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10/10/08 05:35 AM  

I would like to blend a sour batch of beer with a non-sour one, but I would also like to stop the sour bugs from taking over, so that the flavour stays the same without drying out and getting more sour.

I've read that some people on he forum have experience with pasteurizing or adding sulfite (campden). I'm curious to hear more about the results with these techniques. Do they work, or do lacto etc become active again after some time?



Mike T
10/10/08 11:16 AM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
I did this with an Imperial Stout that I spiked with Brett. 1.020, was as dry as I wanted it so I stabilized it with campden tablets. First I chilled the beer and added gelatin, this was to get as much of the Brett out of suspension as possible. I then racked the beer and added 1 campden tablet per gallon (crushed up). After a couple weeks I added fresh yeast and priming sugar. After 6 months in the bottle the carbonation was still holding steady.

I was pleased with the results, but I canít guarantee that this works with microbes besides Brett (although I would assume it does).

10/13/08 05:51 AM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
Ok, thanx a lot for the info Mike.

Does anybody have experience with pasteurizing? I think I'll try the pasteurizing in a couple of weeks. Or maybe pasteurizing and adding a little bit of sulfite?

I'll post the results here (if I'm able to remember to do so ;)

10/13/08 06:56 AM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
I used the same procedure described by Mike but without the pre-chill and geleatin.

Worked fine for me...I killed Brett lambicus in that round.

10/13/08 08:27 AM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
But when you add sulfite to beer then you must get sulfur gaz/smells. A part of it probably evaporates, but doesn't it changes the taste of the beer too much?

Same with pasteurizing: does the heating change the taste of the beer?

10/13/08 05:52 PM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
You could also consider using potasium sorbate to kill the bugs. I'm not sure how this would affect re-yeasting. Chemically, I'm under the impression that sulfite's biggest effect is as an anti-oxidant, preventing certain yeasts and bacteria from beginning fermentation while the sacc yeasts get started. It stuns them into inaction, but doesn't actually kill them..
Mike T
10/14/08 09:53 AM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
I believe sorbate just stops them from reproducing, it doesnít kill the ones that are already there.

The campden might have scrubbed a bit of the flavor out of the beer, but there is no (to me) detectable sulfur smell. Wine makers often use much more bisulfite, adding it every time they rack to reduce oxidation.

I got to try a bottle of Steveís heat pasteurized Brett Old Ale as part of a swap, it was very tasty as well. I donít see a reason to use both heat and chemicals, wild yeast arenít super bugs the are that hard to kill.

12/03/08 03:50 PM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
Hi all. Similar situation for me and I hope you all might have some suggestions.

I had a batch of Porter aging for about 8 months after adding a vial of WLP645 (Brett C). I decided rather than bottling it straight I would blend it with fresh beer. So I pulled a couple gallons, treated with Campden tablets, let it sit for a few days, mixed it with the newly fermented beers, and bottled. So far everything seems just fine with that blend. (Been in the bottle about a month now.)

The second blend consisted of the rest of that newly fermented beer, a small amount of low attenuated old ale (aged about 10 months. Was delicious.), and more of the Brett'ed Porter. This second time I let the treated beer sit for a few days in the refrigerator in hopes of dropping out any particulate matter before blending. I then opted to dry hop so the blend sat for 1 month with a couple ounces of Willamette hops. I pulled the hops out about a week ago and at that time I noticed a couple patches of transparent film forming on the surface and assumed it was due to the hops. Less than a week later I pulled the lid in preparation for bottling only to find this:


So I added more Campden (as shown) in hopes of killing everything and adding fresh yeast at bottling time.

Will this work? I checked last night and if the pellicle is any indication of status the Brett hasn’t taken notice of the Campden. Will pasteurization work? Say bring it to 155 in the kettle for about an hour? I’d hate to heat it, but if that’s what it will take to prevent bottle bombs, then it’s better than dumping it, right?

Unfortunately the new growth of Brett has kind of ruined the balance of flavors, but I’m hoping all will be well after it settles down in the bottle.

Any thoughts?

12/09/08 04:32 PM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
In thinking about this more, pasteurizing will be a pain to perform and there's a good chance I'll significantly oxidise the beer in the process.

So I'm thinking I'll rack the beer to a second bucket and add more Campden tablets in the process.

Anyone know how liberal they use Campden tablets in the wine industry? What happens to the flavor if I overdose?

12/10/08 09:41 PM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
The easy answer to how liberally the wine industry uses sulfite is this: add 1/4 teaspoon of potasium metabisulfite powder (Campden tablets are sodium meta) to 5 gallons of must before fermentation. A smaller amount is typically added at bottling, too. I might try 1/4 teaspoon or less.

The real answer is somewhat more complicated, because sulfite is used at first to deter bugs. After the alcohol gets above 12 or 13%, that deters bugs pretty well itself, especially since wine typically ferments out dry so that bugs have nothing to chew on. The only thing that will damage wine at that point is excessive oxygen, and sulfites are added to guard against oxidation. The amount depends on preference and pH. Higher pH requires more sulfite to protect the wine, and remember that the pH scale is logarithmic;4 is 10 times less acidic than 3 and 10 times more acidic than 5. Some winemakers even skip added sulfites altogther, getting by with just the ones the yeast produces naturally.

If you overdose on potasium meta, wine smells like a bad egg and a matchstick...i.e., sulfur...the point of adding sulfites is to create free sulfur in solution, which acts as an antioxidant. If you use too much sodium meta, your beer will stink like sulfur and it is possible that you might be able to discern the flavor of the sodium, although I think you'd have to really botch it to get sodium to the perception threshhold in a beer. Excessive sulfur flavors can be gotten rid of by aerating the beer/wine as you rack it...the oxygen will bind up some of the excess free sulfur.

12/22/08 03:44 PM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
The second treatment of Campden didn't work so I guess my only now option is pasteurization. That means racking from the infected bucket to the boil kettle, heating to 150 and holding for like 10-15 minutes, chilling quickly using my copper immersion coil, and then racking to a bottling bucket with some fresh yeast.

12/22/08 04:30 PM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
I wonder if your immersion coil could work in reverse? With everything cranked my hot water can get to about 150F, I wonder if that would be a less invasive means to raise temperature?
12/22/08 06:51 PM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
Brilliant thought process. However, being that I live in a second floor apartment, I don't have a place to dump 10 gallons of lukewarm water (except right down the drain, kind of a waste) so I'd have to use a pump of some sort. Unfortunately my little pond pump probably isn't rated to handle scalding hot water.

Adrian Avgerinos
12/29/08 02:34 PM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
Ah crap. A non-Brett batch got infected. I bottled a low-alcohol brew a few weeks back and today noticed a slight haze forming on the surface of the bottled beer. Damnit!

If I recall correctly I tried to re-sanitize the bottling bucket, spigot, hoses, bottling wand, and auto-siphon, using a mild bleach solution in very hot water prior to performing my standard operating procedure of spraying down the equipment with a Star San solution before bottling.

WTF? It's starting to look like I really will need separate brewing equipment when dealing with these abnormal critters. Will not a soak in steaming hot water work to kill these bugs?

12/30/08 10:23 AM  
Re: pasteurize/sulfite
Not sure how hot you have to go to kill brett and other critters, but it would depend on the geometry of what they're living in as well and how long you ran the hot water. I think most people use separate plastic/rubber/neoprene components, or just learn to embrace the "infection" as a positive experience! I share glass and stainless between both "sides" of my brewery with no cross contamination in 2 years so far. Separate tubing, draft lines, stoppers, airlocks, etc.
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