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01/16/09 10:13 AM  
First foray into the world of bugs
Hi all - this is my first post here. My friend and I have about 20 all-grain batches under our belt and we are getting interested in the funky stuff. We've done some saisons but they are always lacking the over-the-top aroma like Dupont. Also, we'd like to get some sourness like in Bam Biere. Our tentative plan is to pitch a starter I've made from Dupont Avec Les Bon Vouex and after fermentation starts, pitch another starter of Oro de Calabaza. Will keep it warm throughout fermentation, probably mid-80s.

Here is the recipe:

88% Belgian pils

8% flaked wheat

4% wheat malt

60 min & 30 min additions of Strisselspalt, 10 min addition of Saaz

OG: 1.053 (hoping to finish out around 1.005, if we're lucky)

IBUs: 17

My main questions are:

a) Can I expect a decent amount of funk from the Oro de Calabaza?

b) Is yeast from Oro de Calabaza going to give off a lot of fusels if fermented hot? (keep in mind, the Dupont yeast will be going good before we pitch this)

c) Is this going to be something that requires many months of fermentation?


01/16/09 10:35 AM  
Re: First foray into the world of bugs
a) I don't think anyone can tell you what you'll get from dregs of a given bottle, but you should probably expect to get some viable bugs.

b) I wouldn't worry about fusels in a 1.053 all-grain beer made from 92% malt, as long as your Dupont yeast are healthy.

c) Who knows? Some bretts create substantial character in 2 months or less--and this character can of course change (for better or worse) with additional time. And some bretts create next to nothing until well over 6 months have passed.

Are you really going to age it in the mid 80s? That's pretty unorthodox (but then people are trying a lot of unorthodox things and sometimes they're working). The highest temp I've aged brett/bugs at is 72F, and it worked fine--maybe others have gone higher. It'll "age" faster hot, but at least one concern is that some lactic bacteria could go pretty crazy at those temps.

01/16/09 10:39 AM  
Re: First foray into the world of bugs
I was planning to let the primary fermentation progress in the mid-80s since I want the Dupont yeast to give it plenty of character, then age it at room temp. But was worried that any lactic might go nuts that hot...maybe pitch the bugs near the end of primary?
01/16/09 11:01 AM  
Re: First foray into the world of bugs
I've had great results from pitching JP dregs in secondary. They seem to work pretty fast in developing a nice tart and somewhat funky character. I'd go with the higher temps with the Dupont strain and then cool it it down for the secondary when adding the bugs. Good luck.
01/16/09 11:33 AM  
Re: First foray into the world of bugs
I agree with mtc's suggestion. You'll need rather high fermentation temps (upper 80's to low 90s) to get the Dupont strain to finish correctly. The bugs seem to work well more at room temperatures.
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