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Dave I
04/24/08 08:57 PM  
Brett to "Fix" Oxidation a/o Autolysis?
Hey all,

Quick question here following a short story.

I have a 9-month old daughter, which means the last 9+ months I have had very little time. I have 10-gallons of beer that have been in the primary (plastic bucket) for 2.5-to-3 months. I will transfer it this weekend, HOWEVER, I am concerned there may be some oxidation (possible) and autolysis (unlikely). It is a Traditional Doppelbock (1/2 just a Bock, 1/2 with cold-steeped dark grains to make it a Baltic Porter, for diversity and to please my wife) so the OG is around 1.070 and it is a lager, both of which I believe may help my cause, however who knows. I know there is no excuse, but I have just been A) Busy, B) Tired, and C) Preoccupied the past couple of months so I totally lost track of time.

Now to my question(s) . . . If my beer ends up less than optimal due to sitting so long but has a nice base flavor, can I add some Brettanomyces or some other wild yeast/bacteria to fix it? I am wondering if I can make it funky and replace the oxidation/autolysis with some pleasant sour? If so, any strain recommendations, both for this beer and any other possibilities?


04/25/08 06:33 AM  
Re: Brett to
I think that until you taste what you have and can define whatever problem may exist you can't really kick around meaningful solutions. Was it being cold conditioned?
Dave I
04/25/08 08:55 AM  
Re: Brett to
Thanks Steve.

"Was it being cold conditioned?"

It was in primary for a month, had a D-Rest at around 60 to 65, then has been at around 45* since, so never warmer than probably 60. It has been in my wine-fridge or on my Wisconsin basement floor so never warm and at least cool-conditioning.


04/25/08 11:39 AM  
Re: Brett to
Hey Dave. Sounds like your low and stable temps will probably work in your favor. As everybody's said; you obviously can't tell anything until you taste the beers. If they're not what you're looking for in a clean beer, try and figure out what flavor it is that you don't like, and try and see if any bugs can fix that.
Dave I
04/25/08 01:47 PM  
Re: Brett to
Hey Tankdeer,

Yeah, I am just expanding on your suggestion in the other forum (which I totally agree with, and thank you for) and seeing what the thoughts are here. I know if the beer was totally crap, adding bugs would just be a waste of perfectly good souring bacteria. So part of this is the what-if for this batch, but also in general what Brett (and other bugs) can or cannot effectively mask or correct. I am not super worried, but I am kind of curious.

As an aside, any ideas what strain of Brett might complement a Traditional Doppelbock, even if nothing is wrong with it. Except the absence of Brettanomyces, that is. ;) New Glarus put out a limited edition Bock that had a strain of Brett and maybe something else, probably the same strain they put in their Quadrupel, and it was kind of nice. Kind of like a Bock with that little special something.


04/25/08 02:34 PM  
Re: Brett to
I have no experience to back this up (yet) but the WY B. Lambicus is a favorite among forum members. (I actually have a pack due to arrive today, but it's at least partially destined for a wit)

I also have a strong (1.091) red/brown no-style beer aging on WL B. Brux and some Orval dregs right now. It's at about the 5-month mark on the brett now. I tasted it the other day and it was really starting to taste good (Like REAL good). My understanding is that the WY brux is MUCH funkier, but so far I'm really diggin' the WL strain (or the Orval dregs, whichever is giving me that wonderful brett character) : )

So, that would be where I would start myself. I'm not even convinced I would put any lactic acid producing bacteria in there..... maybe... ; )

04/25/08 03:36 PM  
Re: Brett to

My experience makes me think that whereas you may cover up or fix whatever off flavors you find, you will likely completely change the finished beer (e.g., the dark malts may be undetectable in the end).

I used B. lambicus on a stout and it ended up coming out very nice but nothing at all "stout-like".

I bet Cisco is moments away from suggesting you use B. clausenii


04/25/08 03:58 PM  
Re: Brett to
<<I bet Cisco is moments away from suggesting you use B. clausenii>>

Ha ha. No kidding.

Personally, I think claussenii would be too "mild" in this case.

tripel beam
04/25/08 04:22 PM  
Re: Brett to
Could Sulphur eat up the O2 for you and freshen up your batch possibly? Also, O2 is going to be more soluble at lower temps so if you have had it at low temp Oxidation could have been made worse. Innoculating with Bret (bringing temp. up?) might work out some of the O2? Look at styles of beer that are typically Oxidized and try to work it in your favor.

To me Oxidation is more problematic on the palate than aromatically and this is where I would focus on "cleaning" it up. I think staleness can be countered with acid for freshening up a beer. Anybody agree/disagree?

And if all else fails remember "The Solution for Pollution is Dilution". Good luck

04/25/08 04:44 PM  
Re: Brett to
The O2 is more soluble at low temps but on the other hand the reaction (oxidation) rates are much, much lower. I predict the beer is not ruined.

But it also sounds like Dave just feels like putting brett in it either way (maybe just half?). I agree acid may be a nice way to brighten it up, if in fact it is stale. Krausening also *may* help freshen things--active yeast are huge chemical reducers. One plan would be to add pedio to acidify and WY lambicus to round out that acidity (could do those in one step with Roselare). Then krausen it with an actively fermenting sacc to clean up any diacetyl from the pedio, reduce whatever compounds can be reduced, and provide active yeast for carbonation.

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