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Dave I
10/13/06 02:23 PM  
Comparing Brett & Lambic Strains
This is probably an obvious question, however . . .

Do the different strains of Brettanomyces differ only in intensity of the "horse sweat" character (and everything else they bring to the table), or are the flavor/aroma profiles in and of themselves totally distinctive?

Same question for Lambic yeasts/bugs (or whatever you would call them. Are they all fairly similar or is it apples & oranges?

If there are any good resources that do at least a decent job of comparing what specific strains of Brett or Lambic bugs bring to the table, please let me know.


Dave I
10/13/06 02:26 PM  
Re: Comparing Brett & Lambic Strains
On a related note, are there any good commercial examples for trying/comparing different types of Brett & Lambic bacteria?


Al B
10/13/06 03:10 PM  
Re: Comparing Brett & Lambic Strains

I have been using B. clausenii and I really don't pick up much if any horseyness so far. This strain is distinctive in my view in that it has an incredible fruitiness. I intend to investigate WY lambicus in search of its description "pie-Cherry".

Note that the lambicus + bruxellensis strains are reported to be different types or strains of the species from Wyeast vs Whitelabs.

The Lambic bugs I associate with are Brett yeast and Pediococcus bacteria mostly but not limited. The Bretts produce the dominate flavor characteristics over time.

The book "Wild brews" will describe very well.

Petrus Oud Bruin is a choice for Lactobacillus (light-to-moderate aciditiy).

Russian River beers (hard to get on the East coast) are great for Brett only brews.

Al Bacteria

10/13/06 06:14 PM  
Re: Comparing Brett & Lambic Strains
Hello all. I do not post here regularly but I am interested in the same kind of questions Dave asks. How can homebrewers best start to understand brett strains as well as we do saccharomyces strains?

One simple way may be to get brett cultures not from Wyeast or White Labs but by culturing from bottles. If we can do this, then we also have the ability to select brett from beers we like, and to compare our results to the commercial versions and maybe learn something from whatever differences arise.

Those of us who don't get into agar plates and cyclohexamide and all of that, have some options. The best option might be to simply step up the dregs of a beer that is known to have only a single strain of brett, and no saccharomyces, in the bottle. Anyone know if this is true of Orval? Rainaert Flemish Wild Ale? The soon-to-be-released Boulevard Saison?

Almost as good would be to step up the dregs of beers that have only a single strain of brett and a single strain of saccharomyces. When such a starter is added to the secondary of an already fermented beer, presumably the saccharomyces will have little or no effect. Orval and Rainaert are surely at least in this category. Is there brett in bottles of New Belgium Biere de Mars, or is it filtered and re-yeasted?

Finally, there are many many beers with dregs from which you could culture of some unknown combination of multiple strains of brett, bacteria, etc. This is the least attractive option to me because not only do you not know what you have--it also will likely change with repitching and storage.

The only wild beer I've made so far was with Roeselare Blend. I learned a lot, but since Wyeast won't say which brett strain(s) are in the blend, I don't know which brett strain I've learned something about.


Dave I
12/25/06 02:23 PM  
Re: Comparing Brett & Lambic Strains
Thought I would revive this. I just got the books Wild Brews and Farmhouse Ales (I love my wife!), and was wondering which of the Brettanomyces strains would be best suited for all-Brett beers or for secondary infections, and what I could expect from them.

I am planning on making an all-Clausenii batch, and then maybe making a Saison and aging the Saison on the Clausenii bacteria (or somehow innoculating the Saison with the Clausenii), or maybe trying some sort of Flanders or other style, but am wondering if there are other combos that would be advisable.

I will begin reading Wild Brews & Farmhouse Ales as soon as the family X-mas stuff is over today, but if there are any things I should be paying particular attention to, or any findings you have had outside of the books, feel free to comment.


Al B
12/27/06 11:13 PM  
Re: Comparing Brett & Lambic Strains
Just brewed a 100% WY B. lambicus. Time will tell, but I am very pleased. In fact, I'm psyched. Unlike the clausenii brew, I minimized oxygenating the wort upon pitching. Result is quite dry, not over the top sour.

There is some pie-cherry fruit in the background - only a few weeks old.

I don't think one Brett is better than another - but they can be distinctive in their own way. Especially important is understanding their growth conditions. The thing on clausenii is that it produces alot of acid when oxygenated (contrary to std beer yeasts), then it created pineapple esters from all that acid (so much so it became too strange). So pitch alot of clausenii yeast into nonaerated wort is my recommendation.

I recently made a black saison. To the secondary, I added 10ml of a recultured Fantome Brett (similiar to the WY lambicus strain, I think). Also added a very small amount of clausenii as well (1ml).

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