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Old 07-31-2009, 10:52 PM   #1
ArcaneXor
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Default Resurrecting expired Brett

Hello, fellow wild brewers!

I am just starting my first beer fermented with creatures other than Saccharomyces (a Berliner Weisse with a fresh Wyeast Lacto culture and a pinch of acidulated malt in the mash), so I am very excited to be joining the exciting world beyond the limits of conventional yeast. If it's sour, I love it!

Today, my LHBS gave me some free Brettanomyces clausenii and bruxellensis (one vial each) with an expiration date of December 2007 - so I assume that 99% of the cells are probably dead or at least very weak. I am usually pretty good at resurrecting almost-dead yeast (I enjoy it, in fact), but having never dealt with Brett cultures, I'd appreciate any suggestions as to how to nurse these back to life and propagate them. Same procedure as for regular yeast (i.e. making a small starter and stepping it up), or do I need to do something special?

Also, can these (as well as bacteria cultures like lacto and pedio) be frozen with glycerin like regular yeast for storage?

Finally, I assume that, when using glass equipment, cross-contamination with regular yeast won't be an issue if I follow proper cleaning and sanitation procedures? I do have a separate set of plastic equipment for my wild brews (bucket/hoses/racking cane, etc).

Not sure what I'll brew with the Brett yet if I manage to resurrect them - maybe a Flanders Red or a funkified Brown Ale.

Thanks for your suggestions!

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Old 08-01-2009, 06:55 AM   #2
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I've only done one batch with bugs but I didn't get any cross contamination contrary to what the guy at the LHBS told me would happen. I added the brett in the keg though and nothing sits in a beer line long enough to get infected by brett...at least at my house.

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Old 08-01-2009, 07:45 AM   #3
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Just make a starter a couple of days ahead of time, I bet they're just fine. You'd be surprised what they can take.

Brett-Saison is good. I'm doing a Brett C-Quad. Barleywine with brett might be good. Triple a la Duvel.

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Old 08-01-2009, 11:11 AM   #4
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The count to begin with in those WL tubes is really small, nowhere near enough to ferment an entire batch. To funk one, perhaps, but it will take a long time. You shouldn't have to do anything special with regards to stepping it up different from normal Sacc. If your using it as a primary strain, make sure you have a crapload, like lager sized pitch. Also, I'd save the cake from the Berliner and use it to pitch into the Flander's with the Brett. Flander's (reds in particular) don't have huge brett character, it's much more about the lacto.

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