Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sour Inoculation

I recently had a bit of a panic attack because I transferred these beers into secondary PET containers for long term aging. They spent 3 months in the primary and I didn't brew more wort to pour on the yeast cake. So I dumped the cake and cleaned the primaries thinking I could just use samples from the secondaries to inoculate a new batch. I'm sure I have a good reason for thinking I could do this but I don't remember reading about it anywhere specific.

I was trying to do some reading on the subject to find out how much sour beer I would need to add to inoculate the new batches but everything I was finding on TheMadFermentationist.com, in American Sour Beers and on MilkTheFunk.com was about using the sediment in bottle dregs.

I was freaking out because I only had the one pitch of ECY 20 Bug County and I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get my hands on another until maybe next winter.

I decided to email Michael Tonsmeire on the off chance he would answer a desperate reader and he did. He responded quickly and I found out that I'm an idiot.

The answer is on page 90 of American Sour Beers which states that New Belgium leaves 10-20% of sour beer behind in their foeders to inoculate the next batch.

If you want to inoculate from bottle dregs you can find a nice write up on MilkTheFunk.