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12

Without a photo, it sounds like you have the makings of a pellicle, although the statement "a thick ropiness below the surface" is a bit confusing. Pellicles form on top of the beer, and have the appearance of anything from a slightly translucent film to what looks like a long-lasting, inanimate krausen. Sometimes people use the term ropiness to describe a ...


10

I'd put my money on the wooden spoon. Legend is that in days of yore, brewers used to stir the wort with a "magic stick". If they didn't, it wouldn't ferment. The reason was the yeast imbedded in the wood. I've always been told not to use wooden spoons post boil. That makes sense to me.


6

Don't know if there are other species used in homebrew, actually I've never gone that way before, but the two species that you cited above, Lactobacillus delbruekii and Lactobacillus brevis are homofermentative and heterofermentative respectively according to this text of Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology (page 3): Lactobacillus is very ...


6

It is indeed not just lactobacillus, but usually a mix of lacto, pediococcus, enterobacter, acetobacter, Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, &c. There are a number of excellent US sour producers in that area, regionally, but from further afield that you should have distribution of. I believe very few are doing a traditional Guezue Lambic, but many are doing ...


6

As a suggestion: Heat your beer to 70 deg. Celcius (sorry, I'm metric and don't do Church-of-England units but I'm sure you can convert it to Farenheit yourself) in order to kill yeast and bacterial infection. About 10 mins at 70 deg. C should do the trick. This will also decarbonate your beer. Cool as quickly as possible, and watch out for hot side ...


6

Based upon your answer in the comments, I suppose that your sake has been contaminated by acetobacter. These bacteria convert ethanol into vinegar. That means you now have nice sake vinegar. As such it is probably usable in your kitchen after pasteurizing and somewhat diluting it. Now as for the source of the contamination, you need to take into account ...


5

You're right on the common combination of pedio and brett due to diacetyl production. But pedio doesn't start working for 2-4 months, and has a time-frame of 4-9+ months. So you have plenty of time to source brett to add to help with diacetyl production from the pedio. I'm honestly not sure if a traditional lager-style diacetyl rest (probably with newly-...


5

smelled horrible -- like butyric acid, so I know it got colder than the recommended temperature Butyric acid producers like Clostridium favor temps around 104°F (37°C), which is also a similar temp as what is favored by some lactobacillus strains, so they way you control its production is by lowering the wort pH. but then thought to try and add some ...


5

There are very little hops in a lambic so it's much less susceptible to being light struck. They also tend to use aged hops and full duration additions. Basically there is very little alpha-acid if any that are not isomoerized. So there is much less of the precursors to 3-MBT (compound responsible for skunky aroma) While they can still skunk from being ...


5

Bacteria like to hang out in soft surfaces like rubber and plastic, which for us usually includes things like buckets, hoses, and o-rings. Also any metal fittings for your valves, etc. Glass bottles have none of these problems. You can safely clean and sanitize your bottles and reuse them for any kind of beer. If you are very concerned, the best way to ...


4

The two you will want to use are either Wyeast 3763 Roeselare blend, or WLP655 Belgian Sour mix. If you want to get real squirrely, follow the Mad Fermentationist's lead and go grab a (fresh) bottle or two of your favorite sours from the store, smoothly pour out all but the last half inch of the bottle, swirl the dregs settled at the bottom of the bottle, ...


4

You are perfectly correct, the mash adjust to around 5.2 is for conversion efficiency and to assure that minimal tannins are extracted out of the grain husks (especially important in dark beers). The post-mash adjustment down to 4.5 is generally suggested in order to prevent bacteria other than lactobacillus from growing in your wort since especially ...


4

Brettanomyces comes in many forms, leading to many different flavour profiles. The main three you will come across commercially are: B.Claussenii - Fruity with mild funk B.Bruxellensis - Tasty Horse Blanket (this is Orval) B.Lambicus - heavy funk with sour fruits Depending on when you add the Brett to the fermentation will determine how soured your beer ...


4

Like anything in brewing, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. I'll provide only the simple answer because I prefer to keep things simple. 1) First, you need to read How To Brew by John Palmer. There is an old version available free online at howtobrew.com. If you want the latest information then you need to buy the book, but I ...


3

Wort It will be good, if you will have a good way to stir. In 30 liters I found temperature differences of more than 20°C to be possible, and ones around 5-10°C to be pretty common. So make sure some kind of automatic stir is there, or heat really, really slowly. Safety Be sure to use system that, if probe is short circuited or missing, switches off heating ...


3

Sour brewing doesn't mean all grain brewing by any stretch. Sour beers start with wort just like anything other beer; how you get your wort doesn't matter. Of course all-grain affords you more control and options, but that's a statement for all brewing not sour beer specific. Sour beer brewing and LME is perfectly fine. Pick a recipe that seems right for ...


3

An unorthodox (by today's standards) way to deal with it is the really old school way of using mustard seed. When beer turns ropy without being sour, it is easily restored by mixing in the proportion of one spoonful of mustard to every fourteen gallons, in a little of the beer, and pouring it into the bung-hole. In the course of the next day ...


3

Another thing to consider along with the wooden spoon is if you grind your grains in the same room as you brew. Lactobacillus comes from the grains and while grinding or even pouring out of the bag, tiny grain particles can float in the air for a while like dust. These small particles can then find their way into your cooled wort or fermentation vessel. ...


3

The enzymes beta-amylase and alpha-amylase have ideal ranges. Doesn't mean they will not work they just take longer if a little too high or low. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4460087/#!po=49.0826 Basically what it says is that our brewing enzymes will still function until pH induced denaturing, which happens around pH 2.0 Though they lose a ...


3

You should be ok to rack onto fruit once you return. If you're worried about not having enough yeast, you could rouse the beer a bit before racking, or add more yeast along with the fruit. If you keep the beer at primary temp though, I wouldn't be concerned about lack of yeast.


3

Brett beers can be very interesting, and aren't necessarily sour unless the source also was sour. Brett usually gives more of a leather or "barnyard" character which can evolve with longer aging. Brett works very slowly so the 40-day guideline isn't far from the truth but you might need to wait even longer, many months possibly, to get much out of it. If ...


3

To eliminate any risk at all, you could discard the harvested yeast. I agree with you, that most likely the acetobacter came from the raspberries. However, it's possible also that it simply flew in from the air or otherwise was incorporated as part of the racking to secondary. So there's no way to know for sure really.


3

Brettanomyces will make acetic acid in the presence of ethanol and oxygen. You'd need to determine if there is actually acetobacter present in the harvested slurry to know for sure if it was "clean". It is possible you picked up too much oxygen on transfer or had too much headspace in secondary.


2

I don't see why this won't work, though it's unconventional. I probably would just let the carbonation off-gas naturally. You might also want to hold off on the fruit until nearer the end of the souring/aging, although if you add it at this point it will provide some more sugars for the bugs. Maltodextrin could be added as well for more sugars. Don't forget ...


2

Brett has very low flocculation, so unlike a Sacc. starter, where you can only pitch the concentrated sediment of flocculated yeast, with Brett you'll need to pitch the "bottom half" of the starter volume to make sure you get most of the yeast. While you could just pitch the whole volume, since brett needs larger, lager-sized starters, you want to decant at ...


2

This is a very broad question but here's some direction: ...and the usefulness of this answer depends on whether you are planning on starting a long term barrel project or a medium term sour beer or a very quick sour batch... Something is growing, but it is certainly changing the ratios of different critters. My thinking would be to split the starter up ...


2

I can think of two reasons why your mead is sour: Pomegranate juice is sour, with a pH of around 3.0. Assuming you've made 1 gallon batch, 16oz of pomegranate juice is enough to be noticeably tart. 16 oz of a pH 3.0 liquid diluted to 1 gallon yields a pH of around 3.9 which, without any sugar to balance the acid, would taste quite sour. Your mead was ...


2

You can certainly pitch the Brett later. As mentioned the Brett will help with diacetyl, but it also helps with the ropey dextrinous 'gunk' that Pedi starts to throw in there. Without Brett that stuff doesn't clear out very easily. You need Brett to break that stuff down.


2

Addressing your homefermentative comment, how do you know this Yakult pitch is a single strain of microbes? It could have some other strains to a smaller % and they are giving you your off smell. There isn't much regulation in the purity of yogurt cultures. Its more of a what is the largest population pitched to make the product. It doesn't mean there ...


2

There are a couple things you can try adding to a glass of the beer. The sodium and chloride in salt will aid in the perception of sweetness, so you could try adding a bit to a glass. Too much, though, will obviously give you a salty flavor. You can also add calcium chloride to the glass to enhance the perception if maltiness and sweetness. Again, start ...


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