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John C
04/09/07 02:45 PM  
Re-using Pellicle

After noticing the similarity in appearance between the pellicles of a Flanders Red Ale and kombucha Tea, I did some research and what I found suggests these beverages might be closely related. Both pellicles are mainly constituted of cellulose, and seem to form as a result of the acetic fermentation process--both "top forming" as a result of oxygen contact. What is interesting to note about the kombucha tradition is that one re-uses the formed pellicle, or "mother" as it is called, because it is the fermentation source of yeast and bacteria. Might one do the same with a Flanders Red and re-use the pellicle, as like a yeast cake, to inoculate furthur sour ales?

Also of note, it seems Walking Man Brewery in WA used a Kombucha mother for its award winning sour ale last year: www dot thenewstribune dot com/soundlife/story/5809997p-5189047c.html

Al B
04/09/07 03:03 PM  
Re: Re-using Pellicle
Although I have no idea what Kombuchna tea is all about,

the oxidative pellicle contains viable cells (bacterial or fungal). So yes, I would say one can inoculate (logistically it might be a little clumsy getting "chunks" of pellicle out aseptically.

Bear in mind that Pediococcus and other obligate anaerobes would most likely be there in the oxidative pellicle. For that I have used wood chips or cubes which sank down to the bottom. Cells seem to migrate or attach to wood much readily.

Mike T
04/09/07 10:22 PM  
Re: Re-using Pellicle
The Kombucha pellicle is rather rubbery and durable unlike the pellicle that form on beer, closer to a vinegar mother. Kombucha is particularly interesting because it often does contain Brett (or so I have read). I have a batch of kombucha going, it is a pretty good low/no abv alternative to sour beers.

I'm planning on trying to use malt extract for the fermentables instead of white sugar and maybe steep some crystal malts for a bit of body.

Not sure if any of this answered your question, but I agree with Steve, if it works it probably wouldn't be worth the effort.

Here is a little write up of my kombucha brewing if anyone is interested:


Al B
04/10/07 07:04 AM  
Re: Re-using Pellicle
"Bear in mind that Pediococcus and other obligate anaerobes would most likely be there in the oxidative pellicle"

- Meant to say NOT Likely

04/10/07 09:33 AM  
Re: Re-using Pellicle
funny, i just bottled a batch of Kombucha last night and drinking it now, tastes great! i too was thinking of making a batch with some wort. ANd yess it contains Brett Brux.
04/11/07 12:34 PM  
Re: Re-using Pellicle
Along with trying to use pellicle for innoculation. I can't help but be amazed at the power of some of these little bugs. It might be just as easy to track down 5 drops of sour beer and give your self 6 months.

I unintentionally ran some pale ale that I had fermented in a bucket into which I poured some orval dregs into a year prior. I was too impatient back then and didn't let the brett character form.

Previous batches were fine because they didn't sit for long. I pretty much forgot about it. Needless to say, some of those batches went into some cornies.

I now work at a BOP place, and bottled up some beer from one of my kegs. Since I had lots of beer, my homebrew sat around for a bit longer, and then showed FAB brett aromas and flavors. --- OOOPs. I have used StarLine, A chlorinated Alkili cleaner, Star-xene- Chlorine Dioxide, at pretty darn high ppms - 100+ - and still there is brett in a hose, or in that bottler somewhere. -

Point being. It sure doesn't take much to innoculate.

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