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Author Replies
Cisco
07/12/07 01:31 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Don't use the plastic because it allows too much oxygen to pass through the walls and the beer will end up way too sour and vinegar tasting. Look at Vinnie's powerpoint presentation for the slide that shows oxygen permeability of different containers.
Baums
07/12/07 01:46 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
What kind of mash will you do? If you want lambic you will still want to avoid getting lots of fermentables. I am not certain you need starch, per se, but maybe using 160F for your sacc rest would be good.

I did a little experiment mashing a malt + wheat flour grist at 160 and it got like 60% apparent attenuation. I don't know how that compares to real lambic wort. But it "feels right." Ha.

Brendan
07/12/07 01:48 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
I would do the turbid mash. - run the thin mash in to a kettle, boil it and add it back.

it's better for the bretts to chew on something. I believe Wildbrews gets into that a bit.

Baums
07/12/07 02:44 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
There was talk of this a while back: is there really starch left after a classic turbid mash? Put another way, when you add back the tubid runnings do they get still converted (by potentially remaining alpha amylase) into dextrins and a little sugar? I think the answer we came to was that it was possible that sufficient alpha amylase remained, but that it's hard to say.

Anyway, how do we know that "it's better for the bretts to chew on something"? Well, I think we know this because some Belgian lambic breweries replaced turbid mashes with mashes that led to more fermentable (to sacc) worts--and the beer wasn't as good. So, okay, we know we want stuff that's unfermentable to sacc. But whether that stuff is, or should be, starch vs. dextrins I don't know. Anyone know of a source that answers this question unequivocally?

My guess is that there is no unequivocal answer--that as long as the fermentability to sacc is low, realy good lambic can be made no matter what the mix of starch vs. dextrins is. (Hence the trubid mash could be replaced with a step mash with high sacc temp.) But that is merely a guess.

Does Drie Fonteinen do a tubid mash? Boon does. I *think* Cantillon still does but I have heard rumors to the contrary. Any great lambic breweries not use turbid mashes?

SteveG
07/12/07 03:27 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Brewtoomuch - sorry only had 2 extra baggies, both are distributed. shoreman - let 'er rip!!
Al B
07/17/07 10:15 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
There's a wild yeast in his "house" culture I've never seen before. After subculturing on an agar plate, black-pigmented gooey colonies grew along with the usual suspects I'm used to seeing. Wonder what THAT is......

Al B baffled

Joelle
07/18/07 09:28 AM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Al, could it be Kloeckera apiculata? He mentioned that they have a strong flora of it at RR.

MarkO
07/18/07 10:12 AM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
"There's a wild yeast in his "house" culture I've never seen before. After subculturing on an agar plate, black-pigmented gooey colonies grew along with the usual suspects I'm used to seeing. Wonder what THAT is......"

I had something similar visit a spontaneously-fermented batch a couple of seasons ago, black colonies of an oxidative yeast which appeared about a week after ambient innoculation and stayed for a couple of months, until the brettanomyces pellicle appeared. This was on the West Coast as well, in early November '04. It certainly did not look very promising but that turned out to be one of the tastiest batches I've had.

Al B
07/18/07 11:10 AM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Interesting MarkO.

I'll have to look into this bug alittle more.

SteveG
07/18/07 01:39 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Man 'o the shore, if it helps this is my recipe for Ambient ale:

5 lb Pale Malt

4 lb Flaked Wheat

.5 lb Rolled Oats

.5 lb Light Crystal

.50 Columbus 45m

.50 Columbus 25m

SG: 1046 (though I think .010 higher is fine)

This one has picked up a couple medals as a lambic. I should mention though, I don't think the specifics of the recipe is the reason. IMO your approach sounds like it will work swimmingly.

Joelle
08/07/07 10:17 AM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Hey guys. Well we finally pitched the 1L starter of Vinnie's bugs into the secondary with our Belgian Blond on Saturday. The starter had been going for a month and everything had settled out to the bottom. We strained out the wood chips so we could dry and save them for another starter. When we poured it into our secondary carboy it had a viscous/snotty appearance. Guess it had the sickness that Vinnie described in his talk. Should be yummy! Al, have you found out anything more about what bugs were on these oak chips?

Al B
08/07/07 11:13 AM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
That will definately take some time and/or more sophisticated testing.
Joelle
08/07/07 12:04 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Gotcha, just curious if you found anything. The taste test is the most important part anyway. :^)
eric burnley
08/09/07 02:58 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Really interested to hear how things go, Joelle. I've got a bag of these waiting in the wings, just not sure what method to use. Your starter with the chips is a good idea; I'd thought i'd just chuck them into secondary.

Did you just make a small 1.040 DME starter and ONLY throw in the chips? Or did you also have some other yeast in it? Maybe I missed it, but i didn't see that specified.

Also, you just poured the starter into the secondary, didn't rack it in?

Joelle
08/09/07 03:48 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Hey Eric. The starter was just a plain old 1.040 DME starter. We tossed the chips in there, shook it up and put an airlock on it. Within 2 or three days it showed some bubbles on top and positive pressure on the airlock. After a month we poured it through a strainer into the secondary where our Belgian Blond had been sitting for about 2 or 3 weeks already. I'll keep you guys updated, but we're not really planning to taste it for many months if not a year.

Joelle

Ryan
08/20/07 06:19 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Hey

can one of you guys tell me whether I need to do anything to the oak chips before putting them into the starter wort?

I know I am trying to "infect" the wort with the bugs, but do they just go in as unsanitary as they are in the ziplock baggie? No steaming or heating or anything? This seems like such a dumb question as I type it, but I take so much care when opening a smack pack to make sure things stay sterile that it seems a foreign concept to just dump a dirty bag of wood chips into the starter.

Cisco
08/20/07 06:40 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Just dump the bag in! You don't want to kill the bugs with heat or anything - you WANT the bugs. Repeat over and over "The bugs are good".
ryan
08/20/07 06:46 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Yeah yeah

bugs good. I get it. It just seems so foreign like I said before.

Thanks Cisco. I'm reading wild brews right now. by the time my starter is ready I should be done with the book and ready to go.

wish me luck!

Ryan

Cisco
08/20/07 07:40 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Good luck and that's a pretty good book to get you understanding the processes.
Ryan
08/26/07 05:34 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
So after four days in a half gallond DME starter my chips have developed nice foam. I'm going to wait a few more weeks and then pitch into a secondary, but in the meantime, should the primary fermentation be with a specific type of yeast or will any strain due? How much influence does the primary have over and above this combination of bugs? I'm thinking of doing a Flemish style red and adding cherries to half the batch after 6 months or so. But I have no idea how to start the first fermentation

ryan

Al B
08/27/07 01:44 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
A primary yeast for that style will be minimal. Any neutral yeast or fruity yeast will suffice.

eric burnley
09/21/07 01:44 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Just wondering how these beers are going.

Still trying to decide what base beer to do, and with what primary yeast.

And my other question was if you thought the chips would retain enough bugs/critters to be worth straining them out & keeping them for reuse. Someone seemed to think so, just was wondering what others thought.

WitSok
09/21/07 03:01 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
I'd recommend glass for long term storage. I had been using plastic for my wild brews and been getting too much acetic acid, most likely form high diffusion of oxygen through the plastic.
Ryan
09/21/07 03:48 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
I just pitched my bugs into the secondary. I had some problems with mold (see other thread on "pellicle form Vinnie") but with advice from others here I managed to fix the problem.

My chips, which I strained out of the starter, molded to hell so I threw them out.

In his talk, Cilurzo noted that these bugs cannot be reused indefinitely, though he gave no indication as to actual generations of plausible reuse.

SteveG
09/21/07 04:18 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Why reuse them? If you have the bugs in solution you could add sterile chips and make more.
Al B
10/01/07 08:20 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
"Things" are lookin'(and tastin') good w/ the oak chips in 2 flanders red brews. Took a 3 month sample from the secondary brews - good interesting funk in the the cherry batch (more sugar).

Re-using the inoculated chips and getting the same results down the road will be a crap-shoot. Much will depend on timing (3-6 month chips may have a broader diversity than perhaps 2 yr old chips). But I am inoculating fresh chips nonetheless.

Al B funky

ryan
10/01/07 08:43 PM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Hey Al

If I put fresh oak chips in the secondary around 18 months from now, will the cultures go into the chips and be reusable?

Is there an ideal time to coax them into wood? Vinnie said in his talk that these cultures can't be repitched indefinitely but I'm wondering what sort of time scales we're talking about? It must be substantially different from a Sac. yeast cake that may only be good for few weeks/months in the fridge.

Whats your take?

ryan

Al B
10/02/07 08:02 AM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Ryan,

Bugs have an affinity to attach themselves to substrates such as wood, sides of carboys, etc. Often you will see large amounts of cells covering the wood chips/cubes - especially if at the surface of the brew. Grooves in wood will facilitate aggregation of cells, but the time factor is hard to factor.

In dealing with mixed cultures, its difficult to obtain consistent populations and predict its outcome. For one thing, instead of a barrel we're immersing wood inside a carboy, so atmospheric conditions of the wood chips will be different - especially if they sink.

Secondly, different bugs will multiply faster than others, creating dominant cultures over time.....and as time passes by, populations may die off over the changes of environment.

However, you could remove a few chips after a few weeks or so and add them to a starter, then place in the refridge for storage. I wouldn't wait 18 months to place fresh chips in.

Ryan
10/02/07 09:14 AM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
Does the presence of pellicle either help or hinder the infection of chips?

Also, how on earth do you fish wood chips out of a 5 gallon carboy?

Al B
10/02/07 11:13 AM  
Re: What to do with Oak Chips from Vinnie
1. I suspect that whatever is in the pellicle will infect the wood chips

2. chop sticks or very long tweezers

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