The following history belongs to the sort where there was beer first and then an idea. After enjoying a bottle of Girardin 1882 Gueuze last December I told myself that I should try to harvest the dregs from the bottle and use them in a sour beer. Since I had the beer in a pub, I used the wrapping from a chocolate to seal the bottle and took the bottle home. I then made a 200 mL starter with dried malt extract (20 g dried malt extract to 200 mL of tap water and some yeast nutrients) in a 500 mL Schott bottle and “boiled” it in the microwave. I then transfered the dregs from the bottle to the cooled starter and shook it vigorously. I then left it at room temperature (around 20°C).
After seven days the wort was quite hazy. A long whiff escaped the bottle as I turned the screw cap. And the first impression of the smell was just incredible: It smelled quite like the Gueuze it came from (funky sourness, light tartness). I let it ferment another three days.
Ten days into the fermentation I took a picture of the bottle. There was a sediment at the bottom and some kräusen on top. The smell was similar as mentioned before.
I then took the bottle and put it in my refrigerator (6°C) to prevent the bacteria to grow too fast and to give the Bretts in there a chance to fight (if they still do so at 6°C).
Well, now I have a starter of Girardin bugs and no idea what to do with it. Since I am planning to do an all Brett soon I guess I will split this batch and get the bugs inthere. But to summarize, I was able to isolate some bugs from the Girardin Gueuze. And by the way the Girardin 1882 Gueuze is pretty tasty beer.
I took some microscopy pictures of the bugs in the Girardin starter in January 2012.
01/28/2012: Plated the bugs on a agar plate.
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great work and clearly informations; very helpful for a practical homebrewer, thanks!
Thanks for commenting. Further dreg isolation posts will follow in January 2013. Cheers