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05/31/10 04:51 PM  
Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
I searched this topic but couldn't find anything here about it...

I brewed an IPA yesterday that is being fermented with a combo of Brett L (white labs) and Brett B (Orval). I made starters for each and stepped them up one time. I'm at about 18 hours so far and no signs of life. Is this long lag to be expected? I'm thinking I needed a lot more yeast. I don't see anything going on in there. This is my first 100% Brett brew.

This beer will be going into a barrel with 55 other gals fermented with sacc.

05/31/10 05:14 PM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
the 4 or so times ive made 100% brett beers there was a long lag. i think 2 days was the longest.

did you oxygenate?

05/31/10 08:02 PM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
FWIW, I procured a pitchable amount of Fantome brett for 40 gal, more or less, from one wonderful bbb'er, whom I will not mention unless he chimes in so as to not overwhelm him with requests [although many I'm sure already know :)]. When I saw the amount, it looked to be not much (although I certainly trusted my source and jumped in without question)..... Maybe what one might get from scaling up a pack of WL or WY with a small starter. But, when returning to the brewery the next day, low and behold steady fermentation was already taking place. Although, inevitably, due to the way we went about it, we oxygenated the shit out of it. And, during my homebrew days with the batch of all-bretters I did, fermentation got going within "normal" sacch time (with brett C). So.... while it seems as though you should DEF have some action with that amount of yeast, with what I'm assuming is 5 gal of wort, I wouldn't be terribly worried. Sometimes it takes a vile of WL 24+ hrs to get going. Yeast does go through a growth period. If it goes another 12-24H without any pressure building in the air lock, then I'd be worried. Otherwise, I wouldn't sweat it.

05/31/10 08:04 PM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
BTW, you mention Orval as the source of your brett B. Did you isolate or something? (just curious)



05/31/10 11:04 PM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
I don't have the means to Oxygenate yet, I just did what i've always done and that is to shake the shit out of the carboy for a minimum of 10 mins before pitching.

Yes, this is 5, well 6 gallons.

As far as the Orval, I just cultured up from close to half a bottle. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by isolating. Deciding to add Brett B was a last minute decision, hence the reason I had to pull from the bottle. My LHBS doesn't stock any wild yeast or bacteria.

I'm at about 24 hours right now and nothing going on. I had a blow off hose hooked up but thinking that won't be needed now. If nothing is going on when I get home from work, I may just go get some 001 or 002 to get this thing started

06/01/10 02:57 AM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
The dregs in orval are not necessarily "just" brett B. From what I remember, they use a blend for priming (and obviously a sacch strain for primary). By isolating I mean seperating the specific brett found in the dregs (by streaking), as opposed to just growing up whatever's alive in the bottle.
06/01/10 09:09 AM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
i was talking to bill c from victory at a wild devil tasting like 2 years ago (goddamn- has it really been that long?) and he said their lab found 2 different strains of brett in orval and they used both of them in WD.
06/01/10 11:42 AM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
I just racked my first all Brett to the secondary. It is a 1.060 Saison-ish recipe. I used the seasonal Wyeast 5151 Brett c. I stepped up the pack to 1.5 liters, decanted and added another 1.5 liters of starter wort. The starter dropped clear in one week. I aerated only by splashing the wort from kettle to fermenter (didn't want a "pineapple bomb", which apparently is more likely with Brett c. after oxygenation). It took over 2 days to show any activity, but went to 1.004 in the next 6 days. There was a moderate krausen for the first couple days of fermentation, but didn't look like a whole lot was going on after that. I've read it can take over 4 days to see activity, depending on many parameters.
06/01/10 06:22 PM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
My only experience with 100% brett c fermentation (using no starter) was almost 3 full days before visible fermentation. But the beer came out awesome and is moving on to the NHC 2nd round.
06/01/10 07:41 PM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
Depending on the size of your starter which you didn't mention, 24 hrs is not a big deal for a brett lagtime. What temperature are you at? Maybe try raising the temps a bit and rouse the yeast back up into the beer. I have found that a good dose of oxygen from a cannister/aeration stone will help the brett build their numbers before chomping on the sugars. Once it does take off, be patient and don't rush the beer as I have found most of my 100% brett beers took at least 1-2 mos in primary to fully attenuate. Even when they looked fully done, the brett were still dropping the gravity very slowly. I did not make huge starters for my beers, maybe around 1 qt per WY smackpack for about 7 days. I am sure that is why the beer took so long to finish out, but I did not feel the need to rush these.

I recently packaged up a 100% brett L. and C. flanders brown (oud bruin) that was racked onto a FULL yeast cake of a pale brett beer that was 2 mos in the primary. The brown took about 3-4 days to even show any signs of fermentation. The SG was 1074 and mashed around 148 degrees/90 minutes. The beer took 3 mos to fully attenuate only down to a 1014 and now is very delicious. Brett is an interesting critter to make interesting beers with and definitely patience is key. Good luck, and congrats on delving into the wild world!

06/01/10 10:04 PM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
Well, you guys are making me feel better, but 48 hours is scaring me...

Temp is about 71 right now. I pitched around 67/68 then raised the temp after no activity.

Each step of the starter was 1 pint water to .5 cup dme.

It's really not that I want to rush it, this is just way more lag time than I expected. I just want the Brett to take hold before something else would... This beer is going into a barrel when it's done with primary and it's what's going to be responsible for "bretting up" the rest of the group's beer.

06/02/10 01:32 AM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
1 pint of starter is pretty small for one of the brett strains, Im pretty sure that they have smaller cell counts than the typical yeast packs

On the all brett beers that Ive done I always followed MikeT's advice and did a lager sized starter and had fermentation going within 12hrs

I would just wait a bit longer, dont worry, and youll see fermentation happen

Caped Brewsader
06/02/10 03:06 AM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
With Brett I've been seeing lag times anywhere from 24-72 hours, even with proper pitch rates. First time I did an all brett beer there was a 3 day lag time. I was very worried but things turned out great and I heard from many others that that was pretty normal.
06/02/10 06:09 AM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?

Regarding Orval sediment/dregs.

It is indeed true that they contain a mix of the primary strain (Saccharomyces) and the secondary Brett. I have plated out sediment twice to isolate strains, and I would say that at least 90% of the living cells are the Saccharomyces strain (for bottles aged for less than 1 year. It might shift in favor for Brett in really old bottles). To use Orval sediments as a startet for a "100% brett" beer is not going to work. The Saccharomyces will out-grow the Brett during primary, and the Brett will catch up only later (similar effect as in Orval itself). It might still be a wonderful Orvalish beer, but not truly a "100%" Brett beer. You can easily tell if the Orval Saccharomyces becomes the primary fermenter, since it has a quite different smell comapred to Brett (it smells typically fruity/spicy "belgian" like a tripple). It will also ferment in a more violent(normal) way compared to the more gently foaming Brett.

For the 100% Brett beers I have made, the lag has been about 12 h, but then I have used a 1/10 volume starter using stir bar + free acess to air + calciumcarbonate as pH stabilizer to get it very active and dense.


06/02/10 08:46 AM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
I certainly appreciate all the replies. This board is an awesome resource! Especially for people like me that are new to the brewing aspect of wild beers.

That's good to know about Orval. I was under the impression they attempted to drop out most/all the sacc before adding Brett prior to bottling. The WLP Brett Lstarter was about twice the size of the Orval starter so hopefully the bretts will be dominant here.

After 60+ hours, there is finally signs of life in this beer. A few chunks of something floating and a light foam that seems to be starting on the edges. I feel better now :)

06/09/10 05:08 PM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?
danger... I'm 100% positive that there is only one Brett strain in Orval. What Victory was seeing originally was polymorphism that exists in that strain. At Victory they are using the "orval" strain for everything as I understand from my conversations. I know it's what they use in wild devil and have insight to a few more projects Whitney Thompson is working on in the lab over there. They have found the Orval Brett strain to work well in primary though.

The polymorphism seen in the Orval strain (which can also bee seen in the WL brux strain) forms colonies that are beige and pearly white. Upon re-streaking they are always the same single organism just have the tendency to form colonies of two different shades. I've observed it on MYPG, and UBA media.

CarlT.. I have plated out orval dregs 4 times and never found Sacch. Its always the same exact single strain. I know some of the bottles have been older but nothing over a year. I really don't think they add Sacch. anymore. I have not visited the abbey but I understand how they keep things simple and have a good understanding of the technology they use, I'm almost certain that there is not Sacch used and probably hasn't been for a good couple of years. If you have found it recently that's pretty cool, and maybe I'll purchase a few newer bottles and give it a try again, but I've been stumped everytime..

TheBlack77... Your experience will most likely be different then anyone elses on here. Reason is everyone has different techniques for growing up their Brett strains. The necessary time to let the cultures grow up is 7-8 days and that is with 12 plato wort, in a 1.5 L Erlinmeyer flask, with 600ml of wort being agitated at 80rpm and a constant temp of 28*C. So if you replicate that and grow up your yeast for 7-8 days semi-aerobically which I confirmed to be the best to achieve high cell counts and is confirmed by otehr literature (and the cell counts do get as high as Saccharomyces, its that the cells are smaller so counts can get higher without the appearance of so much yeast, They get dense) There is still going to be a lag phase. Some research suggests 12 hours.. this is before growth resumes. No one has looked at when fermentation actually takes off anaerobically. I can say given you have a 12 hour lag phase, and semi-aerobic growth took 7-8 days, it would be quite normal to see activity by about day 3-4.. CO2 release is not exactly a sign of fermentation, during growth CO2 is also released. Anaerobic fermentation will depend on so may conditions its hard to say. I will say these fermentation that take off in the 12 are not so likely to be pure Brett fermentations. That does not appear to be metabolically possible given growth rates and anaerobic lag phase induction times. Temps at around 70 will help during your ferment also. The reason why people who oxygenated well in the beginning saw good fermentation was that O2 will stimulate fermentation they may then have seen a good metabolic change as anaerobic fermentation took over and the pineapple along with the many other aromas that occur where formed during a good fermentation but are not a product of oxygenation as oxygen creates acetic acid and Brett will then produce ethyl acetate which is slightly fruity at lower threshold levels but is not pineapple like. Anaerobic fermentations do not create much acetic acid if they are truly anaerobic.. harder to do in homebrewing... so the ethyl acetate should only play a part in showing off other compounds like ethyl caproate and ethyl caprylate present in high amounts.. Look up those flavors from the good scent company and then have a thought were pineapple comes from.

Cool well most important is that so many people on here are having great success with Brett, and that is a testamit to what a phenomenal group of home brewers are on here and their helping out others. The coolest part about brewing with Brettanomyces is you never know when your going to discover something new as there is such little info available. Like everything else in brewing no body knows everything thats going on all at once so if you suspect something run with and do some research as its out there and you might just be right!


06/23/10 12:37 PM  
Re: Lag time on 100% Brett beer?

The last time I plated from a Bottle was about 1.5 years ago from an approx 6 months old bottle. The bottle was bought in Sweden (I'm Swedish) and stored cold most of the time.

The designation as Saccharomyces was judged based on:

1) Typical (and extremely homogenous) Saccharomyces ovoid morphology, size and budding pattern seen under microscope.

2) Growth behaviour and colony morphology.

3) Smell and taste evaluation from a small fermentation batch. The smell is spicy (clove/black pepper) with fruitiness leaning more towards pears/ripe apples rather than banana.

According to "Brew Like a Monk", Orval is "..dosed with the primary yeast.." for bottle refermentation.

The other strain found was typical Brettanomyces, with irregular elongated morphology, small size, fuzzy colony morphology, and typical Brett smell & taste. Pure fermentations using this strain has been varying for me, with both smoky/goaty as well as more fruity results. When used as a secondary fermenter in bottles (Orval style), it gives a very "Orvalish" result, starting rather unpleasant with goat/urine changing within some moths to a pleasant fruitiness + horse blanket smell.

Give it a try again using a fresh bottle (sometimes pubs/bars is the better place to buy at, since they tend to store bottles dark+cold right after getting them from the importer).


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