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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Advice for Sour/Wild noob
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:40 AM   #1
ChadChaney
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Default Advice for Sour/Wild noob

OK, so I have been posting on this part of the forum for a bit now trying to collect as much info. as possible, and now I am back for some more. I have finally attempted my first few wild/funky/sour beers, and have the bases for a few more working. I have a Sasion(Dupont strain) on some Brett B and I just made a 2 gallon "starter" of Kolsch/cream ale that I pitched a lacto starter into and slapped on my brewpad. That is headed into a portion of Belgian Witt and here is where my questions start. I want to blend the lacto spiked beer with the Belgian Witt and I want to add Bing Cherries at some point. Am I best to add the Cherries to the lacto portion first, there is nothing else in that portion, took some last runnings with a nice low gravity and no hops and boiled, cooled to 90 and pitched the 500ml lacto starter. Or should I wait and add them to the final blend and then age, I am leaning to adding them to the lacto for extra munchies for them.

Next question, I have another Saison with a FG of 1.009, and I want to pitch some Brett B into part of this one as well and add some fruit. I am thinking of peaches. Can I rack half of the Saison off to keg and then add the peaches and Brett on the original cake, or should I secondary and then add fruit and Brett? I was thinking it would be a nice yeast cake when it was done, a nice Saison/Brett B culture. As for the peaches, how do I treat them, peal em, or just a spritz of star san and then freeze and thaw and pitch?

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Old 07-02-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Anyone?

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Old 07-02-2012, 03:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadChaney View Post
OK, so I have been posting on this part of the forum for a bit now trying to collect as much info. as possible, and now I am back for some more. I have finally attempted my first few wild/funky/sour beers, and have the bases for a few more working. I have a Sasion(Dupont strain) on some Brett B and I just made a 2 gallon "starter" of Kolsch/cream ale that I pitched a lacto starter into and slapped on my brewpad. That is headed into a portion of Belgian Witt and here is where my questions start. I want to blend the lacto spiked beer with the Belgian Witt and I want to add Bing Cherries at some point. Am I best to add the Cherries to the lacto portion first, there is nothing else in that portion, took some last runnings with a nice low gravity and no hops and boiled, cooled to 90 and pitched the 500ml lacto starter. Or should I wait and add them to the final blend and then age, I am leaning to adding them to the lacto for extra munchies for them.
Add at the end. Lacto will eat simple sugars first and it will eat them much faster than the yeast, so you'll probably get some extra sourness on the back end from it. That also gives you the option to taste the wit and if you like it enough you may not want to add the cherries to that batch.

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Next question, I have another Saison with a FG of 1.009, and I want to pitch some Brett B into part of this one as well and add some fruit. I am thinking of peaches. Can I rack half of the Saison off to keg and then add the peaches and Brett on the original cake, or should I secondary and then add fruit and Brett? I was thinking it would be a nice yeast cake when it was done, a nice Saison/Brett B culture. As for the peaches, how do I treat them, peal em, or just a spritz of star san and then freeze and thaw and pitch?
I would just add the brett to the primary. I have a brett/saison mix that I use that makes one of my favorite homebrews. It takes about nine months to dry out and develop a nice flavor so I brew a batch each year. I'm about to bottle the most recent batch. It's an unconventional saison recipe but it's delicious. Easily my best yet.

Peaches are tricky. Most of the peach flavor is enhanced by sugar, rather than acidity. (Compare the flavor of a peach to an apricot.) When the sugar ferments out you don't have a lot of flavor left and it can turn into a sort of mute fruit flavor. Lots of people express poor results from peaches although some people have great results. I think when it comes to peach you need to use an abundance of fruit to make sure enough of the peach flavor is left after fermentation. Alternatively you could use apricots or a blend of the two if you don't want too much of the apricot acidity.

Regardless, the best way to prepare peaches (or apricots, nectarines, etc.) is to slice them up and throw them in the freezer. Freezing breaks down the cell walls so the juices and sugars are more accessible to the beer and yeast. Personally I always thaw the fruit and add to a little water and pasteurize at 170F before adding to the beer. It risks adding pectin haze -- not a problem for a a hazy beer like a saison -- but avoids the risk of infection. Lots of people add the fruit without pasteurizing with good success but I think if you plan on keeping yeast from the cake adding that additional step to prevent wild yeast and bacteria from getting in the cake is probably worthwhile.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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i always add fruit to the secondary. Seems like i get more weird flavors if i don't wait until then. I just freeze and thaw then pitch - i don't worry too much about sanitizing fruit.

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:01 PM   #5
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ApacheMaster, thanks man, will go w the apricot instead. How long should I let this lacto starter roll before blending.

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Old 07-06-2012, 06:04 PM   #6
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Ok, so I am going to add the brett b to the primary today, should I hold off on adding the apricots for a while or just add them now too?

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Old 07-06-2012, 06:24 PM   #7
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I should've chimed in on this earlier. I remember seeing the thread and meaning to respond, but it slipped my mind. I did a saison that I transferred to secondary onto a fresh pitch of Brett. L., along with 3 pounds of grapes and 3 pounds of peaches. For both the grapes and peaches, I pasteurized the fresh fruit (no freezing) by heating them to 155 in water and holding at ~155 for 25 minutes. For the peaches, I slit a cross into the skin on the bottoms of the peaches and the skins folded up perfectly so you could easily peel it off after pasteurizing. After skinning all the fruit (very easy for both from the blanching/pasteurization process), I pitched them in the secondary. I let this sit in secondary for 3 months before kegging.

This beer came out really great, it got several golds, and also a 3rd best in show. At that competition, the judges really liked how the peach flavor came through, but was not overpowering. Peaches are nice, because they have a good amount of acidity, so the beer came out with a really nice tartness, almost to the level of a sour. And the beer came out really dry, so its a beer that you immediately want another sip of after your previous. You may have your mind already made up on apricots, but I just wanted to relay my experience with peaches. I'll be making this beer every year, but I need to wait for the grapes and peaches to ripen, they're all local.

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input, I just racked and pitched a vial of WL Brett B into about 2.5-3 gallons on top of original cake of WL Saison Ale Blend. Thinking I will age a few months on that and them add the apricots and age a few more months,then bottle. Will be using some peaches soon though.

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