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Old 08-09-2010, 01:19 PM   #1
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Default Bottle dregs -what did I brew?!

I've been saving bottle dregs from sour/funky beers in my fridge for some time...Didn't really have plans for them, but thought I'd use it as an experiment to see if I could grow up bottle dregs... I had all but forgotten about them, but I was making a starter for a belgian pale ale using washed yeast from a quad I brewed earlier in the year. anyway, I saw the bottle of dregs so split the starter wort and pitched the dregs into one bottle and my yeast into another. fast forward to brew day on Saturday...my yeast didn't take off (off smell, no krausen), so I dumped it, but my dregs had taken off like a rocket! I've been wanting to get into wild ale brewing so this was my chance to jump in with both feet!

so...I just pitched the dregs/starter into my belgian pale ale wort 1.050 wort, 28 IBUs (all Strisslespalt with a small addition at knockout), almost all pilsner malt (9#) with some wheat (1.5#) and a tiny bit of acid malt (0.5#).

bottle dregs I believe were from a bottle of Avery Dépuceleuse (100% brett so says the label, but don't know which strain), Weyerbacher Riserva, and Jolly Pumpkin Oro De Calabaza.

Starter smelled / tasted great! definitely funky. I'm suprised it took off so fast. Both starter and wort showed active fermentation in ~8 hours, which has me scratching my head a bit...I've read a few things here that suggest people start Brett starters a week or two before brew day. I'm doubly surprised as the dregs had been in my fridge since June.

Anyone have any idea what kind of yeast / beasties were in those dregs? Any idea how long fermentation should take? (days, weeks, or months). Any guesses as to what I can expect from this beer?

Thanks!

Jim

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Old 08-09-2010, 02:05 PM   #2
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Sound slike a good start. You certainly have some Saccharomyces in there, which will help with the fast start, along with Brett (Avery uses a strain(s) they cultured from Drie Fonteinen), and lacto/pedio from the the Weyerbacher and JP.

I've done a couple sours with similar worts, although I tend to go a bit lower on the IBUs, but 28 shouldn't be enough bitterness to clash with the sour.

In 2-3 weeks rack to secondary, add some oak cubes if you want, and leave it alone for 9-18 months (make sure to top off the airlock every couple months).

Hopefully it turns out well, good luck.

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Old 08-09-2010, 02:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I read your blog often (big fan), and have been itching to brew some wild/sours. This was not how I intended to get started, but what the hell. Homebrewing is all about experimentation...

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Old 08-09-2010, 03:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpoder View Post
Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I read your blog often (big fan), and have been itching to brew some wild/sours. This was not how I intended to get started, but what the hell. Homebrewing is all about experimentation...
Exactly, my kick to get started with sours was moving down to DC (left the beers to age in my parent's house until I had room down here).

It might be worth investing in a new set of plastic now that you have bugs running around. Donate the current set to the sours and get new tubing, bottling wand, racking cane and thief to the bugs. You don’t have to, I survived a couple years before I had an issue, but even the time/effort/money from avoiding one infected batch is worth it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
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In my limited experience, the Jolly Pumpkin yeast was very active so this might be the dominant yeast. I am not sure what type of Sacc. yeast was used with Oro de Calabaza. But from hearing the Ron Jeffries interview on Can-You-Brew-It, I bet he would tell you with a quick email or call. You would be surprised how much information many brewers will share. This way you will have a better understanding of what flavor profiles you might get.
Welcome to the exciting world of wild beers.

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
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In my limited experience, the Jolly Pumpkin yeast was very active so this might be the dominant yeast. I am not sure what type of Sacc. yeast was used with Oro de Calabaza. But from hearing the Ron Jeffries interview on Can-You-Brew-It, I bet he would tell you with a quick email or call. You would be surprised how much information many brewers will share. This way you will have a better understanding of what flavor profiles you might get.
Welcome to the exciting world of wild beers.
JP starts with WLP550 aka 3522 aka Achouffe, they then ferment in barrels with whatever bacteria/yeasts etc that were or got into them
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:19 AM   #7
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UPDATE:

I took a look / taste for the first time tonight. ~2 1/2 months after brewing. slight patchy crust floating on top (startings of a pellicle)...smells great nicely sour. tastes nice and tart. kind of like a citrusy-pineapple, sweet-tart kind of taste, with a small amount of depth behind it. there is kind of a flat, dank taste at the end, but it is really minor. I'd be very happy with it as-is, but will leave it at least through the winter to see how this progresses. I've only consumed about half a cup and I already wish I had a whole lot more of this beer!

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Old 10-26-2010, 09:28 PM   #8
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That sounds like a really cool little mishap. I can't wait to hear more about how it turns out.

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Old 01-26-2011, 03:26 PM   #9
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UPDATE2:

This beer continues to progress nicely. I added 1 LB of amber Candi syrup dilluted in ~ 1 QT of water a few weeks ago. interesting enough in the 2-3 weeks since the pellicle has grown from thin/patch, to a very nice, full, bubble filled gnarly pellicle. Similar to the ones that occupy the pellicle picture thread (I'll have to take/post one of my own)! Still smells GREAT...didn't take a taste when I added the sugar.

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:40 PM   #10
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Added some pics in the Pellicle Photo thread HERE

It is a thing of beauty!

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