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01/13/07 11:55 AM  
Dreggs / Sour ale?
I've been a little frightened of doing any type of sour ale in my small apartment, but was very inspired by the Peter Bouckaert interview and have come up with somewhat of a solution...what do you guys think?

I'm going to brew a brown ale base probably with a belgian yeast like wlp500, ferment it out for a week or so. I will then bring the ale to a friend's basement and innoculate with some bugs. Let sit until the summer.

I'm thinking Orval dreggs, Cantillion dreggs? What do you recommend for commercial beers to find bugs, I'd rather not buy WL or Wyeast. I'd like to keg and bottle this in the summer if possible for thirst quenching consumption.

Thanks for any help.

Al B
01/15/07 08:42 AM  
Re: Dreggs / Sour ale?
I haven't harvested from Orval or Cant. but anything from Fantome will do the trick. They contain Lactobacilli and Bretts. I've recovered only Lacto from Petrus oud bruin.

01/15/07 09:03 AM  
Re: Dreggs / Sour ale?
Shoreman, my only comment is DO NOT let it sit till summer. Let is sit till April max. IMO the single most destructive element to an endeavor like this is acetic bacteria.
01/15/07 09:49 AM  
Re: Dreggs / Sour ale?
SteveG - how long does it usually take to get the appropriate sourness (I guess this depends on numerous things). If I leave it to sit at 65 degrees for a few months, will it be blendable or drinkable?

I also found out that my homebrew shop has this in stock:

WLP655 Belgian Sour Mix

A unique blend perfect for Belgian style beers. Includes Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and the bacterial strains Lactobacillus and Pediococcus.

Attenuation: N/A; Flocculation: N/A; Optimum Ferm. Temp: N/A

I may just pitch that.

01/15/07 11:12 AM  
Re: Dreggs / Sour ale?
Hard to say how long, it depends on what gets in there. But keeping it exposed until sourness sets in is not the road to take. I'd keep the lid off till Arpil (or just before the seasonal transition happens where you live) then seal it and let it sit. It will be innoculated at that point and will probably take quite some time to play out. I'd taste it six months later to see what's happening.

My "ambient ale" (lambicy thing made without pitching, 100% spontaneous fermentation) took years. I made an oud bruin a while back that I fermented out then left the top off of for a couple months (starting february), I'd say 9 months later it had really taken shape. Both have won me ribbons.

The sour mix would be a lot easier with greater probability of success. But then anyone could do that!

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