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11/30/07 07:25 PM  
Brewing a Kriek
I have yet to make a wild beer. I am interested in starting with a Kriek. I was planning on using wyeast 5526 and doing a simple 2 row, white wheat malt bill. What suggestions or advice would you offer to a beginner. Thanks in advance for your responses.
12/01/07 03:43 PM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek
Most would recommend "wild brews" the book if you haven't picked that one up yet.

I don't think I'd recommend pitching 5526 alone. You can make an all brett beer, but most people would say to pitch a "normal" yeast for a week in the primary, and then pitch the brett or other mixed culture.

I follow the procedure above, and rack on top of the cherries in the secondary and pitch the wild stuff then. In my experience you need a lot of sour cherries for the flavor to come through. Definitely more than 1lb/gallon.

12/05/07 10:20 AM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek
What type of yeast do most of you start with before pitching either brett or a lambic blend?
12/05/07 11:40 AM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek
Hey Matt

The primary yeast should be fairly neutral. An ale strain would be okay. The character will be overrun by the Brett in secondary anyway.

Mike T
12/05/07 03:27 PM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek
I brewed my first lambic last fall. I just added a pack of the Wyeast lambic blend, its still in the primary. Iím planning on splitting it and adding fruit next summer, then bottling next winter.

I have used American, English, and Belgian strains to primary funky beers, I think they all give good results with some variation (although I have yet to do a split batch, but 2 carboys of the same sour beer can take radically different so I doubt an experiment is even feasible).

My next sour batch is going to be a blend of a saison and two with german lager (a Biere de Garde fermented warm and American Premium) that will be fermented before adding the funk. I do see why everyone insists on a clean ale strain, you can get good results with pretty much any strain.

12/05/07 03:57 PM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek
<< do see why everyone insists on a clean ale strain, you can get good results with pretty much any strain.>>

Ditto, I've never understood this either. I have used saison for primary before followed by one of the Wyeast blends. I've also known people to successfully use both blends without using a primary strain prior. My preference is to add the blend as the primary culture, then add dregs of other favorites over time to provide a more diverse microb population.

12/05/07 04:17 PM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek

curious. Mike, weren't you saying awhile back that the esters and so on produced by typical begian strains get eaten by Brett and converted into unwanted byproducts?

12/05/07 04:29 PM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek
Brett will destroy esters--not sure exactly which ones but isoamyl acetate (banana) is one and there are probably many others.

Just read something else interesting along these lines in a good paper by the brewing researchers at Leuven. It turns out Brett is likely to eliminate the effect of your primary yeast when it comes to phenols as well.

Mike T
12/05/07 04:39 PM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek
I donít believe I said that (and if I did I misspoke). Brett seems to be able to change some of the esters/phenols in the base beer into other compounds some of which are bound to add complexity to the finished beer. What the original yeast takes (and leaves) from the original beer will also impact exactly how the added microbes will change the character of the beer.

I think the British Ales I have finished with Brett have a very different character than the Belgian Beers I have finished with Brett. They each seem to maintain some of the original character which has the Brett-y aroma layered on top of it. If you want a clean base then an American Ale yeast would be a good choice, but I donít think it is necessarily the best choice for every single sour beer as some people suggest.

12/05/07 06:02 PM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek
I missed the part about byproducts possibly being unwanted. The byproducts of ester breakdown are fusels and acids. For instance the banana ester isoamyl acetate breaks down into isoamyl alcohol and acetate (vinegar).

It may sound like these byproducts would be unwanted--but in reality the flavor threshold for esters is generally lower than for the fusels/acids, so the effect is that the flavorful ester breaks down into amounts of fusel and acid that are much less significant, perhaps negligible, flavorwise. I could maybe look up some numbers and see.

As for the phenols thing I read about--basically different sacc strains turn different amounts of compound A into compound B. But brett seems to eliminate the effect of the primary yeast in this sense, because it turns both A and B into a different compound C.

A = ferulic acid (from malt)

B = 4-vinyl-guaiacol (the "clove" phenol)

C = 4-ethyl-guaiacol (supposedly similar flavor to B, but lower flavor threshold)

(And this process holds for some other phenols as well).

Mike I don't know if you're right that the breakdown of different esters produced by different yeast would really have an effect the eventual flavor. Based on what little I do know I'm not convinced, but I also think you certainly could be right. Anyway I think the carryover of primary character that you mention is probably the more reliable effect. (That said, I use US-05 based on a personal preference to keep things simple for the time being, and because I know I can still get the ethyl lactate that I like so much.)

12/05/07 06:44 PM  
Re: Brewing a Kriek
I'm sorry to hijack matts thread here, but it sounds like maybe a fun swap would be for everyone to brew the same base beer with a different yeast (say from little to extreme yeast characters) and then finish with the same strain of Brett in secondary. Any interest in this? Granted it would be a year away but...

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