Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

These little beasts do all the hard work. Share how to keep 'em happy and working hard.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby ElCubanazo » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:42 am

I've only seen an older thread from Odin, Dan P. etc and wanted to gauge the community on how brettanomyces is being used.

My girl recently bought a few brett beers since we haven't had em in a minute and while catching a whiff of it I thought it would be a great yeast to use for my rum instead of the wine yeast I'm using.

I took the dreggs of a couple bottles into a mason jar and then once a rum strip was complete took a little spent dunder/wash (for nutrients) and added a little sugar.

Seems to have taken off in there within a day or two. (I'm assuming it's just the Brett since I boiled the hell out of the rum wash on the strip).

I think for the rum it'll work great for a bold and flavorful rum, but I'm not sure about whiskey. I'll stick to the wine yeast for now.

I know Brett is real slow so I'll be vigilant with this starter. Apparently keeping it in the fridge too long can also kill the yeasties. Apparently Brett is sensitive so the starter is at room temp for now.

I say all this to gauge the community on if y'all have used Brett in your rums or whiskeys?

Thoughts???
-El Cubanazo

¡Viva Cuba Libre!
ElCubanazo
Novice
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:11 pm

Re: Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby still_stirrin » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:23 am

ElCubanazo wrote:...I took the dreggs of a couple bottles into a mason jar and then once a rum strip was complete took a little spent dunder/wash (for nutrients) and added a little sugar.

Seems to have taken off in there within a day or two. (I'm assuming it's just the Brett since I boiled the hell out of the rum wash on the strip).???

What is the brewery’s name? I assume it is Belgian because that style of beer is traditionally a Belgian ale. But if it’s from a brewery in Belgium, especially a major brewery, I would believe that the yeast you recovered from the bottle is not the same yeast that is used to ferment the beer.

Most of the majors who use bottle conditioning (where yeast is used to carbonate the beer) use a different yeast strain to add the carbonation. Their ferment yeast is more than likely a proprietary strain maintained in their labs to produce the characteristic flavors indicative of the style, maintaining their signature product. So, the culture you propogated more than likely is a bottling yeast strain, not the Brett that produces the spicy phenols/horse blanket notes you taste in their beers.

But with that said, I wonder if the flavors you’re trying to replicate will come over through the distillation. Phenols typically are high boiling point constituents and only a small portion would actually make it out of the boiler, let alone into the very late tails. Of course, if the ferment produces acids, those may come over earlier in the boil. But it depends on what the products of the ferment really are.

Regardless, it is a great experiment, which if nothing else, will give you an expanded knowledge basis.

Good luck with it. Be safe, responsible, and discrete.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
What is a Proof & Traille hydrometer: Alcohol-meter
Enzyme info: SebStar
HD Google search info: HD Google-how to
All about mashing grains: Braukaiser
User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 6557
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby ElCubanazo » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:34 am

still_stirrin wrote:So, the culture you propogated more than likely is a bottling yeast strain, not the Brett that produces the spicy phenols/horse blanket notes you taste in their beers.


Ahhh, SS, this is the second time you've made me feel stupid this week! But I'm learning so that's okay haha.

The beer was Almanac's "Peach Galaxy". Cali based brewery and a Belgian Saison style. According to their info it's made with Brett.

Yeah I should've kept in mind that Brett obviously might not be the only yeast in the bottle at the time. I might just dump it and order some from whitelabs or something.
-El Cubanazo

¡Viva Cuba Libre!
ElCubanazo
Novice
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:11 pm

Re: Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby still_stirrin » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:11 pm

ElCubanazo wrote:
still_stirrin wrote:So, the culture you propogated more than likely is a bottling yeast strain, not the Brett that produces the spicy phenols/horse blanket notes you taste in their beers.

Ahhh, SS, this is the second time you've made me feel stupid this week! But I'm learning so that's okay haha.

Oh, I am not trying to make you feel stupid. Sorry if that's how it was received.

As a beer brewer and certified beer judge for 30 years, I have visited many, many times with novice beer brewers who thought they could culture the yeast sediment from an import bottle of Belgian beer to replicate the signature character of the paradigms. And time and again they've failed and wondered why. Intelligence from the major breweries has affirmed that indeed the fermentation yeast is different than the bottling yeast because of the extremely proprietary nature of their fermentation yeast strains. And often times, they are colloquial to the region in which the brewery is founded.

So, that is why I asked you about the brewery's identity. Domestic producers of traditional European beers may not follow the same protocol of yeast management. I simply don't have enough information to make that judgement. OK?

ElCubanazo wrote:The beer was Almanac's "Peach Galaxy". Cali based brewery and a Belgian Saison style. According to their info it's made with Brett.

Again, "fermented with" and "bottled with" may (or may not) be the same...I simply don't know.

ElCubanazo wrote:Yeah I should've kept in mind that Brett obviously might not be the only yeast in the bottle at the time. I might just dump it and order some from whitelabs or something.

So, don't panic. You may be fine with your ferment. But, whether or not any of that quality will come over in the still is "to be determined". I seriously doubt you will get much of it. But, the ferment should progress typically.

However, after you first asked this question, I did more investigation into the Brett yeast fermentation processes and how it works reducing acids into the phenols that you perceive in the beer. The thing to note is that the predecessors to the phenol production actually relies on the grains, or at least the husks of the grains, ie - barley husks and wheat (hulls) in the mash tun. So the question arises whether or not a rum ferment (molasses) will even have the precursors necessary to produce those phenols you'd like to target. On the other hand, some of the phenols are produced by reduction (oxygenation) of some of the acids produced in the ferment.

Summarizing, you may get some notes in the ferment...maybe not. Regardless, it is very unlikely that much, if any of those notes will come over to your spirit product. Just try it and see.

And don't "kick the bucket over"... yet.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
What is a Proof & Traille hydrometer: Alcohol-meter
Enzyme info: SebStar
HD Google search info: HD Google-how to
All about mashing grains: Braukaiser
User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 6557
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby ElCubanazo » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:51 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
ElCubanazo wrote:
still_stirrin wrote:So, the culture you propogated more than likely is a bottling yeast strain, not the Brett that produces the spicy phenols/horse blanket notes you taste in their beers.

Ahhh, SS, this is the second time you've made me feel stupid this week! But I'm learning so that's okay haha.

Oh, I am not trying to make you feel stupid. Sorry if that's how it was received.

As a beer brewer and certified beer judge for 30 years, I have visited many, many times with novice beer brewers who thought they could culture the yeast sediment from an import bottle of Belgian beer to replicate the signature character of the paradigms. And time and again they've failed and wondered why. Intelligence from the major breweries has affirmed that indeed the fermentation yeast is different than the bottling yeast because of the extremely proprietary nature of their fermentation yeast strains. And often times, they are colloquial to the region in which the brewery is founded.

So, that is why I asked you about the brewery's identity. Domestic producers of traditional European beers may not follow the same protocol of yeast management. I simply don't have enough information to make that judgement. OK?

ElCubanazo wrote:The beer was Almanac's "Peach Galaxy". Cali based brewery and a Belgian Saison style. According to their info it's made with Brett.

Again, "fermented with" and "bottled with" may (or may not) be the same...I simply don't know.

ElCubanazo wrote:Yeah I should've kept in mind that Brett obviously might not be the only yeast in the bottle at the time. I might just dump it and order some from whitelabs or something.

So, don't panic. You may be fine with your ferment. But, whether or not any of that quality will come over in the still is "to be determined". I seriously doubt you will get much of it. But, the ferment should progress typically.

However, after you first asked this question, I did more investigation into the Brett yeast fermentation processes and how it works reducing acids into the phenols that you perceive in the beer. The thing to note is that the predecessors to the phenol production actually relies on the grains, or at least the husks of the grains, ie - barley husks and wheat (hulls) in the mash tun. So the question arises whether or not a rum ferment (molasses) will even have the precursors necessary to produce those phenols you'd like to target. On the other hand, some of the phenols are produced by reduction (oxygenation) of some of the acids produced in the ferment.

Summarizing, you may get some notes in the ferment...maybe not. Regardless, it is very unlikely that much, if any of those notes will come over to your spirit product. Just try it and see.

And don't "kick the bucket over"... yet.
ss


Haha don’t worry I was kidding about the feeling stupid thing. It’s just you’ve pointed out things I should’ve thought of!

Now that I’m back home and smelling this starter I’ve made it really doesn’t smell like a brett.

I’ll hop online now to order a good brett sample. I’m looking at Yeast Bay right now and they’ve got some good stuff. I’ll leave this ferment going for now to see if it starts smelling brett-like but if not I’ll toss it and start with one of these brett samples I’m about to order.

I’ll keep the thread update on the results! May take a few weeks/months!
-El Cubanazo

¡Viva Cuba Libre!
ElCubanazo
Novice
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:11 pm

Re: Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby masonsjax » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:37 am

The brilliant Michael Tonsmiere has a big list of bottled beers with viable microbes that can be cultured, check it out:
https://www.themadfermentationist.com/p ... t.html?m=1
User avatar
masonsjax
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 326
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:26 pm
Location: Appalachia

Re: Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby ElCubanazo » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:28 am

masonsjax wrote:The brilliant Michael Tonsmiere has a big list of bottled beers with viable microbes that can be cultured, check it out:
https://www.themadfermentationist.com/p ... t.html?m=1


Oh this is brilliant. Love it. Thanks for the resource!

I've noticed that the Almanac beer in question isn't on the list so safe to assume whatever I'm fermenting in this starter isn't the to Brett used to make the beer.

Last night bought a Brett mix from great Yeast Bay (they seem to be associated with whitelabs somehow).

I'll report back once I've got the starter going or once I've pitched into a molasses wash!
-El Cubanazo

¡Viva Cuba Libre!
ElCubanazo
Novice
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:11 pm

Re: Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby masonsjax » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:31 pm

The Yeast Bay contracted White Labs to archive and package their stuff, so the packaging looks the same. I've had good results from their products. East Coast Yeast also has some fantastic wild blends and isolates, but can be hard to get. When it's in stock at love2brew.com, you need to grab it while you can.
User avatar
masonsjax
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 326
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:26 pm
Location: Appalachia

Re: Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby Oldvine Zin » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:52 pm

My personal opinion is that brett has no place anywhere near anything fermenting. It's a flaw in wine making and marketing people are waxing it into something that it's not. "Earthy barnyard", yea goat shit and ...

OVZ
User avatar
Oldvine Zin
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1637
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:16 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Brettanomyces as primary yeast pitch in rum or whiskey?

Postby ElCubanazo » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:04 am

Oldvine Zin wrote:My personal opinion is that brett has no place anywhere near anything fermenting. It's a flaw in wine making and marketing people are waxing it into something that it's not. "Earthy barnyard", yea goat shit and ...

OVZ


Apparently it's a staple in the cider industry tho, hence the name BRETT since it's associated with British cider making. In Greek the name is something like "British yeast". And I love me some British style cider so gonna have to agree to disagree on that one haha.
-El Cubanazo

¡Viva Cuba Libre!
ElCubanazo
Novice
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:11 pm


Return to Yeasts, Enzymes, Fungi, Nutrients



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests