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Old 01-21-2011, 02:56 PM   #1
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Default Growing up bottle dregs

Typically I use commercial cultures and dregs from various sour ales in the sour ales that I brew. This time around I want to take a different approach. I am going to do a traditional lambic using the turbid mash schedule in Wild Brews. What I would like to do is grow up a resonable pitch of Cantillon Classic Gueuze dregs and use only that for the fermentation. I have grown up standard sacc yeast from bottle dregs before but I have not attempted to do the same with sour ale dregs. I typically just add dregs to the fermenter with the commercial culture. What process should I follow? Are there any tips or tricks any of you have had success with? Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 01-21-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
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The problem will be trying to get all the critters grown in a useful combination. For example, you could culture any remaining sacc and lacto in an aerated starter with a neutral pH. You will culture brett in an aerated starter in a low pH but the low pH will inhibit sacc and lacto to some degree. However, any aeration will inhibit or kill pedio.

I know first hand that trying to culture brett from dregs of Orval takes 1-2 weeks to get fermentation started in a small starter with fairly low pH. I can't imagine how long it would take to get sufficient brett and if you even could culture pedio within a reasonable period of time.

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Old 01-21-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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I have successfully cultured the brett strain from the New Glarus R&D Goden Ale but the more i think about it any attempt at "growing" a pitch will result in throwing off the balance of what I am trying to achieve. I think I am just going to have to get a few sour beer loving friends over for a marathon consumption of the Gueuze and pitch the dregs in their state and go from there. I can only assume that the sacc will have died off from the dregs and a clean commercial strain is going to be needed to augment the dregs. Honestly, this is the part I love about brewing with bugs. the planning and discussion are fun as hell. Thanks for the post RAM.

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Old 01-21-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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Is there any practical reason why you couldn't make three different starters with different levels of pH and aeration to isolate the strains - blending them later or pitching separately as desired?

Aside from the expense of getting enough bottles for all three ^ ^

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Old 01-21-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
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What I've done a few times before with success is building two starters... a 10*P wort starter (1.040) and a smaller 2*P YPD starter. The wort starter goes on the stir plate which allows the brett and sacc yeast to grow. The YPD starter just sits in a jar.

YPD = yeast hulls, peptides, and dextrose. For peptides you can use any protein source, I use whey protein. For each liter you would use 10g of yeast hulls, 10g of protein and 20g of dextrose (corn sugar). I find the yeast hulls in the health food section of my grocery store, sold in bulk cheap. For a 5 gallon batch 1L is plenty big enough, and I'd do a 2L wort starter leaving it on the plate for two full weeks to give the brett time to develop.

Good luck

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Old 01-21-2011, 10:19 PM   #6
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How long do you let the YPD starter go Sacc?

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Old 01-22-2011, 12:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminBier View Post
Is there any practical reason why you couldn't make three different starters with different levels of pH and aeration to isolate the strains - blending them later or pitching separately as desired?
I think this is a good idea. Lambic producers will acid wash the barrels to knockdown the bacterial populations when things get too sour. Why can't you do the same with a starter? Grow up the dregs until you have a nice cell pellet, then drop the pH to 2.0 and leave in the fridge overnight, then neutralize the pH back to 5-6 range and re-feed the starter. See what happens?
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