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Old 07-27-2010, 04:08 PM   #1
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Default Sampling the Lambic

I have a lambic of sorts brewed 1/1/10 pitched with a variety of bacteria across the lambic spectrum: Brett B and a few sour blend packs.

My question is about sampling. I want to taste it to see how it's coming, so I can determine when to keg it, but I'm concerned about introducing too much O2. I understand that some bacteria are aerobic and some are anaerobic, but I don't have a sense for how much O2 I'm letting in (if any) when I go into the carboy to grab a small (<1 oz) sample.

Is there a rule of thumb? Can I sample as often as I like? Or should I just check on it every three months?

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Old 07-27-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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I'd check it once a month.

Also... did you pitch just brett lambic mix? Or did you use a starter yeast to do the bulk of the work? I like using US-05 initially and then after that's done it's thing, I pitch my lambic mix and let it go to town for 9+ months.



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Old 07-28-2010, 02:35 AM   #3
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Sample as often as you like. But every time you sample, that's less beer you end up with.

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Old 07-28-2010, 02:41 AM   #4
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Sample as often as you like. But every time you sample, that's less beer you end up with.
Yeah, but you didn't waste it, you're still drinking it...

I'd say sample once a month. Why not? It's your beer.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:16 PM   #5
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One of the blends had a normal yeast in it, but I pitched it all at the start.

My main question was about O2 as it relates to aerobic and anaerobic activity, but I guess I'm overthinking it.

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Old 07-28-2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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it should have a pellicle which is a barrier against O2, try to disturb this as little as possible, but it should reform in the area where you took your sample.

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Old 07-29-2010, 12:38 PM   #7
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Last I checked there was no pellicile, but it does taste sour and lambic-like. I'll have to check it out.

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Old 07-29-2010, 07:02 PM   #8
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As long as some fermentation is taking place, carbon dioxide is being produced. CO2 is heavier than O2 and will blanket your beer.

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Old 07-30-2010, 03:24 PM   #9
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I find it easier to forget about my sours as much as possible. I try not to pull samples more often than every 2-3 months. Try to get a few going so you always have something getting close to the end of the pipline.

I don’t worry too much about oxygen getting in if there isn’t much headspace, but a pellicle and fermentation will not protect your beer completely. After the initial burst of fermentation very little CO2 is being produced (the lactic acid bacteria don’t make much). Pellicles form in response to oxygen, so if you don’t have one it just means not much air is getting in (a good thing). Make sure your airlock stays topped off.

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Old 08-06-2010, 06:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beernik View Post
As long as some fermentation is taking place, carbon dioxide is being produced. CO2 is heavier than O2 and will blanket your beer.
Yes, this is why we can't breathe at sea level. Fluid dynamics is a lot more complicated than "this is heavier than that, so it sinks."


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