in from bottles not only provides sourness from adding bugs, but also adds some oxygen that could help the bugs already in the beer.

10/01/09 12:57 PM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
In some lambic style beers, I've added sugar or malt additions (yes, turbinado right from a bag), into the fermentor to stimulate further funk activity.

even after primary is well over......


10/05/09 02:30 PM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
Maybe you should wait a little bit longer before doing anything? I noticed a significant increase in sourness when tasting mine recently at 15 months old versus when I tasted it at around 10 months.

10/05/09 03:41 PM  
Re: Need additional sourness in my flanders!
I agree with Narvin, if there was a better ingredient than patience then I'm sure lambic makers would not wait 3 years. Optimizing results and hurrying those results along seem like opposing poles.
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