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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: richt on January 20, 2010, 07:48:49 am

Title: Bug brewers, please help me brainstorm
Post by: richt on January 20, 2010, 07:48:49 am
I'm starting to plan out a saison that I was going to brew once spring is on the way. I brew 10 gallon AG batches and I'm hoping to branch out a bit. I was planning on splitting the batch in half like always. Half of the batch would get either 3711 or the North Coast Le Merle yeast if I can get my hands on it and grow it. Anybody have success with that strain?

For the other half, I was hoping to go straight Brett on it. Does anybody have any suggestions on which strain I should use?  I was thinking about Brett C.  About how long would it take for an all Brett beer to ferment out? Any other advice from those of you who have done it? For the record, I know that I need to pick up a copy of Wild Brews, I definitely will do that in the next couple of weeks as part of the planning process. I already own and have read Farmhouse Ales and Wild Brews.

Another thing that I wanted to do with this batch is introduce a bit of sourness, along the lines of New Glarus Unplugged Imperial Saison. I don't want this to be a sour beer per se, but I think that a bit of refreshing sourness would be pretty nice in a beer like this. One idea I had was to either take 2 gallons of the wort and add some lactobacillus culture and then blend this in to the fermented beer at kegging time.  If I did a small batch like this how long would it take to sour?  Would I need to ferment with yeast first and then add the lacto?   Is this something I would need to do a couple of months before I brew the rest of the batch?  Other things I've considered are doing a sour mash with part of the grist.  The thought has crossed my mind to use some acid malt as well.   What do you think would be the best way to add a bit of sourness to the beer?

I know there are some experienced brewers on here that use lots of bugs, any help on this brainstorm would be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: Bug brewers, please help me brainstorm
Post by: enso on January 20, 2010, 10:53:54 am
First off I have no experience with bugs (intentionally  ;) ) but I am interested in you query.  I am planning my first saison coming up soon to have for this summer.  I am currently reading wild brews and farmhouse ales.  Hopefully I can get an extension on the interlibrary loan...   ::)

Sounds like some fun experiments you have planned.  I look forward to what others have to say.  I was planning on culturing up the dregs from a bottle of Orval to add to my saison for a bit o' brett.  I figured I would add it post primary as it was aging.  Still thinking about it...

Your plan to sour with lacto.  Do you plan on stopping (pasteurizing?)  the lacto infected portion before adding it to the main beer or letting it go?
Title: Re: Bug brewers, please help me brainstorm
Post by: mikeypedersen on January 20, 2010, 11:14:04 am
I did my first attempt at a 100% Brett and bugs beer in april of last year.  My OG was 1.052 and i pitched a pack of Brett Clauseni and Bret Brux along with a pack of wyeast lactobacillus.  Fermentation was pretty fast, I had never used a bucket for fermenting, but I did that time, just because I was afraid to mix equipment.  I wish I wouldn't have, just to see what was going on.  After 2 and a half weeks it was down to 1.008.  At 3 weeks I racked it into a glass 5 gallon carboy added some oak and tucked it away.  Tried it in June, and there was no sourness, so I added some Pediococcus also.....

I tasted it for the first time since about a month ago and the bret characteristic on it is fantastic, but there is no real sourness to the beer at all.  Anyway, my point in all this rambling is that from talking to other folks (including the madfermentationist - check out his blog) it seems that the straight wyeast and white labs bugs have a hard time souring in beer over 15-20 IBUs.  Those preserving qualities of hops can really get in the way sometimes!   ;D  Mine, of course, had more than that so I started to chalk it up to that.  Anyone else find that their bugs were struggling to sour?

My point here is that if you are planning on splitting your Saison, and souring it you might want to watch your IBUs.

Anyway as a result, I think I will try to make a very sour beer and try blending them to where I would like it to be.  After all most sour beers are blended and I really do love the bret character in the beer that has been aging.  I did add the dregs of a few different Guezes that I really enjoy, so we'll see if those have any impact.  However, if I get to april and there is still no sourness, I'll be blending
Title: Re: Bug brewers, please help me brainstorm
Post by: richt on January 20, 2010, 12:56:20 pm
Mikey, for the sour part of the batch I was thinking of just a 2 gallon batch of unhopped wort that I would sour, and then a gallon would go into each of the 2 kegs that come out of the main batch.

This is some good information, keep it coming!