Brett Starter from Dregs - No Visible Activity

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Aristotelian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
939
Reaction score
226
Never brewed with Brett before and thought I would give it a try. I thought I would culture up a few starters from a few beers containing Brett to have on hand. Started with dregs from a Bruery Saison Rue, described as a Saison with "hints of brettanomyces". I put the dregs in a sanitized 8 oz mason jar with about an equal amount of starter wort. It is on day 5 and I am not seeing any visible activity as I usually do, however it does smell like beer and has clarified substantially in the last 24 hours. Is this typical for a beer with brett in it? Is it possible that the saison yeast is dead but the brett is working? What should be my game plan here, add some other dregs (Orval? Jolly Pumpkin?) to this one, or culture up a bunch of separate starters?

IMG_20160518_080219.jpg
 
OP
A

Aristotelian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
939
Reaction score
226
You may want to check with them but I think the Bruery may be centrifuging and re yeasting now?
Well, there was definitely sediment in the bottle. The bottle says unfiltered and unpasteurized, and Saison Rue is on the Madfermentationist dregs list for containing brett. Would centrifuging get rid of enough yeast that the dregs would no longer work?
 

505-Brewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
657
Reaction score
155
Location
Albuquerque
Never brewed with Brett before and thought I would give it a try. I thought I would culture up a few starters from a few beers containing Brett to have on hand. Started with dregs from a Bruery Saison Rue, described as a Saison with "hints of brettanomyces". I put the dregs in a sanitized 8 oz mason jar with about an equal amount of starter wort. It is on day 5 and I am not seeing any visible activity as I usually do, however it does smell like beer and has clarified substantially in the last 24 hours. Is this typical for a beer with brett in it? Is it possible that the saison yeast is dead but the brett is working? What should be my game plan here, add some other dregs (Orval? Jolly Pumpkin?) to this one, or culture up a bunch of separate starters?

Sounds normal. Step it up again. After a few steps you will have enough cells to "see activity". Initially you might just see the sediment grow. I don't use an airlock on dregs for the first couple generations. You're growing yeast/brett/bugs not making beer. Please let us know how it turns out.
 

hazelbrew

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
I have stepped up dregs from several bottles in the last month. Each one has shown very little obvious signs of fermentation on the initial step.

i.e. very little in the way of bubbles - just an increase in the sediment, a clearing of the starter wort and a change in smell. On the second step is where you see the action.

don't crash chill it. Just pitch the whole of the initial step into a bigger starter.

I have been going from 100-150ml initial step and adding to 800ml fresh starter to give me a 1 litre second step.
 
OP
A

Aristotelian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
939
Reaction score
226
Thanks for the responses. I tasted it the day before yesterday and it still tasted like wort with a bit of alcohol, but I decided to keep it going. Last night I noticed something around the edges. I am not sure if it's bubbles or pellicle, but it's something. It kinda disappears when swirled. I will stick with it and see what happens.
 

hazelbrew

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
this is the orval dregs on day 5. I had some small pin prick bubbles on the surface during the day, and a thickening layer of sludge on the bottom.

Gave it a shake this evening and...

orvaldregs.jpg
 
OP
A

Aristotelian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
939
Reaction score
226
I came home to a definite ring of foam. Nothing like the Orval dregs in the picture but I think this is starting to go.
 

505-Brewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
657
Reaction score
155
Location
Albuquerque
I came home to a definite ring of foam. Nothing like the Orval dregs in the picture but I think this is starting to go.

Excelent. A small cell count and a slow (2 stage) growth process = it takes a while. Sounds like it is progressing. I echo above. For firt three steps just keep adding wort. Once you get nice active krausen tben you can let that go 7-10 days crash cool and then decant before use. Starter might be slightly acetic but thats normal.
 

mesooohoppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
228
Reaction score
31
Location
Wets Coast
I believe when I made my first brett starter (brett c), it took 7 days before I could see active fermentation in the starter. drove me crazy; just gotta wait it out, brett is a slow mover!
 
Top