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Old 06-28-2010, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default Brettanomyces Lambicus starter

Hi all. Myself and a fellow brewer are working on a beer that will be fermented 100% with Brettanomyces Lambicus yeast. I have never worked with this or other brett yeasts and there is not quite as much common knowledge of the pitch rates or starter sizes/time required to grow it.
So this thread is intended to log and present our experience with it. We are using White Labs 653, which was shipped from White Labs directly on June 23. Last evening I pitched the vial into a 1.5L starter of 1.040 all-malt hopped wort. I intend to add another 2.5L or more after seeing some activity. I'm hoping to pitch a volume of yeast equivalent to what I would use with a cold-pitched lager. I do not want the yeast to be stressed at all, and rather bring out the "friendlier" flavors, if they do exist. The starter will be held at 78F.

I'm not sure if I will be decanting this starter, I just don't know if Brett. will settle out with cold temps quickly. Any advice here would be great.

Anywho, here's a pic at pitch:

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Old 06-28-2010, 03:40 PM   #2
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If you look through the recipes in saq's profile you will find a couple of all-brett beers he did, in those threads he describes the starters he built up.

Brett yeast won't put on the numbers saccharomyces will in the same volume of starter, and they are slower growing, especially at lower temps. Plan to build up the starter slowly to a large volume and you will be fine.

There are some microbiologists on the forum as well as folks with a lot more experience than myself with brettanomyces, hopefully they will chime in.

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Old 06-28-2010, 03:52 PM   #3
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
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I've done starters with Brett, giving myself a 2-week head start, and have had good results. I've not used B. lambicus, though, so I can't say if it is the same. In my experience, cold crashing for a day or so (siding on longer rather than shorter) will compact the yeast and you can decant. I would allow a day of extra time cold crashing to make sure you can decant without losing too much yeast, probably 2-days total. Again, only my experience here and hopefully others will chime in with some lambicus specific info.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your results with this. Brett brux makes some mighty good beer, imo. I'm sure this will, as well. Got a recipe in mind?

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Old 06-28-2010, 05:25 PM   #5
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Thanks, yeah I've looked at saq's experiences, and I think he was using wyeast packs? And noted the small cell count of the packs. I'm not sure how white labs compares so I'll just build it up big. I'll also be plating and slanting it.

The recipe hasn't exactly been nailed down yet, but stubbornman and I are thinking all american ingredients. 1.060 gravity or above.

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Old 06-28-2010, 05:35 PM   #6
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Ive done a couple all Brett L beers and have been a bit dissappointed in them, they all have a nice cherry nose but none of that flavor, adding a bit of lactic acid always seemed to brighten the flavor though, I think my favorite all brett beer is still with the Wyeast Brux strain

good luck

btw, I built up about a 4L starter and fermenation went gangbusters for ~4days then died down and stayed steady

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Old 06-29-2010, 07:13 PM   #7
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2nd day, certainly getting activity:

I'm just turning the stir plate on for a minute or two whenever I go in there to check on it. It's too powerful to leave on until I get the whole 4 liters in there.

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Old 07-01-2010, 05:07 AM   #8
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24 hours ago, I made two plates from this starter. Along with it, I plated 3 other saccharomyces strains.
Right now none of the sac strains show any activity, but on the brett lambicus plates its a horror show:
1st plate

2nd plate

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Old 07-02-2010, 01:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryane View Post
Ive done a couple all Brett L beers and have been a bit dissappointed in them, they all have a nice cherry nose but none of that flavor, adding a bit of lactic acid always seemed to brighten the flavor though, I think my favorite all brett beer is still with the Wyeast Brux strain

good luck

btw, I built up about a 4L starter and fermenation went gangbusters for ~4days then died down and stayed steady
Which company did you get the Lambicus from?
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:51 PM   #10
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