Author Topic: WL Brett C. Starter questions  (Read 935 times)

Offline JKL

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WL Brett C. Starter questions
« on: January 20, 2014, 06:34:01 PM »
Hi all,
My 1st attempt at a 100% Brett. is not going as planned? I made a 4L starter and pitched 2 vials of White Labs Brett C. Saturday evening. I've had it on a stirplate since and I don't see any signs of fermentation? To be honest, I have no idea what to expect. Should I see Krausen or any sort of CO2 production? I'm tempted to warm it up? Its in a closet at probably 65-70F?  Hindsight I should have made a 1/2 Liter starter and stepped it up but it os what it is at this point? Any thoughts are much appreciated.
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

John K. Lee
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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 06:52:54 PM »
To be honest, I'm not sure there are any here who can truly give you really good advice on 100% brett beers. The science is just too new. As I understand it, the pitching rates are comparable to a lager starter but I'm not sure if that means pitching a vial into a lager-sized starter or if it means a lager-sized amount of slurry, because the amount of brett yeast in a WL vial is minuscule compared to a vial of sacc yeast. The good news is you're a pioneer. You're the brewer who will put time, energy, and money into figuring out what makes brett beers tick. Bad news is, you're the pioneer. You must be the one to figure out what makes brett beers tick. My best advice is to start here: http://www.brettanomycesproject.com/

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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 07:01:45 PM »
Mad fermentationist has loads of info on brett. Here is his all brett IPA.

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2012/07/100-brett-trois-ipa-recipe.html?m=1

Offline JKL

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 07:02:14 PM »
The way I understand it is the pitching rates of a Lager? I had actually planned on going bigger? I just didn't think about a 4L starter of 1.040 wort being too much? I thought I had read that there were approx 50M cells in tge vials as opposed to the 100 in the ale and Lager? Hence why I pitched 2? I've read about long lag times with Brettanomyces but I was hoping to get a little kore from some that have done some fermentations. Thanks for the response.
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

John K. Lee
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Rock City, AR

Offline Mark G

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 10:02:59 PM »
2 vials into a 4L starter sounds about right. I've always used lager pitch rates for 100% Brett beers and that has worked well. A couple things to keep in mind... Everything seems to take about 3 times as long, so wait another day or so before freaking out. Yes, you will see krausen when using 100% Brett, how much depends on the strain. I've even had some strains form a pellicle in the starter while using a stir plate.

It takes a lot longer this way, but what works for me when using 100% Brett is a multi-step starter. Pitch 1 vial into 500 mL, step up to 2L, then step up to 4-5L. With cold crashing and decanting, this usually end up taking 2-3 weeks. Then when I pitch into my 5 gallon batch, it will finish in a month or two (+/- a few weeks depending on the strain).

Brett Claussenii is one of the slower working strains in my experience, so keep that in mind too, but your patience will be rewarded.
Mark Gres

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 07:59:45 AM »
I agree that brett fermentation dynamics are different (and a bit slower) than sacch. You might need a full week on a stir plate. You may not see krausen on a stir plate, but you should eventually notice more slurry in the flask (just like with any sacch starter).

You're right on in your starter prep. I couldn't find it in a quick search, but half the amount of cells in brett vials vs. sacch vials sounds right.

Chad Yakobson's interview with the Brewing Network is absolute GOLD - if you have an interest in brewing 100% brett beers, start with this reference.
@southhousebrew

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http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2014, 08:19:04 AM »
2 vials into a 4L starter sounds about right. I've always used lager pitch rates for 100% Brett beers and that has worked well. A couple things to keep in mind... Everything seems to take about 3 times as long, so wait another day or so before freaking out. Yes, you will see krausen when using 100% Brett, how much depends on the strain. I've even had some strains form a pellicle in the starter while using a stir plate.

This is also my experience. IMO the greater the quantity of brett in the starter, the more sacc-like it will look with krausen. The less brett you pitch the more likely you are to see a pellicle in the starter.

You want to pitch brett based on calculations for lager quantities of slurry. Give it some time. You might aid the starter by adding a little acid to the starter. Brett likes slightly more acidic conditions than sacc.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline JKL

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 08:51:50 AM »
Thanks for the responses. I am noticing some yeast-like substance sticking to the side and bottom of the flask. I wasnt sure if it was break matter yesterday but it looks more yeasty? This is/was to be a 11 gallon batch so if all goes as planned, ill be decanting and stepping this up with another 4 Liters. For obvious reasons, Ill be taking a gravity reading on the starter when I decant. Just surprised, I don't see any CO2 release yet? Different beast, different yeast?
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2014, 09:32:42 AM »
Thanks for the responses. I am noticing some yeast-like substance sticking to the side and bottom of the flask. I wasnt sure if it was break matter yesterday but it looks more yeasty? This is/was to be a 11 gallon batch so if all goes as planned, ill be decanting and stepping this up with another 4 Liters. For obvious reasons, Ill be taking a gravity reading on the starter when I decant. Just surprised, I don't see any CO2 release yet? Different beast, different yeast?

do you have an airlock on your starter? you keep mentioning seeing co2 release and so I am wondering. when making a starter you want as much o2 as possible hence the stir plate. try getting rid of the airlock if you are using one.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2014, 10:45:40 AM »
Some clarification on brett cell counts from WL vials:

White Labs website gives 50 million cells/mL for Brett cultures, or 1.75 billion cells in one vial (35 mL).

Compare that to 100 billion cells in one vial for sacch strains.

Using yeastcalc.com, you should be able to hit your cell counts with another 4L step. I assumed 10 gal of 1.050 wort, 3.5 billion cells at 95% viability (viability doesn't drop off as quickly with brett).

After 8-10 days, allow the yeast to drop for a week or two before decanting. I've kept this strain around in growlers, and it takes awhile to drop out.

DO NOT crash cool or store in the refrigerator. Brett can stay quite viable for long periods (months-years) at room temp, but viability drops off a cliff when cooled. (per Chad Y. and my own experience).

What kind of wort are you pitching into? What do you hope the finished beer will be like? Keep us updated on your progress!
@southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

STLHops Homebrew Club:
http://STLHops.com/

Offline JKL

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2014, 11:04:29 AM »
Thanks for the responses. I am noticing some yeast-like substance sticking to the side and bottom of the flask. I wasnt sure if it was break matter yesterday but it looks more yeasty? This is/was to be a 11 gallon batch so if all goes as planned, ill be decanting and stepping this up with another 4 Liters. For obvious reasons, Ill be taking a gravity reading on the starter when I decant. Just surprised, I don't see any CO2 release yet? Different beast, different yeast?

do you have an airlock on your starter? you keep mentioning seeing co2 release and so I am wondering. when making a starter you want as much o2 as possible hence the stir plate. try getting rid of the airlock if you are using one.

No airlock. With sacc. You know its fermenting. Churning, burning,  Co2 bubbles around the edges and of course Krausen.
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

John K. Lee
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Offline JKL

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2014, 11:12:05 AM »
Some clarification on brett cell counts from WL vials:

White Labs website gives 50 million cells/mL for Brett cultures, or 1.75 billion cells in one vial (35 mL).

Compare that to 100 billion cells in one vial for sacch strains.

Using yeastcalc.com, you should be able to hit your cell counts with another 4L step. I assumed 10 gal of 1.050 wort, 3.5 billion cells at 95% viability (viability doesn't drop off as quickly with brett).

After 8-10 days, allow the yeast to drop for a week or two before decanting. I've kept this strain around in growlers, and it takes

awhile to drop out.

Oh wow! I read that wrong didn't I? I thought it was 50 Billion? I knew those vials looked short? They were super fresh though? I had my LHBS special order them. Best before 7/6/14. I'm going to push my origibal planned 2/2 brew day back a week. Thanks agai. I will keep yall posted.

DO NOT crash cool or store in the refrigerator. Brett can stay quite viable for long periods (months-years) at room temp, but viability drops off a cliff when cooled. (per Chad Y. and my own experience).

What kind of wort are you pitching into? What do you hope the finished beer will be like? Keep us updated on your progress!
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

John K. Lee
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Rock City, AR

Offline JKL

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 07:47:53 AM »
Update
As of this morning, there is a 1/2" pellicle forming on the outside of the starter. I put the numbers in Yeast Calc and the Jamil calcs are worlds apart from K's? I tend to run Jamils numbers after I had a few batches that came up short using K's in the past?  Albeit shy from lager quantities,I may just decant and run another 5L on top of it next week and call it good? I really need to get this in a fermenter by mid Feb?
"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire." -David Rains Wallace

John K. Lee
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2014, 10:48:19 AM »
Update
As of this morning, there is a 1/2" pellicle forming on the outside of the starter. I put the numbers in Yeast Calc and the Jamil calcs are worlds apart from K's? I tend to run Jamils numbers after I had a few batches that came up short using K's in the past?  Albeit shy from lager quantities,I may just decant and run another 5L on top of it next week and call it good? I really need to get this in a fermenter by mid Feb?

I think the major discrepancy comes from significant extrapolation of Jamil and Kai's growth models. Generally, you want your propagations to start with 25-100 million cells / mL. You started with about 0.8 million cells / mL. I doubt either model was fitted with data at such low inoc rates.

Kai's model generally predicts higher growth rates than Jamil's, so I use Jamil's (with great results). If I'm not doing multiple steps, I use the calculator on MrMalty.com
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Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

STLHops Homebrew Club:
http://STLHops.com/

Offline bluesman

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Re: WL Brett C. Starter questions
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 10:32:17 AM »
Chad Yakobson's interview with the Brewing Network is absolute GOLD - if you have an interest in brewing 100% brett beers, start with this reference.

I'll have to check out Chad's interview...thanks for the tip.

On a different note...Do you use a microscope and hemocytometer to estimate cell counts?
Ron Price