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Pellicle or no Pellicle?

I have posted about this a few times, but we did 14 gallons of Flanders in June 2013. We have 4.5 gallons in glass, and the remainder in 2 better bottle carboys. Glass has zero pellicle, both plastics have pretty thick ones. Questions:

-is a pellicle a good thing, a bad thing, or a neither thing?
-I am guessing the ever-so-slight permeability of the plastic is allowing some oxygen in. Should I transfer the glass carboy to a plastic bucket, add some cherries, maybe more dregs, and make it a kriek?
-all three carboys smell really good, but the ones with the pellicle seem to smell even better
-We haven’t added any oak yet to the better bottles, but did add 2-3 ounces of med-toast french chips to the glass. Should we add oak to the pellicle plastic carboys?

I know a lot of this is “it depends”, but just looking for some insight from more experienced wild ale brewers. I’m really psyched for Tonsmiere’s book to come out btw.

People with more experience will correct me. Pellicle is formed due to the presence oxygen. Plastic(as you stated) is more permeable than glass. In my experience. The sours that have formed a pellicle have “matured” faster than those what haven’t. That said, sours are a lot of fun and a lot of trial and error. You have a lot of options.

IMO, there is no reason to transfer a bucket. It’s just as permeable as the Better bottle. If you transfer to anything, go glass. Personally, I’d leave it for a bit.

Oak is up to you…2-3oz seems like a lot to me. I never use more than 1oz/5gal…and even then, I’ve over oaked some of my beers.

How old are these beers? Are they in Primary or secondary?

You probably know this already, but any plastic used with the sour bugs can’t be used with non-sour beers ever again.

[quote=“eichen323”]People with more experience will correct me. Pellicle is formed due to the presence oxygen. Plastic(as you stated) is more permeable than glass. In my experience. The sours that have formed a pellicle have “matured” faster than those what haven’t. That said, sours are a lot of fun and a lot of trial and error. You have a lot of options.

IMO, there is no reason to transfer a bucket. It’s just as permeable as the Better bottle. If you transfer to anything, go glass. Personally, I’d leave it for a bit.

Oak is up to you…2-3oz seems like a lot to me. I never use more than 1oz/5gal…and even then, I’ve over oaked some of my beers.

How old are these beers? Are they in Primary or secondary?

You probably know this already, but any plastic used with the sour bugs can’t be used with non-sour beers ever again.[/quote]

They were brewed/inoculated June 2013. I haven’t changed vessels, just direct pitch of Roseleare into each, so I guess theoretically, they are all still in primary.

I’m not sure I buy the whole plastic bucket is contaminated forever thing, but will probably adhere to it given the replacement cost. I don’t know how any microbes can live in a 4-day bleach soak.

what about pulling some of the pellicle’d beer into the non-pellicle’d beer?

We also may brew a blending beer, which will be a whole other post of questions about the bottling process (without getting gushers).

[quote=“eichen323”]
IMO, there is no reason to transfer a bucket. It’s just as permeable as the Better bottle. If you transfer to anything, go glass. Personally, I’d leave it for a bit.

sour beers ever again.[/quote]

A bucket is way way more permeable than a better bottle.

OP you say plastic but do not say what type of vessel.
You do not need to have a pellicle, big misconception with brewers is oh wow look at that huge awesome pellicle, most time I see that and try the beer it is vinegar

The two with pellicles are in better bottle/PET carboys

[quote=“grainbelt”][quote=“eichen323”]
IMO, there is no reason to transfer a bucket. It’s just as permeable as the Better bottle. If you transfer to anything, go glass. Personally, I’d leave it for a bit.

sour beers ever again.[/quote]

A bucket is way way more permeable than a better bottle.

OP you say plastic but do not say what type of vessel.
You do not need to have a pellicle, big misconception with brewers is oh wow look at that huge awesome pellicle, most time I see that and try the beer it is vinegar[/quote]

We were planning on likely blending at least some of the beer (to avoid any resulting vinegar in the glass before consumption), perhaps with a fresh flanders, but I would worry about the dextrins and sugars that the bugs can eat and create gushers/bombs. Not sure how that works…

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