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Old 04-02-2012, 06:13 AM   #1
El_Exorcisto
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Default Adding Fruit

Ok, so my wild bugs have been chewing through gravity like Pac-Man chews through little white dots. In two and a half months I've dropped from 1.018 to 1.008. The hydro sample tastes phenomenal, too. Is the addition of fruit dependent on gravity, or on timeline? If this follows the trend I am looking at a complete sour fermentation in another two months or so. Should I add fruit when I get down around 1.003 or so, or should I bulk age it without fruit for the requisite 9 months to a year before fruiting?

Just a refresher for those who didn't remember or read my original post, this is a completely ridiculous experiment. I primaried with BM45, a red wine yeast. Once that fermentation wrapped up at 1.018 I racked it to a carboy and added a slurry of bugs from a grain fermentation my father and I were using for chicken feed. It was completely spontaneous, and a mix of resident bugs in the workshop, and on the corn, oats, crimped barley, and spent mash from a brewery stored outdoors for 24 hours before we got it.

An aside... With all this crazy fermentation I am seeing no signs of a pellicle forming. I have some foamy white bubbles and some big bubbles, but no pellicle. The grain pail the slurry was taken from had a thick, absolutely vile pellicle floating. Is it just a matter of being secondaried in a glass carboy and not getting enough oxygen?

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On Deck: Saison "Jardin d'été" (3rd Gen 3711, Wild bugs, Pale ale malt, wheat, Willamette dry hop)
Primary: Saison "Vomissure de Grenouille" (2nd Gen 3711 from dregs, Pale Ale malt, Crystals and Willamettes)
Secondary: BM45/Spontaneous Bugs Experiment (down to 1.004, and tastes awesome), contemplating what fruit to add.

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Old 04-02-2012, 02:05 PM   #2
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I don't know the answers to your questions but I want to see where this goes

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Old 04-02-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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Pellicles do form in response to oxygen, but having one doesn’t mean your beer will be better or worse. In general big pellicles worry me more than thin ones since too much oxygen clean lead to big acetic acid.

In terms of when to add fruit, the best reason to wait is that in most cases you should bottle 2-3 months after the fruit goes in. Not a big worry waiting longer, but the fresh fruit character will fade. Dried fruit can go longer, as can things with flavorful skins (like wine grapes). Your culture/recipe may make a beer that doesn’t need a year to age, however you can’t just plot out the gravity drop and assume that it will be constant because the microbes tend to eat the simpler sugars first. Once the gravity is stable, add fruity (you may want to bottle/save some plain to compate).

Good luck!

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Old 04-02-2012, 10:39 PM   #4
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I'm not planning on touching it any sooner than appropriate, was just wondering if the fruit addition was more a gravity concern or one of age. I'll pull another gravity in another 2 months and figure it out then. I am planning on putting 4 gallons on blueberries and dry hopping the remainder. These bugs seem really hungry, and really delicious.

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On Deck: Saison "Jardin d'été" (3rd Gen 3711, Wild bugs, Pale ale malt, wheat, Willamette dry hop)
Primary: Saison "Vomissure de Grenouille" (2nd Gen 3711 from dregs, Pale Ale malt, Crystals and Willamettes)
Secondary: BM45/Spontaneous Bugs Experiment (down to 1.004, and tastes awesome), contemplating what fruit to add.

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Old 04-06-2012, 12:50 AM   #5
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What does it taste like. I read your original thread and it sounded nasty.

Hell ..... just putting regular brewing beer bugs in first time sounds awful, but we love it.

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Old 04-06-2012, 06:21 AM   #6
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It tastes sour and a touch funky with subtle notes of pineapple. The only reason I am getting into the long aged funks is because of the smells coming off the fermenter from the grain. It smelled buttery and fruity, like guavas, pineapples, and buttered biscuits. Those were aromas that I really wanted to capitalize on.

I'm a weird guy when it comes to my thoughts on funk. I haven't drank a whole lot of it, and this was my first batch trying to make it. I just don't feel right brewing a beer style that revolves around biodiversity and weird flavors with commercial pitches of lab grade microbes. I read somewhere that there have been over 30 microbes associated with creation of Lambic. It just seemed to me that I should give as many a chance to make their mark as possible.

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On Deck: Saison "Jardin d'été" (3rd Gen 3711, Wild bugs, Pale ale malt, wheat, Willamette dry hop)
Primary: Saison "Vomissure de Grenouille" (2nd Gen 3711 from dregs, Pale Ale malt, Crystals and Willamettes)
Secondary: BM45/Spontaneous Bugs Experiment (down to 1.004, and tastes awesome), contemplating what fruit to add.

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Old 05-05-2012, 01:06 AM   #7
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That is a fantastic sentiment, and one which I share completely. I'm considering encouraging the greatest diversity in my wort by leaving the cooling wort open outside overnight, and then putting some unsanitized mulberries into it as well.

The problem is, I think the unsanitized mulberries will have FAR more organisms on them than wort that has been left out overnight, so I'm wondering when would be the best time to add them so that the amounts of yeast/bacteria that are in the wort are comparable and competitive to the amounts that are on the mulberries?

Another thing that really interests me is the point at which you add fruit changing the flavour. If you add it when the enteric/apiculate fermentation is taking place, it might taste different from if you add it later on during sacch fermentation or even later during brett fermentation. If I had enough mulberries, I'd try all three. What does f127 think?

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Primary:
7L of NSPA + 1kg honey + 3L white grape juice
Bulk Aging:
3787 Saaz/Styrian Porter (on palm sugar)
Autumn Wheat Beer (on "Profruit Krimsonberries")
3787 Bochet
Jack Keller's Seville Orange Wine
Bottled:
Nelson Sauvin Pale Ale
Autumn Wheat Beer
3787 Saaz/Styrian Porter
3787 Bochet
3787 Dubbel
Jack Keller's Seville Orange Wine
Wild Cyser
Future:
Stella-hopped Saison
Blackberry Wine or Bochet
Stout Bochet
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