For those guys, it was a simple kegging meetup, but I enlisted them into helping me to decide which of my beers to spike with a Brettanomyces culture. The culture is from what originally was Miss Jiwaku’s Old ale, though since then it has also soured a Belgian Pale Ale since sometime in January. I simply pumped out a jarful of the yeasty goodness at the bottom of the keg, dumped it into another keg, and brought it along.
Originally, I’d intended to sour my Saison, but after we tasted it, both Bryan and David immediately suggested I sour the other beer, which was supposed to be an Belgian Dubbel, though after apparent problems with the mash, it ended up being light brown and only about 5.5%, and so some kind of Brown Enkel. They seemed unanimous, so that was that: I racked the Saison into one of the kegs provided by the Magpie brewery, and racked the Dubbel into my own souring keg.
While I was reading, I was impressed to read a bit about how to clean out a keg after souring beer inside it. What I discovered was that iodophor isn’t just a good sanitizer–it’s actually pretty amazing, and will kill any and all Brettanomyces it gets in contact with. Bacteria’s a different story, though, which means I need to be careful with the Berliner Weisse I’m planning to brew up this week. I think I’m going to go ahead and bottle that stuff, rather than have to worry about killing bacteria in a keg… and anyway, since I plan on adding some Brett to it, bottle-aging isn’t a bad idea, I mean, while I’m hoping for it to attenuate and all.
I found some of the observations on this post about Brettanomyces pretty interesting, especially the photos and video.