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03/30/10 10:15 PM  
Yeast generations with sours
I've started a process whereby I'm racking off a sour that's fermented out most of the way, from plastic into glass for ageing with various compounds (oak, vanilla, citrus etc).

I'm usually left with a few litres of dregs (glass is full to the brim and capped with silicon bung) so I've been mashing up another beer and adding that to the dregs to get another beer going in its place (each one different. I've also been adding the dregs of 1 or 2 orval bottles each time.

What I'm wondering is can I repeat this process endlessly in order to continue sour beer production or is there a recognised limit to how many generations of yeast I can brew with before it turns to crap?

Dregs are WY Roselare blend, initial beer (onto my 3rd) may have left some 3787 dregs. Some brewers suggest 5 generations of sacch yeasts are about the limit - is this a consideration with brett strains or lactobacillus?

Beers are smelling and tasting good so far - no overt sourness yet but complexity of beer and old cheese apparent in both aroma and flavour. Many months of ageing intended for each though.


03/31/10 12:15 AM  
Re: Yeast generations with sours
Forgot to ask - is there also the danger of weird flavours from overpitching if I just add to the yeast cake (which I don't do with my non-sours)? Should I be reserving some of the yeast instead and repitching in a clean vessel?
Rob B
03/31/10 09:19 AM  
Re: Yeast generations with sours
Not from experience yet, but from what I have heard, as generations go it will get more and more sour. Especially with barrel aging it is recommended to clean the barrel every so often to knock the populations of bugs down a bit. I know Cantillon and Russian River do this. So I would only pitch a portion of your yeast cake into successive batches.
04/01/10 06:21 AM  
Re: Yeast generations with sours
Thanks. The reason I've been dumping straight on is because I've always had a few litres left after filling the demijohn.

Once the current brew is fermented out and racked (should be the right volume this time) I'll just try saving some dregs in the normal way and clean the vessel out.

04/01/10 12:46 PM  
Re: Yeast generations with sours
I made 3 generations with Al's last Bugfarm blend. They *definitely* got quite a bit more sour with each brew. The flavors so far have not been anything strange though. (All are delicious.)
09/04/10 12:42 AM  
Re: Yeast generations with sours
Well the third one after a few months is pretty much just funky with very little sour (which is actually my preference) so I'm going to have a go with just dumping tomorrow's brew straight on after racking. Bottling my oldest into some orval bottles today or tomorrow so I'll have a free glass demijohn to rack into.

Every time I drink an orval now, I actually am more aware of what I'm tasting due to extending my brewing into the world of sour/funk. Loving the world of beer and brewing.

09/07/10 12:46 PM  
Re: Yeast generations with sours
I thought the big problem with repitching sour dregs is that you are building up the amount of lacto. And this makes each pitch more and more sour. But I guess if you have a culture that does not have lacto then there shouldn't be a big difference except from the difference you get from the pitching amount.
09/13/10 04:55 PM  
Re: Yeast generations with sours
Ive pitched WY Roselare blend 5 times. After the first I handed it off to Al, he brewed with it, futzed with it in his lab and gave it back.

The first beer I made tasted like a Belgian single. No compliants, but not what I had in mind. The last two tasted a lot more like La Folie.

Cisco has reported excellent results with a first generation pitch after 3 years. I found that the beer got better every time I used it in a pretty reasonable time frame.

09/13/10 05:25 PM  
Re: Yeast generations with sours
My original pitch is still going strong after 5 years and I use a little to throw into new batches of beer for souring and the flavor profile is very consistent.
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