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Question about starter for sour beer dregs

So I’m sitting at six months for my Flanders Red without a whole lot going on in there as far as taste goes. So last night I’m sipping on the Jolly Pumpkin La Roja and I decided I should not only pitch the dregs from the bottle but should make a starter for them first. Without thinking about it I made a .5L starter as I normally would and dumped a bit of beer and the yeast in.

Now today not much is going on and I’m wondering if I should have done something different for a sour starter or if I’m good and just need to ride it out.

You did the right thing. .5 is a bit on the big side for dregs, but wait it out. in the meanwhile if you drink any other sours, add it. After a week or two, you’ll see activity.

Awesome, good to know. So, pitch it after a few weeks?

In my opinion you should’ve just pitched the dregs. Making a starter is most likely only going to build up the Sacch yeast, the bacteria and wild yeast grow more slowly.

Odd that your Flanders is very mild at six months. Did you use the Roeselaire blend? It will probably sour on up in the next six months. Dregs are unpredictable, but I tend to find that they are weighted heavily toward lacto/pedio so pitching some will cause the beer to sour faster.

I used the Roeselaire Wyeast blend right off the bat and haven’t really gotten much out of it so far. There’s a slight tartness in the aftertaste that just kind of lingers there in your mouth so it’s getting there but still isn’t much. This is just my first sour so I don’t really know what I’m doing and it’s a little late now since I started the starter but maybe I’ll just wait and then dump it in. Seems like it can’t really hurt anything.

one of the best sour beers I made was the dregs of 5 or so wild beers and 1 bottle of saison dupont. I grew it up for a few weeks and pitched it into a lambic wort (flaked wheat, pils malt, aged hops) and it came out unbelievably. Maybe it was dumb luck, but my results with pitching wyeast blends (roselare, trappist blend, and lambic blend) have not been nearly as successful.

[quote=“inhousebrew”]I used the Roeselaire Wyeast blend right off the bat and haven’t really gotten much out of it so far.[/quote]IME, you won’t get a really sour beer or one with much character just off the blend, especially if you didn’t mash high or tailor your grist to leave plenty of fermentables for the bugs. Pitching dregs is the way to go and once you have a beer you like, be sure to save the cake for later use.

This was a recipe from the Flanders Red article in BYO by Jeff Sparrow. I mashed at 156* and was hoping for good results (maybe still will get them) but after doing some more research a lot people do say the roeselaire isn’t very potent at first use. So, I’m gonna experiment and toss some stuff in there we’ll see what happens. I’ll report back in six more months…

I haven’t found it necessary to mash really high or do a turbid mash. I figure with a typical brew you are left with over 25% of the carbohydrate and that is quite a bit of food for the succession of bugs. I do mostly use the lambic blend and that turns nice and tart after a year. The times I’ve used Roeselare I’ve also pitched dregs. I’ve also used only dregs and made some REALLY sour stuff.

I agree that your starter won’t hurt anything, I just don’t think you are growing up many extra lacto/pedio cells, maybe some extra Brett but you aren’t necessarily needing that. Maybe if you run the starter pretty warm it would help, the bacteria like it warm.

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