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Mike T
04/22/11 09:08 AM  
DCambic – My First Spontaneous
Over the last couple weeks I’ve captured some wild yeast/bacteria in a couple different starters. The wort I left outside overnight to chill and stepped up once smells acceptable (sort of spicy, bit of banana etc…) so Sunday I’ll be doing the full turbid-mash aged-hop brew day thing.

Does anyone think it would be worth letting the wort cool naturally (covered with cheesecloth) either near my sour barrels or in the backyard (waiting ~18 hours before pitching my starter) to give that first wave of bacteria some time to work? Or should I just chill and pitch as I would a “normal” batch?

Even though the mulberry tree in my backyard produces bland fruit I figure it is worth harvesting a couple pounds next year to add to half the batch for more local character.

04/22/11 10:40 AM  
Re: DCambic – My First Spontaneous
I'm not sure that there would be much advantage of letting it cool overnight. I'd more tempted to cool it an leave it cover with cheese cloth overnight if you are hoping to get back some of the wild character from the early micros that may have died off in the starter already. Really shouldn't be any lacto from the grain after a full boil.

On the other hand, people have done just what you are proposing with success, so I'd say it not likely to harm the batch. If you multiple vessels, it might be an advantage to get more exposed surface area for the air born yeast and bacteria to develop higher concentrations in the wort.

BTW, I like the idea of the mulberries. I'd look at using 2-3 lbs per gallon as a staring point. Cheers!

Mike T
04/22/11 09:48 PM  
Re: DCambic – My First Spontaneous
Thanks, if I go the slow chill route I'll just leave it in the brew pot before I move it into a carboy.

Mulberries should be interesting, and I agree it is going to take a lot judging from how mild the flavor is.

04/24/11 01:43 AM  
Re: DCambic – My First Spontaneous
One thing worth considering is that traditionally, the slow chilling thing is done in a coolship, which due to its wiiiide surface area, will help cool things relatively quickly.
Mike T
04/25/11 10:39 AM  
Re: DCambic – My First Spontaneous
I would assume that a homebrew scale brew pot would have similar cooling properties to a commercial coolship because we are dealing with such a small volume of wort in comparison. I know Jolly Pumpkin uses their open fermenters to naturally cool wort for their spontaneous beer.

I brewed yesterday and ended up force chilling to 70 F and pitching about a quart of each of the starters, figured better safe than sorry since today it is supposed to get close to 90 F. Hopefully the fermentation takes off in the next 12 hours or so.

Mike T
04/27/11 09:00 AM  
Re: DCambic – My First Spontaneous
Fermentation was going strong 24 hours after pitching. I had been fermenting at ambient basement temps, but with summer heat arriving early in DC it was headed over 70 F so I moved the better bottle to my fermentation fridge. The fermentation has been active, but the krausen has a lot of big soapy bubbles ( http://twitpic.com/4pj6ru ). Smells like a pretty standard Belgian fermentation, a bit spicy, fruity, sulfury, nothing too weird.
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