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-   -   Secondary with B. lambicus (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/secondary-b-lambicus-317974/)

rcsoccer 04-02-2012 04:40 AM

Secondary with B. lambicus
 
*Note - This is the first sour/brett/funky beer that I've tried to make.

I just transferred a 23 liter batch of 1.036 OG (1.008 FG) beer fermented with Wyeast Belgian Ardennes yeast into a secondary bucket with a packet of Wyeat B. lambicus. I was wondering how long it will take for there to be any "activity" from the Brett. I added 250 g of DME and 250 g of Malto-dextrin for the bugs to chew on for the long secondary, but there is no visible activity in the airlock after a week. I've read that it could take a long time to see any activity, but I was just wondering.....

I'm also wondering how everyone goes about adding fruit to a lambic/sour beer. I've read that most people seem to add it after a long secondary on the bugs (3-4 months). Just looking for some opinions.

Cheers! :mug:

Oldsock 04-02-2012 05:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rcsoccer (Post 3953711)
I've read that most people seem to add it after a long secondary on the bugs (3-4 months).

3-4 months would be the bare minimum, lambic brewers tend to do about a year. You want to add fruit shortly before bottling (2-3 months) so it maintains a fresh flavor longer in the bottle. These beers are on a very different time scale than other styles.

For the Brett, should see some sign of activity within a month or so. It is pretty hard to predict, but those Wyeast packs have a lot of cells. It is already working slowly, you may have just not caught a bubble in the airlock yet. Forget about the beer for a couple months, other than making sure the airlock doesn’t dry out, and give it a taste and gravity reading once the visible activity levels off.

Also to double check, you realize that Brett will add interesting funky flavors (nice cherry especially from Wyeast Brett L), but no/minimal sourness.

rcsoccer 04-03-2012 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldsock (Post 3955028)
Also to double check, you realize that Brett will add interesting funky flavors (nice cherry especially from Wyeast Brett L), but no/minimal sourness.

Yeah, I've realized that after reading some information in the forums and on White Labs and Wyeast's websites..... I just moved to Australia a couple of months ago, so it's really hard to get different strains of bacteria/wild yeasts and they are bloody expensive! $18 for a Wyeast smack pack! I'm exploring the idea of buying a few sour beers from an international beer store in Western Australia and having them shipped here so I can throw the dregs into the beer, but it's pretty expensive. Would a Roselare packet added after a few months do a lot of souring? I just want a slight vinegar/tart flavor to be balanced by the fruit that I will add. Also, are there any bugs from White Labs that you would recommend? The LHBS is going to place a massive order and start carrying some of the strains all the time.

Cheers!

Oldsock 04-03-2012 01:40 PM

I haven't had great much luck getting a good sourness adding bacteria (Lacto and Pedio) after primary fermentaiton. Brett works no problem. For sours I tend to pitch the bugs in primary at the same time as the ale yeast.

Vinegar (acetic acid) is a tough flavor to get a hint of, you might be better off just aging some of your beer with cheesecloth over the mouth of a half filled growler and then using this for blending (no shame in adding a bit of malt vinegar to taste either if that really is the flavor you want). Most sour beers rely on lactic acid, which has a smoother flavor than acetic.

White Labs Brett B (funky) and C (fruity-funk) are both good strains. I don't really like their Sour Mix #1, since it has that Brett L in there.

Bottle dregs are a great option (plus you get a beer to drink in the price), here is a post I've tried to keep with many of the bottles that work: http://www.themadfermentationist.com...tle-dregs.html

rcsoccer 04-10-2012 04:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldsock (Post 3957927)
Bottle dregs are a great option (plus you get a beer to drink in the price), here is a post I've tried to keep with many of the bottles that work: http://www.themadfermentationist.com...tle-dregs.html

Yeah, I'm trying to find a place to get them and have them shipped to Queensland. Australia is about 20-30 years behind on the craft beer scene and Queensland is even farther behind than the rest. I think I found a place that would be good to order from, but the prices are going to range from $15 for a 330 mL bottle to $75 for a 1.5 liter bottle.... Oh well, maybe I'll get something from the US and bring it back whenever I go home for vacation.

rcsoccer 07-04-2012 06:08 AM

So, my B. lambicus secondary has been sitting for around 3 months. I've noticed a nice pellicle on top and took a sample about a month ago. It smells like Brett has been described to smell, but there isn't any cherry tartness yet. Also, there has been ZERO airlock activity. I know Brett works a different way than Sacc, but I figured there would be a bubble at least once in this amount of time. Did I do something wrong?

I'm still in the process of trying to find a used wine barrel here in Australia (Queensland) that doesn't cost an arm, a leg, and my first born child, but I can't seem to get one. Hopefully I'll be able to find one, brew a few more batches with various bugs and rack them all into the barrel to age for a few months before the first solera bottling would happen. This might be a stupid question, but.... Does anyone know of a place in North Queensland to find any used wine barrels? :)

Cheers!

Oldsock 07-05-2012 05:34 PM

Brett CO2 production is very slow, unless you've been staring at it none stop for three months, I'd guess that you have just missed it. Again, not too surprsing it isn't sour if you have only added Brett.

Sorry, no help on the barrel.

Good luck.

spearko520 07-05-2012 06:11 PM

Are there any wineries in north queensland?- i got one of mine from a brewery and one from a winery. They may not have any available, but will probably put you on a waiting list.

rcsoccer 07-10-2012 05:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spearko520 (Post 4227328)
Are there any wineries in north queensland?- i got one of mine from a brewery and one from a winery. They may not have any available, but will probably put you on a waiting list.

Only fruit wineries in North QLD, and they usually use stainless steel tanks for all of their fermenting. If they use oak in any of the wines, it's usually oak chips.

rcsoccer 07-10-2012 05:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldsock (Post 4227222)
Brett CO2 production is very slow, unless you've been staring at it none stop for three months, I'd guess that you have just missed it. Again, not too surprsing it isn't sour if you have only added Brett.

Sorry, no help on the barrel.

Good luck.

Thanks for all the advice. I do have another question.... I have a friend doing some work in Belgium now and he's going to bring back a few Cantillion beers for me. I was wondering if I should brew an entirely new batch with something like a WY3711 (mashing on the high side, of course) and add the dregs of a few bottles of Cantillion's beers to the secondary (or just add on top of the primary). I also wanted to do a separate batch with Roselare and blend them together (in different ratios) in about 6 months. Any comments on these ideas?

Cheers!


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