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Old 10-02-2008, 02:16 AM   #1
kmlavoy
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Default Another Brett question

Doing my Flanders Red this weekend. Also finishing reading Wild Brews. He talks about leaving your beer in the primary for a month or more, as the autolyzing yeasts provide food for the other critters that come after. Can anyone who's done some wild ferments comment on this? What if I just transferred in my normal time frame but left the end off my racking cane to suck up some of the crap from the bottom (the brewer I was a year ago would have died at the thought of such an idea).

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Old 10-02-2008, 03:13 AM   #2
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I can not see why some like to play with fire or other wild things in their brews. I like my brews to taste like beer and not some biological experiment. Sounds like it is done and needs bottling or keging. I have left beer for 1.5 months in the primary and there were no off tastes at all. I have keg beer that has yeast still in them that are 6 months old and no off tastes either. I have no idea what you have been reading but for me good beer is enough.

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Old 10-02-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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Did you ferment out with a neutral ale yeast first or did you add a yeast blend first? If you fermented out with the neutral yeast, then I would rack the beer off it and add the bugs in the secondary. However, if the latter is true, I wouldn't be concerned about leaving it in primary. You'd be surprised at how well the yeast clean up off flavors or use autolysis to their benefit.

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I can not see why some like to play with fire or other wild things in their brews. I like my brews to taste like beer and not some biological experiment. Sounds like it is done and needs bottling or keging. I have left beer for 1.5 months in the primary and there were no off tastes at all. I have keg beer that has yeast still in them that are 6 months old and no off tastes either. I have no idea what you have been reading but for me good beer is enough.
Well, that is good for you then, but some of us love experimentation. I think my sour beers still taste like beer, so to me, your statement is flawed. How is it playing with fire? I trust my brewing skills, cleanliness, and sanitation and nothing has ever happened to me. This seems to be such a recurring theme to your posts that in your 36 years of brewing you've never had an infection. That's fine and dandy, but if you don't have anything worthwhile to add to a post, then why reply? Maybe if you would like to educate yourself on these types of beers (not suggesting brewing them, but at least to become a little more familiar so you don't have to jump on anyone who's feeling adventurous) you should read Wild Brews by Jeff Sparrow. It's a great book.
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by WBC View Post
I can not see why some like to play with fire or other wild things in their brews. I like my brews to taste like beer and not some biological experiment. Sounds like it is done and needs bottling or keging. I have left beer for 1.5 months in the primary and there were no off tastes at all. I have keg beer that has yeast still in them that are 6 months old and no off tastes either. I have no idea what you have been reading but for me good beer is enough.
You seem to be inferring that lambic, et al, is not "good beer". You could be further from the truth. Drink a bottle of Hanssen's Gueuze and you'll see just how wrong you are.

The reason the OP mentions autolysis is because 'normal' beer (meaning saccharomyces-only brews) can autolyze if left on the original yeast cake for long enough. The yeast cells start to die, and the living ones begin to cannibalize them, resulting in a horrible stench and ruined beer. Granted, it takes a very long time for this to happen, and usually doesn't happen unless you leave a huge cell count in there (as in, primary cake), but it can happen. The difference here, as the OP discusses, is that certain wild yeasts and bacterial cultures will also eat dead yeast cells...except, rather than ruining the beer with horrible smell/taste, it tends to lend a barnyardy character to the beer reminiscent of Belgian gueuze. Given that most good sour beers take at least 6 months to a year to finish up, the chance for this to happen is pretty good.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:18 PM   #5
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and the living ones begin to cannibalize them,
Negative. Repeat after me: "autolysis is not "cannibalism"". Period. Auto (self) + lysis (breaking). The cells undergo controlled apoptosis. They do not cannibalize each other. Lactic cultures don't eat dead yeast either, in fact a species or two of the lactic cultures used in beer can only use lactose as an energy source. AFAIK, brett does not eat yeast either, but uses complex sugars saccharomyces can't use. There's a difference between eating the yeast and using it as a protective cover.
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:24 PM   #6
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Negative. Repeat after me: "autolysis is not "cannibalism"". Period. Auto (self) + lysis (breaking). The cells undergo controlled apoptosis. They do not cannibalize each other. Lactic cultures don't eat dead yeast either, in fact a species or two of the lactic cultures used in beer can only use lactose as an energy source. AFAIK, brett does not eat yeast either, but uses complex sugars saccharomyces can't use. There's a difference between eating the yeast and using it as a protective cover.
They may however (and I am purely basing this on 10+ years of molecular biology education and inferring things from a topic I don't really know much about) use some of the nutrients put off by the autolysed cells for reproduction, and metabolism (i.e. essential amino acids, lipids, etc). I have no evidence one way or the other for that, but it tends to be how things work in biology (from dust to dust...).
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:07 PM   #7
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Agreed. Even "normal" yeast will uptake proteins etc from dead cells and use them. My point was, reusing proteins is much different from cannibalism.

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Old 10-02-2008, 07:20 PM   #8
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Negative. Repeat after me: "autolysis is not "cannibalism"". Period. Auto (self) + lysis (breaking). The cells undergo controlled apoptosis. They do not cannibalize each other. Lactic cultures don't eat dead yeast either, in fact a species or two of the lactic cultures used in beer can only use lactose as an energy source. AFAIK, brett does not eat yeast either, but uses complex sugars saccharomyces can't use. There's a difference between eating the yeast and using it as a protective cover.
Okay, cool, call it "reusing proteins from dead cells" rather than cannibalism. Whatever floats your boat. True, the process of "autolysis" refers strictly to cell rupture, but the ensuing process could loosely be called cannibalism, as the living cells eat nutrients from the dead. It's semantics, AFAIC...just because they don't wholesale munch down on the entirety of the cell doesn't really change that. Just because I only at someone's fingers but left the rest of their body doesn't change anything.

Anyway, I'm not biologist, but I've read in several reputable places that certain bugs (can't remember which off the top of my head) like to use dead yeast cells for sustenance, and that this process can produce a barnyardier character. If you have something to contradict this, I'll be glad to check it out, as I'm just going on what I've read.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:31 PM   #9
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It's semantics, AFAIC...just because they don't wholesale munch down on the entirety of the cell doesn't really change that.
In biology, it's not just semantics. Your own bodily cells reuse their own proteins and proteins from other cells. It is not cannibalism, its recycling.

Unless what you've read is about S. cerevisiae, then again, it is not cannibalism. I'm not actively debating that Dekkera may use dead S. cerevisiae, I am debating calling that cannabalism, because that's something entirely different. However, even if I was debating that even that occurs, I have no obligation to prove a negative, and thus the burden of proof would not be on me. As far as biology goes, reputable sources are peer-reviewed scientific journals. Nothing else counts, not even brewing publications, regardless of how reputable they may seem.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:40 PM   #10
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In biology, it's not just semantics. Your own bodily cells reuse their own proteins and proteins from other cells. It is not cannibalism, its recycling.

Unless what you've read is about S. cerevisiae, then again, it is not cannibalism. I'm not actively debating that Dekkera may use dead S. cerevisiae, I am debating calling that cannabalism, because that's something entirely different. However, even if I was debating that even that occurs, I have no obligation to prove a negative, and thus the burden of proof would not be on me. As far as biology goes, reputable sources are peer-reviewed scientific journals. Nothing else counts, not even brewing publications, regardless of how reputable they may seem.
Which is why this is a brewing forum and not a biology publication.

I WAS talking about S. cerevisiae when I was referring to 'cannibalism', and in my context, it was...ah, you know, f*ck it, I just don't care to BS about it anymore. We both know what's happening down there, so there's really no point.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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