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Vichtenaar - Flemish Red

I tried this at a new brewpub in Rock Island called “Against the Grain”. They didn’t have their equipment installed yet, so they were just selling other commercial brews. I liked the Vichtenaar. Not overly sour, but well balanced and surprisingly drinkable - if I had more time (and money - $7 per bottle), I would have tried another bottle of it. Makes me want to consider making a sour…

I had this beer a few years ago and it was nice. The problem with brewing sours, is they take a long time to get sour. You have to tie up a lot of carboy space and cool space to age one correctly. Many of these beers are also blended to get the right balance of sweet and sour. It takes at least a year from the time you brew one to the time you drink it. Mine took a couple of years before it tasted right. Our club brewed one and put it in a bourbon barrel. It tasted good for one month, after 3 years in the barrel. The next month it was acetone instead of acetic. We had to dump it. I am not trying to discourage you. This is just the reality of the style. Buy your sours in a liquor store for $3-4.00 instead of a bar at $7.00 if cost is an issue (it is for me.)

I knew about the blending - indeed I hear that the breweries go through barrel selection and toss those that don’t produce an acceptable batch, keeping those that make the grade.

It would definitely be a long term project with any plastic fermentation equipment and tubing that will then be dedicated to sours, only!

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