Originally Posted by smokinghole
Nothing side by side, but I did a saison with a proper pitching rate using ECY20. Then I did a lambic with ECY20 and I got more flavor and compexity in the lambic that is only 6 months old at this point. The complexity could be from the turbid mash or it is due to the decreased pitching rate. They both fermented about the same rate though so it doesn't seem the lambic wort did a whole lot to slow the culture down.
Interesting. One thing that I would like to sort out (which is tied to this) is the difference between primary Brett fermentation vs. secondary fermentation. There seems to be a good deal of research about primary Brett fermentations ending up very similar in nature to Sacc. ferments whereas adding Brett to secondary starts to really bring out the funk. I haven't seen it stated explicitly, but maybe Brett when fed a steady diet of "easy" sugars ferments out (and then peters out) like Sacc., but when fed only complex sugars starts throwing the funky esters.
That's a long way of me saying maybe there is something to the turbid mash bringing a high level of complex starches / sugars to the table and bringing out the real funk in the Brett. In addition, underpitching forces lots of replication which many times can result in (oddly enough) higher attenuation and significantly more esters (expected). There's a good exchange between Garret Oliver and the dude from Brew Science blog
about this. Sounds like it was a best of both worlds scenario possibly - low pitching creating lots of new cells struggling and fermenting out everything in it's path but throwing tons of esters along with them eating a higher portion of complex sugars making them throw even more esters providing that higher level of flavor complexity / funk you got out of your lambic.
"Goin' downtown to the disco, gotta do it right away. Got a funky thing to get into, gonna blow my blues away!"