From the HBD Archive
Subject: Orval
Date: 1992-05-11 15:43:00 GMT

Mike writes:
> This led to a great improvement in their consistentency.
> Jackson sez that Orval, on the other hand, does use 5 different
> yeasts at different stages in the brewing process.
>I have never been successful at reculturing Orval. I've just found a
>source for 750ml bottles of Grimbergen, and those seem to have a healthy
>amount of yeast in them. Chimay is, however, unbelievable.

I have been successful at reculturing Orval. I bought a case of it and
sometimes when I had one, I'd add 8 fl oz of 1018 wort to the dregs and
put on an airlock. Of the 6 I did, three did not start and 3 did. Each
smelled and tasted different. I chose the cleanest smelling and best
tasting one of the three and pitched it into a batch I had engineered to
be as close to Orval as I could get it. It took *FOREVER* to ferment out.
We're talking 6 weeks at 66F! It started at about 3 bubbles per second
after 3 days in the fermenter and then tapered down to 1 bubble per
second for about 4 weeks! Finally, last week it quickly tapered down to
1 bubble every 2 minutes, so I bottled, using 7/8 cup of corn sugar to
(hopefully) get that effervescent carbonation. That was a week ago.
The initial tasting at bottling time was very positive. I suspect that
I came pretty close to the real thing.

My understanding from reading Jackson, is that Orval uses one yeast to
ferment and then 5 yeasts for bottle conditioning. This would explain
why I got widely differing flavors in the starters. I'm quite confident
that I got the right one because only one had the characteristic Orval
"Banana/Bubblegum" nose. That's the one I used. The ferment and the
initial tasting both had that nose.


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