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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > repitch at bottling?
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:12 AM   #1
rritterson
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Default repitch at bottling?

I have had my first attempt at a wild-yeast brew in the primary for 7 months now and am ready to bottle it. I'm not sure if I should pitch some yeast on it when I prime, just prime, or do neither and just bottle it.

I brewed using Wyeast's lambic blend #3278, but the place I bought it from decided to ship it to me USPS which meant that it spent about 7 days at room temp moving around my office mail sorting system. It didn't rise at all after bursting the smack pack in the 3-5 hours I waited, so I think quite a bit of the yeast died off. I pitched the yeast into a belgian grain blend, then after 2 months added 10 lbs of cherries. I ended up getting a pretty vigorous ferment on the grain, and then it kicked back into high gear when I added the cherries.

Beer was born on 5/14/11, and I just checked the gravity today, 7 months later. It's at 1.010 with a bit of astringency from the cherry pits, but not much brettyness or sourness at the moment. That's down about .001 from the last time I checked it, which was about 6 weeks ago. The airlock does bubble about once every two hours, but it's gotten even slower in the last few weeks.

I'm not sure what survived the smack pack transport, and I'm not sure if anything is still live and active in the primary now. I also screwed up when I brewed and added too much hops, so probably inhibited any bacterial growth. I'm ready to bottle the brew, and I have plenty of patience, so I don't mind if it takes 6 more months to carbonate in the bottle.

My question is: should I repitch more yeast when I prime for bottling, or are there enough yeast still living that I should be fine just letting it carbonate with what's there for several months? My second question is: at 1.010 should I prime at all? I plan on using belgian ale bottles with corks, so extra carbonation is not a health hazard, but I don't want to prime if the FG is going to drop to 1.004 in the bottle. On the other hand, if nothing but Sacc survived the yeast transport, I don't want to avoid priming and end up with flat bottles of beer.

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Old 12-16-2011, 01:27 PM   #2
pantsmachine
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I would pitch a pack of champagne yeast into the FV and then bottle once it hits 1.003. But that's just me.

Or you could give the FV a good shake, draw a sample, culture it up on fresh wort and repitch it into the FV after taking a note of the FG of the sample.

I wouldn't personally bottle a beer at 1.010 if i didn't know what its terminal gravity was roughly meant to be.

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Old 12-16-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
Calder
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Since you got down to 1.010, I would suspect all the simple sugars are used up. I don't think champagne yeast will do anything for your FG.

If you detect some Brett and sourness in the sample, and you indicate that you did, then something did survive. Unless the pack got really hot, it should be fine.

You also got .001 point drop in the last 6 weeks.

I would say leave it and come back in 6 months. At 7 months it is still young; the Lacto and Pedio and Brett are only just starting to work.

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Old 12-17-2011, 05:01 AM   #4
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Champagne yeast will take the beer down to almost Zero. A simple test would be for the OP to draw off a 1/2 ltr of the beer, pitch the yeast and monitor. I would happily bet 3 pints that it'll go off like a small scale rocket and achieve a low and more importantly a fixed and stable gravity with a known viable yeast in suspension to prime onto for bottling.

As i said 'this is my way only' and the OP may wish to go the 6 month extra route. The point is that champagne yeast will Blitz through the remaining sugars, that's what it does.

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