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Caped Brewsader
04/15/09 04:31 AM  
First bugged brew
After a year without brewing I'm working on my first bugged brew. I have a question about the viability of bugs in a Wyeast Smackpack. I was originally going to brew this beer before the birth of my daughter. So I bought the Wyeast Lambic Blend pack at the end of October (to be used two weeks later). I didn't get around to brewing it since I was too busy preparing for the arrival of the little one. I finally brewed the beer on Monday and pitched SafBrew t-58. The idea is that I will pitch the Lambic Blend when I rack the beer to the secondary. Since the bulk of fermentation is done and I will be letting the bugs do there thing for many months, I assume there will be enough viable critters in the pack to do their thing. What I am concerned with is the proportions of bugs. Are some of the strains more likely to be affected by sitting around in the fridge so long? If so, would it be worth picking up a new pack? If I had a homebrew shop near me I would have already done this. Unfortunately its a 45min drive one way and time is precious with a young baby and an old house.

you can see the original recipe on my new blog


and the brew day comments


04/15/09 11:20 AM  
Re: First bugged brew
Using your smack pack will be fine. The bugs are a lot hardier than normal Sacc yeast.
Caped Brewsader
04/30/09 03:35 AM  
Re: First bugged brew
On Tuesday I racked the brew to a glass carboy and pitched the Lambic Blend smackpack. I was a little shocked when I saw the manufacturing date on the pack. I bought it in October but I was made in April (08). Normally my homebrew store carries very fresh packs so I didn't check the date, if I had I would have asked for a newer one. So that worried me a bit. A year old smackpack. Hmm

Signs of fermentation started by the next morning though. I assumed it was from the saccharomyces in the blend. Well, it looked like a normal ferment with mini-kruesen. That also means the sacch thats in the pack can eat more complex sugars than the T-58? OG was 1.072 and T-58 stopped at 1.023 (I mashed at 68C hoping to leave some good eats for the critters). I hope the year old bugs will be able to get up and do some of their magic.

04/30/09 09:46 AM  
Re: First bugged brew
T-58 is not very attenuative (both in my experience, and in comparative tests published in a paper you can find somewhere on the Safbrew site). And as Cisco said the brett and pedio are WAY tougher than sacc (this was proven for brett by a KU_leuven study showing that at lambic pH and alcohol levels, sacc die out in a few weeks while brett viability remains ~99%). There's viable pedio and brett in lambic bottles even after years, so the Wyeast pack should be fine.

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