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08/24/05 10:20 AM  
First Time Flemish Red
I've read "Wild Ales" but still am unsure of my attempt at forming a recipe. Its the "Flanders Red Ale" recipe listed in the back, but slightly altered - have I cut the Carahell and Aromatic down too much? It is never explained why the specialty malts are so high (though the maize is explained). Is it because the bugs are gonna eat through the sugars like crazy over time? Also, how's the idea of fruit in secondary, oak in tertiary?

for 5 gallons...

6 lb. Vienna

1.5 Flaked Maize

1 Caravienne

0.75 Carahell

0.5 Aromatic

0.25 Special B

Mash at 122F for 20m (1.35 qts./lb.)

146F for 40m

162F for 30m

Mashout to 168F and batch sparge

0.5 EKG 60m ~ 10 IBU

Wyeast Roeselare Blend

ferment at 68F

Primary - 1 week

Secondary - 12 weeks on 4 lbs. Whole Michigan Cherries (pits included)

Tertiary - 12 weeks with 1 oz. French Oak Chips, Medium Roast (steamed)

08/24/05 06:40 PM  
Re: First Time Flemish Red
If this is your first I think it would be best to back off both the fruit and the oak. Its a complex style, I think you should familiarize yourself with the base beer first.

I am well into a Roeselare experiment, if there is anyway way you can make a beer to just work up the yeast I think you should. I did a total of 4 with one slurry, in the middle I passed it off to a friend who worked it up a few more generations. The difference between the first beer I made with it and the 3 is unbelievable. It been on and off the fence on this one, but at this point I think I'm pretty convinced this yeast needs a couple workouts before it will do what you are hoping.

Al B
08/25/05 10:48 AM  
Re: First Time Flemish Red
My first attempt of a Red using the Roeselare created an imbalance of Brett. when used as a primary culture (probably needed to add a higher population of Saccharomyces vs. Brett.) Even though Wyeast indicates that no other yeast are needed for fermentation, I believe that one cannot rely on the plethera of microorganisms behaving consistently from batch to batch (determining factors can be age of bugs, storage conditions, growth rates - as Steve suggests above, and interactions/competion between each other, and the amount or lack of nutrients, dissolved oxygen, proteins, etc.). Given the right environment, free-floating in wort and not lodged in wood, for example, Brettanomyces can explode with flavors beyond the typical Flemish Red to more like a Lambic - at least with me it has! Maybe Bretts like my brewing, dunno.

I am continuing on a more structured course of inoculation with this style - Primary: Saccharomyces, Secondary: Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, related Lacto bugs - and lastly a SMALL dose of Brett. Taste the brew periodically. Or split your batch into smaller carboys and experiment with different inoculation schedules. I am blending my current batches.

08/26/05 01:44 PM  
Re: First Time Flemish Red
Steve, the cherry can definitely be tossed. With working up the yeast, is the saccharomyces strain just not very strong in its first generation? Much advice about Wyeast's Blend says each generous gets increasingly sour in the wrong way. I'm guessing that has not been your experience? Even Ron Jefferies (of Jolly Pumpkin) has suggested restricting mixed cultures that include Lactobacillus to at most a few generations due to their takeover tendencies.

Al, I have read that as well, that the blend is not so uniform from pack to pack, and thats not even considering the complex needs of such a complex blend of critters. If I restrict the Roeselare blend to the secondary, what do you suggest for a Primary strain? I guess I could have some fun with that choice!

08/26/05 02:54 PM  
Re: First Time Flemish Red
Well, my first pass at this yeast has yielded a beer with a bit of funk but thats all. Then I passed it off to my biotech friend (AlB in fact!) who did what he does and passed it back reporting that it now had a couple more generations on it. I brewed with it 3 more times. Now those 3 times were just in the last 6 or 7 weeks, but the first of that run beats the bejesus out of the initial brew. The next beer in line was very promising after a week and a half though I've not tried it since. I have racked the 3rd in the sequence and it has been sitting and settling, I've not had a taste of that either.

But I can say that beer #1, in sour beer terms, is a bore. Beer #2 that followed whatever Al did is a delight and #3 has shown great promise.

I expect to be kegging up the last of these beers within a week, I'll let you know if it has gone out of control sour. Maybe it has. But I can say this for certain, I am really glad I was not counting on the first beer of the run to be a big sour success.

Al B
08/29/05 07:53 AM  
Re: First Time Flemish Red
What I had done for Primary fermentation was use the Saccharomyces contained in the Roeselare blend. Using some basic microbiology, I was able to isolate 2 Saccharomyces, 1 Brett., and 1 Lactobacillus (Pediococcus is anaerobic, I didn't incubate anaerobically on Malt agar). The Saccharomyces isolated was then grown up a few generations - avoiding extreme sourness and/or extreme funk from the Brett. Secondary, I added the other bugs so there was less chance of competition of sugars.

"Much advice about Wyeast's Blend says each generation gets increasingly sour in the wrong way."

- I am sure this happens since Lactobacillus and especially Pediococcus increase populations with little or no oxygen.

If you're not going to bother with all that crazy Micro isolating stuff, Perhaps an abbey strain could be used or maybe recultured yeast from DeRanke XX Bitter (reportedly derived from Rodenbach,I've read).

For Steve, I know he likes funk, so the Brett. was also grown in the presence of oxygen along with the Sacch. Lactobacillus is too picky for excessive oxygen, and Pediococcus doesn't grow at all in the presence of O2.

Steve, glad to hear things are progressing favorably!

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