Author Topic: Brett pellicle on Saison with added fruit  (Read 1025 times)

Offline sakarisstora

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Brett pellicle on Saison with added fruit
« on: February 05, 2016, 07:50:13 PM »
Hello fellow brewers :)

I have done some brett fermentations, which all have turned out pretty good.
Half a year ago I also made a saison with the WLP566 Belgian Saison II strain. Which also turned out pretty good, even if I fermented it at a too low temperature, and didn't really get all the phenols and esters as it should.
I wanted to brew a saison again, but the saison strains were out of stock. So I simply harvested one of the bottled saisons that I made some months earlier.
The yeast took of like a rocket after a couple of days in a small starter. I stepped the starter up twice. and used 1:3 table sugar to DME with a few grains of yeast nutrient.
On brewday I had a yeast starter that worked like a charm, and the fermentation went well and I held the fermentation temperatur at 75-78f for three weeks.
Then I racked it to secondary, and added a mix of pureed rhubarbs and strawberries. The fruit was chopped and frozen before I made a puree out of it in my handblender. Then refrozen in a hop-bag (in a plastic bag) , and thawed in warm preboiled water in a cooking pot. I then heated it up to 160f for 20 mins. to pasteurize it, and let it cool to 80f before I added it to the secondary along with the fruity water. (while stil in the hop-bag)

However. After 5 days, I opened the lid of the fermentation bucket, and saw my good old friend, the alien landing pod patterns of a Brett pellicle. (I'm still sure it's not lacto or acetobacter, that makes the film)
I have not added any Brett to the fermentation. I thought about adding bottle dregs from a Fantomé Saison, but I didn't. So I am wondering if it really is a brett pellicle (It looks similar to previous pellicles) and if it will hurt my beer.

I have used the same equipment for lambic clones (lovely mix of brett and bugs) But went all scorched earth on the equipment afterwards. with both very hot water, iodophor, and bleach (all separate) I guess the "infection" comes from contaminated equipment. So I will have to add some stronger stuff to my sanitation regiment.

Has anyone experienced the same thing ? Am I in trouble ? and what are your predictions for the beer.

p.s I've been avoiding alcohol for almost two months now (y)
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Brett pellicle on Saison with added fruit
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 08:59:21 PM »
I got a pellicle in my saison after adding red and black raspberries in secondary. I had used belle saison yeast. It's still conditioning in bottles till next fall
Frank L.
Fermenting:
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Brett pellicle on Saison with added fruit
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2016, 11:19:08 PM »
Sounds like you probably got an infection from your equipment that previously was used for lambics.  Buckets are notorioius for that. They can house those wild critters in even the smallest of scratches in the plastic. 

Let this one ride out for a few mos and then have yourself a taste. You may be pleasantly surprised. After that, start fresh with some new buckets for your "clean" beers.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Brett pellicle on Saison with added fruit
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2016, 06:03:58 AM »
Sounds like you probably got an infection from your equipment that previously was used for lambics.  Buckets are notorioius for that. They can house those wild critters in even the smallest of scratches in the plastic. 

Let this one ride out for a few mos and then have yourself a taste. You may be pleasantly surprised. After that, start fresh with some new buckets for your "clean" beers.
Exactly what I wound up doing: new racking cane, tubing, couple new buckets, etc. No problems since that batch
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Brett pellicle on Saison with added fruit
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2016, 04:25:02 PM »
Normally I would point to the fruit as the point of infection but if the fruit was heat treated it is unlikely that was the source.

The equipment could be your source of infection, especially if the equipment was used to package the beer that you used to culture yeast for this batch and you bottled that beer before you went scorched earth on the bottling equipment. In case, the infection came along in the bottle rather than through the equipment itself.

As an aside, you are correct that the infection is not lacto or acetobacter. Neither of those bacteria form pellicles. However, many other types of yeast and bacteria do form pellicles so ruling out those two does not mean that you have a brett infection. It could be many other organisms.
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Offline sakarisstora

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Re: Brett pellicle on Saison with added fruit
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2016, 04:37:56 PM »
I guess I'll have to get new buckets, tubing and racking cane for my clean beers then.
The pellicle is similar to the one I first saw on a beer I fermented with the WLP648 brett. Brux. Trois vrai.
It's strange how resiliant those lifeforms are.
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Offline mpietropaoli

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Re: Brett pellicle on Saison with added fruit
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2016, 04:28:09 PM »
I guess I'll have to get new buckets, tubing and racking cane for my clean beers then.
The pellicle is similar to the one I first saw on a beer I fermented with the WLP648 brett. Brux. Trois vrai.
It's strange how resiliant those lifeforms are.

can you post a pic? 

I would characterize the resilience of those bugs as "commonplace" and "expected" on the other hand  ;D
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