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Dave I
01/01/08 04:37 PM  
Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
For those of you who have reused wild yeasts or blends (e.g. Roeselare Blend, Wyeast or WL Lambic Blends, Brett cultures, etc.), how long do you wait between batches, or what procedure do you use, to reuse the bugs in a second batch to ensure 1) you get a second generation of the bugs and 2) still have enough in the first infected beer to get a nicely soured ale?

For this particular instance, I am planning on back-to-back Roeselare infected batches and want to see how the blend evolves over time. I am thinking of transferring the first batch to a secondary and infecting it there, letting it sit for a week (is that long enough?), and then transferring it to a keg for a year or two while concurrently transferring the second beer to the left-behind bugs for a year or two, and then do a comparison taste sometime in 2009 or 2010.

Will that work, or is there some other schedule for more optimal results?

-Cheers

Dave I
01/01/08 04:39 PM  
Re: Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
As an aside, if there is a thread that discusses this, or a relevant chapter in Wild Brews, please point me to it. I tried a search, but had no luck finding any specifics.

-Cheers

SteveG
01/02/08 01:32 PM  
Re: Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
Dave, I've done this with both brett cultures, WY Roeselare blend and Als similar blend. In each case though I used the wild stuff as the primary agent. I'm pretty sure the Roeselare blend has sacchromyces in it, using it right up front works well, I havn't just innoculated a secondary in quite some time. I don't think I've ever had to go longer than 2 weeks before transferring fresh wort onto the cake, and I know in many cases its only been one.
Dave I
01/02/08 07:06 PM  
Re: Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
<<Dave, I've done this with both brett cultures, WY Roeselare blend and Als similar blend. In each case though I used the wild stuff as the primary agent.>>

I see. Well, I have my first batch of Sour Ale in primary but already used US-56. I think I will just use it in the secondary and let it sit for a week or two, and then use the resulting bugs as the primary fermenter for the next batch. I would not rush, but I want to use Al's wood cubes between the two batches and really want them to be fresh.

Do you think it would work o.k. to just use the Roeselare Blend in the secondary (glass carboy), throw the second batch on that as a Primary fermenter, and then in a few months, transfer the second batch off and use the bug cake for a third batch, or would that be too long for the bugs to be viable for primary fermentation?

-Cheers

Ubriaco
01/03/08 03:49 PM  
Re: Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
I have never racked or cleaned my lambic or oud bruin buckets and I never will. This is going on about 4 years now.

My procedure is once I have achieved the taste that I am after, I plan a brew day the same day as I bottle. Prior to that I prepare a suitable S.c. strain to be used both as the bottling yeast and as the primary organism to ferment my beer. On brew day I start the mash, and then bottle. After bottling I bring the bucket upstairs to be filled when I am finished. Once I fill the bucket half way with the new wort I add the new S.c. strain. Then I leave it for a year or two.

This method, although not traditional has worked really well for me, so I will continue to do so. The addition of fresh S.c. ensures that the multitude of organisms will be in a fair amount of balance. And the continual use of my 'dirty' buckets means that I can maintain a very diverse culture. I have dumped the dregs of nearly every bottle of wild fermented beer I have ever drank into my lambic buckets. With the oud bruins I make sure that the dregs that go into that bucket are from an oud bruin or Flanders.

Dave I
01/03/08 04:29 PM  
Re: Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
<<I have never racked or cleaned my lambic or oud bruin buckets and I never will. This is going on about 4 years now.

My procedure is once I have achieved the taste that I am after, I plan a brew day the same day as I bottle. Prior to that I prepare a suitable S.c. strain to be used both as the bottling yeast and as the primary organism to ferment my beer. On brew day I start the mash, and then bottle. After bottling I bring the bucket upstairs to be filled when I am finished. Once I fill the bucket half way with the new wort I add the new S.c. strain. Then I leave it for a year or two.>>

Stupid question: you do not have to worry about autolysis, oxidation from the bucket (you are just using a plastic bucket?), or the wild yeast/bacteria getting too sour? If I am reading this correctly, you are leaving it in the primary fermenter for two years and only transferring it when you bottle, is that accurate?

Thanks! Interesting stuff.

-Cheers

Ubriaco
01/08/08 09:58 AM  
Re: Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
Yes that is accurate. Autolysis is not a problem since it will serve as food to the bugs. Oxidation is not a problem because you need some oxygen to make the sour compounds. I actually have had the opposite problem of not getting enough sour lately. I believe it is due to hitting the thing with such a high level of regular old S.c. I could be wrong though, it may have something to do with my impatience.
ryan
01/08/08 05:45 PM  
Re: Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
Ubriaco

How do you ensure that you don't get bottle bombs if you bottle by taste? Or has this been in the bucket for months and months already?

I am as perplexed as Dave by the longterm use of buckets (though I have no empirical reason to be). I was under the impression that plastic was too oxygen permeable (hence the use of wooden dowels and/or glass/stainless).

Ryan

Baums
01/09/08 09:56 AM  
Re: Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
I think some people (Jamil Z., and maybe Raj Apte too?) have given up buckets for long term aging of sour beers based on what they've experienced with them.

Other people have had a different experience--Ubriaco for one, and if I'm not mistaken Jim Liddil's Homebrewer of the Year plambic was aged in plastic (and made from extract).

(I would think the exact bugs and their use of oxygen, the exact ingredients and their tendency to oxidize, and also personal taste, would all factor into it hugely.)

Ubriaco
01/09/08 11:03 AM  
Re: Reusing Wild Yeasts in Back-to-Back Brews
Ryan,

the shortest amount of time any have spent in the bucket is about 8 months, the longest about 2 years. Never had a problem with bombs, but I exclusively bottle in the champagne type bottles so that is less of a concern.

Personally I like the buckets oxygen permeability, and I like the fact I can hide them away in my basement and more or less forget about them without tying up my glass, or spending a lot of money getting glass for them (I'm a poor graduate student).

 
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