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Old 06-11-2010, 09:23 AM   #1
Sep 2009
Posts: 31


me and some fellow brewers are planning a lambic group brew.

one question that came up, is can we create a single starter with a lambic blend and step it up gradually so we can use it for 4 carboys.

it perhaps sounds silly, but here in iceland it is very hard to get yeast, and expensive to order.

i know that in the lambic blend there is a selection of critters, is there a risk of an inballance between different strains if i step it up? would i have to create a special wirth for it to have all the different sugars for all the different strains.

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Old 06-11-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
Oldsock's Avatar
Sep 2007
DC, Washington DC
Posts: 3,237
Liked 255 Times on 169 Posts

It will alter the balance, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Often the first pitch of those microbe blends leads to a very mild sourness, so stepping up the starter shouldn’t be a big issue. Don't go too crazy with the aeration, the lactic acid bacteria tend to be anaerobes. If you can get your hands on some good commercial sours I’d suggest pitching the dregs from them into the carboys as well. It may also be a good idea to add some dry yeast to help with the primary fermentation, my first batch of lambic took 4 days to start fermenting and never tasted right.

I recently filled a 60 gallon wine barrel we started with a microbe blend in 5 gallons of beer, a few weeks later we pitched 30 gallons of wort onto that and then 25 gallons the following weekend. Seemed to work fine, and the beer already has a nice sourness after just a few months.

Good luck!
Check out The Mad Fermentationist for my adventures in fermentation and my book: American Sour Beers!

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