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Old 07-13-2010, 12:21 AM   #1
avj3
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Default Brettanomyces Bruxellensis question

I am new to the forum, but have been brewing for 5 years now. I have searched this forum and others for similar questions but haven't found any, so if its out there be gentle. Here goes...

I am attempting to brew an Orval clone. The recipe calls for a White Labs WLP650 (Brettanomyces Bruxellensis) yeast for secondary fermentation. I know that the lambic bacteria's and "wild" yeasts can cross-contaminate equipment which can be bad news for brewing regular beer.

So my question to you all is will this Brettanomyces Bruxellensis used in secondary fermentation ruin my equipment for other brews? Will I need to replace everything that the Brett touches (carboy, keg, siphon and hoses), the soft stuff (siphon & hoses), or nothing at all. Has anyone tried brewing a "regular" beer in the same equipment after using the Brett?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by avj3 View Post
I am new to the forum, but have been brewing for 5 years now. I have searched this forum and others for similar questions but haven't found any, so if its out there be gentle. Here goes...

I am attempting to brew an Orval clone. The recipe calls for a White Labs WLP650 (Brettanomyces Bruxellensis) yeast for secondary fermentation. I know that the lambic bacteria's and "wild" yeasts can cross-contaminate equipment which can be bad news for brewing regular beer.

So my question to you all is will this Brettanomyces Bruxellensis used in secondary fermentation ruin my equipment for other brews? Will I need to replace everything that the Brett touches (carboy, keg, siphon and hoses), the soft stuff (siphon & hoses), or nothing at all. Has anyone tried brewing a "regular" beer in the same equipment after using the Brett?

Thanks for the help!
Brett dies in starsan, like other yeasts. Semi-porous equipment like hoses, stoppers, siphons, o-rings, etc. should be segregrated, however, as Brett has been known to get into the pores of that stuff. Keep a set of the soft stuff for sours. No need to keep separate carboys though.

You can re-purpose a keg that was used for sours, but you should completely disassemble and replace the o-rings.


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Old 07-13-2010, 01:12 AM   #3
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not to highjack, but just finishing "brew like a monk", there is a clone recipe in the back. Among the instructions, are to just use the dregs from two bottles of Orval (as they are not using a pure strain of brett).

As to your original question, Vinnie Cirluzo says that "(Brett is) like a dog. When you are afraid of a dog, he senses that. You can't let (the yeast) sense you are afraid." He then went on to say "Of course, we keep different hoses, different pumps and gaskets, rubber, two of everything."

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Old 07-13-2010, 04:34 PM   #4
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I've had good luck (knock on wood) reusing auto-siphons, siphon hose, bottling bucket, and spigot. But I keep a dedicated plastic fermenter, lid, stopper, and airlock. Basically I reuse anything I can clean very quickly after it touches the brett beer, and dedicate anything the brett sits on for a long time. So far no cross-contamination.

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Old 07-13-2010, 06:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by avj3 View Post
I am new to the forum, but have been brewing for 5 years now. I have searched this forum and others for similar questions but haven't found any, so if its out there be gentle. Here goes...

I am attempting to brew an Orval clone. The recipe calls for a White Labs WLP650 (Brettanomyces Bruxellensis) yeast for secondary fermentation. I know that the lambic bacteria's and "wild" yeasts can cross-contaminate equipment which can be bad news for brewing regular beer.

So my question to you all is will this Brettanomyces Bruxellensis used in secondary fermentation ruin my equipment for other brews? Will I need to replace everything that the Brett touches (carboy, keg, siphon and hoses), the soft stuff (siphon & hoses), or nothing at all. Has anyone tried brewing a "regular" beer in the same equipment after using the Brett?

Thanks for the help!
In my opinion, unless money is really tight for you (which I understand) for piece of mind I would "recycle" the equipment you have now and make it your Wild Brew Equipment and buy new stuff for your normal beers.

I just did this and it cost a total of $30 which is well worth it if you know you are going to brew even a couple sour beers a year. I know for sure of a couple good brewers who contaminated their brewery and it was a pain for sure. Just my .02 cents.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:03 PM   #6
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I just did this and it cost a total of $30 which is well worth it if you know you are going to brew even a couple sour beers a year. I know for sure of a couple good brewers who contaminated their brewery and it was a pain for sure. Just my .02 cents.
do yourself a favor and buy seperate plastic like tubing, racking cane, silicon bungs, etc. i've had more than my fair share of cross contaminations to learn from. i did not fear the brett and ran with it only to find non-soured batches going sour after a few weeks. carboys, better bottles (i think) and corny's can be cleaned and reused but any plastic is as good as soured.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:11 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the feedback. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you look at it) I just bought myself a complete kegging setup including kegerator. I have not yet even run a keg through it yet. I was thinking that my Orval clone would be the perfect first beer to run through it. From what I have learned from you all is that the lines connecting the keg to the tap will be contaminated with the Brett (obviously something I am not looking to do).

So another question for you, has anyone tried brewing the orval clone without using the Brett? Or using a trappist ale yeast instead of the Brett in the secondary? Will the taste be ruined if the brett is not pitched in the secondary. I certainly don't want to ruin the beer, but I would rather not ruin my equipment either.

Thanks again for the help

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Old 07-16-2010, 01:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by avj3 View Post
From what I have learned from you all is that the lines connecting the keg to the tap will be contaminated with the Brett (obviously something I am not looking to do).

Will the taste be ruined if the brett is not pitched in the secondary. I certainly don't want to ruin the beer, but I would rather not ruin my equipment either.

Thanks again for the help
Hose is cheap, as are picnic taps... why not just keep an extra setup on hand for any brett/sour beers you do.

As far as the flavor, you won't ruin the flavor of the beer, you just won't have that characteristic brett/Orval flavor. That flavor is what makes Orval what it is and one of the reasons many argue that Orval is a style in and of itself.
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:41 PM   #9
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Hose is cheap, as are picnic taps... why not just keep an extra setup on hand for any brett/sour beers you do.

As far as the flavor, you won't ruin the flavor of the beer, you just won't have that characteristic brett/Orval flavor. That flavor is what makes Orval what it is and one of the reasons many argue that Orval is a style in and of itself.
+1 on all of this.
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On Draft: IPA
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:19 PM   #10
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I've made two attempts at brett beer. The first I used dregs from Orval at bottling and have so far gotten very little brett character. I made an Orval clone style that used Wyeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis at bottling, and after about a month it was the best beer I had ever made. I would suggest bottling any Orval clone because part of what makes it so good is the high level of carbonation. I believe higher than a keg set-up can reach.

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