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Old 07-27-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
z987k
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Default Brett/Lacto question

So we're thinking of doing this lambic braggot... and I have some questions on when to pitch and what. Everything I've read has said to do a fermentation with a clean ale yeast and then a week or so later add the bugs. Well I have a slightly unique situation here. What we had planned on doing it fermenting out the beer portion and adding the honey over the course of a few weeks to ensure that the yeast were up to the job. However, with mead we usually use a wine yeast, and according to what I've read the bugs don't like a high abv environment.
We were planning on using either wlp655 which is listed as having Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and the bacterial strains Lactobacillus and Pediococcus or the wyeast strain that is basically the same thing.
So since both of those list Saccharomyces could I just pitch the vial and let it all go while adding the honey over time to make sure the bacteria can be conditioned to the alcohol? Or do I need to still do a straight sacc feremntation and then add the bugs? I'm afraid that if I do it with sacc first then the bugs will never be able to really get going because a) the alcohol and b) the braggot will have much less high chain dextrins than a beer would.

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Old 07-27-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
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From what I have read, you are not going to get the ABV high enough to kill the bugs. As for the dextrins, there will still be plenty. If you pitch the yeast and the bugs at the same time, it should still work out great. The yeast will take off MUCH faster than the brett or lacto.

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Old 07-29-2008, 12:02 AM   #3
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Go with the lambic blend and/or pedio/lacto. I would pitch both at the same time. What the brewers yeast can't ferment the bugs will eat over the long aging time. How much honey are you thinking of adding? I wouldn't bring this batch much over 8% or so because that is about the limit for the blend, giving a bit of error room. Never had a lambic braggot, only fruit ones. Let us know in about 2 years how it turns out!

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Old 07-29-2008, 06:16 PM   #4
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I just did my first high gravity sour beer a few months ago, a mega oud bruin to around 1.120. I pitched all the funk into primary, because as you suggested the lacto/Pedio won’t go beyond about 8% ABV (many strains of Brett are fine well into the teens). It didn’t have much sourness going into secondary, but I wasn’t looking to make a really sour ale, I just wanted some tartness to balance the sweet malt backbone.

There is a commercial beer called Mead the Gueuze where they get around the problem by blending the already sour lambic with an already fermented mead. That is certainly an option, as is letting the 6-7% beer sour for a year or so and then adding more honey and fresh yeast to get the rest of the alcohol.

I am planning on starting a regular gravity honey sour ale this fall, probably with the addition of some flowers jasmine/lavender etc… I am still thinking of holding off the honey so that I can feed the beer after the bacteria/Brett has a chance to get moving.

Good luck.

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