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Old 01-05-2011, 05:25 PM   #1
Brewer_Steve
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Dec 2008
Ottawa, ON, Canada
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I recently attempted my first lambic-style beer, but I have some concerns now that fermentation is a couple weeks underway.

I made 10 gallons of wort, split it into 2 carboys, and pitched Wyeast's Lambic Blend.

One of the carboys took off fermenting after a day. Fermentation looked quite normal. The other carboy had no activity for 5 days, then a pellicle began to form.

Any idea why I'm seeing vastly different fermentations in 2 different carboys?
Also, what are the thoughts about the pellicle forming so soon? I was under the impression that it would take many months.



 
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
Ace_Club
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Well, I'm guessing that you based fermentation activity on the presence of bubbles in the airlock? If so, then there probably isn't a good seal on the carboy with "no fermentation". The pellicle tends to form when in the presence of O2. I've got a lambic that's been sitting there for 11 months and has absolutely no pellicle as it has been constantly blanketed by CO2. However, the pellicle shows that there is stuff happening and that the bugs have made themselves at home.


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Old 01-05-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
ryane
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did you add a smack pack of the blend to each carboy?

 
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:15 AM   #4
Brewer_Steve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryane View Post
did you add a smack pack of the blend to each carboy?
I used 1 smack pack, made a starter, then pitched half the yeast into each carboy.

 
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:48 AM   #5
ryane
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a starter usually isnt a good idea on a blend like WY lambic, its a mixed culture and not only will a starter throw things out of balance, but it also has the potential to kill off different microbes in the blend

sacch and brett like oxygen, lacto isnt bothered by it, but pedio can actually die when exposed to oxygen

In the future use some fresh yeast along with the yeast cake from a previous sour to start new batches, for these ones I would suggest adding the dregs of some sour beers and just not worrying too much

 
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #6
Brewer_Steve
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Thanks for the advice guys!

 
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:45 PM   #7
Brewer_Steve
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Just a follow up.

About a month ago, I tasted both beers. They were better than expected. I racked one onto cranberries and the other on raspberries. I'll taste them in a year and bottle them.

The 2 pellicles:
https://picasaweb.google.com/1108056...33055113940290
https://picasaweb.google.com/1108056...32592490291522

The beer once fruited:
https://picasaweb.google.com/1108056...31237043107842

Now another LONG wait....



 
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