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11/21/10 10:45 AM  
Flanders Timing
Is there such a thing as too soon with bugs? I brewed a Flanders following Jamil's recipe just over a month ago. In primary I pitched only BugFarm, no chico yeast.

Conventional wisdom seems to be to rack at around a month or so, and I just did onto some oak cubes soaked in red wine. No pelicle has formed at this point. I had a taste (obviously) and it seemed great - a good level of sourness, really tasted a lot like what I was shooting for.

Conventional wisdom also seems to state that this should take a year or more to complete. I guess my question is what regrets would I have if I packaged it now? Is the primary reason to let it age longer to get a stronger sour / acid taste to facilitate blending with younger beers?

My expectations have been completely set for waiting and I had no plans to drink this until late 2011 or 2012 but I'm just wondering if anyone has tried this and learned their lesson.


11/21/10 10:58 AM  
Re: Flanders Timing
Allowing the beer to batch age gives it more chance for microoxygenation to occur within the vessel you are aging in. This will help the myriad of complex flavors from the various brett sp. and bacteria (lacto/pedio) in Al's blend to shine. Plus since you just added oak it will also give the oak time to integrate nicely into the profile of the beer.

If you bottled too soon you could also be risking bottle bombs as these wild critters are notorious for continuing to feast on the remaining residual sugars left behind from the sacch. fermentation (I think Al used a saison yeast for this). So, the long extended fermentation simply gives the wild ones a chance to eat up what they will slowly and most likely drop your gravity to a suitable bottling range.

11/22/10 09:44 AM  
Re: Flanders Timing
>>Is there such a thing as too soon with bugs?<<

michaewa, the answer has to be no. The beers that inspired such homebrew endeavors were supplimented if not driven by spontaneous fermentation, the pitching schedule would have been out of the control of the brewer. Besides, with a reasonably balanced blend - and I'd expect there would be no other kind - the regular ale yeast would have an enourmous time advantage. It takes off a lot faster than the other bugs, some of which take months to get to speed. The last couple Flanders red's I've made was a single pitching up front.

11/23/10 09:45 AM  
Re: Flanders Timing
Thanks very much for the feedback. I'm actually far too lazy to bottle so I would plan to keg the great majority of it.

I think I will just tuck it away and forget about it for another year, I am going to do another 10g batch using the dregs from the primary of the first one to see how much more sour the bugfarm is on second generation.


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