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Old 05-19-2009, 02:07 PM   #1
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howdy to all of you whom brew with the wild microbes!

i haven't had much experience even drinking these beers, i was fortunate enough to try the 'La Folie' that new belgium had a few years back but other than that, i don't think i've had any other sour, lambic, farm ale, or saisons. i don't even know that those are all wild beers.

anyway, i have a few other yeast cultures in my home for other hobbies i enjoy and all of them are wild and sour... i know you can't just drop any yeast into a beer and expect it to come out good, but i think it might be worth experimenting with... i just have a few questions about brewing wild beers.

are these wild yeasts responsible for all the fermentation or do you use a brewing yeast first and then introduce wild yeasts? i know a number of these beers are aged in oak barrels after bulk fermentation to introduce other microbes later on, but again, are these brewed with normal brewing yeast first and then aged/innoculated with other yeast/bacteria?

any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

thanks.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:18 PM   #2
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There isn't a blanket answer for your question... Berliner Weiss for instance, uses lactobacilli (L. delbrueckii in particular) during primary fermentation which produces a great deal of lactic acid. Beers such as English Old Ale use Brettanomyces clausenii for a secondary fermentation after a primary fermentation by Saccharomyces yeast. Lambic beers are innoculated with wild flora during cool weather and are fermented cool to minimize the activity of lactobacilli, whereas the beers of Flanders get a great deal of sourness from lactobacilli due to warmer fermentation and direct inocculation with a lacto-heavy culture.

The book Wild Brews is highly recommended.

It's a shame that examples of wild beers are so hard to find. Around here we can only get a few, and most are the disgustingly sweetened pasteurized lambics which bear little resemblance to their sour cousins. So I resort to shopping when I travel to California...
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:37 PM   #3
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Ok, so there are a variety of expertiments possible here. I may have to check out the book.

Does anyone have any experience with testing wild yeast not intended for brewing? Did it work better in conjunction with brewing yeast or have you tried one out with only wild? Just curious if it even comes out close to drinkable.

Thanks again.
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