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12/08/09 05:37 PM  
brett L starter
So I picked up a tube of WL Brett L and decided to build up a starter so I could maintain the culture and pitch it into a few different batches.

Well 3 weeks go by with no sign of activity in the starter. I wrote WL and they stated that you won't see anything happen, but it should be growing and fermenting, so I took their word for it. Well, now what do I find? mold on top of the wort in my starter.

I figure mold probably wouldn't grow if the brett had started fermentation, so is this a sign the yeast was probably dead?

Anyone else had trouble with this strain before? Next time should I just pitch the brett directly into a beer, then just reuse those dregs on other batches? Ahhh, all these years fearing the nasty brett, now I go to try and use them on purpose and I'm struggling for any results, go figure.

12/08/09 07:31 PM  
Re: brett L starter
How big was the starter you made? I personally never go over 1 liter b/c the brett is a very slow fermenter. I usually give my 1 liter starters 7-10 days before pitching into my 5.5 gallon batch of wort. What was the use by date on the vial? You probably won't really see a regular fermentation as with saccharomyces, but you definitely should have seen some small krausen when swirling the starter.

Were you making a starter to brew a 100% brett beer or to pitch it into secondary? If you simply wanted to finish a beer in secondary with brett than just pitching the vial is fine. Be sure to give it at least 3-4 mos. for best results.

12/08/09 09:44 PM  
Re: brett L starter
yah, it was a 1L starter. The best by date was less then a month old, bought from morebeer.com.

No bubbles at all in the starter, even when swirled. I smelled it and it still smelled like unfermented wort.

I was just building up a starter so I could split the vile between a few batches that are in secondary.

12/09/09 12:19 AM  
Re: brett L starter
You need pretty warm temps with brettC. It needs in excess of 70F to get it going. At 70F, you should see real activity on a stir plate.

Mold is bad.

I pitched into 500mL wort and let it stir and ferment (obviously) for a few days. Then settled and added more wort. Then repeat for several feedings and decantings.

At mid to upper 60s, I had very similar results as yours the first go round.


12/15/09 12:31 PM  
Re: brett L starter
Have you tasted the wort?

Brett L isnt all that slow, and fermentation by itself should look fairly normal, When I did an all Brett L beer a few months back it took awhile for the starter to really get going - those packs dont have the highest cell counts - but it did

Do you have it on a stir plate?

Mold - like a white dense pellicle or fluffy stuff?

12/17/09 03:19 PM  
Re: brett L starter

No, I haven't tasted it yet, but it still smells like unfermented wort, so I'd imagine it would taste the same way.

Mine is now 4 weeks old with significant mold on top, so I'm going to call it a loss.

I did have it on the stir plate for the first 5 or 6 days.

The mold kind of looks like toothpaste, it's in these curly solid blobs that stick up off the top of the wort. I don't think they are pellicle as they have green in them also and aren't sitting flat against the top of the wort, more kinda curling up.


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