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?