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Old 07-09-2008, 03:24 PM   #1
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Default Hmm...Lambic Blend Propegator-Pak Starter (and another thought)

I picked up a Propegator sachet of Wyeast Lambic Blend at my LHBS the other day because I didn't feel like waiting for an activator to come in the mail. As you might recall, my original Oude Kriek wort, inoculated with S-05, fermented down too much, to 1.010, so JZ recommended pitching the bugs and then waiting a few months till the yeast are all dead, then adding more sugar---that way, the bugs won't have to compete with yeast for the sugars.

Anyway, I had another thought. Pseudochef keeps harping on me about not having a "true" lambic because there's saccharomyces up in there. While I'm more concerned with making good Lambic than I am to religiously adhering to traditional methodologies, I'm concerned that my final result won't be sour enough (I just drank a bottle of Hanssen's Oude Kriek the other night and it was sour as hell, just so awesome). What I'm scheming on is, racking the original 1.010 wort into its glass secondary vessel, but withholding maybe a couple quarts of it. Then, in one of my gallon glass jugs, brewing up a mini-batch with DME, dextrose and aged styrian goldings.

I'll keep saccharomyces completely out of that batch and just pitch some lambic bugs on it and let it go for a year. Guaranteed it'll be as sour as can be! I'll pitch the rest of the bugs onto the main wort, wait a few months, add some more sugar per JZ's recommendations, and let them go until this time next year. Then I'll taste the main batch and see how the sourness level is. If it's not sour enough, I'll blend in the mini all-sour batch in to taste...then add the cherries and let the rest of it go.

So in that spirit (and the spirit of wanting to use my new stirplate), I mixed up a normal 2qt starter today and dumped in the Propegator sachet that I smacked yesterday, and got a nice whirlpool goin'.

So how long would you say it needs to go? I've never made a starter with bugs before. Also, my stirbar is coated in teflon...do you think a good long soak in hot PBW, then a good sanitizer soak, will eliminate the bugs on it from this starter? I mean, nothing sticks to teflon, right?

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Old 07-09-2008, 10:59 PM   #2
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wow, this is a complicated thing, this is a question for landhoney if I have ever heard one.

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Old 07-09-2008, 11:22 PM   #3
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No long soak in PBW for Teflon coated things. I remeber Charlie Talley specifically saying that was a no-no.

My only thought on your plan is that it is possible will you really get that much more sourness out of the bugs only small batch than you will by adding that wort to the main batch? But I guess that would give you a more concentrated sourness. Do it.

This gives me an idea too. I think I might do a similar thing with my Flanders red and let the one in the gallon jug get all acetic and use it to blend back.

Oh, and on the starter, aren't some of the bugs in there very sensitive to oxygen? I am not sure if they just go dormant in high oxygen environments or if it could possibly kill them.

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Old 07-10-2008, 12:09 AM   #4
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wouldn't a good boil kill any bugs on the teflon? Try a pressure cooker too! Nothing survives 250F.

Evan!, are you using oak chips in this batch? If so, I'm trying to get an idea of how much to use in my Flanders Red.

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Old 07-10-2008, 12:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by slyngshot View Post
wouldn't a good boil kill any bugs on the teflon? Try a pressure cooker too! Nothing survives 250F.

Evan!, are you using oak chips in this batch? If so, I'm trying to get an idea of how much to use in my Flanders Red.
Yeah, I hadn't heard about the pbw-teflon thing, but I'll stay away from it and just boil it---good call. No, I doubt dem bugs could survive a sustained boil.

I'm not planning on oak chips for this, but I did for my flanders red. I used about 5/8oz.
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:33 AM   #6
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Dude, we should totally have a brew day sometime this summer. I would love to do a big brew with a bunch of people. How far are you from DC? 90 minutes maybe?

I'm gonna try the 5/8 oz thing for my Flanders Red. My closet usually sits around 72, so I anticipate my Flanders only taking about 8 months or so. Just a guess though, as it's my first time.

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Old 07-11-2008, 12:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by slyngshot View Post
Dude, we should totally have a brew day sometime this summer. I would love to do a big brew with a bunch of people. How far are you from DC? 90 minutes maybe?

I'm gonna try the 5/8 oz thing for my Flanders Red. My closet usually sits around 72, so I anticipate my Flanders only taking about 8 months or so. Just a guess though, as it's my first time.
Yah, we should absolutely do a big VA-DC-MD HBT brewday soon. There's simply a ton of us around here. I actually grew up in Fauquier county (right off I-66 about 20 minutes west of Manasshole), and my parents still live up there, so I'm visiting from time to time anyway.

Yeah, my Flanders Red is around 70F, I'm not gonna worry about temp control for a year! It'll be whatever my ambient temp. in my brewhouse is. We'll see how long it takes.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:59 PM   #8
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I can't help you with your question about how long a starter with bugs should be left. I'd probably leave it around a week or so but that's nothing but a guess on my part.

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so JZ recommended pitching the bugs and then waiting a few months till the yeast are all dead, then adding more sugar---that way, the bugs won't have to compete with yeast for the sugars.
Do the bugs kill the yeast cells? If not, then the yeast cells are dying on their own, so what's the point of pitching the bugs before you add the sugar? Is it just to get them in earlier and get a head start on souring the beer?
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Old 07-11-2008, 01:09 PM   #9
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Do the bugs kill the yeast cells? If not, then the yeast cells are dying on their own, so what's the point of pitching the bugs before you add the sugar? Is it just to get them in earlier and get a head start on souring the beer?
No, the bugs aren't killing the yeast, they're just competition for them. The saccharomyces have already eaten all the short-chain sugars they can; the bugs will be able to eat the remaining long-chain dextrins that are in there right now (0.010's worth). If I add the extra sugar now, the yeast will wake back up and eat them, because they're much quicker than the bugs, and I won't get the souring effect that I really want. I'm looking for at least 0.020's worth of carbohydrates that the lambic bugs can munch on.

So if I add the bugs now, they will start munching on the remaining LCD's. After a few months, the saccharomyces will have died naturally, at which time I can add more sugar---and the bugs will have free reign on those carbs with no competition from the much-quicker yeast.
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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