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Question for Sour Blenders

I know the textbook answer for how to blend is “it depends, taste it”.

I sampled one of three flanders reds we made in June 2013 (each same wort, all pitched with Roseleare, but 2 had Jolly Pumpkin dregs added subsequently, one Oude Boon dregs with oak chips added subsequently).

The latter is the one I sampled, and it had a really complex sourness, low acetic and some lactic.

I think this beer would be great on its own as a ‘grand cru’, but I also really think it would be balanced out by blending with a somewhat sweeter beer as its dry and tart. My question is, could I simply mash a typical Flanders recipe and ferment with a neutral ale yeast for blending and have the blending beer ready in a few weeks time? Sub question, if I do this, won’t the residual bugs in the year old beer eat the dextrins/sugars not consumable by sacc yeast in the blending/young beer and create bottle bombs once blended and bottled?

My apologies, as I feel like I’ve asked this question in different ways before, but just trying to do everything I can to ensure we don’t ruin a 12 month investment of deliciousness.

Thanks!

yes you can do the same or similar recipe and blend to at a little more complexity. As for causing bottle bombs yes you may if you do not do this carefully… Use proper thick bottles figure out FG and FG of your beer to blend to see any worries. You may want to blend and let that sit in the carboy a bit instead to ferment out.
When bottling you may not even add priming sugar you may just bottle straight up and let it finish in the bottle
With normal beer bottles it doesnt take much for a bottle bomb.

Try blendig different ratios of the 3 you have, it may give you the complexity you are looking for.
It all depends how much you are blending back to get to where you want if it is going to be to high of an FG to bottle or not…

I’m not sure if the bacteria create CO2 from their consumption of the complex sugars. I suppose the Brett might but I don’t know how much, it’s certainly slower than Sacch. If I were going to blend with a new beer I wouldn’t bother fermenting it with a sour mix. I’d just blend, bottle (with priming sugar) and plan on consuming it in the next few months. If you want to blend and store, then don’t bottle just put it in a carboy and bottle when you are ready to drink it.

I do love adding dregs, The beers I’ve spiked always come out really sour. I think the bacteria must build up or survive better than the Brett.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]I’m not sure if the bacteria create CO2 from their consumption of the complex sugars. I suppose the Brett might but I don’t know how much, it’s certainly slower than Sacch. If I were going to blend with a new beer I wouldn’t bother fermenting it with a sour mix. I’d just blend, bottle (with priming sugar) and plan on consuming it in the next few months. If you want to blend and store, then don’t bottle just put it in a carboy and bottle when you are ready to drink it.

I do love adding dregs, The beers I’ve spiked always come out really sour. I think the bacteria must build up or survive better than the Brett.[/quote]

Yes bacteria and Brett will eat any more sugar you put in for a long time…I just added some cheerries to a 3 year old lambic a few months back and fermentation took right off again after a few days. If I would have bottled that or added a beer at like a 1.010 FG to it you would deffinatley have bottle bombs.

If he were to do your blend and store, he would be doing that every time he bottled up a few beers as that beer will eat everything up again

so is pasteurization and/or camden/potassium sulfate additions the answer? That way I can carb right to desired volumes of CO2?

I do also like the suggestion of letting the blend sit for a bit before bottling.

I am ok with no further ‘bug’ complexity developing, but I do want to age a few bottles (of both the blends and the grand cru). I’m thinking the beer will still develop as the alcohols esterify over time, even if I knock out the bugs and re-yeast at bottling/priming.

[quote=“Pietro”]so is pasteurization and/or camden/potassium sulfate additions the answer? That way I can carb right to desired volumes of CO2?

I do also like the suggestion of letting the blend sit for a bit before bottling.

I am ok with no further ‘bug’ complexity developing, but I do want to age a few bottles (of both the blends and the grand cru). I’m thinking the beer will still develop as the alcohols esterify over time, even if I knock out the bugs and re-yeast at bottling/priming.[/quote]

if your pasutrizing why age? its not going to develop like a live bottle would… You just have to keep an eye on gravities, if it is still dropping dont bottle. Use the big heavy duty bottles so if something does over carb it wont blow up.
It also depends on the age of these beers and what you are putting in on a blend. A 2 or 3 year old beer sitting in a carboy you are going to have to reyeast (champange yeast or somethign that handles the ph) something a year old I might not reyeast just depends on my notes

[quote=“grainbelt”]

if your pasutrizing why age? its not going to develop like a live bottle would… You just have to keep an eye on gravities, if it is still dropping dont bottle. Use the big heavy duty bottles so if something does over carb it wont blow up.
It also depends on the age of these beers and what you are putting in on a blend. A 2 or 3 year old beer sitting in a carboy you are going to have to reyeast (champange yeast or somethign that handles the ph) something a year old I might not reyeast just depends on my notes[/quote]

Again, I know it won’t get more sour over the years in a bottle once its been pasteurized/clean yeasted, but I’m thinking it will still develop sherry/dried fruit flavors from the esterification/aging.

The reason would be to ensure a consistent level of carbonation in the end product. What good is a 2 year old bottled sour if it foams all over the place and gets sediment in every pour?

I guess I’d just prefer some degree of assured serving consistency once the beer has been blended/bottled.

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“grainbelt”]

if your pasutrizing why age? its not going to develop like a live bottle would… You just have to keep an eye on gravities, if it is still dropping dont bottle. Use the big heavy duty bottles so if something does over carb it wont blow up.
It also depends on the age of these beers and what you are putting in on a blend. A 2 or 3 year old beer sitting in a carboy you are going to have to reyeast (champange yeast or somethign that handles the ph) something a year old I might not reyeast just depends on my notes[/quote]

Again, I know it won’t get more sour over the years in a bottle once its been pasteurized/clean yeasted, but I’m thinking it will still develop sherry/dried fruit flavors from the esterification/aging.

The reason would be to ensure a consistent level of carbonation in the end product. What good is a 2 year old bottled sour if it foams all over the place and gets sediment in every pour?

I guess I’d just prefer some consistency once the beer has been blended/bottled.[/quote]

I wouldn’t bother but to each his own…these types beers with no yeast do not age well IME.
Sourness can actually decrease with time on some properly aged ones…a think a common misconception is people think it is more sour when it is just getting to much oxygen and turning into vinegar (aecetic)
You will not have gushers if you take careful notes and watch your gravities accuratly. Just have to do the match with what you are blending and what you are adding and see if you should let it sit, go ahead and bottle and priming sugar to use if any…etc.
Most of my sours besides berliners and some gueze I like on the low end of carbination

I’m not saying blend a few beers at a time, I’d do at least a case. Whatever you’d go through in a few months. You might run into a “sickness” phase though so really blending new beer with sour beer is always going to be a bit unstable.

I agree about sourness, in my experience a two year old lambic can be less sour than at one year.

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