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Old 03-05-2013, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default Adambier - IBU's and Lacto

So I always enjoy making obscure historic beers (so far they've been mostly german with a Gose and Gratzer) and this one has piqued my interest.

http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2.../adambier.html

What is curious about this beer is that it is soured in the secondary - which takes a while (at least a year). I am trying to figure out how to replicate this despite this beer being hoppy and high in alcohol (both things that inhibit the growth of lacto).

My recipe so far looks like:
1.094 -> 1.022 = 9.5% abv
55 IBU (NB for bittering and that's it)

70% Vienna
23% Munich II
5% Caramunich I
2% Carafa III Special

My question: will pitching a massive lacto starter help to combat the high IBUs in this beer? I'm not quite sure the relationship of how IBUs negatively effect lacto production - as much as I understand it they coat the walls of the cell. So, will pitching more lacto eventually turn the balance into their favor? I'm planning on pitching lacto along side the sacc strain (or slightly before) so hopefully I will have some acid production before the abv gets too high for the lacto.
Afterwards I'm planning on aging this beer for about a year with a very small amount of oak.

I am also contemplating using 5-8% acid malt to achieve the acidity for this beer, but I would like to see if it could be done with a lacto culture.

Any thoughts?

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:36 PM   #2
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There is likely lacto/pedio and possibly (most likely) even brettanomyces in there. There are lactobacillus strains that are very hop tolerant and alcohol tolerant. That or I have a pediococcus culture that doesn't produce an exopolysaccharide complex (ropiness). My guess is it's a mix of all the wild brewing suspects. With pedio you will definitely need brett to break down the slime and reduce diacetyl. I'd go with a more tame flavored brett and then the two bacteria added as separate cultures as you can buy from wyeast.

After reading that blog posting again there most certainly had to be pediococcus (discussed as cocci) and with the high attenuation described I would also bet brett was involved. Of course the cocci described could be a lactococcus strain as well.

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Old 03-06-2013, 12:53 AM   #3
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I'm not sure how the Commercial cultures will hold up to the high IBUs. Almost certainly the Lacto will be inactive. Maybe the Pedio will do something.

I suggest you drink a couple of fresh bottles of JP and pitch the dregs. JP seems to do well with their bugs with beers with decent abvs and IBUs.

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Old 03-06-2013, 05:00 PM   #4
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So lacto/pedio IBU and alcohol tolerance to me is one of those things that floats around and we all internalize it and repeat it, but how does it really work in practice? I soured a 9.5abv (calculated by gravity drop) Trippel in secondary. In fact, it is higher than 9.5 because I added michigan tart cherries after the gravity readings (don't know how much sugar from the cherries) and it sat for 6 months. IIRC Oldsock on his blog has done high gravity sours as well. I also have a pale wheat with 55 IBUs sitting right now into which, 2 weeks ago, I dumped dregs from petrus aged pale. It is starting to sour. Perhaps IBUs and alcohol hinder lacto and pedio, but I can say for sure that 9% alcohol and 55 IBUs are not enough to stop them from souring a beer. -My 2 cents


BTW, weird style. I believe I had read that at least one American brewery was trying to replicate this.

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:20 PM   #5
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Ethanol tolerance for bacteria is dependent on the membrane's ability to resist disruption by the ethanol. It can be a resistance that is gained over time and selective pressures by you the user or you may end up with a strain that already has these abilities.

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Old 03-08-2013, 03:25 PM   #6
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Interesting - Now that I'm thinking of it, I kinda like the idea of a sour/funky barley wine.

High enough OG that there's still some sweetness and body to balance the mildish acidity.
I'm just trying to figure out how to make that happen since I'm going to be combating the high alcohol and IBU. I'm planning on fermenting this with a sacc strain for the primary or at least pitch it side by side with a mixed sour culture.

I have some ECY20 going in a lambic right now - I may inoculate some cubes and toss those in with the sacc strain - just not sure if they are going to have enough on them to make any impact before the abv gets too high. hmmmmm

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Old 03-09-2013, 12:06 AM   #7
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This seems like an example of a style that existed due to unique circumstances... like, the breweries (or region) responsible for this style just happened to have local, IBU-tolerant bug strains, whereas most of us wouldn't.

Perhaps dregs from Petrus Aged Pale would get you going? I believe that beer does have dregs, and it is a highly-hopped sour ale.

More than finding bugs that can do the work, I just wonder... why would you want 50 IBU in a sour beer? What does it do for the beer that aged hops wouldn't? Which is not to say I'm not curious, I definitely hope to see this style recreated.

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Old 03-09-2013, 12:11 AM   #8
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Something else I just thought of: you might want to look to Deschute's "The Dissident" for this. While 1). I've never actually had the beer, and 2)., it's classified as an Oud Bruin, it is nonetheless an 11%ish sour dark ale, and apparently is 30 IBU (according to BA; their website says 18 for the current edition). It seems whatever they do for this beer would work for an Adambier as well.

Their website mentions Brett inoculation, but nothing about other bugs. Could just be that the sourness in these examples is from Brett acetic acid production alone, which would be possible over a long barrel-aging process where the Brett was getting enough oxygen. Maybe some other bugs work their way in there eventually too, just not to the extent of a Flanders red or whatever.

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:10 PM   #9
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So I brewed it up earlier today (changed the recipe a bit).

I hit my OG of 1.094 on the nose - mashed at 152 and pitched a good amount of kolsch yeast (luckily the brewery I work at brews a kolsch!).
Final recipe was...
62% Marris Otter (couldn't get vienna)
25% Munich II
5% Caramunich 55 L
5% Cherrywood smoked malt (comes out to 1# exactly in my 6 gallon batch)
3% Carafa Special III

Boiled for 90 minutes with 3 oz of Northern Brewer @ 60 (55 IBU)
This sucker was dark! Projected SRM was 26.5 - flirting with porter territory. I decided to add some smoked malt b/c I figured it would give some complexity and from what I've read the cherrywood smoked malt from Briess is pretty mild in flavor and can add a little sweetness to the beer. Some of the info I read about Adambier suggests that malts back in this day were likely dried via smoke, and that this beer may have had a smokey element to it.

As far as souring goes I'm planning on pitching the dregs from JP's Oro de Calabaza (8% sour) in the secondary along with .5 oz of medium toasted oak cubes. I figure they have a better chance than WL lacto on handling the higher ABV. I may use 2 bottles...haven't decided. I'm also not sure if I should try to build them up in a starter and slowly step it up higher and higher in gravity - try to create some selective pressure to get the lacto/pedio to tolerate higher alcohols. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

I'm fermenting in a ported Better Bottle so I can take samples along the way and see if its actually souring up at all. I don't plan on bottling this beer for another year or so.

Cheers!

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:10 AM   #10
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If I had known you were going to brew so soon I would have thrown out a suggestion for a much higher mash temp. The last two years I've brewed a 1.120 ish stout and used a brett culture. I mashed at 158-160 and still ended up with greater than 75% apparent attenuation. Luckily it still ended up nearer to 1.025 each time but that was certainly a result of the long boil melanoidin development and sugar that the brett couldn't ferment. I hope you don't dry out too much.

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