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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Thinking of jumping into the wild - help please
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:55 PM   #11
ryane
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I agree with beerific, its more like 3wks rather than 3days with a sour beer

A couple things to note though

1. a pellicle doesnt necessarily have to develop, it only happens in response to o2 in the headspace

2. if it does form, it doesnt always drop, I have 2 and 3yr old lambics that never dropped a pellicle and are stable, so trust the hydrometer, also remember to degas your sample

3. Dont rule out blending, you can take a good beer to new heights like this, if you do it with a young beer its a good idea to fine and then campden the sour beer prior to blending

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Old 01-09-2010, 06:10 PM   #12
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Also remember that we aren't tasting your beer. Sample it along with readings until the numbers are constant. Then sample for a while until you get the flavors you are looking for in your beer. There is no exact formula when dealing with bugs and critters.

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Old 01-09-2010, 07:22 PM   #13
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The FAQ on the White Labs site says to just pitch the vial.

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Old 01-09-2010, 08:00 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info guys this is great stuff.

ryane - you say that a pellicle forms in reponse to headspace. For lambics is it therefore best to not use an airlock and have the beer exposed to the air? Or should I use an airlock as i would for a standard beer

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Old 01-09-2010, 11:30 PM   #15
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no it forms in response to O2 in the headspace, either keep an airlock on there or like I do, you can put a wood dowel in the rubber stopper to allow small amts of O2 to get to the beer - this isnt particularily necessary though, you dont need a pellicle to sour a beer

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Old 01-10-2010, 02:09 AM   #16
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WLP655 does contain saccharomyces. Does that mean that I should pitch only the WLP655? If so when should I add cherries to the primary?

Beerific - you say keg when it taste right. Is it dangerous to bottle condition such a beer in case of bottle bombs?

Have any of you guys ever used WLP655 or WY3278? These strains seem to me to be an 'all in one' with a mixture of sacch, bret and other such bacteria. Are these ok or is it better to use separate bacteria strains?
I primaried with both WY3278 and WY3763 simultaneously and fermented for 5 weeks at 70F. Racked to secondary, and let it sit in a hot room of my house for 3 hot summer months. When the beer was 6 months old I attempted to keg it. It tasted like sweet butter. Racked it out of the keg to glass and let it sit for another 4 months, then added merlot grapes and dregs from commercial bottles and let it sit for another 4 months. After a total of a year and a half from when it was brewed, the beer tasted like a Cantillon St. Lamvinus. I'm letting it age another year. And its an extract beer too. Crazy!
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:27 PM   #17
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Think I'm gonna go for it then. Will use the White Labs Sour Mix as I can easily get hold of that here in the UK. WYeast less easily.

After reading through your comments I think I'll pitch this at the start in the primary and let it go for a year.

Is it OK to add cherries to the primary or should I rack the beer onto the cherries in a different vessel? I heard that the brett likes the dorment yeast trub so was thinking of just bunging the cherries into the primary and letting it go for another 4 months or so and then tasting.

Can't wait to get started with this. Though the turbid mash looks a little more complicated than the infusion mash I am used to.

Oh and a final question on carbonation. I know this is a LONG way down the line but if I add priming sugar to carbonate the beer when bottle conditioning, should I add another yeast strain at this time or another vial of the white labs sour mix? My thinking is after 2 years all yeast will be dead and there will be nothing to ferment the priming sugar to carbonate the beer.

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Old 01-12-2010, 03:56 PM   #18
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I repitched some notty yeast on my lambic just because I was impatient and didn't want to wait a few months to get carbonation. From what I understand the Brett will eventually eat all of the priming sugar and carbonate the bottles, but it might be a month or two.

I would rack the beer onto cherries after a few months just because you might drive off some of the aromatics of the cherries during the primary fermentation.

Also, if you are dead set on a turbid mash then go for it... however, I don't see a big benefit to turbid over a high mash temp (158*F) single infusion. I'm sure there will be differences, but I certainly don't think a turbid mash is necessary to get a good tasting lambic.

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Old 01-12-2010, 04:01 PM   #19
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Is it OK to add cherries to the primary or should I rack the beer onto the cherries in a different vessel? I heard that the brett likes the dorment yeast trub so was thinking of just bunging the cherries into the primary and letting it go for another 4 months or so and then tasting..
Yes, although make sure you have sufficient headspace so you dont clog the mouth of the carboy, last thing you want to do is loose a 1yr+ old batch

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Can't wait to get started with this. Though the turbid mash looks a little more complicated than the infusion mash I am used to..
A turbid mash isnt necessary, and Wyeast has a modified turbid mash schedule posted on their website to make things easier. I havent done side by side tastings but single infusions make a pretty good beer, Ive also added unfermentables to some beers like maltodextrin to ensure there is lots of food for bugs in there

Its also a good idea to feed the beer as fermentation progresses

Quote:
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Oh and a final question on carbonation. I know this is a LONG way down the line but if I add priming sugar to carbonate the beer when bottle conditioning, should I add another yeast strain at this time or another vial of the white labs sour mix? My thinking is after 2 years all yeast will be dead and there will be nothing to ferment the priming sugar to carbonate the beer.
You can to make sure it carbs quickly, but I generally dont add anything, I do usually let the bottles sit 6mos or so before opening them though, partially to ensure carbonation but mostly becasue theres always a weird grainy kind of flavor that seems to develop in the bottle while its young

When you carbonate, you also need to remember that all carbonation calculators assume there is CO2 in solution, while you beer will be nearly completely devoid of CO2 (relative to what they assume is in there) due to extended aging, so you need to prime higher than it says to ensure adequate carbonation
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
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When you carbonate, you also need to remember that all carbonation calculators assume there is CO2 in solution, while you beer will be nearly completely devoid of CO2 (relative to what they assume is in there) due to extended aging, so you need to prime higher than it says to ensure adequate carbonation
The only way it would be devoid of CO2 is if you pull a vacuum on the carboy. Residual co2 calcs are based on the partial pressure of ambient air.

The only other comment I have is that if you don't see a pellicle form, it is a good indication that there's not much o2 getting in. In that case, you'll have less of an acetic sour character and more funky barnyard. I think the oak dowel trick is a reaonable o2 diffuser, but I wouldn't have it submerge into the wort.
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