Tuesday, October 7, 2014

100% Lacto Fermented Ale

I originally got the idea for this "beer" when I read a forum post about the Wyeast VSS releases for the summer.  The Lacto strain apparently can not only produce lactic acid, but ethanol as well!

This beer has been fermenting now for quite awhile now (>2mos) so some of the ins and outs of the brewday have escaped me.  However the general gist of the grist was that I wanted to make something rather light, but highlighting the maltier and biscuitier flavor that vienna malt provides.

Originally I was planning on adding peaches/apricots to this beer, but I was slow (read lazy) and peach/apricot season came and past.  I still have a lot of frozen peaches that I could use, but I'm looking more forward to a peach cobbler in January that I am a peach beer in October! When I was originally planning this recipe, and with the original peach theme in mind I had decided to hop with multihead hops, which are supposed to have a peachy flavor/aroma.  Now without the peaches/apricots I'm not sure where to go.

I still think that I would like to add some fruit to this beer but I don't want to overwhelm the multihead hops. I am a bit torn, as I have a 10# bag of raspberries I saved from this year, I just haven't decided if I want to put them in the beer and lose some of the hop character or even what the base beer tastes like.  A normal solution would be to split the batch, but I've been too busy with work and a new baby to have the energy to do something like that, at this point though I think this beer might be coming around in early spring of next year, so who knows what I'll add.......

100% Lacto Sour Peach?
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
7.0Vienna (Weyermann)
1.0Caramel Wheat
Hops
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0Multihead (2.5%)60
2.0Multihead (2.5%)0
TBDMultihead (2.5%)
Mash Schedule
TempRatioTime
151F1.0qt/lb40
170F2.0qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastLactobacillus Brevis WY5223 (2x Packs x 1L starter)
Stats
5.5galOG1044
84% effIBU8
7gal BoilFG



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Pumpkin Porter - Review

Sorry no Pic for this beer. This was a review I forgot about and I lost the pics when I moved

Appearance - Black with ruby highlights when held to the light, off-white slightly tan very dense head

Aroma - Cinnamon, allspice, chocolate, and a wisp of coffee

Taste - Chocolately and coffee-like, cinnamon and allspice round out the flavor with sublte hints of ginger and clove.  It would be a very solid porter without the spices, only a slight hint of roastiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Extremely silky and smooth, medium-low carbonation which accentuates this

Drinkability - Decent drinker, as usual though I would probably far prefer this beer without the spices.  The saigon cinnamon has a very different flavor once it goes through fermentation than it does beforehand, but is very nice either way.

Brewday 10/18/2012 - Recipe & Notes
Saturday, August 16, 2014

Einkorn Table Beer

Seems like every time I post recently I always say its been too long and I'm gonna pick up the pace.  I must admit though its tricky to find want to spend the little bit of free time I have (when the baby is asleep) writing up a blog post.  More often than not I just want to veg out......  Still though I somehow find the time and energy to brew - something about the end product makes that veg time a bit nicer :) So while I haven't posted in quite a while I have managed to sneak in a few brew sessions.  The first one of which was an old standby that I seem to continually tweak, a table bier!

Ive wanted to try using einkorn for a while in a table beer, but until recently I was unable to source it.  Luckily
I found a local source in the Pac NW that grows both einkorn and emmer!  I wont go too far into the history of Einkorn but it is a very old grain, and there is anecdotal evidence that it maybe be OK for people who are sensitive to gluten.

History aside, it looks very different from modern wheat berries (left side of pic).  The einkorn is much more seed like and in my opinion has more of a rustic, heartier grainy flavor than your typical wheat berry.  I am excited to see how the flavor of this beer turns out, all of my other table beer experiments with alternative grains have turned out wonderfully (amaranth, millet, rye).

Einkorn Biere de Table
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
13.0Vienna
3.0Einkorn berries
Hops
Amt (oz)TypeTime
3.25Fuggles (4.2%)60
2.0Serebrianka (2.3%)10
2.0Serebrianka (2.3%)0
Mash Schedule
TempRatioTime
151F0.8 qt/lb60
170F2.0qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastBelgian Ardennes WY3522 (3L starter)
Stats
11 galOG1047
90% effIBU26
13.5gal BoilFG



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tripel Double - Split batch Tripel, Half Brett, Half "Clean"

Brewing a golden strong has been on my to do list for a while now.  In fact,my to do list is getting pretty long and looking at it is getting kind of overwhelming!  When I was getting ready for this brew I knew that I wanted to do a few beers with a fairly similar profile, but with moderate amounts of differences between them.  I generally do very few high ABV beers, so while I was preparing starters/etc I decide to compromise on a two of the batches and knock them both out at once.

My original intention was to do two beers
  1. A Belgian Strong, fermented with 1388 to emphasize the pear esters, possibly using pear juice, and a small amount of Nelson Sauvin hops late in the boil or at flame out
  2. A Pils based malt bill, Brett Trois or Sherry flor, pear juice, vanilla, almond liqueur, French Oak?
After thinking about the best way to approach doing both of these beers in a single go I decide to go with a Pilsner base using fuggles for bittering, and adding sugar to both to help dry them out, but adding it post-boil to use different types in each batch.  I also skipped the Nelson for the time being, I plan on tasting the Brett version to see how it tastes prior to bottling, and if the flavors mesh I will dry hop with 0.5oz.

For the sugar additions I wanted to use something flavorful in the "clean" batch and something neutral in the Brett batch (wanted to make sure nothing overshadowed the pear juice addition).  For the "clean" batch I went with coconut palm sugar, which has an amazing depth of flavor and is quite dark (see pic); while in the brett version I went with plain old table sugar.  Each of these beers has been fermenting now for about a week at 65F in my chest freezer.  I also ended up having about 2.5gal of extra wort with a slightly lower OG that I added about 24oz of Marionberry Jam.  The jam is just about the best I have ever tried, lots of blackberry flavor, with hints of blueberry and uses more fruit and less sugar than most.  From what I'm told is seems to be regionally available in the early part of the year and then quickly disappears.

Tripel Double
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
18.0Pilsner
0.5
0.5
Coconut Palm Sugar - "Clean" half
Table sugar - Brett half
TBDPear Juice Syrup - Brett Half
Hops
Amt (oz)TypeTime
3.0Fuggles (4.2%)60
Mash Schedule
TempRatioTime
151F0.83qt/lb60
170F2qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastBelgian Strong Ale WY1388 (2L Starter)
Brett Trois WL644 (400mL yeast cake)
Stats
6.5galOG1087*
79% eff**IBU26
7.5gal BoilFG-
Notes: * - OG prior to adding pear juice syrup, ** - efficiency was much higher if you take the extra 2.5gal into account (94%), Pear juice syrup will be added once primary fermentation has died down; vanilla, almond liqueur(homemade), and/or oak will be added at a later date and the post will be updated to reflect the amounts used



Monday, June 9, 2014

Dunkelweizen Redux

Not much to say about this beer.  It is basically a redo of one I did last year that I really liked a lot.  The only difference is that I decided to take the OG up a bit. In hindsight writing about it Im not sure that I like the idea of that as much as I did when I brewed it. Only time will tell if this beer will have the great balance that the previous one did.

One thing I have noticed on the past two wheat beers  Ive done is that my efficiency dropped a bit on both.  Now I don't do many wheat beers (malted at least) so it may be that I'm not crushing the wheat malt quite as finely as I need to get my efficiency up where I like it (high 80's).

When I use unmalted wheat, and well, really any unmalted grain I tend to grind it to flour.  I guess my question to those malted wheat beer aficionados out there is, how fine do you grind you wheat malt? And are you getting a different efficiency with those types of beers than you normally do?? Its more of a curiosity to me than anything else.


Dunkelweizen Redux
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
5.75Vienna (Weyermann)
5.75Pale Wheat (Weyermann)
1.0Caramunich
3.0 ozCarafa II
Hops
Amt (oz)TypeTime
3.0Hallertau Mittelfrueh (3.3%)60
Mash Schedule
TempRatioTime
151F0.87qt/lb60
170F2.0qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastGerman Wheat WY 3333 (750mL starter)
Stats
6.25galOG1060
79% effIBU18
7.25gal BoilFG



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Brett T. Nelson - Brett Trois IPA

I know I'm not the first person to put this combination together, though I must admit I'm not entirely sure where I came across the mix.  Whoever or wherever my source of inspiration for this beer is, I appreciate it! Something about the mix (grapey, tropical fruit, gooseberries, and white wine) just sounds amazing!

Its been a bit since my last 100% brett beer.  In fact my funky, wild and sour brewing in general has been a bit lacking in the last year or so.  I plan on changing that in the next few months with lots of ideas I've been saving up during my brewing hiatus over the last year, though I will sprinkle in some "normal" beers to keep the taps flowing.

For this beer it couldn't be more simple, a grist of Vienna, copious amounts of Nelson Sauvin hops and Brett Trois. I'm expecting this to be a introduction to Brettanomyces for all the new hop-heads I've met since I moved to the Inland NW. I think this recipe is more of a bridge between a 'normal' beer and a wild and funky one (Brett T is just too fruity and un-brett like when the beer is young).  Slowly I hope to bring other local homebrewers over to the funk.

From an otherwise very simple recipe, I did decide to take the complexity up one notch; I adjusted the water profile.  For this beer I wast targeting a profile to provide a relatively balanced beer (Malt:IBUs), though slightly tipped towards the malt. To do this I adjusted the water profile by adding some gypsum and calcium chloride.

One thing that I really do wish is that we could get whole leaf NZ hops here in the States.  I know that shipping hops over seas makes this unlikely due to the shipping costs, but I really do hate pellets.  Ive always avoided them because of the mess of dealing with the sludge.  Now I suppose I could use a spider or a hop sock, but that's extra equipment and mess to deal with. To top it off I far and away prefer the extra filtering capabilities that whole hops offer, which really help me to keep junk out of the fermentor.

One really nice thing about this brew day was that unlike my other recent brewing attempts this brew day went off without a hitch.  No mid-mash soldering, no boil overs, no leaking HLT fittings, no missing equipment or broken wall warts. All in all it was actually kind of enjoyable for once! I think the best part of the day  though was when I got a good laugh from my dogs.  They hung out with me in the garage because it was raining and I hadn't really paid any attention to them.  Towards the end of the day I looked over and them and realized I had created the first two dog centipede! bwahahaha.

Brett T. Nelson
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
11.0Pilsner
Hops
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)60
1.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)15
1.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)5
2.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)0
2.0Nelson Sauvin (11.4%)Keg Hop
Mash Schedule
TempRatioTime
153F0.8qt/lb60
170F2qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastBrett Trois WLP644 (2L stepped starter)
Stats
5.75galOG1058
84% effIBU55
7gal BoilFG

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Flanders Red 2014

I wasn't quite sure I wanted to brew this beer yet, as I currently don't have anything on tap and I only have a single beer fermenting (Slump Buster PA).  I would've liked to have a few more in the pipeline before I got a 1yr+ sour going, but I did really need to get to this before my pack of roeselare started getting old.  I was originally hoping to get some more of Al's bug blends from ECY for this batch but that didn't pan out. The last time I got a hold of some was quite a long time ago, and was before he was selling it commercially, however it did turn out fantastic!

Unfortunately this time around I wasn't able to get my hands on any.  I'm not too worried though as I've done used Roeselare in the past and had great results. Thinking forward, and due to the difficulties of getting ECY  blends, this time next year I'm looking forward to finally doing a true ambient fermentation. I'll be putting the wort in a small apple or cherry orchard nearby to capture some bugs.

Fort this years beer, I decided to change up the malt bill a bit and do something different that the typical malt bill I've done in the past.  The malt bill I'd previously used was outlined in Wild Brews, many other people, including myself, have used that as a guideline for reds and had nothing but great luck.  However, the more I make sours, the more I want to play with the base beer to see what I can get out of it.  Honestly after 1yr+ in the fermentor I'm not sure how much character is left from the malt anyway.

In this batch I'm using just enough Special B and Aromatic malt to get me in the color range for a red, with a bit of honey malt for aromatics. I even tossed around the idea of using a little roasted barley for color, or even a 100% Red X malt bill (which I will do soon enough)

Aside from the changes to the malt bill, I am also approach the mash schedule a little bit differently.  This time around I will mash the barley without adding the wheat.  Then right before mashout I plan on adding the crushed wheat and vorlaufing.  I'm hoping this will retain some starch, but still allow for decent conversion.  I'm also likely only going to do a 15min mash and a 15min vorlauf to keep things quick and simple.

One last minute change I made was to use some aged hops I had on hand.  I cant say I've ever been one to think that a large quantity of aged hops was necessary for homebrewed sours, and have almost always advocated for using a small quantity of fresh hops to get your IBU's.  My rationale has always been that a large quantity of aged hops is only needed when your dealing with the unknown of a spontaneous ferment (lots of protection against the bad bacteria).

However recently, (brewday), I began thinking about brett and hops, which is something that has been coming up a lot more in homebrew and commercial examples.  There are lots of examples of Brett IPA's out there now, and the consensus seems to be that the hop profile becomes muted much more quickly in a brett beer than in a sacch one.  I'm starting to wonder if the brett is eating the hop oils/acids? If this is the case then there is likely a flavor contribution from large amounts of aged hops in the beer that we have been missing out on!

With this line of thinking, and being pinched for time (couldn't find my scale to weigh out fresh hops), I decided to toss in copious amounts of aged hops in the boil. I wish I could have done
a side by side of the same wort with different hops (aged vs fresh) to test this theory, but I wasn't set up for it, maybe next time?

One last thing, my brew area still inst set up (well) and my garage around it is a disaster area.  In the middle of my brewing I jumped and hopped across one of the many piles in the garage and managed to trip and rip apart my temperature probe wire.  Now that I'm using an electric HLT, I cant really brew without the temp probe being connected, so I had to do a bit of soldering on the fly! (10min after I fixed it the first time I had to do it again..........)

Flanders Red 2014 - cant believe its been 5yrs since my last one!
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
6.5NW Pale Malt
1.0Honey Malt
1.0Wheat Berries - added just before vorlauf
0.5Aromatic
0.5Special B
Hops
Amt (oz)TypeTime
6 handfuls2006 Magnum60
Mash Schedule
TempRatioTime
152F1.1qt/lb (sans wheat)60
170F2qt/lb (with wheat)15min - vorlauf
YeastRoeselare WY3763
Stats
5.5galOG1047
85% effIBULow?
7gal BoilFG



Friday, April 18, 2014

Slump Buster Pale Ale - A Homebrewed Beer


This beer has been a long time coming now.  Its strange to say but its been around 11-12mos since I last brewed!  Lots of things have changed in the past year and I'm still trying to work out some of the kinks of brewing in a new location and with my electric setup (only HLT currently).  One things for sure, the cold tap water in Washington sure does chill a beer down quick!

To come back from my hiatus I wanted to do something relatively simple yet very tasty.  I've been drinking lots of pale ales and IPA's lately (lots of local stuff) so I thought I'd keep the trend going and do a pale.

Most of the local beers Ive been drinking are West Coast IPA's and pales, however for this beer I was inspired a bit by British bitters, in that I wanted a solid bitterness, lots of aroma, and only mild amounts of hoppy flavors.  I intended for the malt to show off, but I couldn't find some of my brewing salts (CaCl) so I think this one is gonna be more about the bitterness (low Cl, high SO4).  That's fine though, and it also gives me a first crack at seeing how the local water will do in my homebrew (albeit with some chemistry changes).

This should be the first of quite a few new recipe posts in the near future (lots of ideas in a year of no brewing!). I'm also going to try and do a write up on my electric conversion when its complete.


Slump Buster Pale Ale - Hopefully I wont regret this one....... :)
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
6.0Northwestern Pale Malt (GW)
3.0Vienna (Weyermann)
Hops
Amt (oz)TypeTime
0.50Summit (18.1%)60
1.0Ahtanum (4.9%)5
1.0Summit (18.1%)KO
1.0Ahtanum (4.9%)KO
TBDAhtanum (4.9%)Dry Hop
TBDSummit (18.1%)Dry Hop
Mash Schedule
TempRatioTime
151F0.9qt/lb60
170F2.0qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastAmerican Ale WY1056 (500mL Starter)
Stats
5.5galOG1051
86% effIBU32
7gal BoilFG



Monday, April 14, 2014

Locked and Loaded

I'm prepping for a return to a somewhat normal blogging schedule.  I should have some new recipes posted soon!
Monday, January 13, 2014

Dunkelweizen - Review

Unfortunately no pic for this review.  I lost my phone right before I moved cross-country, all the pics disappeared with the phone.  The beer was a beautiful medium amber, with a slightly off-white head.

Appearance: Dense off-white head that leaves substantial lacing as I drink the beer.  Deep, slightly hazy, dark mahogany color (lighter than picture)

Aroma: Bready, toasty, hints of clove and fruit, finishes with a nondescript graininess

Taste: Sweetish maltiness upfront, likely from the caramunich, mingled with subtle fruit and clove.  Finishes with strong grainy/bready/wheaty and malty flavor offset ever so slightly by a bit of roastiness. Hops are non-existent, as they should be.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium-low carbonation.  Very good as is, could be equally good lighter or slightly heavier depending on the time of year its brewed (lighter:summer, heavier:fall).

Drinkability: I really like this beer, its definitely going to be something that gets brewed again and again (with small tweaks like my table beer).  The only reason this didn't kick waaaay back early in the summer when it was first tapped is that my CO2 tank went empty during a BBQ and I switched this keg out to something that had enough pressure to still pour.  I then stuck it in a fridge out in the garage and forgot about it, fast forward to today and it's something I'm very glad to have found!!

Thoughts:  In the future I think I will cut the caramunich down to ~0.5lb and see how the sweetness is.  As it is its not too strong but I'd rather get the malty/sweet flavors using mash temps/base malt selection than a crystal malt.  The yeast selection (WY 3333) turned out exceedingly well, though I might up the ferm temps slightly to emphasize the esters slightly in the future. The timing for this review probably couldn't be any better, as I really feel that this is a great beer for those dreary winter days.

Brewday - 3/26/2013 - Recipe & Notes
Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wild Yeast Wrangling - How I Culture Wild Yeast and Bacteria

In my experience, brewing sour beers is more about the culture you have than anything else.  I really believe this is why we are seeing all the experimentation by homebrewers using wild cultures and a big reason I'm very excited about Al Buck jumping into full time operation of East Coast Yeast!  Long before East Coast Yeast was around I was lucky enough to receive some sour cultures from Al, and they were fantastic!  However, with the limited availability of these types of stains, the smallish selection and generally high prices, myself, and and I think many other homebrewers are very interested in growing our own sour house cultures.

However this path doesn't always give good results, trust me Ive had to dump my fair share of wild beers over the years. In general there seems to be three general paths people take when wild fermenting.
  1. Ambient inoculation of wort
  2. Sour mashing
  3. Sour worting
Of these three I've only left to try the ambient route (never was in a good environment previously).  However I have tried the last two with varying levels of success, that is until I changed my approach a bit. I now think that there is a significantly better approach to any and all of these types of wild brewing, but before I get into that I want to talk a bit about what went I believe was wrong in various attempts I have made previously.

Sour mashing, and sour worting are really just variations of basically the same thing; Using bacteria and yeast present on the grain to sour and/or ferment the wort.  Now there are some differences, such as when sour mashing the wort is generally boiled afterwards and a clean yeast is pitched, but I've done this when I sour worted as well; in any case there is a lot of overlap between the two.People who go the boiling route often rationalize this as a way "protect" their equipment from all the bugs in the sour.  Which in my opinion is not a very strong argument.  Good cleaning and sanitation processes will kill anything in your equipment; I've never had an infection and I use the same racking cane, tubing, bottling bucket, etc., for both sours as well as clean beers, and often times on the same day!

To me, I'm less worried about wild cultures inhabiting my equipment than in what they are doing to my beer.  I've tried both sour worting and sour mashing many times, and when I first started, every single batch I made turned out horribly.  I'd like to think that at this point in my life I'm a pretty good homebrewer, but after as many batches as I dumped it made me feel like a noob and I was very disillusioned with wild brewing. However, it wasn't my brewing technique or anything else causing the issues, but rather, it was the approach to adding bugs we typically are told to take when wild fermenting.  

When we wild ferment we are hoping that whatever we just will nilly toss into our hard made wort is going to turn out wonderfully. Well to me this has always seemed a bit too wild west. Commercial sour breweries don't do this, why should we?  Their cultures have been selected over time and all of their equipment is teaming with good bugs.  When wild fermenting, I really believe that we really need to set ourselves on a better path to make sure we are going to get something we like. 

Not all barley is alike, environmental conditions, storage, and temperatures that the barley experiences on its way from farmer to the homebrewer can dramatically affect what type of bacteria and yeasts are present on the grain.  Until recently I lived in an exceptionally warm part of the US (Arizona), and the year round high temps resulted in a very different culture on my grain that other peoples.   

In wild brewing there are some really terrible flavors that will develop if the wrong bacteria are present: fecal, nail polish, hot garbage/vomit, diacetyl, etc., etc.  I've personally experienced all of these when using the normal handful of grain or sour mashing approach.  When I've cautioned others on my experiences on various homebrewing boards all the "experts" come out and lecture me on how I was doing it all wrong and that the approach always works, and it was my bad technique that was ruining the beers.  Yet, exceptionally small amounts of things like butyric acid, isobutanol, etc will completely ruin a beer.

If you have a tiny amount of  enterobacteria, butyric bacteria, oxidative yeasts, etc. in your culture, they can and will easily produce enough of these compounds to make anyone gag.  Wild bugs are hardy, and when exposed to a near perfect food rich environment like wort they tend to go gangbusters,with their populations exploding.  Luckily they are limited by other bacteria that are certainly present along side, but by the time they are being killed off the damage has been done.  Flavor and aroma thresholds for the compounds they create are exceedingly small, won't boil or volatilize off completely, and quickly ruin beers.

Luckily as I mentioned these nasty bugs can easily be contained, alcohol, hops, and pH all play a big role in killing them off.  Practically speaking though, pH is the easiest approach to ensuring their demise.  An easy way to accomplish this is by making a starter of your wild culture, and stepping it up several times.  Going this route the first step or two will kill off the bad bugs (pH drop), leaving you with something (hopefully) pleasant.  Its not foolproof, as there are some wild yeast strains that taste terribly, but you'll never have a bad batch with butryic or enteric bacteria contamination.  However, no matter where you are I believe you should ensure yourself a good start to a beer that will likely take 6 mos to a year to ferment, and I truly believe this approach will give you the best shot at doing that.

Wild Yeast Culturing - My Approach
  1. Start with a low gravity wort 1030 or less (1020 is even a good place to start) ~100-200mL
    • Not a bad idea to add a tiny tiny bit of chalk here, but not necessary
    • I like to hop it to 20ish IBU's (helps keep bad bacteria down a bit, not much but some)
    • I also like to add a tiny bit of nutrient here as well
  2. Add some grain to this wort
    • Doesn't have to be kept warm, and in fact I really recommend normal ferm temps (~65F)
    • May take up to 1wk to see anything
    • When it has fermented you'll see a layer on the bottom of the flask and the liquid should be fairly clear
  3. Decant the liquid (first one or two often smells terrible)
  4. Add more wort, 200-500mL depending on thickness of lees, fermentation activity, and the number of step ups you've done
    • Can be a bit higher OG 1030-1040, again depending on where you are in the process
    • Add nutrients again, and my wort is typically hopped (left over beer wort that I autoclave for starters)
    • Add some chalk/baking soda, with chalk being preferred (this buffers acidity keeping lactic bacteria alive)
  5. Let ferment again for a few days to a week
    • Doesn't hurt to try adding chalk again during this phase, if lots of acids are present you'll see off gassing, though with CO2 in solution this will happen to a small extent no matter what
  6. When things have settled down, repeat steps 3-5,several times (2-4x)
I don't typically go to a full five gal batch this way.  Usually I'll do 2-3 steps ups with the final size around 1L.  Using this culture I decant the clear liquid and pitch the lees into a 2-3gal batch, and the cake from the 2-3gal batch into a full 5gal of wort.  I believe you could easily go straight to a full batch this way but you might want to add some yeast a day or so in to ensure good attenuation and to prevent a complete acid bomb.(Bacteria grow faster than yeast, but are self limiting)

With my normal 2gal to 5gal approach, typically the 5gal batch isn't quite as sour as the 2gal batch. This is because the bacteria actually inhibit themselves with the acidity they produce, potentially killing some strains off and overall reducing their numbers (this is why chalk is added to the starters).

Going this route I've had nothing but great luck, and have never dumped a batch.

The beers typically start our very very fruity and tart (peach is generally what Ive gotten - your mileage may vary), and become increasingly bretty and funky with time. This evolution is my favorite aspect of wild brewing. There's nothing like opening bottles a year apart and tasting!

Before I finish I should acknowledge that going this route may or may not work with a sour mash easily. You could potentially grow up a culture and add it to the mash, but you might still get off flavors. This is on my list to try in the near future.  However, I have to admit that I'm generally not a fan of boiling soured beers, as it kills the evolution of the beer during aging, in addition if you boil your going to get a lower ABV beer than you planned on.  While its souring yeast in the culture are making ethanol, if you boil your losing any alcohol that was formed during the souring process.

One last caveat is that some strains of brett can oxidize butyric acid, producing isoamyl butyrate, which supposedly tastes and smells like pears.  Depending on strain in your culture this may get rid of butyrate, if that's your sole issue (unlikely), but it will likely take a very long time (1yr+)

  

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