#38 Flanders Red

Eureka, time for another recipe. Today my 38th batch, a Flanders Red recipe. I already did a Lambic style beer before and fermented it with Wyeast’s Lambic Blend. But there is another blend of Wyeast available that I have never tried: the Roeselare Blend. So, because I am very inquisitive and like to try new stuff, I bought myself a package of the Roeselare Blend and did some research to brew a beer suitable for this blend. So I decided to try a Flanders Red recipe. By the way, for all of you out there interested in brewing sour beers, get yourself a copy of Jeff Sparrow’s book “Wild brews: Beyond the influence of brewer’s yeast”. In my opinion, this is one of the best books out there to get into brewing sour beers. And for those of you who do not know Michael Tonsmeire page (aka TheMadFermentationist), please visit it. There is a lot of great information about sour beers on his page as well. So, after reading the book and some further research, I came up with the following recipe:

Recipe: Flanders Red
Numbers: Volume 23 L (6.1 gal)
Original gravity 14.5°P
Terminal gravity Not yet available
Color Around 32 EBC
ABV Around 6 %
Grains: Pilsner malt (3 EBC) 3 kg
Shredded wheat (0 EBC) 1.1 kg
Vienna (8 EBC) 1.1 kg
Special B (350 EBC) 0.23 kg
Hops: Fuggles (4.5% AA) 21 g and boil for 60 min
Yeast: #3763 Roeselare Blend
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 14 L (3.7 gal) , lauter: 22 L (5.8 gal) @76°C (169°F)
Rest: 4 steps Mash in @55°C (131°F), 20 min @ 55°C, 40 min @63°C (145°F), 40 min @72°C (162°F), mash out @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 60 min
Fermentation: Primary 27 days @ 21°C (70°F) in a plastic bucket
Secondary > 6 months in glass carboy @15°C (59°F)
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) N/A
Maturation time N/A

09/09/2011: Brewday. All went well and inoculated the wort with a package of Wyeast’s #3763 Roeselare Blend.

Fig 1: Beer is lautering (I have a perforated bottom in the kettle in front) Batch number 39 (Raison d'être reloaded) is resting in the other kettle.

10/07/2011: I racked the beer from the primary plastic bucket into a glass carboy and added 50 g of French medium toasted oak chips. I boiled the chips in water for nearly 10 minutes and transfered only the chips into the fermenter. I used an airlock to close the glass carboy.

10/23/2011: After tasting the beer for the first time, I decided to remove the oak chips as the oak aroma was very dominant in the beer. No sourness so far.

12/12/2011: The beer is now nearly two month in the carboy and the beer has a subtle wood aroma and still no hint of sourness. So I replaced the airlock with a self made wooden plug (see Fig 2).

Fig 2: Wooden plug to seal the glass carboy



A few days later I could observe a pellicle and white bubbles rising from the bottom of the carboy (see Fig 2). The beer has some funky and cherry notes. I will leave the beer in the carboy until it tastes ready to bottle. I can’t tell if the pellicle is due to the wooden plug or would have been there anyway.