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Author Replies
Dave I
10/31/07 12:04 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
By the way, does anybody happen to have an extra bag of the Russian River wood chips they would be willing to donate?

Second question: When does Wyeast Roeselare Blend go on sale?

-Cheers

Al B
10/31/07 12:24 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
I don't have extra of the originals, but I intend to re-inoculate new wood chips from the existing ones. I also will be doing some culturing to see whats growing now as opposed to 3 months ago. Perhaps in a month or two, I'll have some "re-inoculated chips".

Al Bacteria

BPotts
10/31/07 12:59 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Baums-

Agreed on your thoughts about esters (hence the suggestion of english yeasts, their esters go well with bretts). In Wild Brews Jeff mentions the break down of esters by brett over time creating more complex flavors, so you did read this somewhere. He goes into it in more detail but I don't have the book in front of me. In fact I don't really like english yeast, but the WL Super High Grav. yeast, which is english, gave me very nice flavors with the sour blend. I guess I really meant that the phenols are what really competes for flavor. It would make sense in BLAM he would suggest the WL500. It also appears the two other you mentioned do look similar, although wyeast doesn't mention any phenolics. I'm just starting to use the French Saison now which I'm thinking would be good with brett. Very dry, peppery, some sweetness but not very phenolic....

BPotts
10/31/07 01:06 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Mike - the more I hear about these chips the more jealouse I am not to have any! Hope everybody innoculates more chips like Al.....

Dave - The Rose blend went on sale this past spring as a VSS strain. You may be able to find an old pack laying around somewhere for cheap. Otherwise, who knows if they'll use it again next year. Sounds as though people like it so they probably will...I'm curious to try it myself.

Mike T
10/31/07 01:35 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
I had been considering the French Saison yeast for my funky saison, the description sounds very tasty.

I was lucky to know someone who went to the conference, I was even luckier he was willing to send me part of the baggie he picked up.

Iíd be happy to provide anyone in the greater DC area with some of the funky starter, and eventually Iíll probably have some funky oak to send along.

Does anyone know how Vinnie keeps his house blend propagated?

Ryan
10/31/07 01:39 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
MikeT

vinnie told me that his strain started out as two strains of Brett and over time became naturally infected with lacto and pedio. He said that things started out REALLY ugly (not sure exactly what that meant...could have been many things I suppose) and that it all just sort of worked out.

I would think that now his barrel room does all the propagation for him.

mallace
10/31/07 02:06 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
BPotts--if you are interested, I think George at Home Sweet Homebrew still has an envelope or two of Roeselare.
Dave I
10/31/07 02:59 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Hey Al B, if you re-inoculate some wood chips and are willing to part with some, please let me know. I would love to talk you out of a bag of them.

-Cheers

Al B
10/31/07 03:13 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Indeed.

I'm curious to see what I pick after 3 months.

Baums
10/31/07 03:14 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
I think I read somewhere that the original RR bretts were Wyeast strains. (Maybe in the brew-monkey.com interview?)

--

"In Wild Brews Jeff mentions the break down of esters by brett over time creating more complex flavors, so you did read this somewhere."

For me there are two separate issues. The first is whether brett breaks down esters, and there's real proof of that (measurements). The other is whether this breakdown noticably increases levels of the esters/acid products. Just considering the most common esters at common concentrations, it seems like the increase should be very moderate. This isn't to say that the primary yeast contributes nothing--it's just that to me the breakdown of common esters doesn't seem like the most likely pathway to more complex flavor.

Some of the statements in Wild Brews aren't supplied with hard references or examples that prove them--and that doesn't make it a bad book. I just personally can't just take these statements for granted without seeing harder facts. Too many surprises in the past when I believed everything in the homebrew books, I guess.

BPotts
10/31/07 04:28 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
mallace - Thanks for the heads up! I'll give em a call or stop by there....actually, going to keystone homebrew today to drop off my entries for the HSH HOPS BOPS competition, and I'll be at Nodding Head the day of, you think they'll be closed that day? You entering any brews?

Does anyone know what the original production dates are on the roselare blend? Is there anything special things I should do for an older pack of these bugs? I would think they would still be rarin' and ready to go but I want to be sure....

Baums - I think WB's talked about those esters being broken down into acids....but again I'm not positive....I'll check out what it says when I get home later....I know what you mean about taking certain advice as fact...before I started working with brett a dude at my local HBS (who is no longer employed there) told me not to bother with bretts in higher gravity beers. I'm glad I've investigated further instead of listening to him! By the way, I added oak chips soaked in one brew inocculated with the WY Lam Blend + fantome, cantillon, and oud beersel dregs, to the Mega (STUCK) Sour Brew, and happily the bugs have prevailed over all other efforts (champagne yeast, massive yeast cake, dry yeast). Boy they're tolerant! After adding those chips my beer is gradually fermenting away further. Going to check the gravity once further fermentation stops and will update the previous post on this topic.

Dave I
10/31/07 04:33 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
<<I know what you mean about taking certain advice as fact...before I started working with brett a dude at my local HBS (who is no longer employed there) told me not to bother with bretts in higher gravity beers. I'm glad I've investigated further instead of listening to him!>>

Is there a general rule of thumb as to what gravity limits you can use wild yeasts or bacteria in? I tend to like high-gravity beers as I find them more complex, more relaxing, I don't know, I just tend to like them better. But is that ever a BAD idea with Brett, Lambicus, Sacch, etc.? Would a Brett or Lambic or Roeselare Barleywine be awesome or total crap?

-Cheers

BPotts
10/31/07 04:50 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
I'm in the process of making a brew that started with an OG of 1.13......used the WL Super high gravity yeast (099?) and their sour blend, as well as some cantillon dregs. It got stuck around 1.07 (because of poor aeration practices and lack of incremental feeding, what a lesson!) but as described above after adding more brett/bacteria soaked chips regular fermentation has resumed..... bretts can withstand lots of alcohol compared to standard sacch. I believe in WB it states 18% Abv....I'm sure not all the time it can get there, and I'm sure in certain circumstances it can withstand more, but either it is very alcohol tolerant. The last time I chacked my brew was at 1.05 and that was before adding the oak chips. I'm thinking my beer is probably around 1.04 or so at this point, around 13 % abv and still going!
BPotts
10/31/07 04:54 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
As always I had an after thought.....I've tasted a few commercial bug beers over 12% abv, one as high as 15.5%...all were the most smooth beers I had ever tasted for such strength. I guess the flavors produced by brett, as well as the long aging it takes for the bretts to really get working, all help smooth out high gravity beers.
Baums
11/01/07 10:07 AM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Dave: Brett does well in 14% alcohol wine, so take that for what it's worth. Many lactobacillus don't do well with even moderate alcohol levels.

Potts: An ester is basically an acid molecule joined with an alcohol molecule. The alcohol is either ethanol or a "higher" (bigger) alcohol also called a fusel. The acid is most often acetic, but can be another. The acid and alcohol often would "prefer" (from a chemistry/energy standpoint) to be separate, but sacc yeast joins them to create ester levels that are often higher than the chemical equilibrium would be. With time this reaction goes backward in the beer (i.e. solventy or banana-ish beer becoming less so). Brett can do the same thing much faster using its ester destroying enzymes (though it can also produces different esters that it doesn't destroy). The products are the alcohols and acids.

Dave I
11/01/07 12:29 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Would something like WY1728 Scottish Ale Yeast work for a primary fermenter in a sour ale? I am wondering specifically if the slight peat-like smokiness of the yeast would go well in a sour ale, or if it would even show up.

-Cheers

BPotts
11/01/07 02:09 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Baums- What do you do for a living - I'm assuming you're a biologist of some sort??? You really know your yeast and their processes!
Ryan
11/01/07 02:24 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
No biologist knows that stuff!

I'm guessing he's a chemist.

Dave, we're thinking alike. I just used smoked malt in a beer that I have on Vinnie's chips thinking the same thing about complementarity.

Baums
11/01/07 03:50 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Nope, just an engineer with too much time on his hands...

And by the way I'm curious to hear how the smoke + bugs thing turns out in the end.

Dave I
11/01/07 04:16 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
<<And by the way I'm curious to hear how the smoke + bugs thing turns out in the end.>>

Ditto!

-Cheers

Mike T
11/01/07 04:23 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
I someone who has a smoked porter aging with a pack of Roeselare blendÖ no idea how that will taste, but Iím hoping to get to try it.
Dave I
11/01/07 04:34 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
<<I someone who has a smoked porter aging with a pack of Roeselare blendÖ no idea how that will taste, but Iím hoping to get to try it.>>

You tease! ;) If you ever try it, please report how it tastes!

-Cheers

SAH
11/01/07 07:49 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
FYI Ausin Homebrew Supply still has Roeselare, I think they only have a few left(less than 9) - was told by someone who called/asked.
Dave I
11/01/07 08:39 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Thanks SAH. I think I might order a pouch from them. I really appreciate it!

-Cheers

RYan
11/12/07 02:40 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
This has been such a useful thread that I wanted to keep the discussion going.

With my first 100% brett beer bubbling away, I am thinking ahead to what I should do with the yeast cake. I have a smack pack of Ardennes in the fridge and have been considering a blend of this and the Brett yeast cake.

thoughts on that? Would one dominate the other if I don't mix them in equal proportions?

SteveG
11/12/07 03:15 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
All Brett beers take a lot of prep, if it were me I'd take advantage of the cake to get in another.
Ryan
11/12/07 04:40 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Anybody have a major success story (i.e., recipe) for Brett. l. beer that they would like to share?

TedJ
11/12/07 09:55 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
The latest Wyeast site recommends the 3522 Ardennes and 5335 Lacto for Oud Bruins.

www.wyeastlab.com/hb_styledetails.cfm?ID=181

Dave I
11/20/07 04:17 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Hey Al B (or anybody else knowledgable in this:

<<A logical choice for me was using WY Belgian wheat (DeDolle) in the primary for my reds. Just checked on them last night w/ the RR chips.........utterly insane.>>

Do you ever use bugs (e.g. Roeselare Blend, Vinnie's bug chips, lambic blend) for the primary fermentation in lieu of a normal beer yeast? When does doing that get the beer TOO sour or acidic? Jamil recommends a primary fermentation first controlling temp. to encourage a partial fermentation. Raj B. Apte says on his Brewing Flemish Red Ale article:

<<In my experience, Wyeast Roeselare makes a more fruity and interesting primary fermentation and gives more sourness than a typical ale yeast. For those who want to restrain the sourness, what are you doing here?>>

www2.parc.com/emdl/members/apte/flemishredale.shtml

Any comparisons/contrasts between the two methods?

Second question. Steve recommended using the Roeselare blend to make multiple batches due to the later generations being better. Will stepping up the Roeselare several times to gallon or larger sized starter necessarily yield better results? Also, how many batches is Roeselare typically good for before it becomes too sour, and WHY does it become too sour?

-Cheers

Al B
11/20/07 08:03 PM  
Re: First Foray Into the Wild Brews: Which Germ to
Hi Dave,

Basically one can use any blend primary or secondary, although the result may be more acidic in primary. That was the intent of Wyeast for the Roselare blend, since the blend is what they call "balanced". Using a Saccharomyces yeast helps "balancing" in the beginning too.

Population of each bug and their growth kinetics w/ availbale nutrients is the topic here - typically bacteria (lacto + Pedio) multiply faster than yeasts. They produce more acid than yeasts, so naturally over generations the brew becomes more acidic faster. The bacteria not only competes with yeast for simple sugars/maltose, but also breaks down dextrins and possibly starch. The rosey blend is high in Sacch yeasts, lower in B. lambicus and bacteria when I plated an activated pouch on malt agar.

There's no one way of creating a wild brew, and blending is often done. Personally, I use belgian wheat in the primary, add bugs afterwards - usually extra brett for the complexity Steve alludes to in later generations. Time, no matter what was done, will often improve flavors but also increase acidity.

PS. you may or maynot have seen an earlier thread about "inoculated wood cubes for sour beers".......

Al Bugfarm

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