What did my Cantillon dreg get me?

Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:20 pm

Normally I think I could answer this question on my own, but I'm having the hardest time figuring out exactly what I'm growing up from a Cantillon dreg.

It started with a 5 year old bottle of Cantillon kriek I received for xmas, shipped in from Belgium (so no idea on storage conditions). I had some extra wort from a brew, so I threw the dreg in a small mason jar with it and hoped to catch some yeast. A couple days go by... nothing... a couple weeks are gone and still nothing. At this point I figure it's a bust and am just being lazy about throwing it out. About 2 weeks ago I finally get around to throwing it out and for some reason I decide to taste it, BAM!, it's all tart. I focus in on the jar and notice there's a lot more sediment at the bottom than there was from the bottle, so something reproduced in there. It's still flat, no carbonation/bubbles, no pellicle... looks completely dead except for being cloudy. I've since added another starter from last week in the mason jar and tasted it tonight, and sure enough, it's tart as well. So what could this be?

I've heard lactobacillus doesn't have much of a shelf life. This would be my best guess because there are no signs of activity, and the sour is pretty prominent, but I don't think it would out-survive other organisms.

Pediococcus I don't have much experience with, but I've heard it pellicles pretty quick.

Brett I think would show an active fermentation.

Are there any other guesses or has anyone else grown up a Cantillon dreg with similar experiences? I'm considering adding it to my next beer with a vial of WLP644 and seeing what the outcome is.
Beerd Man
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:34 pm
Location: Vista, CA

Re: What did my Cantillon dreg get me?

Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:15 pm

Depending on what size of "slurry" you have going now, you could cold crash to compact the sediment (yeast/bacteria?) and then decant and pitch a larger starter wort size than before on top of it to see if you get any observable fermentation out of it. As to what it is, I would have no idea but most likely it is brett (which can produce some acetic acid in the presence of oxygen).

I would try to step it up again and see how it goes. Please keep us posted with what you decide to do. I am interested in what type of populations may still be viable in a 5 yr old bottle.
"A bad man is a good man's job, while a good man is a bad man's teacher."
brewinhard
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 4065
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:41 am
Location: Fredonia, NY

Re: What did my Cantillon dreg get me?

Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:25 pm

I can't speak from experience; only what I've gleaned from listening/reading, but I think a mason jar starter from bottle dregs might be a bit large. I think I've heard 100ml is a good place to start from that low a cell count (and an even lower viable count from an old bottle.) Maybe your current starter is just getting ramped up?

I also seem to recall that cold crashing a starter before the fermentation is complete can leave the cells without the reserves they need for optimum health during their hibernation and eventual wake up.

Again, I haven't grown up a pitch from bottle dregs, so take this for what it's worth, but I'd let your current starter ride for a while.

Good luck!
dogismycopilot
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:38 pm

Re: What did my Cantillon dreg get me?

Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:08 pm

It was a 16 oz mason jar, filled about half way with some 1.040-ish gravity wort, so probably closer to 150-200 ml with me doubling it just this last weekend.

I'm definitely planning to keep some of it around. I've got a 32 oz mason jar I'll step it up to and only use a partial amount of it in my WLP644 beer, and I'll keep you guys updated if anything changes. The funny thing too is that the yeast/bacteria are dyed red from the color of the kriek. Even after replicating they're still keeping their reddish color.
Beerd Man
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:34 pm
Location: Vista, CA

Re: What did my Cantillon dreg get me?

Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:06 pm

was it hopped? Hops tend to kill lactobacillus.
-B'Dawg
BJCP GM2 Judge
"Lunch Meat. It's an acquired taste....." -- Mylo
User avatar
BDawg
 
Posts: 5001
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:27 pm
Location: North Bend, WA

Re: What did my Cantillon dreg get me?

Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:23 am

No hops! I grabbed some extra wort before the boil and the 2nd wort added was just DME w/ yeast nutrient and distilled water.
Beerd Man
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:34 pm
Location: Vista, CA

Re: What did my Cantillon dreg get me?

Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:01 pm

My experience with Cantillon dregs is that the brett character really shines through in the mixed culture. I made a small jar starter and pitched the dregs from a couple 375ml bottles of Cantillon (bottled in 2014). Since the culture was not in the bottle as long as yours, it did kick off pretty quickly. Also, while the ferment in the jar wasn't as active looking as your average ale fermentation, there were plenty of visible bubbles. That starter was built up through another, larger, mason jar and then pitched into a batch of golden sour. Soured quickly and has a very Cantillon-esque brett/acid nose.

That being said, the culture in those bottles is pretty hardy and there appears to be some strong lactic bugs in your culture. There are a few types of brett in Cantillon and gravity∆/aroma/yeast sediment are some indicators whether any of them are present and thriving. Brett also tends to be pretty acid tolerant, so it should build up a decent population given enough food and time (and the proper temp - low to mid 70's). According to Chad at Crooked Stave, brett has a growth pattern that most homebrewers wouldn't expect in that it takes longer and goes through a few different phases before it's reached it's peak. I'd keep growing up your culture and see what characteristics you get.

While you don't want to hop mixed-culture starters, you can have a sour beer with a fair deal of hops (like Cantillon). Just know that the hops will inhibit the lactic bacteria from doing their thing until those hops drop out. By that time though, there may not be enough sugar left for them to give you the level of sourness you're looking for.

My 2¢
Primary: Golden Sour, Cider
Secondary: Golden Sour w/cherries, Raspberry Melomel
Cellar-Aging: Blackberry Melomel, Hawaiian Wildflower Mead
Kegged and on-tap: Berliner Weisse, Lorena Hop-it
Up Next: Something for the new barrel
SantaCruzBrew
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:58 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: What did my Cantillon dreg get me?

Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:04 pm

Beerd Man wrote: The funny thing too is that the yeast/bacteria are dyed red from the color of the kriek. Even after replicating they're still keeping their reddish color.


That's pretty cool. Would sure be easy to plate wouldn't they?
"A bad man is a good man's job, while a good man is a bad man's teacher."
brewinhard
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 4065
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:41 am
Location: Fredonia, NY

Next

Return to Brewing Ingredients

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

A BIT ABOUT US

The Brewing Network is a multimedia resource for brewers and beer lovers. Since 2005, we have been the leader in craft beer entertainment and information with live beer radio, podcasts, video, events and more.