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Conditioning a Flanders Red Ale

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by Reedy, 29/7/17.

 

  1. Reedy

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    Posted 29/7/17
    It's my first time brewing a Flanders Red (Jamil's AG recipe from BYO) using White Labs Belgian sour mix 1, and it's almost ready to transfer to secondary for conditioning.

    I have a 23L glass carboy but only have 18L in the FV, and wondering if this much headspace will be an issue over the 12 months I hope to leave it.

    Should I give it a quick hit of C02 to form a 'blanket' over the liquid, or am I just over-thinking things?

    I'm also going to put about 30gm of french oak mini staves into the carboy for the duration, and wondering if I should split these to provide more surface area.

    It's my first time doing a sour, first time using a glass carboy & first time doing an extended secondary conditioning, so all advice/tips welcomed.
     
  2. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 29/7/17
    If leaving something for that long, you really do want to reduce oxygen contact unless really trying to push acetic character.

    CO2 if you can but you can also reduce the headspace with boiled water (obviously drops abv and dilutes so add the minimum amount).
     
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  3. Lyrebird_Cycles

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    Posted 29/7/17
    IMO that would be a backwards step. The general rule is the longer the contact, the lower the surface area to volume ratio required.

    BTW an easy way to manage the ullage is to buy several packets of glass marbles and drop them into the carboy. 1 litre of ullage requires about 2.5 kg of marbles. Cheap bulk marbles
     
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  4. barls

    causer of chaos and mayhem

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    Posted 29/7/17
    spoken like a man who had done this before.
     
  5. Lyrebird_Cycles

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    Posted 29/7/17
    No, it's a copy of an old German technique where they dropped pebbles into casks to keep them full.
     
  6. Reedy

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    Posted 1/8/17
    So I went to transfer to the carboy today, however after just over a fortnight in the FV, there still appears to be quite a bit of krausen on top (tried to post a photo but was file was too large & I have no idea how to reduce it).

    As I mentioned, this is my first time brewing with WL Belgian Sour mix, so it could well be completely normal, but thought I'd ask the question first.

    SG is down to 1.014 (from 1.062) and the sample was clear & tasted fine. Was fermented at 20c for first week & increased to 24c for the second week.

    Wondering whether I need to let it ride a bit longer and see if the krausen drops before transferring.

    Thanks.
     
  7. MickGC

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    Posted 4/8/17
    I would transfer now,
    Any additional fermentation will help to scavenge oxygen.
    I would Def try to do something to reduce the headspace.
     
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  8. Reedy

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    Posted 7/9/18
    Well my first Flanders Red has now been ageing for 13 months in a glass carboy with 30gm of mini french oak staves & the sample I pulled this morning tasted pretty good.

    Gravity is now at 1.010 (approx ABV 6.8%) and I will be bottling in champagne bottles (capped rather than corked).

    I was going to bulk prime with approx. 100gm dextrose for the 17L to get 2.2 volumes of C02, and have bought some CBC-1 presuming I would need some fresh yeast at this point.

    The calculator suggests I need 1.7gm of yeast for 17L, presumably I can rehydrate it in the dextrose mix I'll be adding to the bottling bucket?

    Anyone have any tips as far as adding new yeast & bottle conditioning? Would hate to c*ck it all up after waiting so long...
     

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