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10/10/14 03:32 PM  
Growing ECY Mixed Cultures
Hi, I just received a few 60 gallon wine barrels and have a large spent Whiskey barrel on the way. Some friends and I would like to do 2 lambic-style sour beers and a Flanders and wanted to take advantage of the 1 bbl ECY pitches offered through love2brew. However, the cost of buying 6 of these pitches seems a little difficult for us. I was wondering if anyone, (Al B especially) could offer any advice on growing these cultures to a higher level. Is it simply a matter of supplementing by adding extra Saccharomyces and Brett? I don't want to throw off the ratios of cocktails that have been so lovingly and effectively created. Ideas?
10/20/14 03:25 PM  
Re: Growing ECY Mixed Cultures
I think you are going to have a hard time growing up a blend intended for five gallons to six times its size without throwing off the ratio. The individual organisms are grown separately and then mixed.
10/21/14 11:08 AM  
Re: Growing ECY Mixed Cultures
Hi, I wasn't planning on buying the 5 gallon pitches but was thinking of buying the 1 bbl size pitches and then finding a way to stretch them out to 60 gallons each. Got some good advice from Al B and am going through on the project.
Andy M
10/23/14 11:29 AM  
Re: Growing ECY Mixed Cultures
Here is something I found a while back on the ECY Facebook page on March 13th. The second paragraph should answer your question.

"Many questions arise with starters for mixed cultures such as the Bugfarm and how to best use it. Typically, the blend may be used as a primary or a secondary fermentation culture. ECY01 contains enough cells to ferment a 5 gal batch as a primary agent. If pitched into a secondary, it is important to remember that the wort composition is paramount in the aging process (high in dextrin for example). If you feel that the brew is low in dextrins, pitch in primary or right at kreusen if using another yeast, or add more fermentable substrate."

"As for starter cultures of these blends - a starter is can be accomplished if over a few months old for these mixed cultures or if inoculating a larger batch size, of course. Prep starters by using half of the bottle aerobically (with O2) and the other half without O2 (mostly for the Pediococcus benefit). The populations of the blend will not be grossly imbalanced - since you will be aging this wild, sour brew anyway. It is harvesting the sediment that really gets unbalanced or repeated generations of growth. Hopefully this bit of info helps realize the potential of these crazy brews. Final word - know your wort and keep your bugs happy and enjoy."

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