Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dreg Series: Dupont Foret Saison

I have changed my thinking a little bit on the Dreg Series. It first started out as a way to make a bunch of unique creative sour beers and now it is expanding to test out as many yeasts as possible. I am very curious also how different some of the bottle dregs will turn out from the commercial available liquid yeasts. I have heard they can be quite different just from yeast health and mutations.

For this batch I won't be comparing the "same" yeasts, but both are Saison yeasts. A bigchange from just using sour beers dregs Vs. dregs that are "pure" Sacc strains is that it is important to have higher pitching rates (and yeast health). The Brett, Pedio and Lacto in sour beer dregs will work just fine at low pitching rates. Starters can be used for sour beer 1 gal batches, but in my opinion aren't needed. For this batch it will be important to build up the yeast to a good pitching rate. Plus this lets you quickly check if you have good yeast (smell and taste your starters!).

According to Mr. Malty for 1 gallon of 1.058 wort I'll need about 40 billion cells or any easier way to measure for me is about 20 ml (.67 oz) of healthy yeast slurry. This is a bit difficult to measure, but works for me as I have something to shoot for. A week ahead of time a made a cup (8 oz) starter of 1.030 wort. There was a decent amount of yeast in the bottle and there was activity after a day. I kept shaking for a few days and built up a decent layer of yeast (I should have built up another small starter to get the right pitching amount, but life got in the way).
After racking off a gallon of wort from my San Diego Session Saison I pitched the whole starter. I had strong activity by morning. The wort was pitched in the low 70s and the ambient temperatures was in the low to mid 70s. I know that this yeast likes some heat so I found my old aquarium heater and made a nice warm bath. I had to keep adjusting the knob to get the right temperature. It worked pretty well and kept the wort near 80F for another couple weeks. I read that this yeast can take a while so I gave it plenty of time.

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