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Old 02-18-2009, 04:21 AM   #1
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Default Bugs growing on oak

I'm just getting into brewing some sour beers. I've been trying to dig through as much info as possible and I've got a question I haven't found an answer to yet, so maybe someone here knows.

I know brettanomyces will take up residence in oak, but what about the other bugs? Will pediococcus or lactobacillus survive in there?

What about regular saccharomyces? This one I should be able to figure out myself since I have a keg with an IPA and some oak cubes in it. Once I pull it off the oak I'm going to do some experiments with the cubes

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Old 02-18-2009, 11:22 AM   #2
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As far as I know, brettanomyces will readily take up residence in porous surfaces. Not too sure about pedio or lacto. Probably to an extent.

Saccharomyces will not. If it was that easy, there wouldnt be a single "my beer hasn't started fermenting" thread.

If you haven't already done so, check out the Brew Strong episode on wood aging. They talk some about using oak barrels, and cubes to capture souring strains.

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Old 02-18-2009, 02:21 PM   #3
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I do believe that is the way that Vinnie from Russian River does it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Fermentationist
"The oak chips were used in Batch 23 Damnation, which was a beer that we made to celebrate the 23rd bottling of Damnation. After the oak chips were removed from the Batch 23 Damnation (no bugs or critters in the beer), I soaked them in four strains of Brett, as well as Lacto & Pedio and our house "wild" culture. They stayed soaking for 3 or 4 weeks before I removed them and dried sun dried them on the roof of our building. From there I bagged them up."
- Vinnie
from The Mad Fermentationist: Russian River's Bugs and Critters


Does anyone know if Russian River filters their sour beers? If not, I think it would be possible to make your own version of Russian River Oak Chips by building up a starter and dumping in some clean oak chips.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nealf View Post
I do believe that is the way that Vinnie from Russian River does it:



from The Mad Fermentationist: Russian River's Bugs and Critters


Does anyone know if Russian River filters their sour beers? If not, I think it would be possible to make your own version of Russian River Oak Chips by building up a starter and dumping in some clean oak chips.
madfermentationist is one site I read and I missed that about the chips. Good to know.

RR does not filter their beers, so you should be able to make your own version by doing it. Though there is a chance that not everything will make it over in close proportions, or at all.

If anyone has any of these Russian River oak chips, maybe they could innoculate some additional oak and share the love. I have one potential lead that I'll hit up next time I see them (could be a few months). Which will probably be the same time I'm over near a beer ship that sells RR beer

I'm using cubes in my cultures because thats what I had. Maybe I should switch to using chips since they have a larger surface area
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
As far as I know, brettanomyces will readily take up residence in porous surfaces. Not too sure about pedio or lacto. Probably to an extent.

Saccharomyces will not. If it was that easy, there wouldnt be a single "my beer hasn't started fermenting" thread.
I have to disagree with you there. I remember reading very recently that in viking families, the wooden pole used to stir mead as it was being made was a family heirloom, because it was believed to give the mead a specific flavor unique to that family. It was later discovered that this was because specific strains of yeast would reside in notches along these poles, thereby ensuring that each batch that brewing family made would taste similar.

Don't take that as 100% gospel truth though. As I said, I remember reading this recently, but I don't remember where. If I can dig up the book I read that from, I'll post it.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llazy_llama View Post
I have to disagree with you there. I remember reading very recently that in viking families, the wooden pole used to stir mead as it was being made was a family heirloom, because it was believed to give the mead a specific flavor unique to that family. It was later discovered that this was because specific strains of yeast would reside in notches along these poles, thereby ensuring that each batch that brewing family made would taste similar.

Don't take that as 100% gospel truth though. As I said, I remember reading this recently, but I don't remember where. If I can dig up the book I read that from, I'll post it.
I've heard similiar stories before. I'm not sure it will take up residence like brett will. From what I understand you can't evict brett from wood even with steam or other extreme measures. Maybe saccharomyces won't dig in quite as much so a good cleaning will remove it, but if you don't clean it and just rinse it maybe the sacch will stay there.

I really want to do those experiments. Maybe I'll pull the cubes and treat a few in different manners and see if there is anything alive.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llazy_llama View Post
I have to disagree with you there. I remember reading very recently that in viking families, the wooden pole used to stir mead as it was being made was a family heirloom, because it was believed to give the mead a specific flavor unique to that family. It was later discovered that this was because specific strains of yeast would reside in notches along these poles, thereby ensuring that each batch that brewing family made would taste similar.

Don't take that as 100% gospel truth though. As I said, I remember reading this recently, but I don't remember where. If I can dig up the book I read that from, I'll post it.
One book which I know talks about this is Stephen Harrold Buhner's "Sacred Herbal and Healing Beers." There are probably others.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:33 PM   #8
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Hmm, I've never heard that. There is no reason thats not true either. Lambic brewers used a coolship, in the upper story of their brewery, which had a lot of wood in the rafters. Cooling in the coolship thus inoculated the wort with that breweries specific strain of bugs.

I guess my reasoning was that we go through so much trouble to keep our packets of yeast at the right temp during storage. I guess I was thinking good ole saccharomyces cerevisiae wasn't as hardy as it is. But I guess it had to come from somewhere.

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Old 02-19-2009, 12:28 AM   #9
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i think that just about anything will how ever like was mentioned above bret will dig deep into the wood while a good wash will kill yeasts. ped and lacto will also get in deep that's all from wild brews i just finished yesterday.

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Old 02-19-2009, 04:23 PM   #10
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A friend just made a huge Lambic blend starter and tossed some on some oak chips for me. It is getting happy as I type, soaking up all the bugs.

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