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Old 07-01-2009, 10:51 PM   #1
kniles38
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Default Thoughts on my experiment

I have a mini experiment going on that I could use some sage advice. I know the brews I am experimenting with are not the traditional styles that would be made into wild beers.

I have been setting aside 1 gallon of some of my brews over the last 8 months or so. 1 of IPA, 1 American Brown, and 2 American wheat. All around 5%. I racked each into 1 gallon jugs after initial fermentation and have been adding dregs from various brews (Orvel, Rodenbach, and anything else "wild"). Probably a total dregs from 5 bottles for the 4 gallons. I also have some oak cubes in a couple gallons that were previously in a cabernet for a year.

They have been aging for approx 2,4,6, and 8 months, respectively. I think they are forming pellicles, but it is hard to tell because I don't really know what one looks like and since they are in full gallon jugs, there is only a very small spot where one would form. They all seem to still smell like normal beer.

My plan is to get these experiments combined into a 6 gallon carboy and add another 2 gallons of a yet to be determined brew to top it off. And eventually getting it into a 10-20 gallon oak barrell and then kind of doing a Solera. Or maybe just Solera out of the 6 gallon carboy if the barrel does not work out.

Anyhow, my questions are:

1. What should I brew to get me 2 gallons to top off the 6 gallon carboy? Should I ferment it out with yeast, or just add it to my 4 gallons and let the bugs and remaining yeast from the other 4 gallons have at it? I am thinking a strong brown to up the ABV. But I really don't know. I want to end up with something that can age for a few years.

2. Should I keep adding more dregs from wild bottles?

3. Any other suggestions?

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Old 07-01-2009, 11:18 PM   #2
Bokonon
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I'm no expert on wild brews but it sounds like blending all those would just be a mess of flavors. To see how it is why don't you try to pull out an oz of each one and blend that together and see how it is. Make sure you sample them individually as well as blended.

If it was me I would probably just bottle up each gallon individually since they are all probably nice and unique.

Sorry I didn't really answer your questions.

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Old 07-02-2009, 12:23 AM   #3
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Rodenbach is pasteurized from what I have heard. The grand cru is still "live" though.

Good luck.

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Old 07-02-2009, 04:15 AM   #4
ryane
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All rodenbach products are pasteurized, even the grand cru, so you really dont have anything in that one unless it came from somewhere else

I would taste all of them first, see which you like and which you dont, blending doesnt really work unless you know how the flavors will play together

I would just brew up something really simple, i.e. all pils maybe a touch of acid malt and add the dregs of beers you like in addition to the 1gal jugs you like

Ive actually got a "house" culture going now with isolated bugs from various commercial beers, I recently used it on a lambic batch currently in primary, after adding it fermentation went nuclear and blew out the top

My only advice on the solera is that you would need to blend the beer in it with a unsoured portion after youve pulled from the barrel a few times, as with each repitching the bacteria will dominate the yeast and produce a more and more sour beer, my 3rd pitching onto a roeselare yeast cake recently almost was too sour for me, and I love sour

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