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wpattison
11/16/09 12:19 PM  
Vessels for extended fermentation?
Hello,

I'm planning on brewing up a straight lambic, and then adding some tart cherries for the secondary and turning it into a kriek.

I was thinking of taking the primary fermentation through to completion in my usual plastic bucket fermenter with the Wyeast #3278 blend.

But how long should the secondary stay on the fruit? I was under the impression several months, and for that I feel like I should use my glass carboys. What's the consensus out there on using a carboy with fruit? I'm expecting it to be a PITA.

Thanks!

-Warren

SteveG
11/16/09 01:03 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
The part where you get solids into the opening and back out again is indeed a PITA. But for a conventional home brew set up glass is the best choice anyway. Maybe someday they'll make a wide mouthed carboy!
MarkO
11/16/09 01:10 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
I generally rack a two- or three-year-old pLambic out of the original fermentation vessel, either a barrel or carboy, onto fruit in another carboy, then give it six months there.

After six months the fruit has largely disintegrated, and it's not too tough to remove. Dropping ripe plums into the carboy at first is a little time-consuming, but I don't really see a way around that.

wpattison
11/16/09 03:58 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
Thanks for the replies. I feel better about proceeding now with the glass carboys.

How is everyone's take on the canned Oregon Red Tart Cherries?

MarkO - I've seen that spelling here and there (pLambic), is that just an alternative spelling, or is there a significance to the 'p'?

SteveG
11/16/09 04:56 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
It stands for 'psuedo'.
SteveG
11/16/09 04:59 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
<<How is everyone's take on the canned Oregon Red Tart Cherries?>>

What are they canned in? I've only ever used cherries I'd picked then frozen. I've never had them disintegrate though, when all is said and done clean up has always involved holding the carboy upsidedown and shaking for 10 minutes.

MarkO
11/16/09 08:17 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
Yeah, it stands for "pseudo." That is a term that was floating around the Homebrewers Digest in the late 1990s; I picked it up from Jim Liddil's excellent page, "Cult of the Biohazard Lambic Brewers" (http://brewery.org/library/LmbicJL0696.html). Basically, he applies the "p" to any lambic-style beer made beyond the Senne valley.

I have never used any canned fruit, but wouldn't expect you'd have any troubles with them. Since they are presumably pasteurized before packaging, I guess you won't be able to benefit from any wild yeasts on the skins -- but it should still work.

As far as disintegration goes, I should clarify that my experience there is limited to some plums from trees in my yard; after six months, all that is left is some empty skins and plum stones. I have used cab sauvignon grapes too for the last couple of years, and the skins there seem a little more hardy, as the fruit is much more intact after six months.

wpattison
11/16/09 09:02 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
<<What are they canned in?>>

Looks like water. I could drain and freeze them, I suppose. Here's a link to the product on Amazon. They are Montmorency.

http://www.amazon.com/Oregon-Fruit-Pitted-Cherries-14-5-Ounce/dp/B000I6625I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1258422930&sr=1-1

Thanks for the explanation regarding the 'p'.

wpattison
11/17/09 09:42 AM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
MarkO: Man, that link you posted was awesome. I started reading it last night and it's really helping with the questions I've had. Thanks!

Are there any more online sources similar to Liddel's write-up that are recommended? I'm going to get Guinard's "Lambic".

Al B
11/17/09 09:55 AM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
I recently used some dried Balaton cherries (no sugar or vege oil to keep them soft). Expensive but really good - a dark sour cherry originally from Hungary.
wpattison
11/17/09 10:16 AM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
Al B: Sounds really good. Where did you pick them up? Also, what ratio did you use?
B-Dub
11/17/09 10:28 AM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
I just bottled a brett beer made with the Oregon cherries. They are canned in water or syrup, make sure you have the ones canned in water. I used one 3# can in 5 gallons. The cherry flavor is very subtle. The beer was on the fruit for 4 months.

After 4 months some of the cherries were floating and the others were on the bottom. I tied a nylon bag used for painting on the out side of the racking tube. All was well until 2/3 the way through the transfer from the carboy to keg. The floating cherries started dropping towards the racking cane and the sunken cherries started to rise. When a piece of the rebel fruit got to close to the cane....up it went!! Glad the fine mesh bag was on the other end.

Next time I might have to use a bag on BOTH ends.

BW

B-Dub
11/17/09 10:31 AM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
These look like they might be good to.

http://kingorchards.com/store.htm?category=Pie%20Filling%20%26%20Canned%20Cherries

Rob B
11/17/09 11:47 AM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
I have used King Orchards several times, nice product. The montmorency cherry doesn't give me quite the cherry character I want though...very cherry pie-ish. Yes, I know they are pie cherries. Just not the same as the cherry character from Belgian lambics.
SteveG
11/17/09 11:52 AM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
These are an interesting twist as well:

http://www.cherryrepublic.com/product/Dried-Cherries-1-lb/Dried-Cherries

Also Montmorency, the drying adds a neat raisiny character though. I used these once years ago (I don't use cherries that often) in a kooky barley wine, enjoyed the result.

What occurred to me though, I mentioned using cherries I picked and froze. When I thawed them the zip lock was full of deep red aromatic juice. I added just the juice to the beer (a flanders red) and the wife made a pie from the cherries. I was amazed to discovered that despite loads of juice and flavor having been removed from the fruit - enough to make a big impact on the beer - that the cherries still made an excellent pie. A two-fer!

SteveG
11/17/09 11:54 AM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
Oh - addendum. Maybe it made a difference - actually I bet it made all the difference - that we pitted the cherries prior ro freezing. That job would suck with soft thawed cherries (as opposed to firm fresh ones), plus it gave the fruits a way to leak!
Al B
11/17/09 02:32 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?

http://www.brownwoodacres.com/dried_fruit.php

Again, expensive.

MarkO
11/17/09 03:01 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
The only other online resource with which I am familiar is the now-defunct "Lambic Digest" mailing list. Six years ago or so the archives were still up and accessible, although I can't seem to find them now.

It would be quite a decent source of information, if you could find it.

Bokonon
11/17/09 05:28 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
There is an archive of the "Lambic Digest" at http://homeroastnbrew.info/lambic/

I'm not sure when the list started, the archive begins 11/1993

MarkO
11/17/09 06:24 PM  
Re: Vessels for extended fermentation?
Nice find -- a blast from the past.
 
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