Its been 10 days since i introduced the Brett C to the Duvel/Chimay 1.034 Gravity environment. All has went to expectations. The Duvel/Chimay split ran with the fermentation for around 5 days(i am not taking gravity samples this is going purely on visual). The MkII(no figs) then stopped and the head settled slowly into the beer. I have seen no activity at the airlock for the past 3 days and then this morning it was off and running again. No pectine layer yet but its pineapples at the airlock with the Brett C on center stage!
I am not going to make any further additions to the MkII as it's purpose is to show the differences that the Brett C brings to the table. As you may remember the base beer had an OG of 1.052. The Brett C was introduced at 1.032 and should going on past performance pull the gravity down to 1.003. This will give a nice light coloured light bodied Belgian style beer of approx 6.4% ABV. In other words i will have a Funked up Duvel type beer. I am quite looking forward to that!
The Mk III
The Mk III is still running in Duvel/Chimay mode(i think) as there has been consistent activity at the airlock. About 50% of the figs are now in puree form on the bottom of the FV. Note all colour leached from the figs!
I am still smelling sulphur at the airlock but a LOT less than when it was running full bore. I am hoping that the Brett C will finish off the fermentables and that the fig layer will settle to bottom and firm up. I hope for this as the beer will be transfered to the glass 5 gallon fermenter (less O2 permeability for the long term) in the New Year and i will be adding around 6 bottles of my 2009 Russian Imperial Stout to the party. The RIS finished at 1.036 so i will achieve a few goals with this addition. Darkening of the beer, maintain the general ethos of wild brewing by blending an aged beer into a new beer thus changing its flavour and introducing further fermentables for the Brett C to work on.
Who can say how this one will end up? I am of course hoping for excellent! As i am allowing myself the luxury of a long time line on this beer we will leave to the side (for the moment) the introduction of the dark chocolate and Kilos of cherries in 2012.
I am departing these fair shores for an unknown number of weeks and the temperatures are dropping nicely here in Scotland. Thus the opportunity was seized to throw together my 1st lager. It is in a Bohemian Lager style so i am looking for a bit of colour & body to the finished product. I used M.O & Munich as the base along with Hallertau Tradition & Styrian Goldings as the late hop. Yeast is Saflager W34/70 and its an 11 gallon batch with an OG of 1.046 and a current fermentation temperature of 14 degrees. Its not going to be the best lager in the world but its a first step for me in a direction i have disdained for far too long.
The above shot was taken this morning. I find it strange to have very little in the way of yeast presence(odour) in the fermenting beer. Also this is the 1st time i have opened the valve in the bottom of the conical and nothing but beer came out. Top fermenting yeasts eh?
Quad B has only been in the bottle since the 4th Nov, so theres no way i should be trying it out, right?
WELL, it turns out that a couple of bottles magically moved from the conditioning cellar(lower kitchen cupboard) to the chilling room(spare fridge). The beer is obviously fresh and not 100% clear BUT it does have a beautiful banana/nutty thing going on in it. Seriously smooth and there is a light peppery note to it right at the end of a gulp(sorry i meant tasting sip). Carbonation is excellent and the head holds to the bottom of the glass. I am very surprised that the beer tastes this good so fast. I put it down to the Duvel/Chimay yeast being commercial yeasts and have been picked by men with larger brains and more experience than myself to crack on and get the job done quickly. Also the yeast sticks to the bottom of the bottles. The picture below is 3 days ago.
I love the idea that 2 bottles of Belgian beer that were bought and drank 2 years ago are still paying me dividends to this day. I am aware(and hope that you are for your own experiments) that each time i brew with this split it will be changing and the beer will vary as the balance between the two alters. Nonetheless, i would suggest that anybody reading this who hasn't tried culturing yeasts from bottle conditioned beers should get up and get themselves to the shop! My recomendation(as if you didn't know) is Duvel and Chimay Red yeasts together and fermented at 16 degrees. I would be very interested to hear from anybody else who has had success with bottle recovered yeasts as i like to try new things without TOO much trial and error!
Right! That's enough of my pish for 2011. I'm off to Saudi Arabia tomorrow morning so i'll see you in 2012. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a great and very Happy New Year.