Home > bacteria, Belgian, east coast yeast, experiment, recipe, sour, wild yeast > >Sour #4 (Flemish Red) Recipe and Progress

>Sour #4 (Flemish Red) Recipe and Progress

>Rodenbach is the beer that turned me on not only to Flemish-style sours, but sour beers in general. I’ve been wanting to do a Flemish sour for a long time, and after a vial (cube?) of East Coast Yeast‘s ECY02 Flemish Ale became available, I jumped on the chance.

Then I thought, why stop there?

I’ve heard of people making excellent Flemish Reds with Wyeast’s 3763 Roeselare Blend, And I wanted to compare the two side-by-side to see which I would use for future batches. I could have done my usual Small Batches, or split a 5 gallon batch into two 3 gallon carboys, but this time I decided on a different route. I try to maximize my mileage when it comes to sours; 2.5 gallons is perfect for experiments and the like, but if something is going to sit for 12-18 months, I’m simply going to want more volume. I had two 15 gallon kettles from my dad’s old brewing setup, and I could fit a mid-to-low gravity 10 gallon batch in my 10 gallon cooler, so I said F it, I’m gonna go for it!

My last post
is how said brewday went. In short, it kinda sucked.

But I did end up with 10 gallons of red wort! So I suppose this batch has been successful so far. We’ll see how the souring/aging part goes…

The recipe I used was very much inspired by the recipes in Jeff Sparrow’s excellent Wild Brews. It’s a bible of wild beer production, and I highly suggest it to anyone looking to learn more about sour/brett beers.

2011-014A/B Sour #4 (Flemish Red)

Brewed: 03/16/11

Racked to secondary: 03/23/11

Kegged/Bottled: eventually

Ready: even later than that

Batch Info


Batch Size: 10 Gallons

Extraction Efficiency: 75%

OG: 1.055

FG: dry!

IBU: 18

SRM: 15

Boil Length: 90 minutes

Grain Bill


German Pilsner Malt: 12lb (55.8%)

German Vienna Malt: 4lb (18.6%)

US Flaked Maize: 2lb (9.3%)

Belgian Special B: 2lb (9.3%)

US Flaked Wheat: 1lb 8oz (7.0%)

Hop Bill


German Perle (6.5%AA): 35g @ 90 minutes



Irish Moss: 1 tsp @ 15 minutes

Servomyces: 1 gelcap @ 15 minutes

French Oak Cubes (Medium Toast): 2oz (In Fermenter)



75% Carbon Filtered San Bernardino Ground Water

25% RO Water



Fermenter A: East Coast Yeast ECY02 Flemish Ale

Fermenter B: Wyeast 3763 Roeselare Blend

Mash Schedule


Sacch Rest: 158F for 90 minutes

Fly Sparge

Fermentation Schedule


Pitch @ 68F, hold for 7 days

Rack onto 1oz oak cubes per carboy, let age until ready.

I had some pics from the brewday, but I destroyed them out of spite. Here’s a few from the racking day:

The two beers, just before racking:

The Roeselare is on the left, the East Coast Yeast on the right. Interestingly, the Roeselare batch racked brilliantly clear, while the ECY was much more turbid.

An ounce of tasty oak, waiting to be steamed:

I use a stove-top vegetable steamer to steam my cubes. It removes a bit of the tannin and sanitizes them a bit:

Racking into secondary:

Happy sours chugging along in the closet:

  1. Roy Ventullo
    2013/11/03 at 6:51 am


    Follow your blog. great stuff. So we scored some ECY 04 bugfarm and are thinking of doing a split batch with safale 04 or US 05 (suggestions for primary bug?) in primary then add ECY 04 in secondary and for # 2 just ECY 04 in a primary. Question is; DID YOU RACK TO SECONDARY for long term storage and do you prefer glass or plastic?

    Roy Ventullo “Microprof”

    • 2013/11/03 at 11:21 am


      For primary, I’d use whatever strain will get you the most attenuation. There’s a great interview with New Belgium’s Lauren Salazar about their sour beer techniques, and she recommends getting the cleanest, driest primary fermentation possible before going through the souring process (they actually use a lager yeast for primary.)

      Yes, I racked to secondary at the time I made these beers, but I’m not sure I would now. My biggest concern is oxygen exposure; the Flemish reds I did both ended up having issues with acetobacter, which I’m pretty sure had to do with excessive oxygen. If you were to secondary, I’d say do it in a corny where you can purge the container effectively with co2, or just leave it in primary. If you still want to secondary in a carboy, I’m all for plastic. They’re lighter, cheaper, and the oxygen permeability compared to glass is negligible.



      • Roy Ventullo
        2013/11/03 at 11:39 am

        Thanks Matt.

        Our first attempt at Flanders Red (Jamil recipe pitched with Wyeast Roeslare and ECY 02, total of 8 bugs) ) is aging in an 8 gallon bourbon barrel and me thinks it is a bit on the acetic acid side (still has 9 + months to go) and did worry about oxygen in the transfers. Making this batch and others to possibly mix. Also thinking maybe racking over some sour cherries later…

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