Viable Dregs?

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Viable Dregs?

Postby GuitarLord5000 » Fri May 21, 2010 4:21 pm

I picked up several bottles of North Coast Brewing Silver Jubilee sour ale from Marcello's after the last meeting. It's a pretty decent tasting beer, if a little on the bitter side for a sour ale (for my tastes, anyway). There's definitely some funky white dregs on the bottom of the bottles, so I am assuming that these are bottle conditioned. These bottles are 5 years old, and who knows what condition they were stored in prior to getting to Marcellos. Is there any chance that there's still some viable bugs left in these bottles? I'm guessing I should probably make a starter with the dregs to see if there's any activity.
For my Flanders, I'm using the Roeselare blend from Wyeast. I'd like to supplement the Roeselare yeast with other bugs from bottle conditioned beers, but I really haven't seen any other sour beers around Lafayette. If anybody knows of any, let me know!

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Postby Mob_Barley » Sat May 22, 2010 9:31 am

Here is all I could find on the beer (description wise):

Silver Jubilee Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale (North Coast Brewing Company, Fort Bragg, CA) 7.3%. Unfortunately, no info on this beer at the web site. It describes itself on the label: “Silver Jubilee 25th Anniversary Ale is a rustic ale, pale in color, inspired by the rich brewing traditions of the Flanders region. Abundant hops and a Belgian yeast strain contribute exotic aromas of tropical fruit.” We’ll trust the writer about the inspiration and attest to the truth of the rest of it. I bought the beer at Whole Foods (about which, with respect to this brewer, more below) only because it was a corked pint bottle and I wanted something different but not a whole lot of it. I uncorked it and immediately got a very nice whiff of something quite fruity. It poured (into a Duvel glass) with a great tight head that dissipated very slowly, leaving some “Belgian lace,” a good sign. The first taste was, well, excellent: very malty and yeasty with a subtle but clear hop background. The second taste showed it to be a substantial beer, nice gravity, and a treat all the way across the palate. It is one of the best tasting farmhouse ales I’ve ever had. Some of them tend to be, for whatever reason (probably mostly how they’re handled and shelved), musty and a bit harsh. Not a bit of that here. One caution: the beer is quite pricey - $7.99 for the 16.9 oz.

Further information on Silver Jubilee: I wrote to North Coast asking about this beer, lacking web site info, telling them how much I liked this beer and asking for additional G2. I got a reply from Mark Ruedrich, President and Brewmaster. The salient part of of his reply is:

The Silver Jubilee was commissioned by Whole Foods Market to commemorate their 25th Anniversary. We produced about 2200 cases only as a one-time deal. It's not on our website because alcohol laws in certain states forbid us from advertising for a retailer (free goods). It's complicated, sometimes ridiculous, and varies from state to state. Glad you enjoyed the beer. Although we have brewed a number of Belgian inspired beers over the years, including our PranQster, this was our first beer produced with this particular yeast. We like it, too.

Doesn't seem to have any bugs, just a new yeast that North Coast doesn't normally use. So, If you want to add the yeast for it's character, make a very small starter with nutirents and aerate well. See if anything grows.
"Reality is an illusion caused by a lack of good beer."
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Postby aleguy » Sat May 22, 2010 8:49 pm

Silver Jubilee is NOT a sour! If you want a fruity brett, we have a very good one in the club library. Culture the dregs if you like, but I think it will add very little to the character of a Flanders Red.
Barring the chance to culture the "house funk" of Russian River's sour beers, stick to the Roselare blend which is based on one of the actual Flanders Red beers produced commercially. Forget all that nonsense about it being more appropriate for an Oud Bruin. Roselare IS a Red blend.
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