Wyeast 9097 Old Ale Blend, behaving and look weird

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schmurf

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Some time ago I bought a smack pack of Wyeast 9097 Old Ale blend. Never used it before but wanted to try something different in an old ale I was planning, a split batch (2 x 7 liter), one with 9097 and one with my trusty old WLP013. The pack of 9097 was a bit old, but not expired, so I made a 1 liter starter first and put it on the stir plate for about 48 hours. I wasn't home during this time but when I got back it still looked kinda murky, no signs of a krausen, and not finished so I took a gravity reading, and yep... SG was 1.040 which I think was more or less starting gravity, I usually aim for something like that. Anyway, brew day was soon to come so I put it in the fridge to cold crash and wait for later to decide if I was going to use it or not. On brew day some yeast had dropped somewhat to the bottom and I decided to decant some of the starter and use some of it in one batch, but also together with some nottingham dry yeast, just to be on the safe side.

Now, 11 days later, this batch is down from 1.071 to 1.010, giving an AA of 85%, much more than calculated (Wyeast states 75-80% AA) and things looks a bit worrying on the top. Compared to the "reference" batch, WLP013, which has more or less a clean surface, there is something forming on top of this one. Since I've never used a yeast with brett in it I don't know if this is normal or not. Not a great pic unfortunally, it's through the fermenter, I didn't want to open up the lid.

20220228_173801.jpg



After the experience with the starter I did contact the seller and told them there's probably something wrong with the yeast they sent me, so they kindly sent me a new smack pack. Since I wasn't sure the first brew was going to be what I wanted I decided to make another small batch with the new yeast, but for this one I just made a SNS-starter instead and let it sit for about 24 hours until I was about to use it. This one was looking just like the first one, absolutely no krausen and a gravity reading showed that SG hasn't changed anything at all. Now I really haven't measured gravity for SNS-starters before but I imagine it would at least have been some change in gravity during this time, and defintely a krausen would have been formed. So for this one I decided not to use this yeast and used some Verdant dry yeast instead.

So, am I right thinking there was something wrong with these two packs of yeast or was it just me not knowing how they normaly behave? And what about the attached photo... normal or something unwanted?
 

DBhomebrew

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Check into the handful of threads surrounding the 11-11-11 Gunstock Ale. One of the threads follows a handful of brewers as they each brewed their own version. 9097 is the called for yeast.

FWIW, during primary my old ale with Bootleg's sacc/brett blend behaved as one would expect any saccharomyces strain would. Brett doesn't really wake up and show itself until it's got some time in the wort.

 
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hotbeer

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So what do you want to do or think can be done?

I'd just go as planned and bottle or keg it by what ever you use to tell you it's time to do that. Then see what it's like when it's time to try a glass.

I've had many carboys full of crap much worse than that and they were very good beers.

If it turns out to be a bad tasting brew, then you can take steps to change something on your next batch of that recipe or with that yeast.
 

DBhomebrew

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So what do you want to do or think can be done?

I'd just go as planned and bottle or keg it by what ever you use to tell you it's time to do that. Then see what it's like when it's time to try a glass.

I've had many carboys full of crap much worse than that and they were very good beers.

If it turns out to be a bad tasting brew, then you can take steps to change something on your next batch of that recipe or with that yeast.

This sort of approach might work well for a saccharomyces brew on a typical ale schedule, 1-2 months grain to glass. Brett is more like 10-12 months grain to glass. A single batch is a huge investment in time.
 

Kickass

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I’ve never used that yeast so take this for what you wish.

Honestly, it looks normal. Notty gets me high attenuation with ease so that’s not worrisome considering your co-pitch. Floaties looks like yeast rafts, normal. And finally, two separate pouches acting exactly the same lends more credence to the notion that everything is in proper order. Some yeast strains act more differently than others and that might be what you’re witnessing.
 

PCABrewing

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After the experience with the starter I did contact the seller and told them there's probably something wrong with the yeast they sent me, so they kindly sent me a new smack pack.
Did you try contacting Wyeast directly and asking if the behavior is normal for the strain?
 
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schmurf

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Check into the handful of threads surrounding the 11-11-11 Gunstock Ale. One of the threads follows a handful of brewers as they each brewed their own version. 9097 is the called for yeast.

FWIW, during primary my old ale with Bootleg's sacc/brett blend behaved as one would expect any saccharomyces strain would. Brett doesn't really wake up and show itself until it's got some time in the wort.


Thanks! I will take a look at that and see if I find something interesting.

So what do you want to do or think can be done?

I'd just go as planned and bottle or keg it by what ever you use to tell you it's time to do that. Then see what it's like when it's time to try a glass.

I've had many carboys full of crap much worse than that and they were very good beers.

If it turns out to be a bad tasting brew, then you can take steps to change something on your next batch of that recipe or with that yeast.

I probably do as you say, will keg it and just leave it until I feel ready for it.

Did you try contacting Wyeast directly and asking if the behavior is normal for the strain?

No I haven't but I should, thanks. I'll get back to this thread if I get a reply from them.
 

Miraculix

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This is a mixed strain and contains brettanomyces. Brett can really look weird so I wouldn't worry. This beer should benefit from extended aging with a tiny bit of oxygen access during that time.
 
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hotbeer

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This sort of approach might work well for a saccharomyces brew on a typical ale schedule, 1-2 months grain to glass. Brett is more like 10-12 months grain to glass. A single batch is a huge investment in time.
I'm not certain why it's not appropriate. You won't know what the final product will be until it gets to the final product stage. Unless someone can say for certain from that picture that the beer is going to be bad beer. But if there is something wrong with it, the options are still pretty much the same, dump it and brew some more, or wait and see.
 

Miraculix

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I'm not certain why it's not appropriate. You won't know what the final product will be until it gets to the final product stage. Unless someone can say for certain from that picture that the beer is going to be bad beer. But if there is something wrong with it, the options are still pretty much the same, dump it and brew some more, or wait and see.
The brett makes the difference. They will continue to slooowly feed on the dextrines and longer sugars that the other yeast left behind. If you bottle now, you risk bottle bombs, if you keg now, you are missing possible aroma development within the next months/year.
 

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I don't think I said to bottle or keg it now. I said to bottle or keg it when it's time to do that.
You didn't say to keg it, but the OP did. Miraculix quoted you in his reply, but was both responding to your post and the OP at the same time.

cheers!
 
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schmurf

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I'm not planning on kegging it yet (The WLP013 batch soon yes, but not the 9097). But I do wonder how to proceed with it, should I let it stay in fermenter? Should I transfer to another vessel to get it of the yeast? I assume a lot of the brett is in the beer, not in the yeast cake. If transfer, then why would kegging be not advised vs to another fermenter? Not cold stored that is, in room temperature.
 

Miraculix

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I'm not planning on kegging it yet (The WLP013 batch soon yes, but not the 9097). But I do wonder how to proceed with it, should I let it stay in fermenter? Should I transfer to another vessel to get it of the yeast? I assume a lot of the brett is in the beer, not in the yeast cake. If transfer, then why would kegging be not advised vs to another fermenter? Not cold stored that is, in room temperature.
I have only limited experience with brett, but I would just leave it as it is.
 

DBhomebrew

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I'm not planning on kegging it yet (The WLP013 batch soon yes, but not the 9097). But I do wonder how to proceed with it, should I let it stay in fermenter? Should I transfer to another vessel to get it of the yeast? I assume a lot of the brett is in the beer, not in the yeast cake. If transfer, then why would kegging be not advised vs to another fermenter? Not cold stored that is, in room temperature.

Limited experience here, too. With Bootleg's sacc/Brett blend. I transferred to secondary at 3wks [edit: 4wks] onto oak cubes and a small dry hop.

Started with 3.5G in a 5G carboy.

20220102_094711.jpg


Transferred down to a 3G for the long brett sleep.

20220129_221922.jpg


My understanding is that Brett doesn't need oxygen, but the presence of it makes possible a pellicle.

As to the keg, I don't know why not. But, as Miraculix mentions, the Brett is still eating for quite a while. Keg needs a pressure relief valve or spunding. This is not just a long bulk conditioning.
 
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Miraculix

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Limited experience here, too. With Bootleg's sacc/Brett blend. I transferred to secondary at 3wks onto oak cubes and a small dry hop.

Started with 3.5G in a 5G carboy.

View attachment 761332

Transferred down to a 3G for the long brett sleep.

View attachment 761333

My understanding is that Brett doesn't need oxygen, but the presence of it makes possible a pellicle.

As to the keg, I don't know why not. But, as Miraculix mentions, the Brett is still eating for quite a while. Keg needs a pressure relief valve or spunding. This is not just a long bulk conditioning.
What I've read is, that brett doesn't necessarily need additional oxygen but that it somehow has a positive effect on the flavour development if tiny doses of oxygen are present over time. Haven't tried it myself though.
 

DBhomebrew

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What I've read is, that brett doesn't necessarily need additional oxygen but that it somehow has a positive effect on the flavour development if tiny doses of oxygen are present over time. Haven't tried it myself though.

Right. And you're talking tiny doses. Some brewers replace the airlock with a wooden dowel. The dowel being just porous enough to breathe a little oxygen.
 

anotherbeerplease

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I did a brett beer last year and just got around to bottling it now, also I have a 9097 starter going and I can confirm it looks similar to yours - just sort of "weird" looking. I would say that based on my limited experience and on yours, everything is normal and working as it should. Personally I plan to brew my old ale with my 9097 starter and wait at least until November or Dec to try it, and save most of it for the next year and years after that. With brett there is no rush and it's called "Old" ale for a reason.
 
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