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Old 11-23-2011, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Dreg Collection / Starter

I've been wanting to do a lambic for a while now and have been thinking about how I want to ferment it. I was thinking it would be cool to just use a bunch of bottle dregs, but Im not sure I want to drink all of my sour beer stash right now. I was think of making a half gallon starter of some kind (wort and juice mixture? Maybe a bit of flour for starch?) and pitching dregs into it as I drink. When Im happy with the "starter", maybe in a few months or more, Ill brew a 5 gal batch and pitch the whole thing into it. Does this seem like a reasonable idea? Has anyone done something like this before?

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Old 11-23-2011, 07:24 PM   #2
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I'd actually like some input on this too. I'm often times drinking sours alone, and would love to throw those dregs in a little starter. Or even in a sealed starter in my fridge to let them lay dormant for a while. Any experience with this would be great!

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Old 11-24-2011, 01:36 AM   #3
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Either make up a liter starter in a half gallon jug and let it ferment out with a sacc yeast. Somewhere around 1.050. Use a little yeast off the slurry of your next beer rather than using anything new (about a teaspoon of slurry). Keep it under an airlock. The alcohol will help keep contamination at bay. You can make it with extract, and very little (if an) hops.

Every time you drink a sour, just add it to the starter. The 'bugs' will work on the harder to ferment sugars. It should keep just like any sour beer that you would keep for a year or more.

When you are ready to brew, just pitch the whole starter. Probably would want to add some new sacc yeast.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:40 AM   #4
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I almost always brew 6 or 11 gallons of beer so that I can keep the last 1/2 gallon or so that I throw into a growler. This allows me to throw any dregs, that I dont want to throw into my barrel, into the left over wort. Doing this it allows me to grow up any organisms that are present in any commercial sours. I also have a small incubator that I throw the growler in so I can heat them up to promote bug growth (esp since it is starting to get cold where we are).

The Mad Fermentationist - Homebrewing Blog is a member of the fourm and also an amazing read on anything and everything sour ales. I am just in aww of his work and am wanting to try some of his recipes soon.

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