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Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by wasatchback, Jan 1, 2021.
Wait, how long total has it been fermenting?
Brewed 6.5 gals of golden sour base today to replace what I'm going to pull from my solera barrel later this month. Bumped the IBU level a bit since my culture has been getting progressively more sour over time.
I fermented in primary for 2 weeks then transferred to a CO2 purged keg with dates and figs for 2 weeks maybe a few days longer and then transferred to a cleaned empty keg through a bouncer brand in-line strainer. I did bottle 3 750ml bottles after the keg transfer and primed the bottles and after 2 weeks the bottle version was much better and more acetic.
So... umm... you don't want acetic acid in an Oud Bruin.
In order to produce acetic acid you need Acetic acid producing organisms such as acetobacter or certain strains of brettanomyces. The Flemish blend does have Brett so it is possible. However it would take quite a bit of time and decent amounts of Oxygen after primary fermentation in order for the brett to create acetic acid. It usually happens when long term aging vessels (barrels, fouders) dry out and there are large gaps between the staves.
Jasonja1474 is using East Coast Yeast Flemish Ale, which is supposed to be appropriate for Flanders Red. Since that style has acetic acid, I would have thought the blend would have Acetobacter in it. But it isn't listed as a component of the blend, so yeah, it's going to be tough to get acetic character. In these circumstances, if acetic character is what you want, I would actually just add a nice vinegar in a very small quantity at bottling.
I brewed a sour beer with one of Bootleg Biology's solera blends, and it developed a very nice controlled but noticeable acetic character. So I'd recommend that approach for anyone trying to get a little acetic kick in a sour beer. That particular beer was definitely balanced more sour than a typical oud bruin, though. (It also sat around for months before I bottled it or even sampled it, so I don't know how long it took for the acetic character to appear.)
As a point of clarification: Oud Bruin is not supposed to have any acetic acid. Oud Bruin, as a style, is pure lactic and Belgian Sacc. It is aged in Stainless Steel tanks roughly 6 months. It doesn't have Brett, oak, or acetic acid. It is malty, fruity, estery, spicy, and tart. If you are looking for oak, Brett, or vinegar, then you are looking for a Flander's Red. Because of this difference, any of the Flemish/Flanders blends are inappropriate to use for this style.
@Beer_Life @wasatchback @Jasonja1474
I see where you're coming from but unless this beer is being entered in a competition, it's fine to screw around with it and take it outside the style parameters. By the way it wouldn't surprise me if some commercial examples of oud bruin were simply blends of clean beer and a base sour beer, in which case who knows what microbes would be responsible for the sourness.
I get what you're saying, and have no issue with messing around with beers. My point is this: if you're going to discuss issues with a beer you made not having particular characteristics you were looking for, be sure to discuss the proper style. If you are wondering why your Amber isn't hoppy enough or bitter enough, it might just be that you want to make a Red IPA which is different than an American Amber. Ambers aren't supposed to be bitter or hop forward. Same thing here. If you want a dark, malty, sweet, sour, oaky, funky beer with vinegar notes, that is a Flander's Red, not an Oude Bruin. His Oude Bruin might actually be an amazing Oude Bruine, but he thinks it isn't because he actually wants a Flander's Red. Dark malty base, Belgian Sacc, lacto and pedio, stainless aging. That is Oude Bruin.
Anyway, Jason's gonna need a lot longer than a few weeks to get proper Oud Bruin OR Flanders Red character.
Yeah fair enough. I'd make two observations though.
First, it sounds as though Jasonja1474 isn't really aiming for a Flanders red exactly. He's aiming for an in between beer that has an acetic acid component. From a BJCP perspective that takes you out of any recognizable style but I believe in Flanders it would make complete sense.
Which brings me to my second point. I did a little digging around, and the BJCP 2015 guidelines are unambiguous on this point (this is from the entry on oud bruin):
The sourness should not grow to a notable acetic/vinegary character.
But the distinction between a Flanders red and an oud bruin appears to have originated in Michael Jackson's mind. That's not to say the distinction is "wrong" exactly, since any taxonomy of something like beer is going to involve some amount of arbitrary line-drawing. But policing the border between oud bruin and Flanders red seems especially pointless given that in their native land that border is nonexistent. (Again, I'm assuming the beer is not being brewed for competition. For U.S. competition purposes it's a very real distinction.)
Here's Jeff Alworth in the second edition of The Beer Bible:
Jackson's attention may have saved these breweries, but his distinction between them stylistically is now hard to defend. Indeed, there's reason to believe the distinction was never made locally. Alex Lippens, a new brewer in the region making these beers, said, "If you ask about oud bruin in Roeselare, you get Rodenbach. If you ask in Oudenaarde, you will get Liefmans. The common people don't say 'Flemish red ale.' If they ask [for] a style, they say 'oud bruin.'" Following the example of lambic brewers to the east, makers of these beers have gotten more organized and seem to have settled on the Flemish roodbruin, or red-brown.
I did some googling, and it's true, Petrus doesn't seem to brew an oud bruin anymore. It brews a roodbruin:
[Edited to add: I think Petrus was what I had in mind when I said some commercial producers make oud bruin by blending a base sour beer with a clean beer. Of course my point is somewhat complicated by the fact that it isn't an oud bruin anymore, it's a roodbruin. But I'm pretty sure that's how Petrus brewed oud bruin when it sold that style. Needless to say, if you're blending fouder-aged sour beer into your oud bruin, that is not a stainless steel fermentation.]
This makes me wonder if the new BJCP guidelines will even treat oud bruin as a style. Maybe so, but I'd hesitate to treat this particular style guideline as prescriptive outside the context of U.S. competitions.
[edited to fix typos]
@Beer_Life thanks for all that info, it's good stuff. Yeah, I was basing my style designations more on the "Wild Brews" book by Sparrow, as well as the 2015 BJCP.
I'm just gonna throw my 2 cents into the whole Sour Flanders Ale (is that safe enough of term?) debate: If there is more than a hint of acetic character, it is too much for me.
That being said, if you are looking to get an acetic character without it eventually getting out of control (which tends to happen with Sour Flanders that age too long) break out the pipettes and graduated cylinders and dose with either the most expensive sherry vinegar you can get your hands on.
Kegging and burst carbing 2 single hop pale ales (Eclipse & Bru-1) for Xmas festivities.
Yeah, try letting that age closer to a year, instead of a month.
Dry hopping recent hole hop ale with comet hole hops.
I like the acidity though. So I do want it
I think your correct in this and I may just be after another style.
You guys are right. This is what I wanted to replicate in my head and it turns out they describe it as Flanders. So I should have paid better attention.
Making a black currant mead. I'll put a bottle out for Santa, Chistmas Eve '22.
Pale ale is on deck.
If by "hit with 15 PSI" you man filled the headspace with 15 PSI, then disconnected the gas, don't be surprised if they are soon measuring "0" PSI. Most of the gas is going to be absorbed into the beer, leaving not enough headspace pressure to maintain the keg seal, assuming the seal was depending on the pressure to hold.
Hmm. You had mentioned your Oud Bruin didn't seem "acetic" enough for you. When you say acetic and acidity (above quote), do you mean lactic acid sourness or do you actually mean acetic acid sourness (i.e. vinegar). The latter isn't likely to happen very efficiently without acetobacter, which wouldn't be in the ECY Flanders blend.
As an aside, I know one commercial brewer who's killing it with his sours. When he wants an acetic acid component, he's blending vinegar into the beer. He does use a lot of bugs and a lot of aging, but he says he gets the best control of acetic acid content by blending vinegar, and judging by his beers, I believe him.
That makes sense… I did upgrade my kegs recently aka new lids/seals and posts, and they seem to be very snug but this will be a nice ‘test’ for when I’m back into the new year. I will let you know!
See I think what I was after is lactic acid sourness. Just a hint of the vinegar. Next time I will add some lactic producing bugs. I want to do this in a 5 gallon barrel I have but I want to also run a batch of barleywine through it first. Thanks for the clarification, I’m still learning on the sour brews
If you used the ECY02 blend, you already have the lactic acid producing bugs (Lacto and Pedio). Since you want vinegar also, what's missing is Acetobacter. Lactobacillus can make a little bit of acetic acid, but usually below taste threshold.
So I should’ve let it age longer before kegging and cold conditioning to get more souring? Since it’s carbonated already and has been in the fridge for a few weeks, is it too late to let it warm up and try to sour more?
2. It's worth a try.
If this is a style of beer you enjoy I'd recommend picking up a copy of Michael Tonsmeire's book American Sour Beer.
@Jasonja1474 lactic acid from Lactobicillus will be inhibited by IBUs. The higher the IBUs the less lactic acid production. Pedio takes a few months to kick in and do its thing. The Brettanomyces in that yeast blend will produce some acetic acid. Acetic acid is dependent on oxygen ingress as acetobacter transforms alcohol into acetic acid in the presence of oxygen. No oxygen, no acetic acid (vinegar). Putting the beer into a keg within the first few weeks has removed all oxygen thus haulting acetic acid production, and getting it cold has haulted the Pedioccoccus from creating lactic acid.
If I were in your shoes I would remove the keg from the kegerator and leave it warm for 6 months, but do not let in oxygen. The Pedio will kick off when temperatures warm up in the Spring (or you could bring the keg into the house). After a few months the beer might thicken and get goopy when you pour some from the keg to taste it. If so, leave it warm, leave it alone, come back in 6 weeks and check again.
Brewing a pretty simple Kolsch today.
100% Barke Pils
Magnum and Hallertau Mittelfrueh to about 30 ibus
Bottling an imperial stout and brewing another iteration of a GF Red IPA today. I've simplified the grain bill quite a bit because the last attempt was very muddy. Also increasing the sulfates to keep the crystal malts in check.
Red Wing Millet
Caramel Millet 120L
Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial
Nottingham @ 60°F
Let me know if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it was Mike Tonsmiere (American Sour Beer book) that shoved a widdled table leg into the top of his carboy to allow oxygen ingress in a flanders red hoping to mimic a fouder? I think the sherry/balsamic vinegar idea is pretty good, but personally if you're looking for that specific character, I'd just transfer .50-.75 gallons of Flanders into a 1 gallon carboy and let it age for a bit with brett/bacteria. All of the extra headspace should allow for acetic acid production. Then you can blend a small amount into the finished beer.
Brewing up a CDC LiePA . 2 row , C10, cascade, centennial, Nottingham.
While I agree with your thoughts on this, I would still be hesitant to go this route. Having experienced wild beers I let the airlock dry on go past acetic acid to ethylacetate (acetone, nail polish remover), and dumping full carboys, I would caution with attempting to get acetic acid production. On a large scale with mass amounts of beer to blend from, acetic acid production, and sherry oxidation notes, can be safer to achieve. In a homebrewery, on single, maybe double batch, blending options you have to be very careful to not kill an entire batch. As homebrewers, we have the freedom to blend in vinegar and sherry to achieve the same flavors without using the same techniques as traditional brewers. (Before someone argues that if we don't do it the same way as the big boys that we are cheating, our carboys with wooden chair legs shoved in them are not Fouders or barrels, we are mimicking on a small scale to achieve the same flavors regardless)
Request beer, mission accomplished ipa.
Belgian biscuit malt
Cascade, chinook then citra