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09/14/07 06:15 PM  
Update on Berliner with Brett C
Hey guys. We have an update with our attempt to make a Berliner Weiss with Brett C ala the one Steve made. Finally, 70 days after pitching a 1L starter that had been made one week prior to brewing, we noticed the airlock was finally bubbling earlier this week. There was a big krausen on it and a lot of activity. About a month and a half after brewing we had taken a reading and it hadn't dropped a point. It still tasted like fresh wort too, so I guess our sanitation was OK. Here are Dan's tasting notes from our sample today:

Slight brett nose and a bit more in the taste. Hints of freshly baked bread...a bit of sweetness, a touch of lemon. Not particularly sour.

It is still fermenting, but that is slowing now. It has dropped from 1.036 to 1.009 so far and it is in a room at 72F. We'll keep you updated.


09/14/07 09:31 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
Something went wrong with your starter. Brett CL should kick in immediately and ferment furiously for a few days and finish in less than a week. Did you oxygenate it properly like a normal yeast?
09/14/07 10:19 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
Sweet mother of God I'll say. My Berliner was essentially finished after 7 days. It needed to settle out, but after a week it was at its final gravity and flavor. I could have served the keg after the second week.
09/17/07 01:07 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
"I guess our sanitation was OK"

I would say so! What was the activity of your starter like?

09/17/07 02:49 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
Cisco, yeah we shot it with 1 min of pure O2 after pitching the starter.

Steve, remember you had 400ml of thick slurry for your Berliner that Al had worked for 2 weeks on a stir plate to build up. Ours was a much lower pitching rate.

Baums, I don't think the starter looked all that active, but I just figured Brett CL worked slower when it first got going. The vial had just been delivered to our homebrew shop from White Labs, so it should have been fresh. Maybe something happened to it en route.

Oh well, looks like we'll finally get something out of this. Once this one finishes, I'm thinking taking a large amount of the yeast cake and doing another one to try and approximate Steve's attempt.


09/17/07 04:00 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
Is it an option for you to work up something like what Al makes? 2 weeks sounds like a long time - until you consider that the subsequent beer took less time than that to make. Perhaps another week added to your yeast building could save you months over all.
09/17/07 05:05 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
What's the difference between a claussenii that lives in a starter vs a batch of beer? Well, the starter doesn't have to taste good, so you can use continuous O2, extra nutrients, different sugars, continuous agitation/stirring, etc. A question is, which (if any) of these are NECESSARY to get claussenii going quickly?

Al, if I recall you did all of those things except for the agitation, to build up your big slurry. Cisco what did you do? Joelle, what did you do?

I saw no activity for many days when I transferred colonies from agar into 10 mL of unaerated 1040 DME + nutrients.

Perhaps continuous aeration is necessary to get claussenii started quickly? Has anyone been able to get it going fast in media that is NOT continuously aerated, when propagated straight from the vial or from a colony on agar? I know many beers have been made that were obviously not continuously aerated--have any of these been straight from the WL vial and how long a lag did they have?

09/17/07 06:19 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
My starter was fed every other day with fresh wort and oxygen for about 10 days.
09/18/07 04:57 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
All I did was pitch the vial into a 1L starter. Shake it up some to aerate (it was before we had the stir plate) and put an airlock on it.

09/18/07 04:59 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
Oh yeah, the starter was 1.040 with just DME and no nutrients.
09/18/07 06:20 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
I always make my starters at least a week in advance and make 1.040 starters with yeast nutrients and oxygen. I also end up crashing it once in the frig and pouring off most of the liquid so I can keep adding more wort to keep them babies multiplying.

So you did a one liter starter and pitched the next day?????

09/19/07 10:15 AM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
No we pitched it after a week. I'm not really worried about it. Just wanted to give you guys an update on our effort. We'll try it again with a bigger pitching rate.


09/19/07 10:37 AM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
I wrote up an article on the brett swap that we did here, Zymergy expressed interest but I'm having trouble getting any further info from them, they've had the thing in hand for months now. My one fear was that I sent it along with no recipes. Pretty much articles always include those, but I thought it was critical to avoid that here. Reason being if I provided recipes people would follow them treating brett like any other yeast. If you simply apply principles of conventional yeast handling to brett brewing the odds of failure are great. Thus my attempt to attract people to brett brewing would fail as poor results would turn off brewers. So I was hoping to do a follow up of some sort covering yeast handling requirements as without that I think you have nothing.
Al B
09/19/07 10:53 AM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
For Joelle, I don't know how the clausenii looked in the starter, but there seems to be a lag time in respiration of clausenii cells. Further more, the Bretts from WL are reported to be much less population than a typical yeast vial because typically, bretts were thought to be used in a secondary. Lastly, agitation AND aeration is the best method for reproduction (although that needs some extra equipment)- without O2, sterols will be lacking needed for cell division into healthy cells - autolysis will follow quickly.

What Cisco does is important as well.

Once the sugars are used up during aerating, which is necessary for producing sterols, glycogen in the cells will become depleted. If both sugar + glycogen are exhausted, cell dormacy + death will occurr. This can happen rather quickly depending on strain and initial nutrients (i.e. zinc, amino acids). Bottom line, continuous feeding with fresh wort + O2, chill quickly if not ready to pitch.

Fortunately, Joelles sanitization was excellent and the brew is of very low gravity.

Al Berliner

09/19/07 11:57 AM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
I've had couple article published in Zymurgy. The typical deadline is six months prior to print. The check usually comes a month after the issue comes out.

If they expressed interest, I'm sure they will print it. Timing will depend on the "story boards" for the issues. I look forward to reading it!

Cheers, Dan

09/19/07 12:12 PM  
Re: Update on Berliner with Brett C
Wow, 6 months? Didn't know that. I'll keep sitting tight.
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