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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > How to pitch a carboy?
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default How to pitch a carboy?

Guys,

I have a 5 gallon glass carboy with a turbid mashed Lambic pitched with Bugfarm VI. It has been going for over a month and has a bubbly pellicle formed.
Question is, I have a 35 gallon wine barrel that I am going to put a 20 gallon batch of Lambic in (max of my system) my plan is to then pitch the whole 5 gallon carboy.

-How should I pitch it? Just pour it all through a funnel? Rack it off with a cane leavin the pellicle? Add first then put wort on top or add after wort.

I will then brew another 15 gallons to top off and have 5 gallons in a carboy for Angels share later.

What do you think and any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Feurhund
Guys,

I have a 5 gallon glass carboy with a turbid mashed Lambic pitched with Bugfarm VI. It has been going for over a month and has a bubbly pellicle formed.
Question is, I have a 35 gallon wine barrel that I am going to put a 20 gallon batch of Lambic in (max of my system) my plan is to then pitch the whole 5 gallon carboy.

-How should I pitch it? Just pour it all through a funnel? Rack it off with a cane leavin the pellicle? Add first then put wort on top or add after wort.

I will then brew another 15 gallons to top off and have 5 gallons in a carboy for Angels share later.

What do you think and any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
If I understand your question my advice would be to use a racking cane and to lower the hose beneath the pellicle so you don't splash inside the barrel which would do a few things namely oxidize the beer as well as introduce oxygen and acetobacter growth.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
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My thought is, won't I need to oxygenate the new wort I am putting in the barrel? Will this effect the starter beer I am pitching? Will it promote acetobacter or will the fact that the yeast and bugs will start fermenting the large volume of wort use up any extra oxygen and make it unavailable for acetobacter.

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Old 10-04-2012, 03:11 PM   #4
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My thought is, won't I need to oxygenate the new wort I am putting in the barrel? Will this effect the starter beer I am pitching? Will it promote acetobacter or will the fact that the yeast and bugs will start fermenting the large volume of wort use up any extra oxygen and make it unavailable for acetobacter.
Great question maybe someone else might want to chime in but I'm going to break it down from my own knowledge. Oxygenation is done to assist the yeast both Sacch. and Brett during the growth stages when you initially pitch. Brett will also work in non-oxygenated wort only it will grow slower. In your case you already have beer in the barrel and the 5 allon carboy that has gone through the growth stage and you already have colonies of yeast in bacteria in there. By adding the fermenting lambic in the 5 gallon carboy to the barrel you are only adding more food for the existing colonies to eat and reproduce in as well as adding what ever colonies yu have going in the 5 gallon carboy. I would think by exposing oxygenated wort it would help the yeast but I also think it would add considerable amounts of oxygen for aceobater to utilize and produce acetic acid and the vinegar taste. As far as tranfering from the carboy , regardless of oxygeantion I still strongly feel that you should use a racking cane and transfer below the level of beer already in the barrel I am sure if you just dump in the contents of the carboy into the barrel you willl oxyidize the existing beer that is in there.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:55 PM   #5
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Just to clarify. The barrel is empty as I haven't brewed the fresh 20 gallons yet. My thought from your input would be to put the 20 gallons in the barrel and then rack the carboy under the beer level so no extra oxygen is added. The headspace would then be purged with C02 that would be bolstered by the fermentation once started.
This would eliminate extra O2 and worst case if the saccharomyces struggled a bit in the low O2 environment, it will just leave more food for the bugs.
Any other opinions/advice is welcome.

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Old 10-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #6
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If you add too much air to the mix it will start to hurt the pedio. The only real issue that I see here is the fact that you will have fifteen gallons of headspace. Can you brew your twenty gallon batch let it ferment for a while then brew another twenty and rack five of it into a carboy and the rest into the barrel? The five gallons in the carboy can just be fermented with regular sacc and used to top up the barrel when needed.

It won't hurt to break the pellicle that is already in the carboy.

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:57 AM   #7
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That is my plan. I will put the 20 gallons of wort directly in the barrel and then add the 5 gallon carboy of Bugfarm VI. Then when I get more time I will brew another 15 gallons to top off the barrel and put the remaining 5 in a carboy to ferment out for top off.
I actually have 3 other carboys with different bugs fermenting for later blending. It will be a lot of Lambic.

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Old 12-08-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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Ok. The birth of my daughter in September has pushed off this plan till now, but I will have time alone in the house next week and I am planning a marathon back to back brew day to make 30 gallons of traditional lambic wort.
This is the question. I have a 5 gallon carboy of lambic with Bugfarm VI that is 5 months old. Can I put the first 15 gallons in the barrel, rack the 5 gallons of Bugfarm on top and then top with the second batch?
Will this be crazy out of balance bug wise because the Sacc is old and the bugs are grown? Any advise or experience is appreciated. Thanks all.

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Old 12-09-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Feurhund View Post
Ok. The birth of my daughter in September has pushed off this plan till now, but I will have time alone in the house next week and I am planning a marathon back to back brew day to make 30 gallons of traditional lambic wort.
This is the question. I have a 5 gallon carboy of lambic with Bugfarm VI that is 5 months old. Can I put the first 15 gallons in the barrel, rack the 5 gallons of Bugfarm on top and then top with the second batch?
Will this be crazy out of balance bug wise because the Sacc is old and the bugs are grown? Any advise or experience is appreciated. Thanks all.
I've got the same sort of plan. 5 gallon starter batch to pitch into a barrel. I don't think you're getting much feedback b/c there aren't too many of us with a barrel who have tried this. Once you go this far, I think you have to accept the elements of uncertainty and chance involved. It's possible that I'll spend hundreds of dollars and hour of labor and months of aging and end up with crap. Sure hope that's not what happens, but keep in mind that traditional barrel aged sours are blended for this very reason.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feurhund
Ok. The birth of my daughter in September has pushed off this plan till now, but I will have time alone in the house next week and I am planning a marathon back to back brew day to make 30 gallons of traditional lambic wort.
This is the question. I have a 5 gallon carboy of lambic with Bugfarm VI that is 5 months old. Can I put the first 15 gallons in the barrel, rack the 5 gallons of Bugfarm on top and then top with the second batch?
Will this be crazy out of balance bug wise because the Sacc is old and the bugs are grown? Any advise or experience is appreciated. Thanks all.
One generation is fine. If it makes you feel better, add a packet of US-05 if you want a less sour lambic. Otherwise let her rip!!!
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