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Matt MacLeod
01/28/09 10:33 AM  
Intro + Storing Bugs and critters
A quick intro: My name is Matt, I'm from the UK. I've been a long time lurker here, and a very occasional poster. I've been a homebrewer for three or four years but am just starting to venture into brewing Belgian and French styles, and experimenting with wild yeasts. My first vials of Brett will arrive in the next few days, so here goes!!!

Anyway, my question is about storage of bugs. I keep a number of strains of Sacch c. at home: I split a vial/smack pack into smaller vials containing sterile water. I'll then propagate one of these smaller vials up to pitching size and then re-pitch from batch to batch for as many generations as I feel I can get away.

Can I do the same thing with Brett, or does the storage medium need to change?

Al B
01/28/09 10:40 AM  
Re: Intro + Storing Bugs and critters

You don't need a different storage medium than Saccharomyces. I think though, if you can sterilize water, then you should add yeast nutrients to that to keep viability better. Do you prep a "starter" after storing in water before pitching?


Matt MacLeod
01/28/09 10:47 AM  
Re: Intro + Storing Bugs and critters
Yes, I only store a very small amount in each vial of sterile water, so yes I build up a starter from that vial.

I haven't been adding nutrients though, so I'll start doing that.

Al B
01/28/09 10:52 AM  
Re: Intro + Storing Bugs and critters
Sounds good.

01/29/09 11:01 AM  
Re: Intro + Storing Bugs and critters
Hey Matt,

If its not a problem to ask where in the UK are you? I'm in Edinburgh, and getting a hold of brett has been hard for me up here. Did you order through and American homebrew site or what homebrew site here in the UK did you find that had brett cultures for offer?

So you are saving a small amount each time from the vial of WLP or the smack packs of WY? I grow up a started the with the first batch then pitch about 80%-90% depending on my cell counts and start regrowing up the 10% or so I held onto. I just keep step growing it up till its either enough to put in the fridge for a short while (week or two) as I have been doing a brew a week use I just use another 90% or so and again that 10% I saved start growing up again. I just keep doing this and have good success. Sometimes I crop the yeast after fermentation and grow up the cropped yeast to look at under a microscope to compare and see if I'm getting any bacterias during my fermentations. I'd do the same with the bretts only not collecting or cropping/skimming each time just continuely regrowing from that 10% if you can..

And which cultures did you order to start using? Whats the first brett brew going to be?


Matt MacLeod
01/29/09 12:08 PM  
Re: Intro + Storing Bugs and critters
Hi ChadYak,

I ordered the brett through hopandgrape.co.uk. They don't list the strains on the website, but they place orders with whitelabs and wyeast every few weeks. If you phone them and tell them what you want they'll order it in for you.

When I get a new vial, I split it between 10 -12 smaller vials of sterile water - just a few ml of the fresh yeast into each vial of water. I'll then make up a starter with the remainder of the WL vial for use in my next batch. As I said earlier, I'll repitch from batch to batch a few times before stepping up another starter from one of my vials of sterile water/yeast.

Matt MacLeod
01/29/09 12:13 PM  
Re: Intro + Storing Bugs and critters
Sorry - hit submit before I finished answering your question.

The brett I bought was lambicus.

The first beer I think will be along Belgian strong golden/tripel lines. I want to get the base beer really good, and then brew side-by-side versions - one "clean" and then one with the brett in secondary.

01/29/09 01:00 PM  
Re: Intro + Storing Bugs and critters
I really like the Hop and Grape. They are good homebrew shop and their shipping rate is amazing on big purchases! Good to hear they are willing to order in cultures for people.

10-12 is quite a lot for the size it comes in but sounds like a good idea. I've had trouble storing cultures mast two months and getting them to come back but have had some success filling with a small amount of glycerin and storing in the freezer.

Any souring with the Belg golden strong. I think that makes a great base beer for the whole lot of secondary bugs.

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