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03/05/12 05:31 PM  
Blending and bottling flanders
Hello, I have a 2 year old flanders red that is a tad more sour than I would like. I have brewed a new one and would like to blend old and new to achieve a better acidity level. In the past I have kegged this type of beer under refrigeration which inhibits the microbes, but this time I would like to bottle it. I am worried that the microbes will begin to digest the new unsoured portion of the beer and it will end up over-soured and over-carbonated. Any recomendations on how to handle this situation?


03/05/12 05:47 PM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders
We need a piece of the puzzle.

What's the terminal gravity of each beer?

We'll assume there's not a bunch of CO2 left in solution.

Depending on the terminal gravity you may or may not have to add priming sugar. If you do it will likely be very little.

03/05/12 09:11 PM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders
The soured beer is about 1.02 (I was experimenting and added a huge amount of crystal which explains the high final gravity) but is 2 years old, very sour and has been stable at this gravity for a year. The new beer is 1.01. I haven't decided for sure but will use about 1:1 or 2 parts old:1 part new. I have 5 gallons each.
03/05/12 10:12 PM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders
Are they the same yeast culture? If so you can safely assume that the new beer won't attenuate the old beer further. The only variable really is if the young beer is still fermenting. If that's stable as well then you really should have anything worry about. When doing a 1:1 you'd have like 1.015 bottling gravity. If you went 2 old to 1 new you'd have like 1.017 bottling gravity.

Wow that is a high terminal gravity at 1.020. I just did a crystal heavy flanders red today.

Rob B
03/06/12 09:06 AM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders

Your gravities seem way off to me. I understand you used a large portion of crystal which would give you a great deal of dextrins, but that is what the bugs love to eat so your gravity should still be low. The highest terminal gravity I have ever had in a brett beer is 1.009. You are worried about the microbes eating the "new" beer, but your "old" beer has much more residual sugar according to your numbers.

If your old beer is more sour than your young beer yet has a higher gravity I wouldn't worry about what gravity your mix will have. Just mix small portions to achieve the flavor you want and then mix the large portion at that ratio.

03/06/12 09:36 AM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders
Is it a possibility to kill the existing microbes then reyeast with a sachromyces at bottling to prevent further souring?
03/06/12 09:44 AM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders
You might want to take out a small insurance policy. The pro's who do this (got this from the importer of Rodenbach probably 15 years ago) can't afford thousands of glass grenades going out, so make sure the bacteria is out of the game. They sulfite or something similar to insure that nothing unexpected happens after the cap goes on.

I agree with everyone else, the numbers here don't really make sense. With wild bacteria in play crystal malt left overs are not safe. If it were me I would not trust that the beers food supply is depleted despite the appearance of long-term stability. I'd blend to taste, sulfite, let it sit long enough for the sulfites to fade then prime and bottle.

03/06/12 11:43 AM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders
This sounds like good advise to me. I failed to mention the younger beer has not been exposed to brett or bacteria yet. How long would I need to let the beer sit after using sulfite?
03/06/12 12:14 PM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders
I don't have all the data handy, but chemicals can be used at varying levels with different effects. For example, in cider making some people use a certain amount before setting must down to ferment designed to take out only the wild bacteria. I guess actual yeasts are a little more hearty and can take lower levels that are fatal to other organisms. When I have used sulfites or similar chemicals I've let the stuff sit for a couple weeks, which I'm sure is overkill. Some people have issues with wines that contain sulfites, but my understanding is that in those cases the bottler, after sulfiting the batch, actually adds MORE sulfites to the bottle to be completely sure! Personally I'd avoid that, I know for example my wife used to get headaches from wines that had been sulfited. Research would probably prove me paranoid, but I try to never be in a hurry. I stich to the directions for the amount to add then give it like 3 weeks. I suspect just one week is all you need.
03/06/12 03:27 PM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders
So if your young beer is sour how did it get sour with out having brett or bacteria exposure? Did you add a bunch of acidulated malt or something? Is the new beer even sour?

I'm confused here because those gravities are high.

Also I would think Rodenbach centrifuged or filtered and then pasteurized and bottled. I know they do something along those lines because when I get it there's no sediment at the bottom from conditioning. I could be wrong I have not really read up on their production practices ever.

03/06/12 03:47 PM  
Re: Blending and bottling flanders
The young beer is not sour.
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