Sending Brettanomyces

Alright guys!

The time has come for those of you outside New York to get your hands on some of these Brettanomyces strains!

The list of things I have for you stands thus:

WY Berliner Blend Isolate – OUT

Cantillon Iris Isolate C1 – OUT

Cantillon Iris Isolate C2 – OUT

Cantillon Iris Isolate C3 – OUT

Some of them have labels dated May 26, 2012. Don’t be alarmed. I simply had some old leftover labels and stuck them on because I don’t like them just laying around. All of them were aliquoted on October 20, 2012.

As much as I’d love to be able to just give these things away, unfortunately there are shipping costs, so let’s make it 10 bucks for the shipping. Email me at with what you want and your address and we’ll arrange the shipping. Don’t be shy. If you want all 4 strains feel free to say so. Shipping will still be the same. If you’d like to trade yeasts, that would also be cool. I’m currently on the look out for Brett c, Brett l, Brett “Drie” and Lactobacillus brevis. Pure cultures preferable, but not an absolute must. If you have some other interesting strains, by all means let me know.

Observations thus far:

C1: Based on what I heard from a couple of people this strains ferments fast and produces some acid. It was described as very bright, very tart and lemony. I have not yet tried it myself and will do so shortly. Tasting the starter leftovers didn’t tell much beyond that it’s not unpleasant.

C2: No reports yet and I have not tried it. The starter still emits that forest strawberry aroma.

C3: I currently have 2 beers fermenting with it being the sole fermenting organism. I’ve been smelling airlocks daily and even though the beers are different and have heavy late hops (3 oz of Strisselspalt vs 3 oz of Callypso + 6 oz of orange/lemon/lime peels) they share a lot of similarities in smell, which must be the yeast. For about the first week the beers smell very sulfurous and even vomity. After about 1 week it changes to kind of a sweet, dark berry kind of thing. A couple of days later there is so much pineapple that I was able to smell it just by walking near the fermentor. Pineapple gradually gives way to mango and orange kind of smells. After that it subsides and lets hops and other smells appear, but still retaining a strong pineapple/mango/orange character. Another interesting thing is the way it ferments. If you watch it close enough, you’ll see that it first forms a film on the surface of the wort and the first bubbles are filmy. Then it becomes a snowy white beautiful foam and then the hops and hot break start coming up and it all turns into the ugly mess we all know and love. It bubbles and bubbles and bubbles like every second for weeks. One of the beers had OG of 1.033 and it bubbled for nearly 3 weeks straight. Another one was 1.056 and also bubbled for nearly 3 weeks. And now the weirdest thing. At some point the krausen just drops like a rock. It’s literally goes from thick sludge to nothing in a matter of hours and that’s when the pineapple smell starts appearing, and it still keeps bubbling just as it did with krausen. It’s almost like they just go under and turn into bottom fermenters. Just weird… I suspect that this is due to their seemingly high flocculation property. There were 4 starters standing in front of me and C3 seems to fall out and leave clear beer the fastest, followed by C1 and then C2 being the slowest flocculator of the Iris isolates. I have not yet tasted the beers or measured FG, but I will keep you updated for sure. It should be noted that around the time of the pineapple appearance the heat got turned on in my building and I came home to find them bubbling at 82 degrees (they were right by the heater). Next day I could smell the pineapple from a few feet away. Perhaps all this fruitiness becomes really low and calm with age and the vinous character appears later like it did with the original primary isolate culture after a few months…

I imagine their alcohol tolerance is alright since they managed to survive in a 5%abv beer for 5 years.

Can’t say anything about the Berliner Brett (which I still suspect is Brett a, that WYeast used to sell once upon a time) because I noticed that the flask cracked and I just let it sit and slowly churn away without spinning so as to not break it. It’s kind of the reason for this delay as the Cantillon strains have long since finished fermenting.

These cultures aren’t high enough in cell counts to pitch directly into wort unless you’re adding it into secondary or mixing with something else. If you intend to use them in 100% Brettanomyces beer you should make a starter and treat it as you would your normal Saccharomyces. Experts in all-Brett fermentation recommend higher, lager-like pitching rates and I would follow that advice.

As before, should your beer turn out poisonous or disgusting I am not to blame. Use at your own risk. And please tell me how you used them, what beers, what observations you made and how the beers turned out (sending me a bottle will earn you brownie points).


13 thoughts on “Sending Brettanomyces

  1. Made a starter of the combined C2 and C3 (didn’t have the time to grow up a single strain) and it’s been going for four days now. Got a great earthy smell with some nice peach and apricot notes. I’ll keep you updated with the actual brew.

  2. I should have at least one starter going by next week with the intent to brew with one of the four. Any preference as to which one? I’m open to whatever.

    • I can only tell you about C3 right now and it’s quite nice, but you need to make sure to pitch enough and to give it a nice long diacetyl rest. I’m really liking the beer made with it, but it’s buttery somewhat… Could be nice in a British brew perhaps?

  3. Just got my C3 in the mail! Putting together a starter in the next couple days and contemplating what to brew. Your comment about the diacetyl has me considering something like a 60 shilling with some year old northern brewer hops I have on hand. Something like golden promise and a pinch of black patent with a nice long boil might do the trick. I’ll post the results in 2-3 months. Thanks for the sample!

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