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Ben Connery
09/04/08 05:57 PM  
Wyeast 3278
I'm planning on starting down the lambic and general bug path for a few beers and I have a pack of wyeast 3278.

It states that it is a'culture of Saccharomyces Cerevisiar and a mixture of yeasts and bacterias.'

So do users of this yeast use it for fermenting from day one?

From what I read about home lambic production many people ferment with one yeast then rack to secondary for a long stay with brett etc.

Would you do the same with this? If not, would you still primary with this and secondary with some other stuff, rather than leave it on the yeast cake for a long time?

I have a bottle of Orval for dregs if needs be...

I did a search for this yeast blend but didn't come up with much...

I realise I'm going to be investing some serious time in this beer so I'd like to be heading in the right direction from the beginning...

09/04/08 06:13 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
I've only done 1 lambic before at it was with this blend, however the beer is only about 6 months old and still in primary. Generally lambics are left in primary for the entire duration of fermentation. 1-3 years. This blend is enough to do the job on it's own, however it seems that many people prefer to "augment" it by pitching the dregs of various commercial lambics into the fermenter as they drink them. For added complexity.
09/04/08 08:52 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
I have used it twice, and both times it completely died after about a year was up.

On each occasion, I took a two year old fermented with this stuff, added fruit, and let it set an additional 6 months. There was zero further fermention of the fruit, leaving a treacly sweet, crappy lambic. The second time, I racked the wyeast sugar bomb off the fruit, and added some 3-year old beer fermented solely from Cantillon dregs (no starter). It immediately took off, eating up the fruit sugar, forming a new layer of oxidative yeasts on top, and turned out to be delicious.

Granted, this is only two occasions, but I will never buy the Wyeast again -- in these parts, ambient fermentations or bottle dregs, or a combination of the two are definitely the way to go.

09/04/08 09:29 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
I had a similar experience to Mark with the lambic blend -

Primaried a beer with the blend, then aged for a year, and was kinda dissapointed. It turned out watery, slightly pissy, and horsey, with little to no sourness. I bottled off half (it did significantly improve in the bottle) and then topped off the other half with organic black cherry juice and added dregs of various lambics, ie. cantillon, oud beersel, and some fantome dregs and aged for another several months until the gravity stabilized. The "second" beer turned out nice and sour and funky.

While I was dissapointed with the intial beer, like I said it did improve with age in the bottle, and it actually did really well in competition (which surprised me). Sean White, who frequents this board, scored it a 45 - I think the highest score I've gotten in competition to date.... go figure.

Next time I'll probably just culture dregs up to ferment with out of the gate.

I've tasted and heard of good results with beers solely fermented with the wyeast's Roselare blend...

09/04/08 11:04 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
I had semi planned to use some fruit for half of it down the line anyway...

The other main issue is that commercial lambics are pretty thin on the ground here in Brisbane... I can get Timmermans Gueze, sometimes...I hope to grab some Cantillon and others on a trip down south later this year though.

I'll have to go the Orval dregs or others, or else fork out for one of the Brett cultures perhaps.

I'd like to have a stab at some pure Brett fermentations at some point too.

The Roselare blend is another plan, but for a different beer...

09/05/08 12:53 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
There is definitely a strong brettanomyces presence to the 3278, as Bpotts (Ben, right?) said, plenty of leathery, horsey aroma. It is the other components I found to be lacking -- perhaps if you have access to a pediococcus culture, that could help.

I would not knock the Wyeast lambic blend as producing a foul-tasting beer or anything like that; so if that is your only option go for it. My only complaint is that it seems to conk out sooner than I wish -- but my issues can be resolved with the simple addition of miniscule quantities of bona fide wild beer.

If you plan to use barrels, you can innoculate them with the dregs of one of your rare bottles of 3 Fonteinen or whatever, and there is a good chance they'll produce good beer for years.

Good luck.

09/05/08 06:59 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
You got it, Mark....

I think some extra pedio is a good idea, and you should be able to get that where ever you got the blend....

As long as the beer is going to sit, it's fine if you brew it now and then add the dregs whenever you get a chance to grab some good lambics....

And you can always reuse any sediment to innoculate another beer after that, and similar to Mark's suggestion you could also add oak chips, which you could then use to make subsequent buggy starts for future sours.

09/05/08 11:42 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
Good to know this blend like to crap out after a year or so. Looks like I'll definitely be adding the dregs of some other beers in there. I have a bottle of Drie Fonteinen Gueuze that I've been sitting on for a little while, that'll definitely go in there.
09/05/08 01:08 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
3 Fonteinen is actually my favorite for this purpose (no diss to Cantillon or anybody else). I know they blend a bunch of different lambics, but there is something about their bottle dregs that really produces some "ethereal" qualities, to borrow Baums's description from a previous post.

And who knows if it always craps out -- maybe something about my practices compromises it in some way.

09/05/08 01:27 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
Glad to hear it. I think it was destined for this batch anyways, the only reason no other dregs have gone in yet is just because I haven't been drinking many commercial lambics lately. Mainly because they're so damn expensive.
09/05/08 04:52 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
I used 3278 earlier this year several times. It was my first time using it.

First time I used it, I made a small starter on a stir plate and let it go a week before pitching the starter to the primary beer (sour brunette). This beer was in glass for maybe 4 weeks and then transferred to secondary in plastic for about 6 months. To the secondary, I added back a decent portion of the slurry from the bottom of the primary. After secondary, I kegged. I have this on tap now and its earthy dank sour and but not too funky. Almost notes of grapes. You can tell its a sour beer though.

For the other portion of the slurry, I brewed two 50/50 pils and wheat lambics, each one getting 1/2 of the remainining slurry. They took off quickly. These have now been in plastic secondary for about 8 months. They have large sour notes. For one of these, I also added dregs of commercial sours including Orval,3Fontains, Cantillons, and some others along with a bit of oak. BOth batches of the 50/50 are nicely tart and sour and citrus lemony.

Seems like the sour aspects are picking up in successive generations similar to results from Roselaire blend where the funk starts to outpace the normal Sach in population size.

cheers petec

09/05/08 07:41 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
Cantillon dregs do produce quite a sour beer, very citric like....

I don't necessarily think mine crapped out after a year, it just wasn't anything special after that long. Perhaps if I let it sit a year or two longer things would have been different, or the next beer with a second generation would have been more tart...

09/10/08 06:10 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
Well I am going in....

THe plan is to do a split batch, build up higher gravity wort based on the size my equipment can handle then dilute that to two 18L batches of 1050 OG base.

I might be getting some old hops otherwise I will be playing with the oven aging idea.

I plan to do one batch with the 3278 after making a biggish starter, then do the second batch with something else, like 3522 or 3787, and then put in some dregs of things and more of the starter of the 3278 down the line.

Both beers will get the dregs of whatever I can get my hands on, which is always Orval as a last resort, but I can probably get some Timmermans Geuze as well.

I will hopefully be getting some lambics on a trip at the end of October so that should give me some more to play with as well...

Ben Connery
09/30/08 11:19 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
Well this lambic brewing is certainly a lesson in patience...

It took me a few days to stop going into the cupboard under the stairs every day to look at something that I knew in my head I wasn't even going to be thinking about drawing a small sample from for 6 months...

Ah well, plenty of other brewing in the meantime :)

10/01/08 08:29 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
Yes - the first beer is always tough to leave alone! But it's better in the end if you do. Like you said, just brew a crap load of other stuff to keep your mind off of the lambic...
10/09/08 12:37 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
I just so happened to pull out a bottle of this for my birthday - bottled last august after a year in the fermenter. It has taken a 180 degree turn from when I first bottled. The beer is complex and sour, but not overly tart. I'm pretty surprised at what this has turned into. Guess another 3278 brew is in order....
10/09/08 01:29 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
Good to know. Although in the last two weeks I've already augmented our batch with the dregs from a bottle of Cantillon Saint Lamvinus and Drie Fonteinen Doesjel Gueuze. Oh well, guess I'll have to brew another. ;)
10/09/08 01:46 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278

In the dark sour ale swap, my beer was the first use of 3278 so you'll get to try an0other one........


Ben Connery
03/03/09 02:23 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
Well I had a quick taste 5 months in and this is definitely a lambic

I am getting that tartness plus a definite funky smell on the top

I was tasting some Cantillon the night before and there was definite similarities. Not saying I have produced something of that quality, but mine is at least the same sort of beer so far so I am very happy :)

Chris Kennedy
04/15/09 02:17 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
What is the recommended pitching rate for this blend? Are people just pitching a pack in 5 gallons from the start?

What about fermentation temps, both at the beginning and long term?

I figured I would just use this thread for these questions, hopefully keep the clutter down. Thanks.

04/15/09 03:45 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3278
For me - single pack, room temp.
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