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Old 05-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
ChadChaney
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Default Confused about starters...

I have been trying to read as much as possible lately about Brett, Pedio, Lacto and Sour Blends (White Labs) and am a little confused by all the different information. So, if I plan on using a pure culture of Brett B or L for primary fermentation, do I need to make a starter, better yet, do I need to make a massive starter (4L)? I keep reading where Brett exhibits all the classic characteristics when it is stressed, if that is so, should I roll no starter? How about as a secondary yeast? I have a Saison with a FG of 1.009 in secondary right now, can I just pitch the Brett B out of the vial and let er rip for a bit?

How about the Lacto and Pedio, those need large starters right? How large are we talking here for an OG around 1.060? Also, I have never stepped up a starter before and can not seem to find a step by step description, anyone care to enlighten me? Really appreciate all the help, can't wait to get some nice funky brews rolling!

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Old 05-18-2012, 06:37 PM   #2
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I'm new to using Brett as well but have been doing a bunch of research. My understanding is that the "classic" characteristics you talk about will not be present in a beer fermented with only Brett. When used as a primary, as opposed to adding in secondary, it actually ferments quite clean ad the classic Brett characteristics are not that noticeable.

As far a pitching you do need to do a starter, basically the same size you would do for a lager pitch, but you need to let the starter work for 5-7 days instead of 1-2 days for ale yeast. Chad Yakobsen's dissertation is probably some of the best and most accurate information you can get on Primarying with Brett. Also check out the Mad Fermentationist, he has a ton of good information.


http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2008/06/all-about-brettanomyces.html

http://www.brettanomycesproject.com/dissertation/

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Old 05-18-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by brewhappy View Post
I'm new to using Brett as well but have been doing a bunch of research. My understanding is that the "classic" characteristics you talk about will not be present in a beer fermented with only Brett.
In my experience, this is misleading. It really does depend on which strain of Brett you are working with. My 100% brett brux is profoundly horsey and funky, far more than say Orval or another beer where brett is added post-primary.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Soma View Post
In my experience, this is misleading. It really does depend on which strain of Brett you are working with. My 100% brett brux is profoundly horsey and funky, far more than say Orval or another beer where brett is added post-primary.
My 100% Brett-B beers have no horsey or funky characteristics. Lots of fruit flavors.

I believe what you are saying. What I would like to find out is why you have different results than I do. It must be the way we treat the beer during fermentation. What I do is:

- Large starter or large amount of slurry (have done both several times)
- Aerate really well. Usually aerate a second time 12 hours after pitching too, but not always. I aerate by swirling/shaking a closed fermenter, and get at least 1 inch foam from it.
- Have fermented mid 60s to mid 70s. I find more fruit flavors the higher the temp.
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:28 AM   #5
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To add further I've had beers that went into the bottle with the famed pineapple taste come out a year later like an aged Orval.

Also, I believ chad suggested that he pitched his Brett around an ale pitching rate. May need to go back to the Sunday session to check that one.

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Old 05-19-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadChaney View Post
I have been trying to read as much as possible lately about Brett, Pedio, Lacto and Sour Blends (White Labs) and am a little confused by all the different information. So, if I plan on using a pure culture of Brett B or L for primary fermentation, do I need to make a starter, better yet, do I need to make a massive starter (4L)? I keep reading where Brett exhibits all the classic characteristics when it is stressed, if that is so, should I roll no starter? How about as a secondary yeast? I have a Saison with a FG of 1.009 in secondary right now, can I just pitch the Brett B out of the vial and let er rip for a bit?

How about the Lacto and Pedio, those need large starters right? How large are we talking here for an OG around 1.060? Also, I have never stepped up a starter before and can not seem to find a step by step description, anyone care to enlighten me? Really appreciate all the help, can't wait to get some nice funky brews rolling!
Brett starters
- they should be large, you should use the lager pitch rates if using an online calculator. This is because the brett packs/vials come in much lower cell counts than normal yeasts, so by using a lager pitch rate we are in actuality just building up to ale pitch rates

Brett character
- If pitched in the primary it will start out fruity, but with age it will turn funky
- If pitched in the secondary it will only ever be funky, and with age will become more so, as the brett eats all of the esters in the beer
* White labs strains (except C) are significantly more funky than the Wyeast versions in just about any way you could use them

Lacto starter
- yes make a fairly large starter. Use some DME and glucose, as it appears that the WY/WL strains only seem to ferment glucose. Keep it warms and add chalk to balance the acidity (they can kill themselves)

Pedio starter
- not as necessary, they are slow growing and fairly strong to begin with (Do not aerate them at all) but if you decide to do one, do it similar to the lacto
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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I am growing a Brett Brux/lambicus starter at the moment. It's been going for about 4 days. I have read that Brett has trouble flocculating. I want to re feed it a few times but don't know if I should strain off the wort and keep the sediment or just double the size every time. Does anyone know how much Brett is in suspension compared to the sediment? If most is left in suspension I don't want to throw away all those precious cells.

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Old 05-19-2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by sheepdawgg View Post
I am growing a Brett Brux/lambicus starter at the moment. It's been going for about 4 days. I have read that Brett has trouble flocculating. I want to re feed it a few times but don't know if I should strain off the wort and keep the sediment or just double the size every time. Does anyone know how much Brett is in suspension compared to the sediment? If most is left in suspension I don't want to throw away all those precious cells.
let it grow until it floccs on its own. This ensures it finished eating everything in the starter and most of cells have dropped, you can then decant most all of the starter liquid and only add the slurry
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Soma View Post
In my experience, this is misleading. It really does depend on which strain of Brett you are working with. My 100% brett brux is profoundly horsey and funky, far more than say Orval or another beer where brett is added post-primary.
That could be. I don't have any personal experience to back up the claim. The claim is really Chad Yakobson's if I am reading his info and listening to his speeches correctly. I know he is producing a number of 100% Brett beers that don't have the classic characteristics. He does have a number of Brett strains that homebrewers don't really have access to as well though.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryane

let it grow until it floccs on its own. This ensures it finished eating everything in the starter and most of cells have dropped, you can then decant most all of the starter liquid and only add the slurry
I decanted half of the liquid last night and pitch the rest/sediment (about a quart) into 2.5 gallons. Woke up this morning and it's in full stride 2 bubbles every second! Thanks.
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