Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > How "dangerous" are Bretts, really?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-20-2010, 06:21 PM   #1
gyllstromk
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 85
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default How "dangerous" are Bretts, really?

I had success with my first use of Bretts and I would like to continue using them. I wonder about whether the common concerns of Bretts are more paranoia. For example, it is commonly advised to use separate equipment and not mix. I don't really want to invest in new equipment at the time being.

But how dangerous is a Brett "infection", really? No one ever worries that spores from America Ale yeast hide in a scratch and "infect" the next batch and ferment it like an IPA. Is there something biologically about Bretts that make them more risky?

__________________
gyllstromk is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-20-2010, 07:35 PM   #2
Oldsock
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Oldsock's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: DC, Washington DC
Posts: 3,037
Liked 139 Times on 97 Posts
Likes Given: 65

Default

Brett is able to thrive in wort that has already been fermented, eating more complex sugars that Saccharomyces is able to (some pro-brewers actually do worry about introducing even other strains of Sacch into their breweries). I used the same equipment for my sour and clean beers for awhile, but after a couple years I had a string of batches with serious Brett infections. It is the soft plastic you have to be most worried about, I still share better bottles and glass bottles without issue.

Just "demote" your gear to sour beer duty and get fresh stuff for the clean beers. I do this about once a year with my tubing, bottling wand, auto siphon, and bottling bucket.

__________________

Check out The Mad Fermentationist for my adventures in fermentation and my book: American Sour Beers!

Oldsock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-20-2010, 07:47 PM   #3
Saccharomyces
Be good to your yeast...
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Saccharomyces's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pflugerville, Texas
Posts: 5,443
Liked 78 Times on 52 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I keep separate bungs and racking hose for sour beers, everything else is shared. I am paranoid about cleaning my equipment as it is; everything gets a good PBW soak, rinse, and soak in Star San after touching a sour or brett beer. No problems there. As long as it isn't porous (hoses, buckets, bungs, rubber seals) it won't be an issue unless you aren't getting it clean, in which case you likely will already have infection problems in your brewery...

I replace my racking hose every 6 months or whenever it no longer looks new. Like Oldsock my old racking hose becomes the sour hose. I mark it with hash marks all up and down using a sharpie. Same with the bungs. That way there isn't any way I can mix them up on accident.

__________________
[How to Calculate Mash Efficiency | Do I Need a Yeast Starter? | My Ghetto Fermentation Chamber | Twitter | 6 Gal. HDPE Fermenters | Slanting Yeast | No Sparge Brewing]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soperbrew
big brother only monitors facebook and untappd
Saccharomyces is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-21-2010, 06:35 PM   #4
gyllstromk
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 85
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsock View Post
Brett is able to thrive in wort that has already been fermented, eating more complex sugars that Saccharomyces is able to
Interesting point. So what this means is that the risk is not from more likely exposure/persistence of Brett, but rather that a healthy Sacc fermentation can't "fight it off" like it could a bacterial infection. This is quite useful!

But what was the problem with your Brett infections? I assume because you were brewing styles for which Brett is inappropriate/unintended?
__________________
gyllstromk is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-21-2010, 07:14 PM   #5
Oldsock
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Oldsock's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: DC, Washington DC
Posts: 3,037
Liked 139 Times on 97 Posts
Likes Given: 65

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gyllstromk View Post
Interesting point. So what this means is that the risk is not from more likely exposure/persistence of Brett, but rather that a healthy Sacc fermentation can't "fight it off" like it could a bacterial infection. This is quite useful!

But what was the problem with your Brett infections? I assume because you were brewing styles for which Brett is inappropriate/unintended?
Exactly, you don't always want a nice funk in a beer (although I’ve had a couple batches go funky and were quite nice with some additional aging including a Hefe and a Mild). A Brett infection can also takes months to develop, so you might have bottles of beer with Brett slowly fermenting dextrins and creating more and more CO2… you get the idea.
__________________

Check out The Mad Fermentationist for my adventures in fermentation and my book: American Sour Beers!

Oldsock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-01-2010, 11:49 PM   #6
SkinnyShamrock
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Camp Hill, PA
Posts: 361
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

At the brewery we're hyper-paranoid about it. Obviously infecting a 250 bbl. brite tank of beer because you re-used a gasket that you just used when racking a Brett beer would be pretty annoying.

Glass, stainless, or any harder metal really is fine when sanitized properly, a nice hot caustic soak, followed by StarSan or Iodaphor. I don't mix anything plastic or rubber. So, on the homebrew side, bottling buckets, siphons, tubing, gaskets, airlocks/bungs, any of that, I have a separate set of everything, and I label it multiple times in HUGE letters so I don't miss it. At work, we throw out gaskets when they're used with Brett. Valves are disassembled, autoclaved, and put back together with new rubber seals.

Brett is some hardy stuff, and will live through a lot in the small pores of plastic.

__________________

Jeff, Brewer, Troegs Brewing Company, Harrisburg, PA

"RDWHAHB, right?"
"No, just do it right, damnit!"

SkinnyShamrock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brett only orval "clone"? bakins Lambic & Wild Brewing 6 06-19-2011 07:05 PM
Sweetening my "lambic" BoogieBrandBooze Lambic & Wild Brewing 11 10-21-2009 05:31 PM
"continuously" fermenting Brett beer? bakins Lambic & Wild Brewing 12 06-24-2009 01:23 PM