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Old 12-14-2012, 01:08 AM   #1
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Default Stupid Question - Maybe

The Wyeast smackpaks have a nutrient to get the yeast ready to go when pitched. (As an aside, does anyone know what it is?)

I've got a pack of 3278 (Lambic Blend). Since this is not just sacc, but a blend of Sacc, Brett, Pedio, Lacto and Sherry Flor, would I be better off not smacking the pack. The idea is that I want the yeast to get off to a slow start, and allow some of the bugs to try and get a head start. I'm sure the pack has the same nutrient, which is designed for yeast; not sure if it is beneficial for anything else in the pack.

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Old 12-14-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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If you want a fairly sour beer, the better way is smack the pack, and make a small starter for a day, letting the bacteria out run the sacch

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Old 12-14-2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellmtbbq
If you want a fairly sour beer, the better way is smack the pack, and make a small starter for a day, letting the bacteria out run the sacch
I'm not sure how effective this would be. The best way would be to mash very high (158F) to leave lots of long chain sugars for the Brett and bacteria to feed on in the long term.

Also, keep in mind that brett will start to fizzle out at around a pH of 3.4, so if the pedio and lacto get too much of a head start, you'll wind up getting down in pH more quickly, and the brett flavors won't be as prominent.
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Last edited by CadillacAndy; 12-14-2012 at 11:46 AM. Reason: More info
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #4
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On the brewing network, Sunday Session 12-02, they did a whole show on Brett with Flat Tail Brewing Company. It was enlightening for me, it might be of value to you.

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/927

P.S. in case you haven't listened to this show before, fast forward through the first hour of the show. That part is just "boy's being boy's" The meat is all after the first commercial break.

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Old 12-14-2012, 02:23 PM   #5
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I smack it for 3728 - seems to work out for me.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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Ooo I'll have to listen to that, yay Flat Tail!

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Old 12-14-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillacandy

I'm not sure how effective this would be. The best way would be to mash very high (158F) to leave lots of long chain sugars for the Brett and bacteria to feed on in the long term.

Also, keep in mind that brett will start to fizzle out at around a pH of 3.4, so if the pedio and lacto get too much of a head start, you'll wind up getting down in pH more quickly, and the brett flavors won't be as prominent.
Lacto and Pedio don't chew on bugs long term. They eat quick and vigorous, so you're wrong
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellmtbbq

Lacto and Pedio don't chew on bugs long term. They eat quick and vigorous, so you're wrong
I'm not sure I follow what you're saying. Lacto and pedio are bacteria (bugs). They are able to chew thru the long chain sugars, so by having wort with lots of long chain sugars, you give them food after the sacch dies off. Since they produce lactic acid, it will lower the pH. Brett doesn't like anything lower than about 3.4, so it's a fine balance of what you're trying to accomplish.

Getting the bacteria up to fighting strength early on will drop your pH quickly and will decrease overall complexity of the beer. They go after the more simple sugar first, then move on to the more difficult stuff.

Also, wasn't trying to be argumentative
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillacandy

I'm not sure I follow what you're saying. Lacto and pedio are bacteria (bugs). They are able to chew thru the long chain sugars, so by having wort with lots of long chain sugars, you give them food after the sacch dies off. Since they produce lactic acid, it will lower the pH. Brett doesn't like anything lower than about 3.4, so it's a fine balance of what you're trying to accomplish.

Getting the bacteria up to fighting strength early on will drop your pH quickly and will decrease overall complexity of the beer. They go after the more simple sugar first, then move on to the more difficult stuff.

Also, wasn't trying to be argumentative
From the lab stuff I've done, I've seen bacteria drop a gravity point or less after primary fermentation. I was taught that lactic bacteria, at least are very quick to reproduce/complete mitosis and "ferment" lactic acid. Hmm.. Odd. You may be right but you can bottle a true berliner Weiss after fermentation even if you havent pasteurized. Never make bottle bombs like Brett. All the best
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellmtbbq View Post
From the lab stuff I've done, I've seen bacteria drop a gravity point or less after primary fermentation. I was taught that lactic bacteria, at least are very quick to reproduce/complete mitosis and "ferment" lactic acid. Hmm.. Odd. You may be right but you can bottle a true berliner Weiss after fermentation even if you havent pasteurized. Never make bottle bombs like Brett. All the best
Agree 100% about the Berliner. That's usually just Lactobacillus - no Pedio. Pediococcus is what produces most of the sourness in a Lambic or Flanders Red and that and Brett is what gets your gravity down in the lower ranges after extended aging.

My concern with getting the Lacto awake and fighting too early in the fermentation process would be the pH. Like I said earlier, if your pH drops too low, too quickly, you're going to end up with a sour beer that's lacking the complexity that you're going for with a Lambic or Flanders Red because the Brett will sissy out at a pH of around 3.4.

By leaving a more dextrinous wort (higher mash temps, unmalted wheat, etc) you're leaving lots of food for the pedio and brett to eat long after the sacch (and I suspect the lacto) have run out of fuel. This will give you more complexity and sourness, without producing just lactic acid early on in the process.

I'm not a scientist or anything, but have been researching and reading everything I possibly can on "wild fermenation", so if I'm posting incorrect info, please correct me.

Cheers!
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