WLP655 - Belgian Sour Mix

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javedian

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Anybody ever use White Labs WLP655 Belgian Sour Mix? I just ordered a vial with the intent of making a Kriek and possibly a Flanders Red or Oud Brun. I have never done a sour before.
From White Labs site:
A unique blend perfect for Belgian style beers. Includes Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and the bacterial strains Lactobacillus and Pediococcus.

I have not found any useful info on the web yet. Any experience appreciated. I have a email off to White Labs, and will post any info I get back.
 

OskeeI

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If you waited a couple of months you could have gotten the Wyeast Roeselare blend.

A lot of brewers are fermenting in the primary with a clean yeast like White Labs American Ale and pitching the sour blend in the secondary.

Good thread on the Roeselare blend, but most likly applicable to your WL Sour blend,

http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=69895
 

ScottD13

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You'll have to add the sour mix after you ferment with yeast. I believe that the brett is actual yeast but the rest are just bugs. I would use the Roeselare blend but since you picked up the sour mix ferment first with a yeast that best suits you style - flanders red, brun or lambic, then pich the sour mix.

I've heard the Roeslare blend is about 50/50 Cal Ale Yeast/Sour Mix. So I'm sure you can fake it.

One thing to keep in mind the sooner you add the sour mix the more sour it will be....
 

flowerysong

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ScottD13 said:
You'll have to add the sour mix after you ferment with yeast. I believe that the brett is actual yeast but the rest are just bugs.
Brettanomyces is a wild yeast, but WLP655 also contains Saccharomyces, which is normal brewing yeast. You can do the entire fermentation with WLP655.
 

DraconianHand

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I have a sour beer using the WLP Belgian Sour mix. Still in the fermenter, so I can't tell you anything more.

It does contain yeasties in addition to beasties.
 
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javedian

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DraconianHand - Did it kick off OK? Did you use a starter, or just pitch the tube?

Here is the reply from White Labs:
Thank you for your inquiry. More information can be found at http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/bacteria.html.

I have also listed information below:

The sour mix is a blend of brewers yeast, lactic acid bacteria and brettanomyces. It was designed for homebrewers who cannot fully mimic the traditional spontaneous fermentation method of Belgian Lambic brewing.
Therefore, it can be used for primary fermentation since there is brewers yeast in it. Over time, it will produce the same characteristic sourness associated with this beer style. The sourness will definitely increase over time, particularly if maturing in oak barrels.

The more caution you can exercise while using this, the better. Once the blend takes hold, it can be very difficult to get rid of. It contains very hard, adaptable organisms, so can survive when least expected. It can be cross-contaminated between beers that have not been pitched with it. Keep these beers separate while fermenting.

We recommend using either glass or stainless fermentors, dedicating separate lines to sour beers, and using a rigorous cleaning procedure (wash with hot PBW or other caustic cleaner, followed by acid rinse if possible, and finish with a sanitizing agent). This will ensure you don't infect other beers.

You can add the blend at the same time you add fruit. The blend will be happy with the added sugar content of the fruit. Cherries are particularly good for this style as they maintain their flavor characteristics in fermentation rather than being metabolized.

Cheers!
JoAnne Carilli-Stevenson
 

DraconianHand

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I don't believe I used a starter, but I did get some krausen. I did a 5g batch in a 5g carboy and the krausen coated the neck of the carboy, but did not push through the airlock.
 

ScottD13

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Didn't know that, thanks!

flowerysong said:
Brettanomyces is a wild yeast, but WLP655 also contains Saccharomyces, which is normal brewing yeast. You can do the entire fermentation with WLP655.
 

ohiobrewtus

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BUMP!

Anyone who used this earlier this year care to report results? I took a Flanders Red down to 1.018 with WLP011, then pitched in a starter of WLP655. It's been close to 3 weeks now and there's no pellicle. Should there be?

Were you happy with the results? How sour did your beers get?
 

z987k

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BUMP!

Anyone who used this earlier this year care to report results? I took a Flanders Red down to 1.018 with WLP011, then pitched in a starter of WLP655. It's been close to 3 weeks now and there's no pellicle. Should there be?

Were you happy with the results? How sour did your beers get?
What are you fermenting in? If a carboy and even if plastic, you should probably get a oak dowel to stick in the stopper in replace of the airlock. Beasties like them some oxygen, and won't form a pellicle without it's presence.

Check out this website: Brewing Flemish Red Ale, by Raj B. Apte
Also Jamil did a show on it worth listening to.

I've used WLP655 as the only "yeast" pitched and it works well and makes a very nasty smelling ferment. Like a horse took a **** in your closet. Still waiting on that though, hasn't been nearly long enough to move it from the fermenter.
 

Joetuo

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I was thinking of doing a sour with this yeast...Since parts of this thread are over a year old how did things turn out and would you change anything?
 

Munsoned

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I was thinking of doing a sour with this yeast...Since parts of this thread are over a year old how did things turn out and would you change anything?
I'm also looking to do a sour, and have an additional question: can you pitch Roeselare directly to the primary, or do you need to "pre-ferment" with a clean yeast first? If people have tried direct pitching, how did it turn out?
 

z987k

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I'm also looking to do a sour, and have an additional question: can you pitch Roeselare directly to the primary, or do you need to "pre-ferment" with a clean yeast first? If people have tried direct pitching, how did it turn out?
either works. Listen to jamil's show on flanders and lambics.
 

saq

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I've got a 6 month old sour going where I used this blend in the primary. Its in a corny for secondary right now for long term, but I've done two 1/2 gal wort additions to give it more to chew on now that the bacterial cultures are up. I did a taste test recently and it was only getting lightly tart.
Its got a nice funky pellicle on the top.
 
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Sorry to bring up this old thread but I bought a couple vials of this last year and never got to use them. I'm planning on doing a kriek this weekend with these vials. They are dated Oct-26-12 so they are at least 5 months past their date. I am going to make a 3500 mL starter tonight and will pitch the vials in the morning. That should be enough time to get these going again and I will pitch the starter into my primary on Sunday evening most likely.

I will report on the beer as it progresses.
 
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I didn't get to do the kriek as the people sending me the wheat I plan on using have been slacking. I did make a starter with these two vials and let it run for a week or so and I got a fair amount of slurry (~140 mL). I'm still waiting on the wheat at this point so I might repitch this in a new starter to bump it up again. Then again, I may just pitch it when I do get to making the kriek, which looks to be a few weeks out at this point.
 
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What are you fermenting in? If a carboy and even if plastic, you should probably get a oak dowel to stick in the stopper in replace of the airlock. Beasties like them some oxygen, and won't form a pellicle without it's presence.

Check out this website: Brewing Flemish Red Ale, by Raj B. Apte
Also Jamil did a show on it worth listening to.

I've used WLP655 as the only "yeast" pitched and it works well and makes a very nasty smelling ferment. Like a horse took a **** in your closet. Still waiting on that though, hasn't been nearly long enough to move it from the fermenter.
Doing a beer using WLP655 right now - running at 64 degrees. Along the lines of what Z987K and others have said, this strain seems to have enough oomph to ferment out on its own. I had a nice thick krausen within 24 hours that took 2-3 weeks to drop. I'm about to switch out the airlock with a dowel to get the O2 flow.

I wouldn't recommend doing a starter with this - it might unbalance the yeast mix.
 

MTBbrewer

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Doing a beer using WLP655 right now - running at 64 degrees. Along the lines of what Z987K and others have said, this strain seems to have enough oomph to ferment out on its own. I had a nice thick krausen within 24 hours that took 2-3 weeks to drop. I'm about to switch out the airlock with a dowel to get the O2 flow.

I wouldn't recommend doing a starter with this - it might unbalance the yeast mix.
I assume you didn't do a starter with the WLP655 given that you recommended not doing it. What was you OG? The beer I am going to make will have an OG of 1.060, and I am trying to decide if I should use a starter or not. I am inclined to think that I should.
 
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I assume you didn't do a starter with the WLP655 given that you recommended not doing it. What was you OG? The beer I am going to make will have an OG of 1.060
I didn't do one - took off pretty fast, even at 65 degrees. I was around 1.066 (way overshot efficiency) for OG - here's the recipe (it's the EYB/BAB recipe)

7 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 59.6 %
2 lbs 8.0 oz Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 21.3 %
14.0 oz Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 7.4 %
12.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 6.4 %
10.0 oz Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.3 %
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [3.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 10.7 IBUs
1.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 4.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg Wild yeast

Measured Original Gravity: 1.066 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.4 %
Calories: 220.8 kcal/12oz

Saccharification Add 31.40 qt of water at 162.0 F 152.1 F 75 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min 168.0 F 10 min

I am trying to decide if I should use a starter or not. I am inclined to think that I should.
Starter may work, but you'll get bugs in your starter setup, and you'll end up with an unbalanced pitch.
 

kestrelbrewing

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Short answer: This is not your traditional ale process. Expect to wait for the results you are expecting. And by wait I mean this will be a beer that takes 2 years to mature.
As mentioned in the White Labs letter above, following proper sanitation should keep you safe. However, as suggested by others, it can't hurt to invest in separate racking cane/tubing just to be extra safe. The cost of a cane and a couple of lengths of tube is going to be much less than the cost of a ruined batch of beer and the accompanying frustration/anger.

Long answer: I did a pseudo blueberry lambic with the Wyeast equivalent (3278) in early 2018. I tasted a bottle after 4 weeks primary, 8 weeks secondary, and 6 weeks bottle conditioning. It tasted like crap. I tried it again two weeks later, still crap. Waited another 2 weeks: crap. I figured I had just brewed my first bad beer and was prepared to use it as slug traps but it was January so I held off and ended up forgetting about it until I was looking to clear out some bottles at the beginning of pandemic lockdown and stumbled across my remaining 2 magnums and 6 750ml bottles. Spectacular! Possibly the best beer I've made to date. We drank 5 of the 750s over the course of the first month and now we're saving the two magnums for a celebration when we have a vaccine/treatment and life returns toward normal.

In terms of sanitation: I have a 6.5 gallon big mouth bubbler I use exclusively for lambic primary fermentation and two 5 gallon big mouth bubblers I use for secondary. These were given to me by a neighbor who has switched to all speidel fermenters because he doesn't want to haul glass fermenters into his basement crawlspace anymore. I have separate tubing and a separate bottling bucket for all cold side activities.
After each batch is done, I scrub the fermenters, fill them with hot PBW and drop all of the tubing in and let that mess sit for 12-24 hours. then I dump that into the bottling bucket and fill the fermenter with sanitizer, put the tubing back in the fermenter and let that sit for 12-24 hours. Then pour out the PBW from the bottling bucket, fill it with the sanitizer from the fermenter, rinse and dry the fermenter and tubing. After the bottling bucket has sat for 12-24 hours, I drain the sanitizer through the spigot, rinse it out, and leave it to dry.
So far, so good (touch wood).
This is probably excessive, but it works (so far).
 

bkboiler

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@kestrelbrewing , this is really cool to read! Glad your beer turned out well! I'm hoping to get to do a sour one day soon as I switched up to 5 g batches but also plan to make 2.5 g of strong beers or sour beers occasionally still.
Also, I remember reading that soda-lime glass is soluble in PBW....so extended hot soaks can be hazardous to future glass integrity.
 

kestrelbrewing

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The PBW does cool off after about 2 hours. That being said, I am currently living with a "NO MORE ****ING CARBOYS!" order from my wife (something about 3 6.5 gallon carboys, 5 5 gallon carboys, and a half dozen 1.5 gallon carboys being excessive) … if one should happen to break, I can then upgrade to a stainless steel conical fermenter. So, where you see a problem, I see an opportunity … :D
 

kestrelbrewing

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Side note: I love that the system edits curse words while serving up borderline porn lingerie ads …
 

bkboiler

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:off:Good points...I think the nature of the damage to the glass was partly cited to be temperature in the case of hot PBW and the other portion due to the caustic chemical nature...I think borosilicate glass is more resistant to this phenomenon than soda-lime glass.
Tell her "brewery EH&S regulations require me to upgrade immediately!"
:yes:
 
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