Is 3711/Belle Saison a Contaminant?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

dr_bollinger

Active Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
27
Reaction score
6
I recently found out that pro brewers have struggled with contamination by Saccharomyces cerevisiae variant Diastaticus, which is apparently sold commercially as 3711 and Belle Saison. See the following article:

http://goodbeerhunting.com/sightlin...ntamination-in-the-wake-of-left-hands-lawsuit

My question is whether we should be using dedicated equipment when brewing with 3711 and Belle Saison. I currently have a saison on tap that I brewed using 3711 (too estery, but I digress). I used my "clean" gear to brew that beer, and I'm worried that it's all contaminated now.
 

dmtaylor

Lord Idiot the Lazy
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
4,760
Reaction score
3,102
Location
Two Rivers, WI
Intriguing. I do indeed think this is a valid concern. Dedicate any hoses, plastic, or rubber components when using 3711 or Belle Saison. Glass and steel should be just fine of course.
 

Smellyglove

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2013
Messages
2,807
Reaction score
801
It often leaves biofilm. AFAIK you should sanitize this kind of equipment "more properly" than if had it not been a diastaticus. Even Lallemand sais that care should be taken to sanitize to avoid cross-contamination.

I've heard of a few people which had a "belle saison infection" in their brewery. Bottled at stable SG, and after a while they had gushers. AFAIK they were sure it was because of the diastaticus.
 

madscientist451

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2014
Messages
5,128
Reaction score
2,794
Location
Bedford
What information in the provided article leads you to believe that at the homebrew level, you are going to experience any problems?
 

Calder

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
8,545
Reaction score
1,034
Location
Ohio
I see nothing in the article that indicates 3711 is what they are talking about. I've used 3711 a lot with no problems; plastic fermenters and hoses. I must have used it at least 15 times over the past 8 years. Sometimes as a primary yeast, and at other times as a late yeast to lower FG.

I have a Barley Wine I bottled about 8 years ago that used 3711 added late inthe ferment to get the last 10 points. I still have many ofthe bottles, no broken bottles, and perfectly carbonated (no gushing.

If this was a contaminant in the way the article talks about it, Ithink I would have had a problem by now.
 
OP
dr_bollinger

dr_bollinger

Active Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
27
Reaction score
6
What information in the provided article leads you to believe that at the homebrew level, you are going to experience any problems?
The fact that Diastaticus contamination causes packaged beer to explode. I'm not sure why the homebrew level would be different from the commercial level in this context.

I also read elsewhere that fewer Diastaticus cells relative to Brett cells are necessary to cause an infection, and that a Diastaticus infection can go undiscovered for quite some time after packaging.

It often leaves biofilm.
Before I read this, I was thinking that Diastaticus might be less of a concern than Brett, as I was thinking that Diastaticus doesn't leave a biofilm and would therefore be easier to clean... But apparently it does leave a biofilm. Hmmmm. :no:
 
OP
dr_bollinger

dr_bollinger

Active Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
27
Reaction score
6
I see nothing in the article that indicates 3711 is what they are talking about. I've used 3711 a lot with no problems; plastic fermenters and hoses. I must have used it at least 15 times over the past 8 years. Sometimes as a primary yeast, and at other times as a late yeast to lower FG.

I have a Barley Wine I bottled about 8 years ago that used 3711 added late inthe ferment to get the last 10 points. I still have many ofthe bottles, no broken bottles, and perfectly carbonated (no gushing.

If this was a contaminant in the way the article talks about it, Ithink I would have had a problem by now.
https://www.reddit.com/r/TheBrewery...lks_any_experience_testing_for_s_diastaticus/

If you allowed the Diastaticus to ferment out, then you wouldn't have had a problem. The problem would be if the Diastaticus had been inadvertently introduced in small quantities.

Have you also used that gear on lots of other "clean" batches?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
3,985
Reaction score
3,769
Location
Chicago
I guess the only solution is to always brew with 3711!

Seriously, I used 3711+3724 back in late October in my first batch ever and was not aware of the need to be extra careful sanitizing. I've just bottled my 5th and 6th batches, a dubbel and a tripel. Do I need to look out for bottle bombs? Every bottle I've opened so far has had the expected level of carbonation except one hefeweizen where the dimple in the cap popped up. I drank it without any problems. I liked this yeast blend so much I've been propagating the dregs from one of the remaining original bottles over the past few days in preparation to brew another saison. Now I'm worried about contaminating my gear.

-How long do I need to keep an eye on the level of carbonation before I'm in the clear?
-What extraordinary steps can I take to improve my sanitation?
-Is star san the right sanitizer when working with this strain?
 
Last edited:

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
619
Location
Earth
1. The article is talking about a well known court case involving White Labs. 3711 is not their product, it is packaged and sold by Wyeast Laboratories.

2. I always have my go to Saison on tap and always use a 50/50 mix of 3711 and cultured Dupont dregs. I've never had cross contamination, secondary fermentation, or any other weird issues.

3. What brewer, home or professional, would ever NOT fully clean and sanitize their equipment.

4. To the O/P, 3711 (as well as many true Saison strains) have some dramatic flavor differences depending on fermentation temperature. If you are a true classic Saison fan (ya like da funk), ferment it HOT, and i mean like high 80's to low 90's. If you follow the edicts of the masses and do the 60's and 70's thing, it will be boring as hell and you could have used WLP001 instead and not tasted a difference. But be careful. That stuff can attenuate old gym shirts and distilled water. Plan on over 90% no matter what beersmith tells you :)
 
Last edited:

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
619
Location
Earth
I guess the only solution is to always brew with 3711!

Seriously, I used 3711+3724 back in late October in my first batch ever and was not aware of the need to be extra careful sanitizing. I've just bottled my 5th and 6th batches, a dubbel and a tripel. Do I need to look out for bottle bombs? Every bottle I've opened so far has had the expected level of carbonation except one hefeweizen where the dimple in the cap popped up. I drank it without any problems. I liked this yeast blend so much I've been propagating the dregs from one of the remaining original bottles over the past few days in preparation to brew another saison. Now I'm worried about contaminating my gear.

-How long do I need to keep an eye on the level of carbonation before I'm in the clear?
-What extraordinary steps can I take to improve my sanitation?
-Is star san the right sanitizer when working with this strain?
Relax. Practice good hygiene like you always should for any yeast or basic brewing practices. You will be just fine.

Hot tip for the non-Saison Belgians you mentioned. Culture up a couple bottles of Allegash White dregs. Excellent yeast blend for almost anything Belgian. It's voracious though, use a blow-off tube.
 
Last edited:

hotwatermusic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
434
Reaction score
220
Location
gardena
The MBAA recently did a 2 part podcast extravaganza on the menace of diastaticus. Check it out it's scary. However bazillions of us are using 3711 and various yeasts that are said to have the diastaticus gene and there haven't been tons of bottle bomb threads pointing to them as a culprit. I agree with Dougie- SoCal good hygiene is generally enough.
 

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
619
Location
Earth
WLP566 is another one that causes paranoia... I've used it (little too fruity and not funky enough for me). I know of brew pubs that use it. I have never heard of any problems. Here's the note on their web site...

"This strain has been genetically typed in our lab using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Through this genetic testing, we have determined WLP566 Belgian Saison II Ale Yeast to contain the glucoamylase gene (STA1), a potential indicator of S. cerevisiae var. diastaticus. Brewers yeast are natural hybrids, which make it possible for certain strains to display elements of the STA1 gene. These strains have the ability to utilize some dextrins (unfermentable sugars), resulting in higher levels of attenuation than what is considered typical. At White Labs, we do everything possible to detect for undesired organisms within our process and cultures. The strains we carry with known var. S. diastaticus genetics have been researched and validated to perform without excessive over-attenuating, which is possible through our nearly 25 years of experience paired with internal and external fermentation data."
 

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,194
Reaction score
988
Location
Iasi, Romania
I used Fermentis BE-134, which is also a Diastaticus strain, in November for a Saison and now I just brewed 5 batches... I hope nothing is contaminated.

Actually, I brewed a porter and it is now fermenting with Nottingham. OG was 1.072 and after 6 days, the FG is 1.011. Maybe that is a sign of cross-contamination? Although my Windsor Brown ale stopped at 1.019...
 

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
619
Location
Earth
I used Fermentis BE-134, which is also a Diastaticus strain, in November for a Saison and now I just brewed 5 batches... I hope nothing is contaminated.

Actually, I brewed a porter and it is now fermenting with Nottingham. OG was 1.072 and after 6 days, the FG is 1.011. Maybe that is a sign of cross-contamination? Although my Windsor Brown ale stopped at 1.019...
Yeah, it's probably all ruined. I suggest you bring it all over to my place for proper disposal [insert face palm here] :)
 
Last edited:

hotwatermusic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
434
Reaction score
220
Location
gardena
I used Fermentis BE-134, which is also a Diastaticus strain, in November for a Saison and now I just brewed 5 batches... I hope nothing is contaminated.

Actually, I brewed a porter and it is now fermenting with Nottingham. OG was 1.072 and after 6 days, the FG is 1.011. Maybe that is a sign of cross-contamination? Although my Windsor Brown ale stopped at 1.019...
If you actually had a issue with the diastaticus contamination that would mean there were enough sneaky little devils hiding in biofilm that sprang out and spooged massive amounts of amylase in enough time to bring your gravity down to 1.011 in 6 days. Sure, probably that.
haha just kidding. I don't know how you got that kind of attenuation with Notty in a porter. Grain bill? Fermentation temp? Pixie dust? All more likely to be responsible IMO.
 

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,194
Reaction score
988
Location
Iasi, Romania
Point taken as I have never used Nottingham before, so I do not know how attenuating it is, but Lallemand says 77%. I already am at 84% AA, hence my first thought went to some sort of infection/contamination. :(
 

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
619
Location
Earth
All kidding aside, I have another Saison in the fermenter now (day 4 with my standard 3711/Dupont yeast blend) and its not bubbling, its fricken blowing. I could inflate a balloon in seconds on the airlock. In another couple days it will be done and attenuated down to about 1.003 or less. Welcome to the world of 3711 :)
 

hotwatermusic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
434
Reaction score
220
Location
gardena
Point taken as I have never used Nottingham before, so I do not know how attenuating it is, but Lallemand says 77%. I already am at 84% AA, hence my first thought went to some sort of infection/contamination. :(
The only point I was really serious about was wondering about the grain bill. I've had beers go past what the labs claim to be max attenuation and taste fine. But what you got is an Imperial porter now;)
 

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
619
Location
Earth
Point taken as I have never used Nottingham before, so I do not know how attenuating it is, but Lallemand says 77%. I already am at 84% AA, hence my first thought went to some sort of infection/contamination. :(
The advertised attenuation is sometimes grossly different from actual results. Many factors play in. If you google up the Nottingham yeast, there are plenty of people that have experienced high 80's and even 90% attenuation with it. 3711 is listed as 77% to 83% which is wildly low and I don't know anyone who gets less then about 88 with the stuff in the worst of conditions. Low to mid 90's is more common.

Don't fret it. Nottingham is pretty versatile and interesting. Ferment it warmer and it will be weird kinda fruity and estery. Keep it cooler and it will be really clean. I would recommend keeping it at 65 to 70 for a really clean malt forward type porter without yeasty flavors. It will be obvious when its kegged and enjoyed.
 

thehaze

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
2,194
Reaction score
988
Location
Iasi, Romania
If you actually had a issue with the diastaticus contamination that would mean there were enough sneaky little devils hiding in biofilm that sprang out and spooged massive amounts of amylase in enough time to bring your gravity down to 1.011 in 6 days. Sure, probably that.
haha just kidding. I don't know how you got that kind of attenuation with Notty in a porter. Grain bill? Fermentation temp? Pixie dust? All more likely to be responsible IMO.
86.7% Crisp Maris Otter and 3.3% each of Crisp Crystal 90L, Crystal 150L, Black Malt and Pale Chocolate. Some sugar to dry it out and I mashed at 149F/65C for 70 minutes. I pitched 2 Nottingham sachets dry into 6.8 gallons of 1.072 wort at 64F/18C. Fermented at 64F for 3 days and then raised the temp to 70F and now ( almost 7 days after pitching ) it is bubbling once every few minutes.
 

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
619
Location
Earth
86.7% Crisp Maris Otter and 3.3% each of Crisp Crystal 90L, Crystal 150L, Black Malt and Pale Chocolate. Some sugar to dry it out and I mashed at 149F/65C for 70 minutes. I pitched 2 Nottingham sachets dry into 6.8 gallons of 1.072 wort at 64F/18C. Fermented at 64F for 3 days and then raised the temp to 70F and now ( almost 7 days after pitching ) it is bubbling once every few minutes.
65F is great. Try to not let it go above 70F. The sugar is highly fermentable and will be chewed on hard by the yeast. The 149 mash is the other culprit in attenuation. Typically porters are mashed a bit higher for a sweeter heavier maltier body. If you sense any off or odd yeast flavors, do a starter next time as to not stress the yeast and keep it a little cleaner.

Sounds like a really tasty brew! Keep us posted on the taste results.
 
Last edited:

madscientist451

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2014
Messages
5,128
Reaction score
2,794
Location
Bedford
The fact that Diastaticus contamination causes packaged beer to explode. I'm not sure why the homebrew level would be different from the commercial level in this context.

I also read elsewhere that fewer Diastaticus cells relative to Brett cells are necessary to cause an infection, and that a Diastaticus infection can go undiscovered for quite some time after packaging.
Is there anything in the provided article that indicates that homebrewers have experienced the same problem Left Hand Brewing did?
Just because some people have expressed concern about wild yeast doesn't mean there is an actual issue to worry about.
The only thing that we know is that an ALLEGATION has been made against one manufacturer, White Labs. They have denied the allegation and we probably will never know for sure what occurred, since their insurance company will probably agree to an out of court settlement, or the case will be dismissed.
The chance of the lawsuit going to a public trial is about zero.
If experienced homebrewers were having lots of exploding bottles, you'd hear about it.
Wild yeast is all around us, always has been and always will be.
 

dmtaylor

Lord Idiot the Lazy
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
4,760
Reaction score
3,102
Location
Two Rivers, WI
Point taken as I have never used Nottingham before, so I do not know how attenuating it is, but Lallemand says 77%. I already am at 84% AA, hence my first thought went to some sort of infection/contamination. :(
With Notty I have always gotten 77-78% very consistently. You could probably get higher if your mash was low and slow or if you added a lot of simple sugars to the recipe. It appears you did both of these things.
 

NTexBrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
957
Reaction score
371
Location
Just North of Dallas
I’m pretty sure this is what is happening to the breweries like Left Hand and Bells. Unlike Home brewers they know with pretty good precision that the beer they are brewing will finish at a final gravity “x” in “y” number of days. They probably check the specific gravity of the beer and when it hits that final gravity they start the packaging process.

So if their beer usually finishes at 1.010 and they reach that gravity in the normal amount of time they think nothing is wrong and they bottle the beer. If the beer is contaminated with a small amount of a super attenuating yeast it will consume the sugars left in the beer and cause bottle bombs.

Home brewers usually let their beer ferment longer than breweries and typically check twice to make sure the final gravity is stable. So if a Home brewer does have an infection it would probably not cause bottle bombs since the final gravity is stable.

If you are using a low attenuating yeast like SO4 and it finishes at 1.003 there is a good chance you have a contamination.

The other thing is I’m pretty sure with proper sanitation and cleaning this yeast will die.

The problem that Left Hand is alleging is that they received from White Labs yeast that was contaminated. Left Hand no longer has bottle bombs so they obviously were able to clean and sanitize their equipment to prevent future contamination.
 
OP
dr_bollinger

dr_bollinger

Active Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
27
Reaction score
6
I’m pretty sure this is what is happening to the breweries like Left Hand and Bells. Unlike Home brewers they know with pretty good precision that the beer they are brewing will finish at a final gravity “x” in “y” number of days. They probably check the specific gravity of the beer and when it hits that final gravity they start the packaging process.

So if their beer usually finishes at 1.010 and they reach that gravity in the normal amount of time they think nothing is wrong and they bottle the beer. If the beer is contaminated with a small amount of a super attenuating yeast it will consume the sugars left in the beer and cause bottle bombs.

Home brewers usually let their beer ferment longer than breweries and typically check twice to make sure the final gravity is stable. So if a Home brewer does have an infection it would probably not cause bottle bombs since the final gravity is stable.

If you are using a low attenuating yeast like SO4 and it finishes at 1.003 there is a good chance you have a contamination.

The other thing is I’m pretty sure with proper sanitation and cleaning this yeast will die.

The problem that Left Hand is alleging is that they received from White Labs yeast that was contaminated. Left Hand no longer has bottle bombs so they obviously were able to clean and sanitize their equipment to prevent future contamination.
Fair enough. I'm a little less optimistic.

I suspect that, if a small number of cells of Diastaticus are introduced early in the fermentation, the infection might not show until weeks after the primary strain has finished fermenting, in which case a home brewer would have the illusion of a stable FG.

Also, what if Diastaticus is introduced during packaging? (i.e., by the bottling bucket or wand)

From what I've read, it seems likely that we should be treating Diastaticus with more caution than we treat Brett.
 

Dcpcooks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,534
Reaction score
540
Location
Libertyville
I see nothing in the article that indicates 3711 is what they are talking about. I've used 3711 a lot with no problems; plastic fermenters and hoses. I must have used it at least 15 times over the past 8 years. Sometimes as a primary yeast, and at other times as a late yeast to lower FG.

I have a Barley Wine I bottled about 8 years ago that used 3711 added late inthe ferment to get the last 10 points. I still have many ofthe bottles, no broken bottles, and perfectly carbonated (no gushing.

If this was a contaminant in the way the article talks about it, Ithink I would have had a problem by now.
I don’t think you’d experience the bottle bomb issue with 3711 in your application since you pitched it intentionally to finish a fermentation.

You probably waited for a stable FG before bottling and since it was a Barley wine you probably gave it a bit of time to finish up.
 

Dcpcooks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,534
Reaction score
540
Location
Libertyville
Fair enough. I'm a little less optimistic.

I suspect that, if a small number of cells of Diastaticus are introduced early in the fermentation, the infection might not show until weeks after the primary strain has finished fermenting, in which case a home brewer would have the illusion of a stable FG.

Also, what if Diastaticus is introduced during packaging? (i.e., by the bottling bucket or wand)

From what I've read, it seems likely that we should be treating Diastaticus with more caution than we treat Brett.
Brett will change ph, flavor and body. I don’t think it’s the same risk at all.


My understanding of the left hand brewing company issue as tied to the white labs law suit is They are claiming that the house yeast used in their milk stout was contaminated with the variant that is also found in 3711. This caused additional fermentation post packaging causing a material change to the end beers body and carbonation.

Shelf life is critical to commercial beer consistency. So a slow acting yeast contamination that wasn’t known to the brewer will impact the beers stability. Turn times are pretty quick in commercial breweries, once they hit their FG they move it quickly. That’s a different problem than most home brewers will face. Can it impact your beers if your not cleaning well? Probably.

With that said, I brew with Brett, lacto and pedio several times a year. I mill grain in my brewery/fermentation space. I store five sour barrels in the space. I use the same fermentors for all my beers. I swap out gaskets and hoses for sours and wild beers but that’s as far as I go. Heck I’ve even done spontaneous fermentation in my brew space so I know I have a decent airborne cultures in the room!

A good cleaning and sanitizing regime is sufficient to reduce cross contamination risk in my experience. If a brewer has less than good cleaning practices, old plastic buckets or hoses that are in less than ideal condition then I could see a higher probability of issues. But I’d also expect a higher probability of issues across the board with those conditions.

FYI I believe Omega saisonsteins monster contains diastaticus.
 

chris000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2017
Messages
153
Reaction score
42
while lactose in beer (I suppose unpasteurized) in bottles at room temperature might be a different ball game, I heard rumors than some sanitzers (one especially favoured by homebrewers) is not a great choice when it comes to wild yeast.
I have not seen disinfectant studies, so I will not further spread the hearsay, but all sanitizers have some limitations and spraying a little bit here and there might provide a false sense of security
 

xico

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
328
Reaction score
60
Cool conversation! I'm happy to see the community engage with diastaticus. Is it a contaminant? If it is in a beer you made without intention of pitching it then yes it is.

It is still a yeast though and subject to the same damages of cleaning products as any other. I have not used separate soft lines or fermentation vessels for 3711 and I have not had issues with diastaticus infections in subsequent batches. How do I know? I screen for diastaticus in my lab is how I know. It's important to recognize this sacch. variant is out there and to know there is a possibility of greater attenuation so we check that our gravity has stabilized. But we don't need to become fearful of it.

It is hardy (for a yeast), it is aggressive in its fermentative abilities, and it is problematic in a commercial setting where production quotas demand batches to leave the brewery on consistent schedules. But it does not have any magical qualities that make it impervious to sanitation chemicals. If your cleaning practices are excellent then there is no problem on a homebrew scale. Bacteria, now those little buggers can be hard to control and deserve special handling and transfers.

Edit: to add to chris000's comment by cleaning well I agree I find the big name in sanitizing for homebrewers to be a dubious product. I generally switch off sanitizers each brew to thwart selecting for something that can survive a certain application. Where possible, caustic and acid cycles every few batches also goes a long way in to keeping your system clean.
 
Last edited:
OP
dr_bollinger

dr_bollinger

Active Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
27
Reaction score
6
Cool conversation! I'm happy to see the community engage with diastaticus. Is it a contaminant? If it is in a beer you made without intention of pitching it then yes it is.

It is still a yeast though and subject to the same damages of cleaning products as any other. I have not used separate soft lines or fermentation vessels for 3711 and I have not had issues with diastaticus infections in subsequent batches. How do I know? I screen for diastaticus in my lab is how I know. It's important to recognize this sacch. variant is out there and to know there is a possibility of greater attenuation so we check that our gravity has stabilized. But we don't need to become fearful of it.

It is hardy (for a yeast), it is aggressive in its fermentative abilities, and it is problematic in a commercial setting where production quotas demand batches to leave the brewery on consistent schedules. But it does not have any magical qualities that make it impervious to sanitation chemicals. If your cleaning practices are excellent then there is no problem on a homebrew scale. Bacteria, now those little buggers can be hard to control and deserve special handling and transfers.

Edit: to add to chris000's comment by cleaning well I agree I find the big name in sanitizing for homebrewers to be a dubious product. I generally switch off sanitizers each brew to thwart selecting for something that can survive a certain application. Where possible, caustic and acid cycles every few batches also goes a long way in to keeping your system clean.
You test for diastaticus? Hats off to you sir. Sounds like you've got a more sophisticated lab than White Labs'

What sanitation product(s) do you recommend instead of "the big name"?
 

madscientist451

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2014
Messages
5,128
Reaction score
2,794
Location
Bedford
Is there any data that indicates that diastaticus is anything new? Or has it been around for a long time? Put me in the camp that says this is much ado about nothing; (unless proven otherwise).
 

Calder

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
8,545
Reaction score
1,034
Location
Ohio
https://www.reddit.com/r/TheBrewery...lks_any_experience_testing_for_s_diastaticus/

If you allowed the Diastaticus to ferment out, then you wouldn't have had a problem. The problem would be if the Diastaticus had been inadvertently introduced in small quantities.

Have you also used that gear on lots of other "clean" batches?
I have used 3711 for about 10 years, and as I said, probably about 15 times. I do not have that much equipment that it would not have been used in between batches. For the most part, I use the same two fermenters for primary for all batches.

I am not arguing that Diastaticus may be a contamination that could be a problem; I do have a problem with people saying that yeasts supplied by veritable yeast suppliers are the problem. My experience with 3711 (which is one of the yeasts identified) over many years, is that it is not a problem.
 

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
619
Location
Earth
I'm not even sure how 3711 came up in the discussion. The court case had nothing to do with 3711 and I've never heard of anyone having contamination problems with it. Home brewer or pro-brewer. It's not listed as a potential contaminant (STA1 gene) where a few others are, but the ones that are labeled nobody is mentioning.
 

xico

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
328
Reaction score
60
@bollinger: I am a very fortunate individual who enjoys access to some great equipment. When school is over I will miss the lab but I try to get the most from the opportunity.

Frankly, I would be shocked if White Labs doesn't have sufficient quality analysis to catch the contamination. You can get results from diastaticus tests in about 90 minutes. My only familiarity with the brewing world in Europe is Bavaria and they take diastaticus very seriously and have for a long time. Many breweries contract with the university systems in their areas and send samples from every batch to get results before shipping.

This is kind of on both of them actually and I'm sure that's a part of White Labs' argument. Left Hand is a formidable enough brewery to run its own internal QA which should catch contamination at any part of the process. Those beers should never have left the yeast pack let alone brite or cold room without lab approval. It's one thing to be a small brewery with limited means beyond a microscope. But when you are producing on that scale you need to be more responsible, divert dividends from owners a bit and invest in a damn lab or contract one.

Edit:
I don't mean to change the subject, the point is diastaticus becomes increasingly problematic for commercial brewing and that is compounded by beers that potentially spend a lot of time in warm storage before consumption.
 

xico

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
328
Reaction score
60
@SoCal-Doug can you please share any data you might have that specifies 3711 doesn't express the STA1 gene? I don't mean to challenge, I haven't tested it but some people whose opinions on yeast I regard in the highest esteem have told me it is diastaticus.

I am testing some samples on Monday anyway and can add 3711 to the batch.
 

SoCal-Doug

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
885
Reaction score
619
Location
Earth
Holy $hit. All I said was their website does not carry the STA1 warning on 3711 but it does on other strains. I also said that 3711 is NOT a White Labs yeast, it is Wyeast Laboratories product. 3711 and Wyeast has absolutely nothing to do with the mentioned law suit with the brewery. Wrong company and wrong strain. Just because a strain is a high attenuator does not mean STA1 exists. But if it makes you feel better, there are a ton of stories and articles claiming 3711 and other strains being diastaticus scary.

If you are that damn paranoid about 3711 or any other strain, don't use them! Brew everything with WLP001 or sourdough bakers yeast if you like. Stay away from Brett's, Lacto's and Pedio's too. They chew for a long time and poor hygiene with them will bite you in the a$$.

I've many times, mixed 3711 with WLP566 (566 does carry the STA1 warning) It brewed perfectly and tasted great every time. I've done probably 20 other batches of completely different styles in the same erlenmeyer's, separatory flasks, stir plates, air locks, brew systems, fermenters, kegs, refrigerator and garage and still have not had any problems. I know off at least 3 breweries that use both those strains and they have not had any problems. So how about we don't create problems until a problem has been seen, isolated and identified.

The jury is still out on the presence of STA1, STA2, and STA3 being a positive indicator that glucoamylase enzyme will actually be produced. There are hypotheses on both sides of the argument with no positive proofing either way.

Honestly, I could care less because I'm not a commercial operation that packages at a prescribed gravity. Some strains are actually labeled against commercial operations from using them for that exact reason. I (as most home brewers do) wait for all critters to finish consuming sucrose, glucose, maltose, trisaccarides and whatever else they feel like eating (and even some dextrins if I'm unknowingly using a big bad scary infected earth ending yeast strain). I then decide if I like the results or not. If glucoamylase enzyme makes great beer, I'm happy to brew with it.

Real Saison's are all about the yeast flavor and there is nothing else like them. That's what makes a true Saison. It actually makes sense that the authentic strains that morphed over hundreds of years in non-sterile crappy conditions, must be something more and/or different than a basic boring S. Cerevisiae.
 
Last edited:
OP
dr_bollinger

dr_bollinger

Active Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
27
Reaction score
6
Holy $hit. All I said was their website does not carry the STA1 warning on 3711 but it does on other strains. I also said that 3711 is NOT a White Labs yeast, it is Wyeast Laboratories product. 3711 and Wyeast has absolutely nothing to do with the mentioned law suit with the brewery. Wrong company and wrong strain. Just because a strain is a high attenuator does not mean STA1 exists. But if it makes you feel better, there are a ton of stories and articles claiming 3711 and other strains being diastaticus scary.

If you are that damn paranoid about 3711 or any other strain, don't use them! Brew everything with WLP001 or sourdough bakers yeast if you like. Stay away from Brett's, Lacto's and Pedio's too. They chew for a long time and poor hygiene with them will bite you in the a$$.
I'm not sure why this is so controversial. 3711 is diastaticus. Diastaticus contamination has caused recalls and a lawsuit. There seem to be reasonable grounds to treat diastaticus as a "wild" yeast like brettanomyces rather than a "clean" yeast.

No one's saying not to use 3711 -- I'm just asking whether extra precautions (like using extra-anal sanitation practices or dedicated diastaticus gear) is merited in the same way that it's merited when brewing with brett and bacteria. It seems like a reasonable question -- definitely better than burying your head in the sand and saying, "I've brewed with 3711 lots of times and I've never injured anyone with a bottle bomb". Well ya, I hope not!

@bollinger: I am a very fortunate individual who enjoys access to some great equipment. When school is over I will miss the lab but I try to get the most from the opportunity.

Frankly, I would be shocked if White Labs doesn't have sufficient quality analysis to catch the contamination. You can get results from diastaticus tests in about 90 minutes. My only familiarity with the brewing world in Europe is Bavaria and they take diastaticus very seriously and have for a long time.
Apparently Left Hand determined that White Labs was not testing for diastaticus --that's apparently part of the argument they're making in the lawsuit.
 

hotwatermusic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
434
Reaction score
220
Location
gardena
What sanitation product(s) do you recommend instead of "the big name"?[/QUOTE]

I wasn't asked but I believe some form of Iodofor is generally the advice for wild yeast if Starsan ( oh my god I can't believe I actually said it) isn't working.
 

hotwatermusic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
434
Reaction score
220
Location
gardena
@bollinger: I am a very fortunate individual who enjoys access to some great equipment. When school is over I will miss the lab but I try to get the most from the opportunity.

Frankly, I would be shocked if White Labs doesn't have sufficient quality analysis to catch the contamination. You can get results from diastaticus tests in about 90 minutes. My only familiarity with the brewing world in Europe is Bavaria and they take diastaticus very seriously and have for a long time. Many breweries contract with the university systems in their areas and send samples from every batch to get results before shipping.

This is kind of on both of them actually and I'm sure that's a part of White Labs' argument. Left Hand is a formidable enough brewery to run its own internal QA which should catch contamination at any part of the process. Those beers should never have left the yeast pack let alone brite or cold room without lab approval. It's one thing to be a small brewery with limited means beyond a microscope. But when you are producing on that scale you need to be more responsible, divert dividends from owners a bit and invest in a damn lab or contract one.

Edit:
I don't mean to change the subject, the point is diastaticus becomes increasingly problematic for commercial brewing and that is compounded by beers that potentially spend a lot of time in warm storage before consumption.
Can you elaborate more on how you test for diastaticus? Other than genetic testing I was under the impression that most US brewers are depending on screening by plating with wild yeast media and I wouldn't think you could get a positive in 90 minutes. Thanks.
 

xico

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
328
Reaction score
60
The best method is genetic testing. Most microbes in the world don't actually grow well on media. This has been a challenge for breweries looking to identify contaminating organisms in their systems. The best we can do is make media from the wort made in the brewery but even then you have growth but that doesn't go far beyond examining cell and colony morphologies.

Using a bioanalyzer is a very quick method if you have a database established. Unfortunately, that takes a few years to build a significant enough system. The best method I am familiar with is using equipment called quantitative polymerase chain reaction, or qPCR for short. This device allows you to take a small amount of a yeast, extract the DNA with caustic to break cell walls and spun down in a centrifuge to separate the genetic material from the organism and run it in the system. When you add primers (small sections of DNA of certain genes or broad sections of DNA that determine the kind of organism, like yeast or bacteria) to the sample DNA and run it in a qPCR reaction it will multiply copies of the target section of your primer, if the sample has it. No copies made means the sample DNA didn't react with the primer and the result will be negative.

This process takes 90 minutes if you run about 40 cycles of DNA replication which is controlled by temperature fluctuations. The quantitative part of the machine comes in here. If the primers make enough copies of the target section then the machine will detect a fluorescence and show a spike in the software. You can run 96 samples (counting controls) on a single plate which covers quite a bit of ground. Making a primer of the STA1 gene is one way to screen quickly for diastaticus. A national brewery should be doing this or have a contract with a local lab to handle this. And a yeast company should definitely be doing this at every stage of their propagation and packaging.

Edit:
In regards to cleaning chemicals I switch off between StarSan, iodine, and a quick ethanol burn on the steel (done very carefully outdoors). I also run small steel and silicone hardware in a pressure cooker a few times a year for good measure. I haven't gotten around to testing starsan yet but hope to get some students in a microbiology course next quarter to look at its effectiveness against yeast and bacteria I've isolated over the years. I will most certainly share what is learned here when I know something.
 
Last edited:
Top