So I have a question about my planned secondary fermentation. I would just like some opinions.
I have started a lambic normally and it’s now in primary fermentation with wyeast lambic blend yeast and am going to leave it there for at least 8 months. Then I would like to do something weird. I’m going to move it to a secondary fermenter (another Carboy) and add a few oak chips AND add a new yeast strand I think. I’m thinking about American ale II or just the pasteur champagne yeast strain and leave it in secondary for around 2 weeks to 2 months. This would be instead of pitching new yeast at bottling. Any thoughts on this? Recommendations? Criticisms? Or insight on which one i should use? I’m leaving towards champagne. Or should I change up fermentation times? Any opinions on what you guys think I should do or shouldn’t do? I’m open to other strains or bugs being added! Thanks!
I can’t see any benefit from adding an ale yeast to the finished beer and letting it sit for two months - the low pH and lack of fermentables will just shut the yeast down. Add the yeast at bottling time instead.
If you want to add complexity, pitch some dregs from other sour beers during the fermentation so you get a different mix of bugs. Or do one batch with the blend and do a second with the dregs, then blend once they’re both finished.
So I’m thinking 4 months primary and then rack into secondary and add a gueuze dreg and leave that for four months, then rack to bottle bucket pitch champagne yeast and add priming sugar, then bottle. Thoughts?
That sounds like a better idea. I was asking a lot of these same questions when I started my first sour (a flanders red) last spring. What I’ve learned since then is to not worry about it. Hell, try not to even think about it. Forget it if you can. Don’t hold yourself to a timetable. In eight months try it and see what you think. Add some dregs if you think and then leave it alone for another undetermined long period of time and try it again. If you like it, bottle it with the champagne yeast. If not, let it go for a while.
I’m sitting at around eight months now and the first three were the hardest. I was full of questions and dying to see a pelicle. I was on a one year till bottling time table but now it’s just kind of there and it will be ready when it’s ready. Not really sure, might blend it, might bottle it straight. Might add cherries or raspberries, might not. Time will tell.
[quote=“Jgross”]So I’m thinking 4 months primary and then rack into secondary and add a gueuze dreg and leave that for four months, then rack to bottle bucket pitch champagne yeast and add priming sugar, then bottle. Thoughts?[/quote]As mentioned, don’t set a timetable for a sour beer, just wind it up and let it go, sample it every now and then, and at some point you’ll decide it’s done. I don’t think four months is going to be enough to get much character, though.