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Francois_Mtl
05/04/07 10:11 AM  
100% Brett beer
Hi,

I am homebrewer and new to this forum. I am about to brew a 100% brett anomalus beer and I am a little worry about my starter. I have mixed one vial of WLP645 and 700ml of aerated wort into a 1 gallon carboy two weeks ago and saw no activity in the airlock but two white mildews (just like the one we can see on food) the size of a penny appeared on the edge of the jar. A week ago I added another 800ml of aerated wort and still not see activity in the airlock and mildews are getting a little bigger.

Could it be the pellicule from the brett that is starting to form on top of the wort?

As the air space in the 1 gallon carboy is big could the wort been infected by some wild yeasts other then the brett?

Thank you,

Francois

SteveG
05/04/07 11:28 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
Anomalus is probably the strain we are least experienced with. I have been spoiled here, having always had access to a super charged brett slurry for pitching. But I can say that I have observed bretts tendency to for a pellicle is increased greatly by headspace. Hope that helps a little, better bug advice then mine hangs here though.
Francois_Mtl
05/04/07 02:38 PM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
Thank you Steve!

I was also thinking of pitching season yeast (WLP565) first and allow it to ferment for 2-3 days (at 30C) to give season profil and ensure a good start for the first fermentation and than add the brett anomalus.

SteveG
05/04/07 04:36 PM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
Until pretty recently that would have been considered the only possible way to do it. Hard to go wrong!
Mike T
05/05/07 12:30 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
I have a packet of Brett anomalus (from Wyeast) that has been hanging out in the fridge for awhile my move to a new apartment (which finally happens tomorrow). I'll be making a starter sometime next week.

I don't have too much experience with Brett starters, but I've made a couple with claussenii (WL 645, debatably the same as anomolus) that haven't taken long to get going (2-3 days for a nice healthy krausen/pellicle). I normally start with a 1 pint (pretty close to 700 ml) starter and slowly step-up from there. Any idea what the production date of your yeast was?

You could also up the temp, that will get it moving.

The starters normally get a powdery covering, that I have yet to see in a full sized batch. Without being able to see what you have it is hard to say if it is mold or pellicle.

Francois_Mtl
05/05/07 03:13 PM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
I am not sure if I can attach/link a picture to a message so you can see but it is getting bigger everyday and it does look powdery. In fact it looks like the moisture we would normally see on fruits.

There is no indication of a production date on the vial but the best before date is August 6th, 2007.

Brian Richards
05/06/07 02:57 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
I just made a pint starter with the WLP645 two nights ago. I havent' seen any activity as of yet. I don't have an airlock on it, just some tin foil. Is that alright. As far as I know, I don't have to worry about bacteria growing legs and crawling up and in to my starter, right? I was hoping I would see some obvious form of fermentation because I am leaving town for the weekend and I wanted to at least see it get going. Is it good to shake a brett starter to aerate like a regular starter or no?
Al B
05/07/07 09:24 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
WL645 was quite slow to get going out of the vial for me. It seemed to contain alot less slurry than a usual vial of White labs and of course it was a bit past its dating.

Another brett isolate I have always takes awhile to get going after its own characteristic "lag" phase or stationary phase - even after a recent fermentation.

A low gravity wort with yeast nutrients and plenty of oxygen are important for Brett starters. Increased temperature can help accelerate activity, as well as constant stirring/aeration/agitation.

Al

Al B
05/07/07 09:53 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
<<>>I don't have to worry about bacteria growing legs and crawling up and in to my starter, right?<<>>

Brian,

You should be fine there. Just keep the outside free of moisture just to be safe. Bacteria may not have legs, but many have flippers!

Al B
05/07/07 10:01 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
Francois-

Hard to say whats going on w/out more info. Two weeks seems to be a bit long. Is it possible to describe the aroma?

Francois_Mtl
05/07/07 04:47 PM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
It is hard to describe the aroma but it is some what musty and dusty. It is similar to what you can smell in old places or old attics.
Al B
05/08/07 07:42 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
I'm concerned that you have not seen any activity in your airlock indicating CO2 developing after 2 weeks. Musty attics sounds like mold - which is likely after 2 weeks, and headspace w/out CO2.

Option:

Decant the wort and the surface pellicle leaving the sediment in the carboy. Then add low gravity wort (~1.035 or so) with yeast nutrients (Wyeast nutrients for example) and plenty of oxygen, try to agitate or stir often.

Good luck

Mike T
05/09/07 10:34 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
I think at this point either the starter has already fermented and you just missed it or the yeast is dead.

Last night I made a 1 pint starter for a 2 month old pack of WY 5110 (B. anomalus). This morning there was no sign of pellicle or krausen but when I shook the jug some CO2 was released. Brett (or any yeast for that matter) can act strangely in a starter,

As a side note I was surprised how different the pack of B. anomalus smelled from the B. claussenii that I have used several times in the past (they are supposed to be close relatives). It was much earthier without the strong fruity character. No idea how these characteristics will carry through into the finished beer, but Iím really looking forward to it.

Cuda(mikeM)
05/10/07 02:23 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
Cuda(mikeM)
05/10/07 02:37 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
I had the same Problem With the WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii strain. It took 12 days! for me to see any air lock activity. The one thing that stands out is the white mold is a little strange, You might Have something else in there. After the 12 days it to off like a rocket. One more thing is I did not do a starter,I pitched one vile in 2.5gals..
Francois_Mtl
05/10/07 11:35 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
I took a density reading of the starter yesterday and it does not seemed to have fermented or very little if it did. I usually make my starter's wort with a density between 1.030 - 1.035 and yesterday reading shown 1.032 after more then 2 weeks. The aroma was somewhat sweaty, dusty and smell of moisture. The taste was similar with no indication of alcool presence. The wort is still very clear and I do not see any slurry at the bottom of the carboy but just 2 big white molds on top of the wort. Would those white molds be the yeast cells grouping in colonies?
Al B
05/10/07 06:10 PM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
Wow.

Francois, this looks like a bad vial of yeast. Perhaps storage/shipment was poorly managed, but sometimes living cells will do what they want.

Francois_Mtl
05/11/07 09:48 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
I always heard to be careful to not brake the pellicle so I was very gentle when manipulating the carboy. After I found no fermentation went on, I shaked the carboy to see what would happen. One day after, I see some activity in the airlock! I will let it sit for another few days and see what comes up.

Thank you all for your feeback!

Francois_Mtl
05/15/07 02:01 PM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
I was able to post a picture of my starter on another board. This picture was taken last wednesday, just before a shaked the carboy and saw activity in the airlock a day after. I took an SG reading last night and it went down 1.005 therefore some fermentation has started. I will let it ferment a little more and see how it goes.

www.bieropholie.com/Babillards/Brasseurs/brasseurs12/images/Picture%20071.jpg

Al B
05/15/07 02:30 PM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
Francois,

Thanks for the pic.

You may have brett activity indicated by your specific gravity, but visually I don't think that is WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii on top. That appears to be mold.

I have not seen that appearance from WL645.

Also, the drop in gravity could also be another contaminant (bacteria for example), especially if you do not begin to smell a distinct pine-apple ester aroma (which is B. clausenii characteristic). Good luck.

Francois_Mtl
05/16/07 07:57 AM  
Re: 100% Brett beer
It does not smell pine-apple for sure. I am not looking at using this starter and take the a chance to waste a full batch. Just for the experience sake I may only pitch it on a few liters taken from the next batch I will brew.

Thanks for your help!

Francois

 
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