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09/03/10 10:27 AM  
Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?
Hey guys,

Grabbed Al's Bugfarm 4 from Princeton Homebrew back in the beginning of July, and just getting around to brewing with it this weekend. I had heard that the bugfarms dont need a starter, and in fact the starter would mess with the ratio of bugs, etc. But is there really enough sacch yeast in there for 5 gallons without making a starter first? Gonna brew a saison around 1.050 (not quite sure exactly the gravity yet). Thanks for any advice!



09/03/10 01:10 PM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?
And/or should I pitch some additional sacch. after giving the Bugfarm a few days headstart?
Al B
09/03/10 03:13 PM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?

The new bugfarm will do a 5 gal Saison as is, but since it is a month old, prep a starter with alot of O2. If you want a sour beer faster, hold back some of the vial and pitch anaerobically, say after fermentation starts or in secondary.


09/03/10 03:24 PM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?

Question for you. I recall reading a bit about New Belgium's experiments with using olive oil instead of adding O2 for yeast growth. Since O2 is detrimental to pedio do you think this might be a way to appease both? Have you experimented with this at all.

I recall something about increased ester formation when using this method which could be interesting with some of the brett esters.

Al B
09/03/10 09:44 PM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?
I have used olive oil, but not with Pedio. I grow Pedio separate then add it to the mix last. That's why I suggest to use half for a starter.

Interesting question though. However, one could do both side by side. The Pedio should not be affected by olive oil IMO. Oil will be on the surface & Pedio grows on the bottom in an anaerobic environment.

09/04/10 08:58 AM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?

You say to pitch half the vial into a starter for primary and then pitch the other half into secondary/after primary fermentation for a faster sour beer. Why would this pitching time make a difference and how could it speed up the souring process? Just curious....

09/04/10 01:15 PM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?
Was thinking it probably had something to do with lacto and pedio strains working better under an anaerobic environment.
Al B
09/05/10 09:04 AM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?
Yes, also bretts behave differently when pitched anaerobically too. In m y experience, bretts seem to produce more acidity faster than when pitched with O2 (although strain dependent). But Pedio is the main reason.
09/06/10 12:18 AM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?
I've noticed more acidity from brett in my all-brett beers than when I pitch in the secondary. This makes sense now with your observation about acidity when pitched w/ more O2 since they would be aerated for the all-brett pitches, but not again during secondary.
09/07/10 12:38 PM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?
Internet was down, so I went ahead and pitched it without a starter. Woops!

Anyway, after about 24 hours the yeast started to do their thing. Al, just making sure, but it's the Saison Dupont strain in there, right? I hope so, because I've got it sitting at about 80 right now.

The vial smelled a little weird after opening, and I think that I detected some vinegary smells. Does this mean that acetobacter made its way into the vial? The plastic ring was still wrapped around the top, but I think that the lid itself could have been a little tighter. If acetobacter is the case, would pitching the vial contaminate the entire batch? Or would the yeast somehow be able to fight this off during fermentation?

Of course, this is all speculation, and I'm probably worrying about nothing. Thanks for the awesome bug cocktail, Al, and hopefully I'll be able to send you a beer in about a year!



Al B
09/07/10 08:09 PM  
Re: Pitching Al's bugs w/o starter?

First off, don't worry about 80F or that it started 24hrs upon pitching - it will get sour in time - hopefully not vinegary! I have taken precautions to avoid aceto/gluconobacter contamination. Some bretts have given off some acetic acid at various times, but not much.

The best way to avoid aceto is CO2, so racking into a keg will be perfect. Pellicle formation helps to protect, but is not perfect, nor is a pellicle essential to wild ales.

There are actually several saison yeasts, well, 5 strains to be exact. Sherry yeast and many bretts that can certainly under aeration become slightly acetic, but not enough to do any damage IMO.

Good luck.

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