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10/12/10 01:24 PM  
Washing lambic blends?
Can this be done? Will normal yeast washing procedures preserve the ratio of bugs and sacch? Is there a better way to reuse a buggie blend, aside from pitching directly onto the cake? How long do woodchips take to become effectively inoculated? I'm transferring my lambic to secondary soon, and would like to brew something up using the same yeast and bacteria as the last batch. However, I won't have that second batch brewed and ready to pitch before the transfer. How would you save your blend for later use? Thanks dudes!



10/12/10 04:03 PM  
Re: Washing lambic blends?
Washing the blend from the first batch shouldn't change the balance of yeast/bugs, but the number of generations it's used for will. The bugs reproduce faster than the yeast, so overtime they'll start to produce sourer and sourer beers.

I've heard around here that certain commercial blends like Roselare doesn't start really souring until generation 3.

I think some traditional flanders red brewers use an amount of old beer to inoculate barrels of new beer, so that may be a way to go.

Given the length of time sour beers take to mature, I'm wondering why you don't just wait to rack the first one until the second one is ready to go. Of course you may still want to wash the yeast anyways, as pitching directly onto an old cake seems to be discouraged by Chris White and Jamil in their book "Yeast."

I'd also be curious what people think about how long oak chips take to get infected.

10/12/10 04:17 PM  
Re: Washing lambic blends?
Thanks Dan. I'm actually packaging up some of the blend to take to Mike T (and anyone else that wants some) during his talk in NYC, :) which is why I'm racking soon. In terms of the wood chips, I'm betting that they're at least somewhat infected after even a couple of minutes, but I'm curious how much time it takes before one could successfully inoculate another batch using the wood. We'll see what some others have to say.. :)
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