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Like the BBB, the homeBBBrew board is not a club, just a place to talk about making beer. Is there a swap you would like to see happen? If we can find a few others who have something similar then lets do it!

I just really like the work levifunk is doing!

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03/13/10 07:31 PM  
How does this sound?
First time post here, loving all the info. I recently found this place via the mad fermentationist's blog. My first sour(brewed with a friend) is in secondary right now and is a JP Bam Biere clone with a culture from Bam Noire in secondary.

Next weekend i'm brewing my first solo attempt at a sour. I'm doing a Belgian Strong Golden with Brett B and some of Vinnie's oak chips. Here's what I plan on doing:

11lbs Pilsner malt

3lbs cane sugar

2.25oz Saaz @ 90

The recipe calls for mashing at 149F, but I was going to bump that up a few degrees and then a 90min boil.

I'll pitch WLP570 and BrettB in primary. Then I have a bag of Vinnie's RR chips along with .5oz of Hungarian oak cubes that have been soaking in Pinot Grigio for a while that will go into secondary for the long haul.

Any thoughts, recommendations?


03/14/10 04:07 PM  
Re: How does this sound?
I do understand the importance of pure cane sugar to increase wort fermentability for a Belgian Golden Strong. The only issue I see using that much along with no other specialty/crystal malts (also not typical for the style) is that the brett may not have much to work on after the primary is done. Even substituting a pound or two more instead of the cane sugar might leave something for the brett to work on.

Or maybe adding 1# of cane sugar to the boil along with a bit higher mash temp (say 152-154), letting the 570 work for 5 or 6 days, then as primary starts to slow, rack to a carboy adding the remaining sugar (dissolved to sanitize) along with the brett and oak. This will help to wake up the brett and get it going as well. Just some thoughts.

Mike T
03/15/10 09:46 AM  
Re: How does this sound?
Agreed with Brewin', I would aim for a slightly sweeter finish since you've got the bugs(although i would add all the microbes in primary at the start). You are ~30% by extract at the moment (assuing low 70% eff), not over the top, but higher than I have done even in a clean beer (I stick around 20% for pale Belgian beers).

If you want sour you may need to add some other bugs as well, the two beers I used Vinnie's first round of chips on got funky, but they never got more than a faint tartness.

Good luck.

03/15/10 03:03 PM  
Re: How does this sound?
Cool thanks. I'm not married to the recipe itself just yet, but it's the Strong Golden out of Brewing Classic Styles. So far what I and my friends have brewed out of there have been really good beers.

I could easily bump the grain up a little. Would taking one of the #s of sugar out of the boil and adding it to secondary help the bugs?

I am planning to drink an Oerbier Special Reserva the day i'm brewing and plan to pitch those dregs. I also have a healthy slurry from a tasting a while back. I may add that as well. I was starting to worry that dumping too many different things in would just muddy things up, but maybe that's the way I should go.

If I add everything into primary, will the 570 characteristics come through? I really love that yeast.

Again, thanks for the advice. i'm a rookie on these sours.


Mike T
03/15/10 04:11 PM  
Re: How does this sound?
If you go funky/sour you are going to lose a lot of the primary yeast character. It will be there early on, but as the Brett works it will destroy most (but not all) of the primary yeast character in my experience.

Delaying some/all of the sugar is certainly a fine idea, since it will allow them to work in a lower abv environment for awhile and then feed them (instead of the Sacch). Even 6 months in would be a fine time to add some more fermentables since the bugs will be in charge of the place by then.

For a big sour I add as many bugs as possible since the high alcohol will inhibit many strains. I've never had a "muddy" beer from having too many bugs (aren't there estimates that real lambics have more than 100 strains of microbes active over the course of fermentation?)

Oerbier Special Reserva is terrific, isn't it?

03/15/10 04:25 PM  
Re: How does this sound?
"Oerbier Special Reserva is terrific, isn't it?"

actually haven't had it yet. I bought the last two available in Alabama (that I know of) last week. They're the 2008 vintage.

As for the sugar, that's good to know. I think I may add a # or 2 to the boil and then add the rest and maybe more down the line. I'm assuming the only risk of adding it later is introducing oxygen which could help acetobacter right?

03/15/10 05:21 PM  
Re: How does this sound?
I would not add too much sugar later on as the yeast will only rip through it. I would consider adding maltodextrin as this will make the bugs work harder and create more interesting flavors/aromas in the long run. the sugar will just dry your beer out which will not leave any unfermentables for the bugs to eat away at.
03/15/10 08:11 PM  
Re: How does this sound?
two thoughts,

First I think your recipe would work just fine, although it may be low in Brett & Sour char, though if these were just for complexity it should be fine.

I don't know if I'd go with adding sugar later, but... My thought would be to add 1-.5# of unmalted grain of some sort. This could provide some carb/starch that would be good food for bugs, but not sach..

03/15/10 09:03 PM  
Re: How does this sound?
<<My thought would be to add 1-.5# of unmalted grain of some sort. This could provide some carb/starch that would be good food for bugs, but not sach>>

I do want food for the bugs as a am shooting for both brett and sour character. What sort of unmalted grain would you guy recommend?

03/15/10 11:50 PM  
Re: How does this sound?
My preference is wheat, but I'm sure others use other options as well.
03/16/10 06:06 PM  
Re: How does this sound?
I would think a significant amount of unmalted grains would have to be used to provide extra food for the bugs. I believe that sacc. can still chomp down on some aspects of the unmalted grains to a degree. the unmalted grains could also lead to a starch haze that you would not want in this style, although if you only use a small amount this will be negligible. I still think your best bet would be to either mash higher in addition to replacing some of the sugar with 1-2# base grains to gain your fermentables. The grains will leave behind some unfermentables to feed the wild ones. In addition to these steps, I would then rack to a secondary and add some maltodextrin to further the critters complexities.
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