With Yadokai we use our house mixed yeast culture which has a healthy amount of pediococcus in it to provide complexity to our “dirty” beers. Pedio produces exopolysaccharides that increase the viscosity of a beer to that of jelly, this is called the “sick” or “ropey” stage of a wild beer's maturation.
Having opened a bottle last night we have found that the beer has become “ropey” in the bottle rather than the usual barrel phase. There are two silver linings to this:
1-Brettanomyces transforms a sick beer back into the viscosity of standard beer. It just takes time.
2-When Brettanomyces transforms a sick beer it is said (by Jean Van Roy from Cantillion and many other highly regarded sour producers) to create amazing flavours and aromas that you would not otherwise have been able to create!
Earlier in the year we experienced exactly this with another one of our beers, Shnoodlepip, and it has since cleared up beautifully with the help of Brettanomyces. Now it has an amazing residual depth of flavour and complexity that it would not have had without the pedio being involved. The blessing of Pediococcus!
Shnoodlepip and Yadokai have had a delayed pedio reaction and have become sick in the bottle well after packaging. Yadokai took a few months longer to show the signs of pedio and we have no idea why!
This is the reason we love the unpredictable nature of wild beer production. The mirco organisms that live on in the bottle continually evolve the nature of the beer over time.
One way to stop this evolution is to flash-pasteurise the bottles before they leave the brewery, killing all living organisms. Some great sour producers do this to ensure the flavour is more stable; however we like things a little more Wild, a little more unpredictable. We aim to produce beers that don’t just taste great straight off the bottling line but those that age fantastically as well.
Yadokai, with its 13% ABV, is perfect for ageing – we ask that you do just that and hold on to these bottles as they will come through the other side of the pedio phase and will taste even better for the experience. To cure the beer we suggest leaving it at room temperature for 2-3months (this is how long Shnoodlepip took at a cellar temperature), this will speed up the activity of Brettanomyces to clear the ropey-ness faster.
Yadokai will develop well if cellared far beyond this ropey stage, a relatively short period in the beers’ lifespan, the best before on the bottle is 2020 and it will age gracefully even after this date.