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10/18/06 01:15 AM  
Barrel aged Flanders Red
Our club, the Cascade Brewers Society are going to be brewing a Flanders Red in the fashion of Alexander Rodenbach. I've sent out a recipe that is based on the Rodenbach recipe. What we will be doing is everyone that is participating will brew the recipe, ferment it, then we will all gather at the barrel site and rack the beer into the barrel. This will age for about one year, at which time we will add cherries then age it for another year. I have instructed those that will brew to use a neutral yeast, like WY1056 then I will innoculate the barrel with Brettaomyces and Lactobacillus. What might be the ratios of the bugs to the Sacchromyces in this type of environment?

I haven't measured the ratios of sacch. to brett. in a regular Roselare packet to adjust it in the barrel. I can easily add brett to the barrel to give it a reasonable ratio to put it into spec. for the style, but going from 60 gals of fermented beer with sacchromyces to what I need to add is the ratios that I need to adjust for? Al, this might be your question since you've recalibrated a Roselare blend.

Al B
10/18/06 08:51 AM  
Re: Barrel aged Flanders Red
Tough one to call N8. A non-calculated approach is to inoculate the barrel with a packet, age, and taste perioically (flushing any headspace each time with CO2).

Is this a new barrel? just curious.

My feeling is: all of the brews I've made or tasted w/ Roeselare or w/ lambic blends tend to increase in Brett. flavors over time (to a point of being really dominant). One time with disasterous results when I added cherries (too soon perhaps). Balancing populations is guesswork - so many factors to consider. I would tend to think to inoculate the barrel on the low side.

Since blending 60 gallons will be tough, I'd keep some metabisulfite handy just in case.

10/18/06 10:26 AM  
Re: Barrel aged Flanders Red
Thanks Al.

It's a slightly used Pinot Noir barrel. We have a wine guy in our club that has been treating the barrel. Doing the whole sulphur thing and all that.

Good to know about the Na2S2O5, I'm sure our wine barrel guy is well stocked.

What you're suggesting is kinda what I was thinking, since all these bugs grow and mature at different rates. So I'll just leave it the way i was thinking and let it go with just a small amount of the bugs and adjust accordingly, if need be.

This should be a fun project. I'm looking forward to it.

Al B
10/18/06 11:30 AM  
Re: Barrel aged Flanders Red
yeah, thats cool project

Especially the pinot noir bit. I'm thinking of getting a SMALL barrel for something someday.

The cherry aspect will be another complexity with 60 gal. Fresh or canned? Sweet + sour?

10/18/06 11:39 AM  
Re: Barrel aged Flanders Red
We get a pretty good cherry yield here in Orygun, so I would say fresh, but I'm not sure whether sweet or sour. What is the norm?

Al B
10/18/06 12:03 PM  
Re: Barrel aged Flanders Red

They say sour is best and I agree to an extent. The Montmorency is quite tart, so I added some sweeter ones for balance. Also, the fresh cherries after rainfall (just like grapes) won't be as sweet either. Nothing here is like the Scharbeek cherry.

I guessing if you fresh in a barrel, some brew will have to be consumed to make room!

10/18/06 01:19 PM  
Re: Barrel aged Flanders Red
>>Nothing here is like the Scharbeek cherry.<<

Have you had a chance to sample Scharbeeks? I would love to know what flavor profile is. From the info I've collected on cherries its my impression that what we call "sour" is a lot different from what Europeans call sour.

Al B
10/18/06 01:26 PM  
Re: Barrel aged Flanders Red
I've read it is a sour dark cherry. Montmorency is pale in color. No I haven't had one. Also, I've read that they are sometimes picked wrinkled up alttle - concentrating the flavors even more.

I wonder if darkcandy man can get some?

10/18/06 04:08 PM  
Re: Barrel aged Flanders Red
Actually I wonder if they are available dried? I've used dried Wisconsin cherries in beer, they can be real nice. I've seen footage of them being put in a barrel, they are indeed dark. A couple years ago Anne was picking cherries for me a Terhune, there was a European woman there doing some harvesting with her family. She tasted one of the pie cherries, made a face and commented on how much more sour they are then the ones from the old country. Just prior to this Dave Pyle suggested I try blending sour and sweet. It is contrary to popular belief but he insisted that comes closer to Belgian cherry flavor. He ought to know! When you taste the cherry character of some Belgians I think this notion becomes well supported. From all this it is hard for me to believe the Scharbeek is more than just a moderately sour cherry.
Nina B
10/19/06 01:03 PM  
Re: Barrel aged Flanders Red
Found this tidbit to ponder...(see below from ttp://www.blinkbits.com/en_wikifeeds/Scharbeek_Cherries)

...says Morellos may be a substitute as the "wild cherries" from the Scharbeek region are more difficult to find. On another brewer's website I found he substituted Morellos for Scharbeek (or Schaarbeek)...bought at Trader Joe's no less (hey Al B - roadtrip?). I think the flavor of dark cherries is quite different from their lighter cousins.

If Scharbeek is indeed a sour DARK and you have only lighter sours - perhaps blending sweet dark cherries (for their flavor as well as some sugar for your microbes) and sour cherries (for obviously, sourness) would get you close to your target...as Dave Pyle's comments may suggest.

Wikipedia Source: Scharbeek Cherries (edit body)

RSS Feed Source: Scharbeek_Cherries RSS Feed

Scharbeek Cherries last updated: Wed, 11 Oct 2006 10:49:50 -0400

Kriek is a Belgian beer fermented with sour (also called Morello) cherries, traditionally coming from the Schaarbeek area. Kriek is a Dutch word for sour cherry. As the Schaarbeek cherries have become more difficult to find, some brewers have replaced these (partly or completely) with sour cherries from other regions, or even other countries.

Traditionally, kriek is made by breweries in and around Brussels using lambic beer to which sour cherries (with the pits) are added. A lambic is a sour and dry Belgian beer, fermented spontaneously with airborne yeast said to be native to Brussels. A traditional kriek made from a lambic base beer is sour and dry as well. The cherries are left in for a period of several months, causing a refermentation of the additional sugar. Typically no sugar will be left so there will be a fruit flavour without sweetness. There will be a further maturation process after the cherries are removed.

More recently, some lambic brewers have added sugar to the final product of their fruit beers, in order to make them less intense and more approachable to a wider audience. They also use cherry juice rather than whole cherries and are matured for much shorter periods.

Framboise or Frambozenbier is a related, less traditional Belgian beer, fermented with raspberries instead of sour cherries.

Some breweries, like Liefmans, make cherry beers based on Flemish Brown Ale instead of lambic. Technically, these beers should not be called kriek, although some of them are high quality products.

Al B - are you making Santa suggestions?

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