I was "misinformed" by Jamil - (re: "bugs")

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Seawolf

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I stopped in my LHBS on my way home from work today and asked about my Flanders Red. I mentioned that my pellicle wasn't really forming, and that it had been a few weeks. He asked when I pitched the Roeselare, and I told him, "in the secondary. I pitched Safale US-05 in the primary". He told me that that was a "mistake". I explained that I used Jamil's recipe, but he told me I was misinformed. I guess Jamil doesn't know what he's talking about;)

I should have kept my mouth shut I guess.

I guess Evan! is the resident expert, and I should direct this question towards him, but feel free to chime in if you have any experience with brett.

When pitching Roeselare into the secondary, how long does it typically take to see a pellicle form? I have some small, milky bubbles, but nothing substantial. I know it hasn't been very long, but I'm waiting in anticipation to see some nasties growing in there!

Thanks a lot!

cheers,
Zach
 

CBBaron

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I pitched Roselare in the primary without any other yeast and it took over a month to form a pellicle. As with most things beer and even more so when dealing with "bugs" patience is required. I'm sure your beer will be fine.

Craig
 
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Seawolf

Seawolf

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I pitched Roselare in the primary without any other yeast and it took over a month to form a pellicle. As with most things beer and even more so when dealing with "bugs" patience is required. I'm sure your beer will be fine.

Craig
I know it will be fine. I've just started to question the headspace in the carboy, is it enough? My oak peg, is it delivering enough O2? Bugs, are they doing their job? Also, should I pull out a few quarts to let sour in a growler?
 

chrisholst

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"A few weeks" and you're expecting a pellicle? Expect a couple of months before one forms, and then another couple of months before it drops. Roeselare needs 6-9 months before you'd even want to taste it. It's totally murky before it finishes. Pitching Roeselare late may affect how much acidity you get... but the pellicle will take its time regardless.
 

menschmaschine

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With the title of this thread, I was expecting a good story about how you called into the show and Jamil gave you bad information.:( I guess I should have paid more attention to the air quotes.

I swear, on one show, I heard him pronounce draught (draft) like "drought" when bragging about having been to England and drinking the beer there.

But that doesn't help your poor pelican or whatever, so back to topic.:D
 

oberon567

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I swear, on one show, I heard him pronounce draught (draft) like "drought" when bragging about having been to England and drinking the beer there.
Yeah, he totally did this, and John Plise kind of called him out on it, or at the least repeated it a bit confused, but he just kept on going.

Obviously the man knows how to brew a good beer, he has won awards for every category, and obviously he knows the style guidelines to a T, so I trust pretty much all of the advice he gives as being good and i defer to his authority on most of my decisions in this here home brew game. But one of the amusing parts for me when listening to the podcast is just hearing how everyone just defers to everything he says, and he is like a steamroller of beer knowledge. it amuses the hell out of me, actually.
 

Bobby_M

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The flanders we did according to his method took about 4 months to form a heavy pellicle and a few more to take on any noticable souring. It was damned tasty last I checked.
 

Brewsmith

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I've made the same recipe from Jamil's book and it took over a month to form a pellicle. Sounds like the norm to me. I hope to keg it up in a month or so.
 

Ryanh1801

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Personal I never under stood the pitch the cali ale, and then the blend, mine was done with just the blend. Course I don't consider myself a follower of Jamil.
 

Brewsmith

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If you listen to the show, he explains.

In his recipe Jamil's going for something like Rodenbach, the standard, bended version. The purpose of pitching the blend after is that only the residual sugars left over after fermentation will be consumed by the bugs. If you want something closer to the Rodenbach Grande Cru then pitch just the blend and it will be more sour.
 

Ryanh1801

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If you listen to the show, he explains.

In his recipe Jamil's going for something like Rodenbach, the standard, bended version. The purpose of pitching the blend after is that only the residual sugars left over after fermentation will be consumed by the bugs. If you want something closer to the Rodenbach Grande Cru then pitch just the blend and it will be more sour.

I have listened to the show. :eek: But I have yet to read of anyone that has done both ways that was happy with pitching cali ale first.
 

Brewsmith

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I have listened to the show. :eek: But I have yet to read of anyone that has done both ways that was happy with pitching cali ale first.
We'll see how mine comes out then... :)

If mine is too sour, it's probably because of lack of temp control. I'll post when I keg.
 

Ryanh1801

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We'll see how mine comes out then... :)

If mine is too sour, it's probably because of lack of temp control. I'll post when I keg.
That is the issue. most people that pitch the cali ale first, report the beer is not sour enough. Course I did cheat a little on mine, I pitched the blend and some cali ale, all at the same time, basically to give the cali ale in the blend a higher count to eat some sugar fast.
 

oberon567

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He talked more about this in his lambic episode, at least very briefly. Someone had asked if you could stress out the bugs the same way you stress yeast to highlight certain flavor profiles, and he said that you might be able to he wasnt sure, but what would be more effective is, instead of using a single blend go ahead and pitch your bret separate from your lacto separate from whatever else you put in there, and control your amounts, and pitch at different times in different amounts to allow a healthier environment for one as opposed to another.

Say what you want about "wrong advice," the advice he gives has won him numerous competitions, including in the sour beer category. But his process is different than yours, it doesnt have to work for you.
 
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Seawolf

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I may just pull a quart of beer out of the secondary and put it in a growler with some aluminum foil over the top. This method will give me a super sour beer for blending to taste when the time comes.
 

Drunkensatyr

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Personal I never under stood the pitch the cali ale, and then the blend, mine was done with just the blend. Course I don't consider myself a follower of Jamil.

Ditto. I am sure he has made MANY good brews, but I tend to disagree with a few of his positions on practices. The Roeselare blend contains a neutral yeast in it and yeast works MUCH faster than bugs, so I do not see how you harmed your beer. As for the formation, it should take 4+ weeks to begin forming. Drop that puppy off in the back of the closet, throw a towel over it and forget about it for another 12 months.
 

Evan!

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I may just pull a quart of beer out of the secondary and put it in a growler with some aluminum foil over the top. This method will give me a super sour beer for blending to taste when the time comes.
I don't see how that'll give you a "super-sour beer". You can still only get as sour as the amount of sugar in there will allow. You're better off brewing another mini-batch and going all-sour in it.

I started with JZ's directions, simply because I don't want to go overboard with the sour/vinegar. However, I'm branching off from that and am going to make a 2 or 3 gallon all-sour batch in another vessel. I'll pitch the Roeselare directly onto the unfermented wort and let it sour out over the year. After that, I'll have a true blending opportunity. While I trust Jamil to a point, I really am skeptical about the base beer being sour enough. However, having never done a sour beer before, I really don't want to wait a year to find that out---hence the blending half-batch of all-sour beer.
 

oberon567

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The long and short of it is that, at this point, it is just time to forget it in a corner for a year or so. It should do its thing, one way or the other. And now you know that for your next batch, if you're using the same ingredients, pitch the bugs sooner, or dont pitch the cal ale at all, depending on how this is tasting.

I would be careful about the growler with aluminum foil. It is a good idea, but too much oxygen will ruin this, and will make it turn to vinegar. The whole point of the pellicle is that it is the bugs forming a protective layer against the oxygen. The more oxygen this is subjected to will increase the speed of the pellicle formation and eventually dropping, and it will affect the sour-ness. But it could just go too far. So there is a chance that your mini-me will turn into vinegar. And no amount of blending will make vinegar + beer taste good. The vinegar is a step too far. It is a great plan though, it cant hurt. But maybe leave it with the aluminum foil for a month or so and then go ahead and put a regular stopper on it...

In his Lambic episode he recommended brewing a new lambic every single year, at least once a year, and then you have plenty of opportunities for blending.
 
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Seawolf

Seawolf

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In his Lambic episode he recommended brewing a new lambic every single year, at least once a year, and then you have plenty of opportunities for blending.
How is the blending achieved? Would you bottle and carbonate the entire batch, and pour a bottle of the old batch in a new batch to blend? Or, just keep a portion separate in a growler with an airlock for blending purposes, and bottle the rest.

I think SWMBO would approve of a 20 quart oak barrel in the living room. That would be a fun toy for beer with bugs.
 

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You'd blend before bottling just like Rodenbach does. You can also take samples as you go along and if you think the gravity is already down near 1.005 or so and still not sour enough, you can feed it with a little more wort.
 

oberon567

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Pour a glass of each.

Get some graduated flasks and blend small quantities until you get the taste you want.

Do some math, figure out the proportions for a 5 gallon batch.

And, exactly as Bobby_M says, you blend them right before you bottle. Some of the "traditional" brewers (speaking of Lambics here, jamil addresses a question about this on his show) blend the 2 year and 3 year for the flavor, and then add enough 1 year to actually serve as the priming sugar for when they are bottled. Jamil did not recommend doing this, just because they have perfected their system over hundreds of years and trying to figure out the necessary proportions and gravities and all that stuff in order to carbonate is just damn hard... so blend them, add some carbing sugar, and bottle. Or if you dont bottle, then just blend them right into the keg you're going to be using in whatever percentage you need. That easy.
 

Jif

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Sorry to resurrect this thread, but it was the most "on point" without starting a new one.

Since it's been a bit since this thread, what is the overall opinion after aging on starting with Cal Ale yeast? I'm thinking since I'd like something closer to the Rodenbach Grand Cru that I ought to start with Roselare. Is it common to leave it on the yeast cake the whole way through or is it more accepted to transfer into a secondary?

I was planning on used a vented silicone stopper and some oak cubes rather than the oak dowel. Seem reasonable?
 
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Sorry to resurrect this thread, but it was the most "on point" without starting a new one.

Since it's been a bit since this thread, what is the overall opinion after aging on starting with Cal Ale yeast? I'm thinking since I'd like something closer to the Rodenbach Grand Cru that I ought to start with Roselare. Is it common to leave it on the yeast cake the whole way through or is it more accepted to transfer into a secondary?

I was planning on used a vented silicone stopper and some oak cubes rather than the oak dowel. Seem reasonable?
If you really want really sour, just pitch the Roeselare. I did and mine is quite sour after 5 months. I just added currants and oak. I'm calling it finished in a month (maybe). I think the point Jamil makes in his podcasts (and book) is that if you don't like a true sour beer, use a neutral yeast first and throw the Roeselare in after that is done.
 

Jif

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Would adding it initially lead to a beer more or less sour than La Folie? If I add it initially do I never move to a secondary?
 
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