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Old 09-17-2011, 01:38 AM   #1
MattTimBell
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Default Brett brux starter went sour?!

Hi all,

I've read that pure b. bruxellensis is supposed to add a spicy, funky flavor to beers. To test this out and get ready to brew an all-brett beer, in the last couple weeks I bought a vial of WL650 -- Brett Brux, and pitched to a small, 1 gal. batch of beer, just to see what it would do (and, in the process, build up the tiny amount of yeast in the vial to a more pitchable rate).

Well, several weeks on, the beer fermented, formed a pellicle, the pellicle collapsed, and it went inactive. Once it finished bubbling for good, I decided it was time to give it a taste -- and it is SOUR. Its flavor is good, not unlike an Oud Bruin, but not at all what I expected from my research.

So, here's the question: did it go sour because of some overlooked characteristic of b. brux, or did it get infected somehow? As a perhaps important aside, the sourness is not the mouth-puckering sourness of vinegar. To me it tastes more lactic, like yogurt.

Thanks,
Matt

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Old 09-17-2011, 02:59 AM   #2
Calder
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Did you aerate the 'starter' like a starter, or like a beer? Did you aerate once and forget it, or did you swirl it every day?

Starters tend to taste a lot different from beers.

A single vial of B-B might be low for pitching to a single gallon for an all-brett beer. Everything I have read says you need lager sized starters for Brett.

I have done a couple of Brett-B beers (WLP650). Made big starters, which I swirled a lot to try and increase the cell count, and I tasted the product and it was a little sour, with no barnyard or leather taste that I can remember (but I may be wrong).

When I did the beers, I used a half pound of acid malt (Brett likes low PH), aerated well (by shaking the fermenter), then repeated at about 9 hours, and let it go.

My results were an excellent fruity Saison type beer, with no funky flavors. I've used a couple of Belgian and Saison yeasts, and I think this particular Brett strain produces the best Saison of all that I have tried.

If you are after funky, you need to use it as a secondary yeast and pitch low to make it work, and leave it for 9 months.

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Old 09-17-2011, 03:38 AM   #3
ryane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTimBell View Post

Well, several weeks on, the beer fermented, formed a pellicle, the pellicle collapsed, and it went inactive. Once it finished bubbling for good, I decided it was time to give it a taste -- and it is SOUR. Its flavor is good, not unlike an Oud Bruin, but not at all what I expected from my research.

Thanks,
Matt
Several weeks? Was this open to the air? Brett can make acetic acid when exposed to lots of oxygen, it will not though make lactic acid. It can be easy in small amounts to confuse acetic and lactic acid
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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Thanks, folks! It sounds like I'm maybe not dealing with an infection, then. That's good to know!

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Old 07-07-2013, 12:47 AM   #5
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if you want to stop most infection from having a chance throw a hop pellet into the boil of your starter. it wont hurt the yeast and keeps most bugs out.

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