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Saison with Jolly Pumpkin dregs?

I’ve got a Saison (OG 1.072) in the primary now that should be done in a week or two. I initially used Wyeast 3711 (French Saison) and am hoping for it to finish well below 1.010. Although this is a bit premature, if it doesn’t finish as low as I’d like, I know I can re-pitch with US-05 or champagne yeast to drop it a few points lower.

My question is whether I can move it to a secondary and pour in the dregs from something along the lines of a Jolly Pumpkin to get the FG lower (even if it finishes low enough, I was thinking of doing this anyways to add some character/funk)? If so, can I pour the dregs from a bottle or two directly in or would I need to culture and/or use a small starter?

Additionally, I know anything plastic or rubber that comes into contact with sour beers and their bacteria becomes sour beer only equipment. Would just using the dregs from a bottle of something along the lines of a Jolly Pumpkin be enough to make any equipment I’m using “sour only”?

I’m a big fan of JP and was thinking adding some of their dregs could give the Saison nice character and funk with aging. Thanks as always for your help!

That’s a complex question. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Drying out the beer if it is a bit under attenuated, or acquiring the sour characteristics of the Jolly Pumpkin?

If you want the sour characteristics of the Jolly Pumpkin, you would probably be better off building up a nice starter from the JP dregs and fermenting a beer 100% with those dregs.

edit: you have a pretty large beer (1072). With that in mind, you can pitch those JP dregs (after a starter) into the secondary and it will come out quite nice, I’m sure. But you’ll want to wait on it for a couple months.

If you are sure you want to pitch the dregs of a brett/sour beer, it works best if you do it just a little before the original fermentation is done. This gives the new pitch some sugars to work on. You can rack the beer to another carboy when it is at 1.015 or so and pitch the dregs into that, then give it a month or so to finish up. If you wait til the very end, the French Saison 3711 yeast will eat through just about everything, and the brett character won’t really come through.

You can either make a starter or just pitch the dregs straight in. I like to put about a 100ml of 1.035 wort right into the bottle after carefully pouring the beer and leaving the dregs on the bottom. Cover the bottle with some aluminum foil and swirl it around. In a few days, it should ferment the starter wort and be ready to go.

Once you throw those dregs in there, you can consider the plastic stuff that touches it “sour only”.

I have done this quite a few times, and Jolly Pumpkin is the best brewery for pitching dregs that I have found. There is a nice mixture of Brett and Lacto in most of their beers.

My advice is to split the batch. You can even add some jolly pumpkin dregs to just a few bottles if you want.

The JP dregs are awesome!

[quote=“Wahoo”]My advice is to split the batch. You can even add some jolly pumpkin dregs to just a few bottles if you want.

The JP dregs are awesome![/quote]

Would experimenting with adding dregs to just a few bottles work or would I need a good gallon or two to get any noticeable JP flavors/funk? If just a few bottles, I would think skip the priming sugar at bottling, pour in the dregs, and age it letting the bacteria carbonate it over time.

I’m not sure I understand your question.

Sorry about that. I know I can split the batch and pour dregs into a secondary, but I was wondering if I could pour the dregs directly into bottles and let it condition in there.

Sorry about that. I know I can split the batch and pour dregs into a secondary, but I was wondering if I could pour the dregs directly into bottles and let it condition in there.[/quote]

bottle bombs, you have to be really carefull doing that

Bottle bombs were my concern as well and I don’t think misreading Wahoo’s post helped with my confusing question(s) either.

With this being a new recipe, I think I’ll leave about 4.5 gallons as is to make sure things are dialed in and split off about a gallon to add the JP dregs to. I’ll put the gallon in a growler with an airlock and set it aside to see what happens.

I have done it both ways.

I actually used 1 (heavy, 1L) bottle once where I added maybe like 10mL of dregs I had collected to the finished beer, with a little priming sugar. 4 months later I popped the bottle and it was absolutely amazing. So you can do it bottle by bottle, but be careful, because it is unpredictable.

One of the fun things about brett and souring bacteria is it is a little unpredictable but you can try things in small qtys.

[quote=“Wahoo”]I have done it both ways.

I actually used 1 (heavy, 1L) bottle once where I added maybe like 10mL of dregs I had collected to the finished beer, with a little priming sugar. 4 months later I popped the bottle and it was absolutely amazing. So you can do it bottle by bottle, but be careful, because it is unpredictable.

One of the fun things about brett and souring bacteria is it is a little unpredictable but you can try things in small qtys.[/quote]

it all comes down to your gravity at bottling.
JP dregs are pretty active and usually pretty fresh unless you are aging it.
If your gravity at bottling was fairly low and used thick bottled you probably wont have an issue with bombs, although it will be hard to figure out your carbonation.

I would just do as you planned throw how ever much you want in a carboy and let it go for a few montsh to a year

To add to what grainbelt said— while I have added them at bottling time, what I do now is add the dregs when I move the beer to secondary. And in fact I make a starter with a mix of dregs from any wild beers I drink. Jolly Pumpkin, the Bruery, and Ithaca seem to have the most viable brett and lacto dregs.

After the vigorous fermentation with Wyeast 3711, I’m guessing my FG is going to be pretty low (<1.010) and I’ll need a starter. If I’m only going to be trying this with a gallon or at most two, how big of a starter would I ideally need?

I wouldnt bother with a starter I would just dump some dregs in and let it go

Same here

UPDATE

I bottled the saison today. The FG dropped to 1.006 for a final ABV of 8.8%. The batch ended up being slightly larger that the 5.5 gallons I initially thought so I ended up bottling about two cases and portioned off two gallons for souring. I placed one gallon in a growler with the dregs of a JP La Roja and the other gallon in another growler with the dregs from JP’s Bam Biere. The “plain” saison tastes great right now and I’ll let everyone know how the two dregs portions taste in 9 months to a year.

If you needed a reason to buy a 3G carboy this is it,tell the wife it is for sciences’ sake!

Update #2

I’ve been seeing some activity in the airlocks over the past week and a half. After closer inspection, pellicles are starting to form in both growlers. I’m a little surprised by how quickly they’re forming but I’ve heard JP dregs are pretty resilient especially from “newer” bottles.

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