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Mike T
02/24/09 08:57 AM  
Iíve got the sickness!
A group of us DCíers has a wine barrel Flanders red that went into the barrel in late November. We were putting a wee heavy into a bourbon barrel on Saturday so we decided to pull our first sample of the red just to see how things are going. The sample dripped off the wine thief in long viscous strands (and wow was the mouthfeel odd), looks like the pedio is really working its magic. This is my first experience with ďsickĒ beer, so I am pretty pleased about this.

The beer had 50 gallons of fermented out beer, 5 gallons of fresh wort, and 10 gallons of ~6 month old Flanders red (half Roeselare half Red Poppy dregs), but t is already sourer than either of those beers were going in. It is amazing how quickly this beer is progressing in the barrel compared to my other carboy aged sours.

Anyone else dealt with sick beer? From a Vinnie .pdf it sounds like it will last 3-4 months (although I have no idea when it started).

02/24/09 04:53 PM  
Re: Iíve got the sickness!
I did a starter over the summer with dregs from the likes of cantillon, cuvee de ranke, etc.... Let it sit outside in 90+ degree weather for a week and then tasted - Pheeew! Complete slime. This was my first experience with slimy pedio as well. Tart as hell but a real gooey mouthfeel. My plan was to add in secondary of a saison I was going to rack, with some dry hops, but was a little concerned about the sickness taking over the entire 5 gal batch. I waited another week but then decided to add it anyway, before it cleared up in the starter. To my surprise the sickness did not take over, and the saison dropped from about 1012 down to ~1001. Aged for a couple of weeks and bottled after it hit it's low, not really worrying about over carbing because there really weren't any residual sugars for the brett to over attenuate.

With that said I'm not sure how long it would have taken to clear but it seems after some time the bretts consume the excess proteins. I think 3-4 months sounds like something I heard in response to asking about sickness. The thread should be in the archives if you search.

John L
02/28/09 05:12 AM  
Re: Iíve got the sickness!
Ropiness is somewhat temp dependent. Traditionally, it occurs more in the summer and dissipates over the fall and winter when the temp cools and the bacteria aren't as active which is one of the reasons lambics aren't usually bottled in the summer. Off course it's winter now and your pedio seems to be chugging away happily spitting out B glucans but then DC doesn't get particularly cold and there's a fair amount of sugars available. A season at ambient temp sounds like a fair guess. Just out of curiosity, how's the diacetyl?
02/28/09 06:22 AM  
Re: Iíve got the sickness!
From what I remember Al B suggested it had more to do with the type of pedio. Certain strains create the ropiness while others do not. I've used WY/WL pedio before and never got any ropiness, even at extreme temps. The only time I ever got it was in the starter with the dregs from various belgian wild beers. Al got a particularly slimy strain out of a rodenbach foederbier sample.
02/28/09 07:11 AM  
Re: Iíve got the sickness!

I had a slime bomb that took about 5 or 6 months to clear up and now its quite tart and has nice mouthfeel. I actually had the worst phase of pedio after bottling and it still cleared up nicely.

Mike T
02/28/09 07:21 AM  
Re: Iíve got the sickness!
It's in my friend's basement which has been ~60. I am surprised that it happened that quickly at such a low temperature.

Maybe there is a hint of butter in there, but it certainly isn't a diacetyl bomb.

We will probably be leaving the beer in there until next fall, so it has plenty of time to clean up.

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