Welcome to the homeBBBrew board!
Like the BBB, the homeBBBrew board is not a club, just a place to talk about making beer. Is there a swap you would like to see happen? If we can find a few others who have something similar then lets do it!

I just really like the work levifunk is doing!

YOUR BBB USERNAME AND PASSWORD WILL NOT WORK ON THIS BOARD! If you want to post, you need to read this.

Brettanomyces Brewing
E-Symposium Transcript!

Trouble making Trappists?
Discover Liquid Candy Syrup!
See what color impact to expect from liquid candy.

Search for:
Author Replies
06/25/07 02:18 PM  
B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
So about 3 months ago I brewed my 1st 100% brett beer using the 2 lambicus strains. After racking to secondary, I saved the yeast cake for a future brew. I didn't have a large container to hold it all so I used to different jars. Today I took the jars out of the fridge to warm up before pitching. One jar smelled exactly as I expected it too - smokey/fruity/cherry brett aroma, the other jar smelled like ripe fresh cut pineapple.

Any explanations? Does one of the strains possibly go the pineapple route after a while? Just seemed a bit odd to me.

06/25/07 05:19 PM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
Crazy, but the answer to your question is a resounding yes. Claussenii can be more pineapply than Dole!! Doesn't take a while either, from what we've seen so far it just takes O2.
Al B
06/25/07 06:19 PM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
Now hold on thar Babalooey.......the first description hits right on lambicus - but the fresh pine-apple would fit the clausenii/anamalus character. What 2 strains?


06/25/07 10:04 PM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
Whitelabs B. lambicus and wyeast b. lambicus where the strains. Both strains are clearly different, but neither out of the package or in my beer have a pineapple aroma. Thats what threw me for a loop. I expect pineapple from clausenii, but wasn't expecting it from either of those lambicus strains.
Al B
06/26/07 07:26 AM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
I have both lambicus strains as well.......curious.....
06/26/07 09:41 AM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
Sweasty, from my (admitedly limited) experience I'd question if prehaps one of the lambicus containers was mis-labeled. I can say in the case of Claussenii it has no fruit presence of its own. Al described its smell as "cheese and toenails", which I found to be pretty on target. Pineapple is expressed in the beer it produces. Lambicus however did smell like pie cherries right out of the poutch (bought one a few months back). I found that presence actually diminished in the final product. So C. is nasty out of the gate then makes beer fruity whereas L. is fruitier out of the gate than it is after its job is done.
07/03/07 12:59 PM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
I've mentioned before that there's a US patent (two, actually) claiming a process of citric acid production from brettanomyces. I hunted down which strains the authors used, and they are

1. the type strain of b. claussenii

2. a mutant of #1 (which produces even more acid)

3. the type strain of b. lambicus

As pineapple is very high in citric acid, it *may* be that citric acid is behind the often-noted claussenii pineapple character. What I hadn't noticed or mentioned before is that the type strain of lambicus is also included in the patent. And now, under whatever conditions were in the one jar in Sweasty's fridge, lambicus produced a pineapple character. Hmm.

The process in the patent is very simple: you ferment the following solution

12% glucose (i.e. a 1.048 wort made entirely of glucose)

0.1% NH4Cl

0.05% KH2PO4

0.05% MgSO4.7H20

0.2% corn steep liquor

(made with tap water and adjusted to pH 5.8)

with 4% CaCO2 as a buffer, for 5 days. According to the claim, 1% citric acid and 1% iso-citric acid are produced. The patent is not very explicit about temps/conditions of the ferment, but from what I can piece together it was probably done aerobically on a stir plate somewhere between 77F and 95F.

What exactly caused one jar of lambicus to go pineapple, while the other did not, I have no idea. Maybe autolysis of some cells dramatically increased the nutrient levels.

05/07/10 02:48 PM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
Baums...I'm resurrecting this thread.

First off I wanted to note that this patent appears to produce <<1% citric acid and 1% iso-citric acid>> This is not much.. if you think about the other 98% of compounds being produced.. I mean I guess if you think that beer is 90% water then you could have a better argument but I don't think it works that way.

I got into the whole fact already that citric acid has not been measured in beer before.. not in any Lambics or Sour beers. I was not able to look for it either because of time and how much it would have cost to run the extra GC-FID analysis.

Do I believe the pineapple character comes from citric acid/citric acid esters.. which are not present in beer in measurable amounts, No... Anyways the pineapple character is not from the citric acid aroma.. Has anyone ever smelled citric acid.. it doesn't have a smell it is a taste/sensation... Pineapple which is described in beer is the canned pineapple smell and this is a sweeter smell mixed with tropical fruits.. lots of people can't distinguish between "pineapple" and tropical fruits on sensory tasting panels.. Have I smelled pineapple in Brett beers, yes! Do I think I know where they are coming from, yes.. I think, that was the whole underlying goal of the research. I wanted to find the "Holy Grail" of aromas the coveted pineapple...

Ehtyl Caproate and Ethyl Caprylate also known as Ethyl hexanoate and Ethyl octanoate... I found elevated amounts in Brettanomyces fermentations.. This is not the only source but I would guess a major source along with synergistic affects from other compounds present... This will most likely never be studied or explained... But I have a lot of data to prove it... You know which two strains produced the least amount after 35 days primary fermentation... both Wyeast and Whitelabs B. claussenii strains... This doesn't mean that it might not be producing it later on but I didn't find it int he study and I have other hypothesis why homebrewers find it especially in White Labs B. claussenii strain. With the proper raw ingredients and brewing process these aromas can be enhanced and possibly reproducible...

Now this brings me to a newer point... Where does the LEMON flavors come from? I can't tell you cause I don't know.. but I'm sure it is a perception thing and a collection of compounds... I also think 4-Ethylphenol in some way may adds to its perceived aroma after letting the glass sit.. With the Drie strain I often first get catpiss(horesy) then lemon aromas... And that not my beers but other commercial brewers beers.

Also I have a strain which is an off shoot of the Drie strain, I call it matted... In bottle conditioning after about 4-6 months I get amazing gueuze citrus aromas.. similar to Drie Fonteinen... Do I think it is from citric acid.. nope, but I have the aromas.. and I know other people do too.

Anyone getting these?


05/07/10 03:12 PM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
And to touch on the pineapple characters one more time...

It is not just B.anomalus (claussenii by commercial strain name) that produces the pineapple character..Traditionally that strain was leather, acetic, and earthy. Its from an Old stock ale english ale strain. It think most of this comes out of the hype from Mo Betta Bretta... how many people here tried that beer? How many people also noted the sourness in that beer.. I have spoken with both the brewers of that beer... there is a lot more to that beer then just Bretta. The pineapple in that beer was coming from multiple sources. And I believe both brewers would be quick to make that assumption too.

Now I do find wyeast 5151 to be on the fruity side when used in secondary fermentations... it also has metallic notes and some horsey(catpiss) to it to before lending some lemony verbena notes...

The most Pineapple specific aromas I have ever noticed from any strain is the Drie strain.. Which is pretty mush the most popular strain being used by commercial brewers and their favorite (B. bruxellensis as I had PCR ran on the strain) And if you want to be funny about it Wyeast and Whitelabs would call that strain B. lambicus purely because it came from a Lambic.. more technically a gueuze. The next most popular strain being used is Orval's single strain they use. Lots of American craft brewers are using that.. and it can primary ferment pretty well too.

My two cents..


05/08/10 01:00 AM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
I notice huge differences between WY and WL Lambicus. WY initially and in the starter smells like a great cross between cherry pie and gueuze, but after a few weeks of fermenting smells more like sacc yeast. I wish I knew how to hold onto the initial aroma. The WL smelled like gym locker, wet dog, horse blanket all the way through.
tom sawyer
05/08/10 08:26 AM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
According to Sparrow in Wild Brews, pineapple flavor is ethyl butyrate, and ethyl isobutyrate is citrusy. So you might want to look for microorganisms that make butyric acid. I think some bugs in milk probably do this since its a flavor in butter (butyric acid, not the ester).
05/08/10 05:33 PM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
Ethyl buterate is said to have a pineapple flavor, but Brettanomyces doesn't seem to make any of this ester, and Butyric acid isn't to nice of an acid, Brettanomyces does produce small amounts also
tom sawyer
05/08/10 05:59 PM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
Something must make it or a similar compound. Maybe a methyl substituted version.


Could come from a little bacillus subtilis?


It is industrially prepared by the fermentation of sugar or starch, brought about by the addition of putrefying cheese, with calcium carbonate added to neutralize the acids formed in the process. The butyric fermentation of starch is aided by the direct addition of Bacillus subtilis. Salts and esters of the acid are called butanoates.

Butyric acid or fermentation butyric acid is also found as a hexyl ester (hexyl butanoate) in the oil of Heracleum giganteum (a type of hogweed) and as an octyl ester (octyl butanoate) in parsnip (Pastinaca sativa); it has also been noticed in the fluors of the flesh and in perspiration.

05/09/10 01:41 AM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
I made a WL Brett C + Lacto sour that smelled like vomit for a few days then transformed into pineapple bomb, and tasted just like pineapple juice. After months the pineapple is still there, but at a low level in the background.
tom sawyer
05/09/10 09:03 AM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
Butyric acid was probably a component of that bad smell, it converted to the ester over time and was eventually metabolized to something else.
05/11/10 03:06 PM  
Re: B. Lambicus = Pineapple?
Hi Chad. Haven't read here as much lately but I did catch your post.

It's easy to come up with theories, but so hard to prove them. In this thread and others, I've mentioned a theory that lambic may get significant character from citric acid (or citrate esters) produced by brett. Unfortunately I still haven't seen any proof either way.

Anyway, a question and comment:

You say 1% citric acid is not much. I have to disagree. Put 1 gram citric acid in 100 grams of water or beer, and taste. I think you're going to notice.

You also say "citric acid/citric acid esters.. which are not present in beer in measurable amounts." If you have data that shows this, then the citric acid question is pretty much solved, which would be great. Do you? If not, then I don't really know what you're saying.


The patent seems to show three brett strains producing significant citric acid. And unless I screwed up tracing the strains back, one of these strains was CBS 75, isolated from lambic and considered the type strain of the old "b. lambicus".

Those facts (if we can call them that) are certainly suggestive, but of course there are also reasons to doubt the theory. What's needed is data.

Return to Forum

Post a Reply
Your Name:
Message Body:



Around Bruges in 80 Beers: 2nd Edition

Around London in 80 Beers

Around Brussels in 80 Beers

Babblebelt contributors in attendance: