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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > My first lambic - Uh, oh!
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:58 AM   #1
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I completed a full turbid mash with decoctions about a week ago. I started the wort on Wyeast 3942 Belgian Wheat. Tonight I racked to secondary.

I have a Wyeast 5112 B. bruxellensis smack pack that I planned on using next.

However, I also cultured the dregs of a bottle of Lindemans Kriek about 2.5 weeks ago. It was going well and started to form a pellicle and I was excited about adding it to the mix.... Today I looked at it and there are 4 small well defined mold colonies growing on the surface! Now, usually were this the case with a starter flask it would only detour from the straight line to the autoclave long enough to empty itself in the drain! But, I got to thinking, "does it matter much?"

I'm not inclined to pour the starter in directly, but considered harvesting some of the deeper liquid with a pipette? What do you think? I mean mold (probably Aspergillus) isn't harmful, and I don't think the spores would penetrate the pellicle. Let alone, would it survive in the anaerobic environment?

Time isn't too critical here.... I could just reculture my starter and see if I can isolate the undesirables, then pitch when I'm satisfied I'm in the clear. What do you think?

Chris

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Old 03-19-2013, 08:38 AM   #2
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Two things:

1) Is the mold in the starter of the Lindeman's Kriek?

2) I didn't think Lindeman's Kriek had viable dregs as they pasteurize it and back sweeten it with the fruit flavors.

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Old 03-19-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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2) I didn't think Lindeman's Kriek had viable dregs as they pasteurize it and back sweeten it with the fruit flavors.
Most Lindemans are pasteurized, but Cuvée René Oude Gueuze & Cuvée René Oude Kriek have viable dregs.

To the OP, I think you'd be fine just removing the mold from the starter and/or harvesting from underneath
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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For the record, even with some lambic dregs, this will not be sour. Your only pitching Brett which doesn't sour, and the Pedio or Lacto colonies in the dregs might be tiny, mutated or dead. Pitch WLP 665, 655, , 3278/3728 whatever it's numbered, or Bugfarm/Bugcountry. Then add dregs if you wish

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Old 03-20-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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1) Is the mold in the starter of the Lindeman's Kriek?
Yes, just on top of the pellicle that formed on the top of the starter.

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2) I didn't think Lindeman's Kriek had viable dregs as they pasteurize it and back sweeten it with the fruit flavors.
Not sure... I had read somewhere that it had been done. Started up pretty quick.

Chris
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:14 PM   #6
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For the record, even with some lambic dregs, this will not be sour. Your only pitching Brett which doesn't sour
Ah, I misunderstood that. Does it merely ferment to dryness then? And add the aroma character of course.

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Old 03-20-2013, 09:54 PM   #7
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...Your only pitching Brett which doesn't sour...
I respectfully disagree. In my experience pitching a sacch strain and then pitching a bretta strain WILL result in a sour beer. I have done this for the past three years and have great success. It is not the same as a beer that has pedio and/or lacto, but the sourness definitely comes through. I have found three-six months with sacch/bretta to be magic for my basement (depending on the grist bill). I have gone as much as a year and it gets more sour than my solera Flanders Red.

Chris,

Did you happen to take a gravity reading before you added the bretta? I assume with the turbid mash, you should have quite a few unfermentables left in the beer. It is definitely not too late to add the bugs that bellmtbbq suggest, as those would definitely round out the flavor of your beer.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:08 AM   #8
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All "sour ales" (according to BJCP guidelines) have to include either Lactobacillus or Pediococcus, and often include both. Check out the guidelines for specific recipe formulation.

As far as Brettanomyces giving off a "sour" flavor, this is possible, but not usual. Most types of Brett found in commercial beers and commercial yeasts (lambicus, bruxellensis, anomalus, claussenii, etc.) give off more of a funky flavor. You'll often hear of descriptions like of barnyard, horse blanket, hay, and other farmhouse-type adjectives for most Brett strains. Although some are more fruity than others, none of them have that classic sourness to them that you can really only get with using bacteria like Lacto and Pedio (or by doing a sour mash or using lactic acid directly).

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Old 03-21-2013, 01:32 PM   #9
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All "sour ales" (according to BJCP guidelines) have to include either Lactobacillus or Pediococcus, and often include both. Check out the guidelines for specific recipe formulation.

As far as Brettanomyces giving off a "sour" flavor, this is possible, but not usual. Most types of Brett found in commercial beers and commercial yeasts (lambicus, bruxellensis, anomalus, claussenii, etc.) give off more of a funky flavor. You'll often hear of descriptions like of barnyard, horse blanket, hay, and other farmhouse-type adjectives for most Brett strains. Although some are more fruity than others, none of them have that classic sourness to them that you can really only get with using bacteria like Lacto and Pedio (or by doing a sour mash or using lactic acid directly).
I am well aware of the BJCP style guide's take on sour beers and view it as a starting off point for my "sour" beers. To be honest, I find the guide limiting and fall more in line with Peter Bouckaert's view on BJCP. For the whole, we limit ourselves by putting our beer in the little boxes outlined by BJCP.

How much experience do you have with wild fermentation that you can make the claim that one only gets funk from brett?

Your description of barnyard and horse blanket is only true for Brett. brux (Wyeast strain in particular). I have done three years of experimentation with various strains of Brett. and have gotten real mouth puckering sour from lambicus and claussenii WHEN in the presence of a sacch strain in the fermenter at around the six month mark. In particular, the WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend (farmhouse strain plus Lost Abbey's brett) has given me a very sour beer at over six months.

As I have stated, I do not get the same result as I do in my 59 gallon solara which has lacto and pedio or in my sours that I have made with a pure lacto culture or the sour mashes I have fermented.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:04 PM   #10
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weremichael is correct in that Brux is the barnyard/horseblanket strain.

However, brett alone will only create a minimal amount of acidic acid, and not enough to sour the beer. weremichael, if you are getting sour beers, I imagine your fermenter is infected with lacto/pedio, or lacto/pedio is in the dregs you pitch? Alternatively, some people associate sourness to Brett and think they taste it, but it is just the bitterness and brett combo.

ChrisfromAbby - if you want any complexity to the lambic, I would highly recommend using a multitude of brett strains and not just the single brux strain.

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