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Author Replies
JR
09/19/07 12:39 AM  
Regenboog?
Hey, I'm pretty new here, but I have been lurking for a little while. It's really exciting to see a lot of big Fantome fans here. I was wondering if anybody has tried to reculture Regenboog dregs. I think there are some similiarities to Fantome; They seem to share some funky, oxidative flavors.
SteveG
09/19/07 07:24 AM  
Re: Regenboog?
Hi JR, welcome! I for one have not cultured from one of Johans beers, but in general I'm not sure I'd agree that they have all that much similarity to Danys work. Not that Regenboog can't go funky at times, but in general I have found his stuff cleaner in a bug sense. Then again I can only count 4 or 5 that I've had. Are their specific Regenboog brews you had in mind here? The oxidative flavors you mention is something I have found in t Smisje Calva Reserva, I guess for a beer like that its to be expected. I think it serves that particular beer well, though I don't think attaining that would be tied to culturing.
JR
09/19/07 02:58 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
The oxidation flavor was really prominent in a beer called "Guido", and it was more sour than the usual regenboog brew. Although stylistically it's a far cry from Fantome, I detected a few bizarre sour and oxidative notes that reminded me of the Fantome "Printemps" from 05. Does Regenboog use bugs?

Anyway,

Fantome is by far my favorite brewery and I have been investigating homebrewing by looking at this page. I have read some "Fantome-like" homebrew recipes on other site, but since they don't call for any bugs, I figure they probably don't taste much like the real thing. It seems like brewing with bugs is very tricky.

SteveG
09/19/07 03:12 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
Al here has done some work isolating the agents in Fantome dregs, he's reported finding two strains of brett that he can't identify! I'm not so sure there is a commercial bug you can buy that will go Fantome on you. But the good news there is that since Al did culture from a bottle then that approach is possible.

As far as Regenboog, you'll find far better people to comment on that than me, though you'd likely do better on the other board. Johan is an old friend of the BBB, so he has a lot of fans here. I've had his triple and dubble and thought both were just beautiful, my samples were more classical tasting - bug free. I also have a stock of the Calva Reserva, I don't recall anything like that there either. Nor with the BBBourgondier. There's way more Regenboog out there than that though! Try asking across the street, you may well get a very different answer.

JR
09/19/07 03:27 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
Isolating Fantome bugs? Very cool! I would love to try a Saison made from those isolates.

BTW, I live in Brooklyn, are there a lot of Babblers in the NYC area?

SteveG
09/19/07 03:53 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
Huh. Actually both Al and I are sorta. Jersey boys.
ErikH
09/19/07 06:28 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
JR, I am in NYC and I think at least a few others (lurkers?) are too. Plus which many other regulars pass through to enjoy places like Spuyten Duyvil, Blind Tiger, etc.

Check the 'other board' at

www.babblebelt.com/bbb_classic/board.html

and you will sometimes see folks posting to get together. Or post a suggestions yourself. Hey, there is a Victory event at the BT today!

JR
09/19/07 11:17 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
Awesome.
BPotts
09/20/07 04:18 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
JR, if you're looking for Fantome-esque qualities, then use Fantome yeast! I just made a saison with WY Farmhouse ale yeast and the dregs from and Fantome Hiver and it's THE best belgian style ale I've ever brewed.....as a matter of fact, I'm enjoying one right now! Testing it out before I bring one to the homebrew club meeting tonight ; )
ErikH
09/20/07 04:24 PM  
Fantome Yeast
Yeah, just be sure to use anything cultured up from Dany's beer in the secondary unless you have tooth enamel that is particularly resistant to lactic acid!
BPotts
09/20/07 04:44 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
Yeah the lacto is def. dominant.

I made no starter, just used the last bit of the bottle (a little of the beer mixed vigerously with the large yeast bed), added in the primary with the Farmhouse ale yeast. After a few weeks in the primary and another month in the secondary, I'm quite surprised at how sour it actually got within that time period. I fermented very warm in the 80's/90's, which boosted sourness I believe. So, add in secondary if you don't want a dominate lactic flavor, but, I actually enjoy it. I think it tastes really great (although I enjoy EXTRA tart wild beers). It also has nice musty herbal flavors reminiscent of Fantome beers.

While I haven't drank that much of the Regenboog beers, from what I have had, I don't find them too similar to those of Danny, as everyone else has stated. They're much more malty/fruity with no funk (The Calva Reserva and BBB..)

_B

SteveG
09/20/07 04:58 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
>>I don't find them too similar to those of Danny, as everyone else has stated.?<<

Almost everyone else! I agree with you, my limited exposure has revealed more classically styled, cleaner beers than Fantome.

BPotts
09/20/07 05:11 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
I see...glanced over the specific Regenboog beer mentioned that was funky....
JR
09/21/07 12:36 AM  
Re: Regenboog?
After some thinking, I think I was tasting some of the "off" notes from the honey, which is a common ingredient between the Printemps 05 and Guido.

But some of it may have been in my mind: I've admired both breweries for some time because they make a variety of beers with odd ingredients (lime blossom, mustard, pepper, dandelions).

BPotts, I will try to use some Fantome bottle dregs soon. Does the balance between the individual bacteria strains shift a lot when reculturing Fantomes? I mean, if there are several bugs in his beers, does one take over? I want it to taste alot like Fantome. Also, does one really need to use fruit juice to get the fruitiness? When I look at the regular (original) "Saison" bottles, only "normal" ingredients are listed. The fantome clones say "add fruit juice", but I wonder..

Thanks everyone for being so helpful!

Al B
09/21/07 08:02 AM  
Re: Regenboog?
The Fantome dregs usually, if not always, have some Lactobacilli + wild yeast. When the dregs are used in the primary, lactobacilli will dominate.
BPotts
09/21/07 09:13 AM  
Re: Regenboog?
Just what Al said - there are several varities of bugs/yeasts and the lacto is dominant and stands out(used in primary). I did get a lot of Fantome character without the use of the various herbs and spices that may be used in various Fantomes...I just used coriander/orange peel/black pepper, a fairly basic spice profile.

As for the fruit juice, I can not comment. I didn't think any of the Fantomes contained fruit juice, so I don't really see the need to add any. Maybe it's in there to add alcohol without adding body? Maybe for subtle flavor contributions that people have found close Fantome flavors? Maybe they just wanted to make a fruit lambicy saison? Not sure....what kind of juice did those recipes call for?

SteveG
09/21/07 09:40 AM  
Re: Regenboog?
I don't know about juice, but according to Dany there are 3 fruit flavorings of some sort in Fantomes flagship beer. They don't express with the zeal that fruit does in lambic, they more nudge the flavor.
BPotts
09/21/07 06:57 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
In the regular Fantome saison?
SteveG
09/21/07 07:22 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
Yes. good ol' fashioned "Fantome"! Dany hosted a bunch of us a few years ago, it was this awesome 24Uur (the old Antwerp 24 hours of beer fest) long weeked. A native rented a van and 10 or so of us took this day trip, ending at Fantome. We got the owners tour and pub session (like so many breweries Fantome has its own little pub). Anyway, that's where Dany finally gave up there is fruit stuff in there, though best of luck getting him to say what exactly! He did say there were 3 different fruit products in there, like syrups or something.
BPotts
09/21/07 09:23 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
Wow...I would have never assumed there was some fruit stuff in there....that's one of my favorite of his, although I rarely see that one around here these days (usually just Bris BonBon or Chocolat or other variations). Good to know for the next Fantome-esque homebrew.
Cisco
09/22/07 02:31 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
I searched all over his brewery (we spent an entire day there while he was making the Xmas beer) and never found any evidence of spice or fruit juice containers. He gave us the freedom to go anywhere in his brewery and we also had to manage his pub while he was brewing. He hides stuff extremely well and having access to free keg poured Fantome and serving customers was definitely a great time!

BPotts
09/22/07 03:18 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
That's awesome.....I want to go to Belgium!! You are making me very jealouse with these stories....
Perkeo
09/27/07 10:09 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
I'm pretty sure that it states in one of Michael Jackson's many books that a small amount of strawberry juice is added to the wort of Fantome Saison. I could be wrong though, I just checked an old copy of "great beers of Belgium" and I couldn't find the reference...
JR
09/28/07 01:06 AM  
Re: Regenboog?
you're right - I remember reading that, too. I was still a little skeptical but I guess it's true - fruit juice in the standard Fantome!

Still, the recipes I see call for other spices and such and I think the "original" is probably free of spice, since "spices" is not on the ingredients list on bottle (water, malt, hops, yeast refermentation sugar) but for the other seasonal Fantomes (Hiver, Printemps, etc), "spices" is added, and it will say brewed with spices on the front of the label as well. I suppose fruit juice or syrup falls under "refermentation sugar"

SteveG
09/28/07 06:55 AM  
Re: Regenboog?
Strawberry?? Didn't see that one coming! But note, if Dany was being honest then there are 2 additional fruit-type additions...
BPotts
09/28/07 01:02 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
Crazy..... I think the regular fantome saison has some herbal character, but maybe that's just from the yeast
Mark A
09/28/07 02:33 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
I have a friend who is currently the brewer at the Shamrock Brewpub in Pueblo, CO. While he was the brewer at Palmer Lake Brewing in Colorado Springs a few years ago, he propogated some yeast from a bottle of Bbbourgondier (the Regenboog beer that Johan brewed for the BBB) and made a beer that was somewhere between a triple and a strong golden in character. I think it was 2002 or 2003 that he brewed the beer and I still have 4 bottles left. Steve G, I may have shipped you a bottle a couple of years ago.

Anyway, it has aged very nicely with a distinct honey character but has remained fairly clean, without the funk I associate with Fantome beers. I suppose it's possible that this was a bottling yeast separate from the primary yeast, but I think Johan has posted before that he does not use a separate yeast for bottle conditioning.

JR
09/28/07 09:34 PM  
Re: Regenboog?
btw, here's the quote :

In the Belgian province of Luxembourg, in the Ardennes village of Soy, a new micro-brewery called Fantome is making very fruity, strong, seasonal beers in loosely this style.

At the Fantome brewery, I tasted a soft, sweetish, 1076 version made with a dash of strawberry juice. At the associated Ferme au Chene brewpub, in nearby Durbuy, I tasted a similar beer, called Markloff, with a maltier character.

 
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