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Kriek Question

Getting ready to brew Dawson’s kriek extract kit. Since I havent brewed a sour before, I was wondering if I should make a starter. I’m using the Wyeast lambic blend(dated April 10-exactly two months) and the OG is 1.053. I would assume I should treat this like any other beer (starter for anything over 1.040), just not sure since there are bugs involved. So…

  1. Starter? and if so, size?

  2. Ferm temp or temps and what I can expect with those temps? I’ve got a good swamp cooler so any temp down to about 56f or so is possible. Info says 63-75*.

Thanks for any advice.

Ron

For lambic the starter is not giong to hurt. I would make one just to get them bugs awake, and healthy.
Get set in for a long haul have seperate soft equipment for anything that touches this beer. You are not going to want to do a swamp coller for the 1 to 2 years to make this beer
I do not temp control my sours, but they stay in mid 50’s in winter and mid 60’s in summer.

Thanks, grainbelt. On the temp question, I was just mainly concerned with early primary fermentation. Didn’t know if, like some other yeasts, this would throw off different flavors at different temps during early stages. I’ll probably shoot for mid-60’s early and let freerise after krausen starts to fall. I’ll be secondarying in a dark closet which will be around 70in summer, 65 or so in winter.

Cheers and thanks again,

Ron

[quote=“Frenchie”]Thanks, grainbelt. On the temp question, I was just mainly concerned with early primary fermentation. Didn’t know if, like some other yeasts, this would throw off different flavors at different temps during early stages. I’ll probably shoot for mid-60’s early and let freerise after krausen starts to fall. I’ll be secondarying in a dark closet which will be around 70in summer, 65 or so in winter.

Cheers and thanks again,

Ron[/quote]

your bugs are going to be making the flavors over the long aging process. I would just keep it in the 60’s.
You are probably going to want to throw some bottles dregs of other sours in to.
you can throw in some other sach for primary if you want. Lager or ale

I don’t mean to completely disagree, but in my experience and from many things I’ve read, You really don’t need or want to do a starter. Will it hurt? Who knows. It will change the proportions of all the yeast strains in the mix though.

Also, as far as temp. The bugs like it a bit warmer. I’ve found that mid 60’s to mid 70’s and even up to the low 80’s really helps the bugs get going without any noticeable off flavors. Anything lower just seems to slow the process.

Also, as someone who learned this the hard way… the volume of the cherries when you add them require you to use a 6 gal carboy. A 5 gal will overflow.

[quote=“eichen323”]I don’t mean to completely disagree, but in my experience and from many things I’ve read, You really don’t need or want to do a starter. Will it hurt? Who knows. It will change the proportions of all the yeast strains in the mix though.

Also, as far as temp. The bugs like it a bit warmer. I’ve found that mid 60’s to mid 70’s and even up to the low 80’s really helps the bugs get going without any noticeable off flavors. Anything lower just seems to slow the process.

Also, as someone who learned this the hard way… the volume of the cherries when you add them require you to use a 6 gal carboy. A 5 gal will overflow.[/quote]

he has a fairly old pack, doing a starter is not going to do any harm and pitching that right into the first beer is not going to throw everything out of whack.
Reusing the yeast cake and other generations yes then your porportions may change.

I would stick with 60’s no more than 70’s, you will have a much more rounder product in the end…cold you go 80 maybe that will also favor some certain bugs taking over
Even with sours you want to avoid major swings

+1 on the 60’s ferm temp, no need to make the Sacch yeast turn this beer fruity. Thats the bugs’ job.

As for starter, it won’t hurt any ratios just beef up the cell count on the Sacch yeast.

As I said the starter wouldnt be a huge issue, I would not put it on a stir plate or anything though, just a basic starter with and airlock to wake them up and get them going

Thanks a million everyone. Can’t wait to get this marathon going.

Ron :cheers:

I brewed this recipe in November, 2012. I have sampled it and it is fantastic - I would like a bit more cherry flavor, but it was worth the wait

Thanks for the encouragement, Dads. I did make a starter but just overnight. Didn’t see much action in the starter after about 15 hours, but pitched the whole thing just the same. I’ve had a nice krausen for about 5 days now and it smells awesome, a little belgiany like you’d expect. Started at 64* and kept there for about 3 days, then let if freerise to 70 and its been there for a couple of days. I plan on racking over the cherry puree after about 3 weeks, or whenever the gravity levels off.

Cheers,

Ron

[quote=“Frenchie”]Thanks for the encouragement, Dads. I did make a starter but just overnight. Didn’t see much action in the starter after about 15 hours, but pitched the whole thing just the same. I’ve had a nice krausen for about 5 days now and it smells awesome, a little belgiany like you’d expect. Started at 64* and kept there for about 3 days, then let if freerise to 70 and its been there for a couple of days. I plan on racking over the cherry puree after about 3 weeks, or whenever the gravity levels off.

Cheers,

Ron[/quote]

no racking let it sit, you don’t put on cherries for at least another 6 months to 1 1/2 years or more

I put the cherry puree in at a month and it turned out great, did take the better part of a year to be in good shape.

On the other hand I do appreciate doing things the traditional way. I have a year-old lambic and just harvested around five pounds of sour cherries from my tree, I’m freezing the cherries first and will put the beer on them very soon. This is the second time I’ve made a kriek with my homegrown cherries, the last one was great.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]I put the cherry puree in at a month and it turned out great, did take the better part of a year to be in good shape.

On the other hand I do appreciate doing things the traditional way. I have a year-old lambic and just harvested around five pounds of sour cherries from my tree, I’m freezing the cherries first and will put the beer on them very soon. This is the second time I’ve made a kriek with my homegrown cherries, the last one was great.[/quote]

For me a point of a kreik, or any sour with fruit is to have fresh fruit flavors, yes you could put the cherries on much much ealier after a month or two, but by the time you get around to drinking and bottling this (1-3 years) a lot of the fruit flavors will subside vs letting it age then adding fruit for 3-6 months and then bottling
Fruited sour beers are just like IPA’s drink em fresh IMO

So I’ve had this sour in primary now for about 7 weeks. Do I need to rack it off the primary cake, or can I just leave it. I didn’t know if sours, like regular beers, were susceptible to autolysis or not.

It’s going through it’s barnyard/horse blanket/wet toe jam/old sneaker stage right now.

SG on July 11 was 1.014. Yeast was wyeast Lambic blend. Still getting a bubble about every 10 minutes. Has been at room temp at a constant 72* F.

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,

Ron

[quote=“Frenchie”]So I’ve had this sour in primary now for about 7 weeks. Do I need to rack it off the primary cake, or can I just leave it. I didn’t know if sours, like regular beers, were susceptible to autolysis or not.

It’s going through it’s barnyard/horse blanket/wet toe jam/old sneaker stage right now.

SG on July 11 was 1.014. Yeast was wyeast Lambic blend. Still getting a bubble about every 10 minutes. Has been at room temp at a constant 72* F.

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,

Ron[/quote]

Autolysis is pretty much non existent in the homebrew world.
Your find leaving it in primary for a long time

Ok, so this sour has really gotten good. Took a sample at three months and it tastes like a sour!! Amazing! So in my impatience (sorry grainbelt, if it turns out not so good, you can say you told me so) I’ve racked the beer over the cherry puree hoping that I might be able to pop a few at Christmas.

My question is:
Should I be seeing fermentation activity (I’m thinking yes, of course), and if I don’t, should I be concerned? Is there anything I can do if there is no refermentation?

Thanks as usual,

Ron

Anybody?

Depends. Sometimes older sours ferment in fairly strange/slow ways. It will fermenting, the question is, will it be noticable? Maybe so maybe not.

Wahoo, you were spot on. Only a small white krausen formed a few days after adding cherry puree, no noticeable activity in airlock (in a glass carboy so pretty confident there are no leaks in bung ). But I took a sample today(about 3 weeks after cherries), and the SG is back to what it was pre-cherries and it tastes great.

Only one question currently:
My favorite kriek is kriek boon, which is a bit sweeter than mine. Is there a good way of sweetening this beer, or would I be risking screwing it up? Seems like lactose might add to the body in a way that wouldn’t be pleasing in a sour, and I’m sure most artificial sweeteners will probably taste medicinal to me as they always seem to.

I’d love to hear any suggestions or experiences.

Thanks,

Ron

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