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Joelle
10/25/07 11:20 AM  
Out of Balance Flanders Red
Hi guys. Dan and I have a Flanders Red that we made with the Roselare yeast that smells great, but finished too low, so it seems out of balance (FG was around 1.004). We're looking to add some body and sweetness without brewing a whole new beer to blend with it. Should we boil up some maltodextrin and add that to increase the body? If so, how much and how long do we need to boil it? We're planning to put it in a keg in our serving fridge at about 40F. If we added lactose for some sweetness would that end up being fermented over time?

Joelle

SteveG
10/25/07 11:31 AM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
With bacteria in there I would question if there is anything sweet you could add that would not end up being fermented over time. I think the expression of malt in beer is really enhanced by fermentation and aging, adding something that by some definition could be called wort directly to flavor finished beer would make me nervous. Have you done any experimenting? Like boil up some maltodextrin and add some to a small glass of the beer? It would seem to me if you go this route you'd need to do this anyway to determine the ratio of the blend. You may also need to look into ways to halt activity in the beer.
Sean White
10/25/07 11:31 AM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
I'm pretty sure that at least some of the major flanders brewers are adding some kind of sweetener after fermentation, like plain old sugar or saccharin. If you are going to add anything, I think sugar would be a better option that maltodextrin, but I'm curious to see what other people think too.

And, have you tried it cold and conditioned? I would definitely taste it like this before doing anything drastic.

Cisco
10/25/07 12:25 PM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
I would blend it with another beer. Decide on the ratio through tasting different ratios.
Cisco
10/25/07 01:02 PM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
Also no matter what you decide the sugars will continue to be devoured by the little beasties so you have two options for your final result: drink the beer quickly or keep it very cold. Pasturization tends to screw up flavor profiles so I wouldn't recommend it as an alternative. Several Belgian Flanders brewers do pasturize their beer and then add sweeteners, like The Duchess.
CDH
10/25/07 01:08 PM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
I've had success with adding lactose to Roeselare beers to add some sweetness. Nothing has blown up.
SteveG
10/25/07 01:25 PM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
<<Several Belgian Flanders brewers do pasturize their beer and then add sweeteners, like The Duchess.>>

Actually Rodenbach used to do this - that is the paturization part. I remember the importer talking about this at a beer dinner back in the late 90s.

I think in the end when you are dealing with a style of beer like this the truth is there really are no short cuts to getting it right. Pale ales care about your schedule, flanders red does not. It will be ready when its good and good and ready to be ready! There are ways to manipulate it, but to do this you must be resigned to the reality that the beer will not be all that it can be.

Al B
10/25/07 03:48 PM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
Pasteuization does affect the flavor, I don't recomend it either. Maltodextrin will be broken-down eventually so do as Cisco suggests. Not alot of mircoorganims ferment lactose under a low pH + alcohol, B. lambicus probably not either. So that might be an option as long as you're not lactose intolerant ;).

Interestingly, my red started off this way as well, but aging further actually seemed to enhance mouthfeel, less harsh acidity. I believe this is due to (at least in part) to Bretts ability to convert acids into esters. Wild brews book indicates this as well if I remember right. It is bottled now and still improving.

BPotts
10/25/07 04:28 PM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
I thought the same about a flanders red type thing with fruit juice that I made awhile back, using the regular lambic blend. After 10 months I bottled half of the batch and added 2.75 gallons of 100% fresh pressed black cherry juice to what was left in the fermenter for further aging. The bottled product was at first very watered down tasting, and rathern simple. But... I am amazed at how durastically this beer changes as it matures in the bottle. The refermentation in the bottle has created a nice complex flavor profile that continues to develop over time. What at first was a very dull tasting brew has become quite vibrant and would satisfy my strongest urges to drink an authentic lambic or rodenbach grand cru. Although the flavor profile resembles more of a lambic now than a Fl.Red, I'm still happy with how it's turning out. I'm sure others have experienced this as well? Anyway, that's my two cents...
BPotts
10/25/07 04:37 PM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
BTW, it's only been bottled for about 3 months. I can't wait to taste it a year from now...
Sean White
10/26/07 10:34 AM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
Cisco: "Several Belgian Flanders brewers do pasturize their beer and then add sweeteners, like The Duchess."

Yeah, and personally, that is one that i really don't like!!!

My first and only Flanders so far came out too dry and not very sour, but I'll tell you what, it may not have been a great example of the style, but it was really, really good to drink!

Baums
10/26/07 10:37 AM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
Another idea: brew a couple gallons of "thick" beer mashed high (160F) with loads of munich and crystal malt. Maybe 50% munich, 25% pale ale, 25% crystal 20. Ferment with a high-attenuating strain like Nottingham to ferment whatever can be fermented before you blend.

Or as Cisco says, blend with another beer. You could brew a doppelbock or non-hop-bomb barleywine and use some of it for blending.

SteveG
10/26/07 10:42 AM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
Ben, "fresh pressed black cherry juice"? Please tell me more. Do you have a local place that sells this (every now and then I see places advertising "cherry cider") or did you pick and squeeze your own stuff?
Joelle
10/26/07 02:38 PM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
Thanks everyone! I'll let you know what we end up doing and how it worked out.

Joelle

BPotts
10/27/07 10:21 AM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
I guess the "Fresh" part is slightly misleading. I use a juice produced by R.W. Knudsen, which I can get at whole foods, that is produced from "100% Fresh Pressed Black Cherries." The only thing listed in the ingredients is " 100% Black Cherries." I'm assuming that means they take freshly picked cherries, press the juice out, and bottle it. I like it because it's not reconstituted concentrate (which most of their juices are) and there are no additives or anything else, just cherries. I'm not positive if it's pasteurized or not, but I don't remember reading that anywhere on the label. I've used one or two bottles here or there in other beers, actually I added some in the primary for the original beer, but it's a little expensive to constantly make Black Cherry Kriek. Figured I might as well try it at least once though. Since I've added those cherries I've also added dregs from numerous wild beers, so there's a nice big community of bugs residing in there right now. I'd say dozens of different bugs most likely...
BPotts
10/27/07 10:26 AM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
www.knudsenjuices.com/products/category.aspx?groupID=7&categoryID=53

There's no mention of pasteurization here, just pressed fruit. They only carry the Black Cherry one at my Whole Foods, but damn I'd like to try the 100% Black Currant juice.....

SteveG
10/27/07 11:07 AM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
I gave a quart of black currant syrup made from our currant bush to a local restuarant to play with last summer. I'd say its easy as pie, but pie is way harder. You just boil the berries and reduce the juice you extract - no other processing is involved! Very tart.
BPotts
10/27/07 11:35 AM  
Re: Out of Balance Flanders Red
Mmmmmmm.....
 
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