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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > 6-way Imperial Stout Experiment w/Brett & wild cultures, aged on oak
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:47 PM   #1
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Default 6-way Imperial Stout Experiment w/Brett & wild cultures, aged on oak

I made a 6 gallon batch of an imperial stout
(see recipe -- http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f76/mugw...l-stout-90441/)

Original Gravity was 1.096.
Fermented with the suggested WYeast Scottish Ale.
Gravity at the end of primary was 1.030.
I probably should have made a starter, but I didn't, so I had less than perfect attenuation. Still a potent brew, though.

After primary, I split it into 3 x 2gallons to do a 6 way experiment.

-Left 2 gal. as a control. This will be split into two parts. 1 gal. will be aged on oak cubes, and 1 gal. without oak.

-2 gallons inoculated with WYeast's Bret. Brux. culture. One gallon with oak and one without.

-2 gallon inoculated with WYeast's Old Ale Blend (from their current Private Collection Series) which brought the gravity down to 1.025 within a few days. The Old Ale Blend is also supposed to contain some Bret, which will of course take a while to act. Both of these gallons I will age on oak. BUT for one of the gallons I created a wild lactic starter, which I am going to pitch into it shortly.

Lactic starter consists of:
1 cup of the beer which it will infect
1 cup of boiled Mollasses water
A few drops of a commercial raw Apple Cider Vinegar
A few drops of a farmer friend's wild cider "vinegar" (a failed attempt at hard cider)
A few drops of sauerkraut brine
A large crumb of a sourdough bread
A dab of a fermented oatmeal porridge I eat for breakfest when I'm in a hurry

Right now this lactic starter has been culturing for just under a week, and I am about to pitch it back into the beer it will infect. I expect the aging for all of these will take around a year. Hopefully it will be ready to enjoy by the winter solstice 2009.

Any advice or critiques?

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Old 02-09-2009, 05:11 PM   #2
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What about leaving one open for spontaneous fermentation? It takes like 8 months for all the microbe cycles to take place (then you'll have you age it for at least that long), but it should be verrrrrrrrrrrryyyy interesting.

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Old 02-09-2009, 09:41 PM   #3
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I don't mean to poop on your cornflakes, but I'm not sure how much souring you're actually going to get.

Remember, back in the day they used to brew with higher alcohol to avoid bacterial infection.

This excerpt is from http://www2.parc.com/emdl/members/ap...hredale.shtml:
"Alcohol. What is the optimum alcohol level for sour ale? Sour ales tend to be 2.0-7.3 v% alcohol. Given that most are taxed by extract, its natural to wonder what the optimum is, regardless of money (brewing is an art, after all). Generally, the lower the alcohol level the more beasties can survive in the gyle. High alcohol beers tend to age gracefully and seem rather immune to infection. Martin Lodahl's article in BT on Old and Stock Ales suggests that infections (sourness) may simply be untasteable underneath all that malt. Above 7.3 v%, there tends to be less sour flavor in the ales I've tried. Even Petrus Aged Pale, at 7.3 v%, is not very sour tasting (or has enough complexity to balance). De Dolle, which at one time got its yeast from Rodenbach, doesn't become very sour even after three years in the bottle (Speciaal 20)."

Best of luck to you, though, I hope it works out for you. I'm just passing along what I've read.

The lambic-style ale I brewed this weekend ended up with a much higher OG than I anticipated due to the high efficiency I ended up with associated with my turbid-ish mash. So I'm also concerned about this alcohol effect..

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Old 02-10-2009, 04:53 AM   #4
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hmm... thanks for the insights.

I was a bit concerned about this myself, which is why I created a starter to adjust the bugs to a more alcoholic environment. I haven't added this lactic starter yet, so I may gradually step them up to the full stregnth of the beer before I add them.

I have read that the Bret strains I inoculated them with are tolerant of 11% or so ABV, and I can definitely smell the Brett in one of them. It may just take longer for these beers to mature than I expected.

Oh well, may have to wait until Solstice of 2010... Patience is a virtue when making these kinds of beers!!!

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Old 02-23-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
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How is this going? Sounds like an interesting project!

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Old 02-24-2009, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopaholic View Post
How is this going? Sounds like an interesting project!
Can't say much at this point, I'm just letting it age. Some thoughts, though

I'm afraid that the high ABV will inhibit and/or kill the wild lactic cultures, so I don't know if that will even make a difference.

I'm also anticipating some sherry-like notes when all is said and done. I'm intentionally leaving a little bit of head space, so there is probably also some minor oxidation going on.

Other than that, its just sitting there on oak for the time being. Hopefully a pellicile will form on the 4 different gallons with Brett. Only problem is the basement is too cold right now. I'm just going to give it some time to age -- it will warm up come May.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:04 PM   #7
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Any update on this? Been over a year so something must have happened good or bad ;-)

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Old 05-18-2010, 08:12 PM   #8
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Huh never saw this thread before, the only thing I can add is

1. the Old ale blend has brett brux, so there should be much difference between your brett versions

2. your adding a bunch of acetogens (vinegars) so try to keep out the O2, if your still aging that is

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Old 05-03-2011, 06:25 PM   #9
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Damn, I wish there was an update on this. It's been a very long time.

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Old 05-09-2011, 06:35 PM   #10
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Agreed - this seems like a really cool experiment

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