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Author Replies
troy
02/26/08 11:59 AM  
fantome dregs
I have a 750ml bottle of regular Fantome and would like to save the yeast.

1. What kind of organisms should I expect to find in the bottle?

2. Are there any special procedures for harvesting this yeast as opposed to harvesting yeast from a bottle of Rogue, etc.?

thanks for the info. I have been lurking on this site for a while and reading "wildbrews" and am inspired to make the leap into including some non-saccharomyces fermenters in my beer.

Al B
02/26/08 12:39 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
1. Sach. yeast (possibly more than one), usually Lactobacilli, and possibly more than one Brett - but Brett not always in each bottle. Basically expect the unexpected.

2. As far as "harvesting" - No.

troy
02/26/08 01:09 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
3. So I dump the dregs into about 50ml 1.030 oxygenated wort, then maybe step up to 500ml before dumping it into 5 gallons of fermented beer and sit and wait for months?

4. My basement is pretty constant at 62 F. Is this too low a temperature to let this stuff go to work?

Al B
02/26/08 02:02 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
3. You can, but be wary that over time or subsequent cultures may become very acidic due to an overgrowth of lacto. For non-microbiologists who want the yeast and not the bacteria you can try adding: high amounts of hops to the starter and/or some lysozyme available in the wine business.

4. No, thats fine. Higher temps favor bacteria to multiply even faster than yeasts.

seanywonton
02/26/08 03:23 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
What about doing a primary fermentation with a less-wild yeast to control the amount of variables here. Seems like if you are going to pitch straight Phantome dregs you may end up with a fairly acidic product...or maybe not.

If you take it through with a primary yeast you will still get character from the brett and some lacto over time.

ErikH
02/26/08 04:48 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
Beware the lactic acid production! I second the idea of using this culture in the secondary. There is an old thread here where I described my own mouth-puckering experiences with Fantome dregs in the primary, but I can't seem to pull it up (from 2006).

Unless you have uncommonly strong tooth enamel (and stomach lining), I highly recommend you use a Sacch. primary and let Dany's bugs chew on the remainder. Shouldn't take all that long to get perceptible sour/funk that way.

BPotts
02/26/08 05:45 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
I've used Fantome dregs strait in the primary, uncultured, and at warm temps the lacto becomes super-lacto. In three months I had a quite tart beer, more so than any culture I've bought. Even though the beer is 6-7% ABV. This was very warm though (80-90F the whole time). Since then I've added cultured up dregs to beers in the secondary at low temps and they have not developed the sourness, but very bretty character. I'll see when it warms up if any sourness develops in those other beers.

BPotts
02/26/08 05:49 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
Forgot to mention, in the first beer - the dregs were pitched strait from a bottle with a pack of WY Farmhouse for primary. So, even though the sacch was the primary consumer of sugars, the dregs still came to the forefront in the end. I'm very happy with this beer though, I don't mind some extra acidity. It has also mellowed and rounded a good bit after 6 or so months in the bottle. I really cant wait to see how it changes over the years.
BPotts
02/26/08 05:54 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
Another note - the dregs were from a bottle of BBBlack & White, not the regular... there was a huge yeast bed in the bottle.
BPotts
02/26/08 05:55 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
Crap.....sorry not a B & W, it was a hiver.
Al B
02/26/08 07:20 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
One the fascinating topics around.....the mysteries of Fantome.

Older bottles of Fantome may reveal more bugs than the primary yeast. The recent and fresh La Dalmatienne dregs from the bottle revealed no brett, small amounts of Lacto, mostly Sach. colonies. Interestingly, it seems (in my opinion)this yeast culture (Sacch yeast only) is more spicy than the WY biere de Garde that came out a year ago. There were many large yeast colonies on the agar plate, then smaller yeast colonies of same morphology showed up. The smaller coloines could be a different strain, or a mutation of the same yeast, or perhaps just some lazy ones - I don't know.

troy
02/26/08 09:39 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
My plan, at least as of right now, is to add the dregs to a batch of a Wheat Blonde fermented with Wyeast Unibroue yeast. It is a split batch one half on Wyeast Unibroue, the other on Wyeast 1272. The were each racked onto a can of oregon raspberry puree. I am going to drink the 1272 raspberry batch as is. I want to put the Fantome dregs into the tertiary of the Unibroue batch. Does anyone see any problems with this plan? Is is ok to put the raspberry puree in first and ferment that, then put the Fantome in? Or should I have done it the other way around?

I am not married to this whole plan, I just saw the bottle of Fantome at a salami and cheese importer store, and had to give it a try.

Al B
02/26/08 10:25 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
<<I just saw the bottle of Fantome at a salami and cheese importer store, and had to give it a try>>

Somthing about this statement made me chuckle :)

Have you had the Fantome yet? Did it taste tart + bretty as if it was at the salami & cheese store for awhile? The extra sugar from the raspberry may make it very sour (its up to you) perhaps you will want to ferment it out first.

Al Bologna

ChrisPr
02/27/08 02:56 AM  
Re: fantome dregs
I've had a couple of great batches fermented only with the dregs from Fantome. About 4-5 years ago a fresh bottle of La Gourmande (at 7% a bit lighter than Dany's other offerings) really, really made an outstanding beer. Very tart, not all that dissimiliar to a slightly less tart Rose de Gambrinus, but this didn't appear until a bottle I had forgotten about was discovered - three years later.

I always try the starter after letting it go. I can usually tell by smell what it's going to be like. You'll smell the lacto and if it's really sharp don't use it - unless you're a gueuze freak like me. This is one of the great beers to ferment with, but it can be totally unexpected. Consider blending if it's to lactic.

ericburnley
08/04/08 03:49 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
Didn't really know where to put this, but had to make a note someplace.

I've had a bunch of re-cultured Fantome dregs I've been playing with for a while now. The best application I had with them was a Belgian Dark Strong that I brewed over a year ago. It was my last extract batch before going all grain, at an OG of about 1.090 with some piloncillo and a bottle of the Dark Candi Syrup. Should've swapped out the piloncillo and some of the DME for some plain sugar, because it ended up WAY sweet. For the longest time, I couldn't drink it. About 6 months in, it was better, but still too sweet.

Eventually, I ended up drinking the bulk of it blended with a fairly dry batch of WY3787 ale that I mixed with some real cranberry juice- added tartness and a nice berry note.

This past April, I took the last remaining few bottles, uncapped them, and added some of the Fantome dregs, and let them sit about a month or so. Man, I wish I would've kept more of it to do this with. The lacto ate enough to drop the FG down to drinkability level, and the added sourness melded so well with the Dark Candi Syrup flavors. Dark sour cherry overtones came out. Possibly the best beer I've made, accident or not. If I could find something that tastes like this, I'd buy it. Can't wait to do something like it again.

BPotts
08/04/08 06:12 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
God bless those fantome critters
mrb
08/14/08 09:50 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
I just cultured a bottle of Fantome Saison in a standard starter wort that I plan on pitching to my Saison that is in secondary right now, has been for a few days. I wanted to get it in sooner, but couldn't -- oh well. The beer is still at around 1.008 so I hope there's going to be plenty of good stuff for the Fantome bugs and yeast to munch on. Tasted the beer again today and it's really nice -- smells spicy and delicious and tastes bitter as hell -- gonna be a battle if the sourness comes through from The Ghost. The Primary was with a starter of WY Farmhouse Yeast that I made a starter with + added the dregs of a particularly yeasty bottle of JP Calabaza Blanca. I'm stoked, let's see what happens! Yeast is going insane on the stir plate.
BPotts
08/14/08 10:33 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
That should be plenty for the bugs to do some work...not as much as if there more sugars but some...
mrb
08/21/08 08:18 AM  
Re: fantome dregs
So that pesky thing called "life" got in the way of me pitching this culture to my Saison in time, I just got obsessed with the culture itself, added the dregs of a bottle of RR Supplication, and have been letting it go, stirring a few hours a day and otherwise sitting, for a full week. The culture is nice and sour, I tasted it last night. The layer of sediment on the bottom of the flask has been steadily growing.

Advice: My Saison is now at around 1.005, down from 1.058. How much longer should I let it sit in secondary? And should I add sugar at bottling time, which I hope is soon? The Saison tastes and smells great. I'm planning on brewing this weekend and might use the Fantome/RR culture for primary, but also might wait a week for the Primary to go and then use it in secondary as planned. Any thoughts?

ericburnley
08/21/08 07:44 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
I'd say yes, add sugar at bottling. Since it's a low FG Saison, you probably want that prickly carbonation mouthfeel, so you'll need more for the yeast to eat on to make that.

For your next brew, I'd recommend not pitching a Fantome culture as your primary yeast. Others have noted on here that Fantome dregs pitched too early can turn into SUPER Lacto, creating nothing but sourness. If you put it in secondary like you'd originally planned, I think that'll turn out better.

Actually, I did something similar to your initial intent recently: I brewed a 5 gallon 1.050 Saison, did half with Al's blend and the other half with a North Coast Le Mer saison yeast culture from a bottle. Al's blend turned out great, nice and earthy, with a nice spritzy carbonation (i went over the usual 1oz/gallon priming sugar).

After primary was pretty much done with the Le Mer batch (almost a week, including a couple days in the garage at about 85+ degrees), I brought it inside, let it cool down a bit to mid-high 70s, and pitched some Fantome and Bam Biere dregs. I let it sit another week or two, bottled. It turned out fantastic, really nice and lightly sour with a great 3-dimensional character. Can't wait to see how it develops; I'm thinking about going back and brewing a full batch with Al's blend and adding the Fantome/Bam Biere dregs in secondary again, it's just too good.

ericburnley
08/21/08 09:42 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
I just realized i keep calling it Le Mer when it's Le Merle.
mrb
08/21/08 09:48 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
What's the lowest SG you would suggest pitching a sour culture to in order to get a "light" sour flavor?
ericburnley
08/22/08 02:00 AM  
Re: fantome dregs
Well, I am the first to admit I don't know anything here; I have but a couple experiences under my belt. Al B or others here would be better to answer that question. I imagine your instincts were good, pitching the dregs at around 1.008 into secondary should give a decent amt of sourness, but nothing overbearing. I'm not sure how much of this is a science, though. Reproducable sour beers are still a fairly new horizon AFAIK.

I did do a small test with a Kolsch where I pitched a little bit of Fantome dregs into a couple pints of leftover beer (after primary fermentation, it didn't fit into the keg). The Kolsch was probably about 1.012 or so

(though I didn't measure it), and ended up being too sour to drink after the Fantome addition.

ericburnley
08/22/08 02:03 AM  
Re: fantome dregs
Sorry, I didn't really answer your question. I meant 1.008-1.010 would probably be a good ceiling rather than a floor for pitching the dregs to finish.
BPotts
08/22/08 08:12 AM  
Re: fantome dregs
The first time I used fantome dregs I threw them into the primary... the beer was quite tart, but not Cantillon-like tartness. After a year in the bottle the acidity has definitely mellowed out and i think it's wonderful. With that said, I've used them in the secondary since for a more subdued sourness. Both methods worked for me
mrb
08/22/08 11:32 AM  
Re: fantome dregs
Is there any decent way for me to visually gauge whether or not I have enough yeast from the dregs to ferment a 5 gallon batch in primary? The sediment layer is getting larger but its nowhere near the size of the culture I made from the Wyeast smack pack, naturally. Shoulda got some yeast nutrient in there I guess.
BPotts
08/22/08 01:25 PM  
Re: fantome dregs
When I pitched into the primary it was one bottles' worth of dregs along with a pack of the WY farmhouse, so I wasn't relying solely on the fantome dregs to ferment...
 
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