Author Topic: wyeast 3278 belgian lambic blend: starter? additional yeast? Overpitching?  (Read 958 times)

Offline ASLO

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I'm planning to brew a lambic using wyeast 3278. I'm going to split a batch of wort into two 3 gallon carboys and pitch the 3278 into both, making one a fruit lambic down the line. I was planning to use a whole smack pack for each carboy. The smack packs at my local brew shop are dated November 2016 (~3-4 months old). With a regular yeast strain I would normally just make a starter and not think twice, but I've read that making a starter with this blend is not generally a great idea as it can alter the ratio of the blend (from Wyeast). I've also read that time doesn't affect the viability of the brett, lacto, and pedio as much as it does brewer's yeast. Does anyone have experience using this blend when it is 3-4 months past the manufacture date? Should I make a starter? Or maybe just add some additional 'clean' yeast to help with the primary fermentation? Maybe since I'm planning to dump a whole pack into only 3 gallons the reduced viability of the brewer's yeast in the blend will not be as concerning? But then is overpitching the brett, pedio, etc. an issue?  Thanks in advance!

Anthony


Offline mikepires17

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Re: wyeast 3278 belgian lambic blend: starter? additional yeast? Overpitching?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 09:53:42 AM »
I think you should be fine. You want to get a lot of that brett, lacto, and pedio in there so i wouldn't worry about over-pitching. If you do a starter try making one using solely maltodextrin. the ale yeast in the blend won't touch it, but the lacto, pedio, and brett will eat it up. Just in doing so, your bacteria cell count will be unmeasurable.

Offline ASLO

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Re: wyeast 3278 belgian lambic blend: starter? additional yeast? Overpitching?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 03:25:47 PM »
Ok, thanks for the advice! My other concern was about the cell count of the brewers yeast in the lambic blend being low given the age. I think I will add some additional yeast to help with primary.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: wyeast 3278 belgian lambic blend: starter? additional yeast? Overpitching?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 04:02:33 PM »
Ok, thanks for the advice! My other concern was about the cell count of the brewers yeast in the lambic blend being low given the age. I think I will add some additional yeast to help with primary.

If your packs are dated in Nov. 2016 then they are not expired yet. I would smack them (gently) to activate them at the start of your brew day and wait for swelling (or some expansion) to occur to let you know you have some viable blend in there.
Then just pitch each pack into your fermenters. The brett and bacteria will take its time to ferment which is what you want and the sacch. strain in there should wake up relatively quickly. Keep your IBU's low (5-8) and fermentation temps as consistent as you can. Be patient with that blend. It takes about 12-18 mos to shine.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: wyeast 3278 belgian lambic blend: starter? additional yeast? Overpitching?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 05:17:04 PM »
I've used 3278 with great success. No starter, just smack the pack and pitch when inflated. You could add dregs of other sour beers if you wanted but 3278 will do just fine on its own.

Even if the sacc count is a little low it's doesn't matter as much here because the lacto in the blend is going to take off and start souring the beer ahead of sacc. Basically any off flavor from a weak/slow sacc fermentation will be cleaned up by brett (often beneficially to the end flavor profile) so it is a non-issue for you. Lacto will start to sour the beer immediately and protect it from most unwelcome guests and sacc will pitch in (pun not intended) ethanol to further protect from other unwanted participants.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline ASLO

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Re: wyeast 3278 belgian lambic blend: starter? additional yeast? Overpitching?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 07:54:11 PM »
Great, thanks! I'll let you know how it comes out in couple years!

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: wyeast 3278 belgian lambic blend: starter? additional yeast? Overpitching?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2017, 11:43:21 PM »
Great, thanks! I'll let you know how it comes out in couple years!

That blend will hit a good point at twelve months without turbid mashing and about twenty months with a turbid mash. At two years it will get more barnyard-y; at three years more leathery.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing