4 of us managed to score vials of East Coast Yeast 20. “Bug County”. From the love2brew site description: “The mother bugger for sour ales. Contains ECY01, ECY02, ECY03, ECY04, and ECY05. Also includes: Brettanomyces lambicus, bruxellensis, anomulus, clausenii, custersianus, nanus, and naardenensis. Various Lactobacilli and Pediococci were added to round out this LIMITED RELEASE sour blend for 2013. “
I tasted the beer for the first time in months on Friday Dec 29th. I was a little worried for two reasons. When I removed the air lock, I saw this:
Was this an infection of some sort? The beer is exposed to more oxygen than normal in a barrel so perhaps this is the native yeast trying to protect the beer from oxygen? Whatever it is did not affect the taste in a funky or bad way at all. In fact, the beer tasted very good but boozy. I was worried that that the ABV may affect the viability of some of the organisms that are part of the ECY20 blends.
At this point, I scrapped the idea of racking half of the beer to kegs to avoid infecting anyone’s equipment.
On Saturday the 30, Mike came by. We enjoyed some awesome Toppling Goliath beers while we went to work. The original plan was to remove 15 gallons and rack to carboys/buckets and replace as much as we could with fresh beer. 2 things deterred us. First, we decided the beer tasted great as is (tasting notes: clean, oaky, apple brandy boozy, crisp, no hops, damn good, will add more details upon bottling). Second, two of the batches we had on deck were deemed subpar. They were not horrible-one had a fruity twang and one may have just sat too long (and had a suspect floatie in it). We felt these batches would not improve the overall blended product. Therefore, we replaced back into the barrel 10 of the gallons we removed and added 5 gallons of fresh beer. We then pitched 2 vials of ECY20, 2 slap packs of 7 month old WYeast Roselare, and 1 vial of i year old White Labs 655 Flemish Sour. I plan to bottle the 5 gallons of aged beer that was removed. We pitched all sour mix dregs and a pack of Roselare into one of the batches we did not use. That will be fun to watch.