Questions about Pedio/Brett Fermentation

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TAK

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I'm mulling over a recipe for my first sour. I want something really tart and complex. I'm planning on a Pedio/Brett combination.

1) Should I pitch Sacc along with these as well/at all?

2) If so, what strain of Sacc? I figure something neutral. At first thought, that brings me to WY1056/WLP001. However, that's a strong attenuator. If I want a really sour beer, I assume that I don't really want the Sacc to "over eat."
 

Oldsock

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1) You don't have to pitch brewer's yeast, but I do for most of my sours. Brewer's yeast easily takes care of the initial blast of fermentation, and provides some fatty acids and phenols the Brett can transform into it's signature flavors. I tend to pitch everything together in primary, but some brewers wait until secondary to pitch the bugs.

2) Depends what you want. In general the spicier the primary yeast, the funkier the finished beer. English strains are a great option, but most brewers go Belgian. Really any strain can work, there are even great sour beers fermented with lager yeast first. Using a lower attenuating strain is smart if you want more acidity, alternatively mash hotter or add some maltodextrin.

Best of luck!
 
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TAK

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I believe I've read that Brett is actually pretty happy when pitched without a starter. But maybe I'm pulling that outta my... Anyways, should you do a starter for the Sacc and/or Pedio? If so, separate starters or together (assuming you plan to pitch together at the same time in the primary regardless)?
 

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Brett pitched as a primary yeast will prodce a different beer completely. Taditionally sours use a sacc yeast for the main fermentation.

This is your first sour, I'd recommend using a sour mix.
 

Oldsock

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I believe I've read that Brett is actually pretty happy when pitched without a starter. But maybe I'm pulling that outta my... Anyways, should you do a starter for the Sacc and/or Pedio? If so, separate starters or together (assuming you plan to pitch together at the same time in the primary regardless)?
I'd pitch as much Sacch as you usually would for a similar gravity beer. Just pitch the Brett/Pedio as they are directly from the tube/pack. You can pitch a blend from Wyeast or White Labs, but I'd still pitch extra Sacch. Bottle dregs from your favorite sour beers are a great option too!
 

Calder

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I'd pitch as much Sacch as you usually would for a similar gravity beer. Just pitch the Brett/Pedio as they are directly from the tube/pack. You can pitch a blend from Wyeast or White Labs, but I'd still pitch extra Sacch. Bottle dregs from your favorite sour beers are a great option too!
I know the answer is buy he book ...... but it is not available yet.

Why suggest pitching a 'large' amount of yeast. I was under the impression that if you pitched low (very low), the yeast would take it's time developing to critical mass, allowing time for the everything else to get a start in developing their colonies before the sacc started producing alcohol. Once alcohol is in there, everything slows down.

I was under the impression that a low sacc population was the 'magic' of the mix packs from WLP and Wyeast.
 

Weezy

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The sacc is going to chug through normal fermentation quite quickly, while Brett and pedio just get started. I've heard that some pros pitch lower on the sacc. I can only guess why, but maybe Oldsock has some better direct response on that. I prefer using a lower attenuating yeast then pitching low and risking off flavors. I've used east coast ale to good results a few times. Clean and it leaves a fair bit for the secondary fermentation to chew on.
 

dantheman13

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There is the other option of pitching Lacto first for a few days to get the acidity down. I know that OldSock isn't a fan of this method because if you aren't careful the pH can get too low for the Sacch. However, I've done a few beers this way. The first was a Berliner Weisse, which is a style that a lot of people successfully brew with this method. In addition to the BW, I've pitched wort onto old sour yeast cakes and waited 5-7 days before pitching Sacch. In each case the beer soured very well, and the late Sacch pitch didn't have a problem fermenting out.
 

dwntwnbwn

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The pedio will throw diactyl and the sacch will help clean that up.

Sent from my XT1060 using Home Brew mobile app
 

Oldsock

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I know the answer is buy he book ...... but it is not available yet.

Why suggest pitching a 'large' amount of yeast. I was under the impression that if you pitched low (very low), the yeast would take it's time developing to critical mass, allowing time for the everything else to get a start in developing their colonies before the sacc started producing alcohol. Once alcohol is in there, everything slows down.

I was under the impression that a low sacc population was the 'magic' of the mix packs from WLP and Wyeast.
Many American breweries (e.g., Russian River, New Belgium) conduct a complete fermentation with brewer’s yeast before even introducing the other microbes. I like to get the bugs going, but they don’t do much until well after the Sacch is done. There are certainly arguments for manipulating pitching rate to control ester production in a clean beer, but the Brett is going to create/destroy esters anyway, so I’d rather just pitch plenty of brewer’s yeast to ensure primary fermentation gets done quickly and without a bunch of fusels or other off-flavors.

This is different than a spontaneous fermentation where there are microbes that can only thrive before primary fermentation (entric bacteria). In the case of Lacto, Pedio, and Brett they are all capable of working post-primary, and in the case of Pedio and Brett probably prefer it (lower oxygen for the Pedio, lower pH for the Brett).

What I tend to advocate is the method with the least risk. As homebrewers we don’t have the luxury of dozens of barrels to pick and choose from for blending (and the ability to dump 10-20% without worry). Once you get your feet wet, that’s the time to start playing on the edges to see if it improves the character of your beers.

I brewed some crappy beers pitching just the "magic" blends alone, so I don't advocate it.
 
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TAK

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I thought it was: pedio will throw diacetyl, and the Brett will clean it up? In my experience the Sacch doesn't live very long after it's primary fermentation in a sour beer.
This is my understanding too, which I've seen reiterated multiple times.
 
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TAK

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For what it's worth, I was just listening to a Sunday session from the brewing network and Vinnie from Russian River said they like to pitch Sacc and let it finish. Then they pitch Brett and let it grow for a couple months. The Brett will grow better before the pH drop, so they give it some time before finally pitching the Pedio/Lacto.

He also mentions that in a higher alcohol beer, the Pedio will be more subtle. So, for really sour ales, there's probably a balance in gravity between residual sugars for the bugs but not going too high in ABV.
 

sweetcell

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He also mentions that in a higher alcohol beer, the Pedio will be more subtle. So, for really sour ales, there's probably a balance in gravity between residual sugars for the bugs but not going too high in ABV.
if i remember correctly, the issue here is that pedio stops working around 8% ABV. so if sacch takes the beer to 6%, and there is enough residual sugar for the brett will continue until 10%, the pedio will only be active for some of that time (i.e. however long it takes brett to get the beer to 8%). if you want pedio to be active until the end, keep it under 8%.
 
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TAK

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if i remember correctly, the issue here is that pedio stops working around 8% ABV. so if sacch takes the beer to 6%, and there is enough residual sugar for the brett will continue until 10%, the pedio will only be active for some of that time (i.e. however long it takes brett to get the beer to 8%). if you want pedio to be active until the end, keep it under 8%.
If you want to play it safe, since the Brett will munch where the Sacc won't go, should you calculate potential ABV based on 100% attenuation? So, if the Brett's eats all of the sugars, you still don't breach Pedio's tolerance.
 

sweetcell

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If you want to play it safe, since the Brett will munch where the Sacc won't go, should you calculate potential ABV based on 100% attenuation? So, if the Brett's eats all of the sugars, you still don't breach Pedio's tolerance.
yup, that's how i would handle it - if you want the pedio active all the way through. vinnie plans his fermentation of bigger beers so that pedio is only active part of the time, on purpose, in order to prevent them from souring too much. all depends on what you want to do.
 

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