Brettanomyces, Brettanomyces…

I didn’t mention that, along with several beery events this past weekend, like supplying the beer for a gathering of Korean SF fans, authors, and translators, and attending the wonderful IPA Jubilation event in Kyeongnidan Saturday night, I also met up with Bryan and David, a couple of local brewers, to keg the beers we brewed for the Fall Beer Festival that’s coming up at the end of September.

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.

2 thoughts on “Brettanomyces, Brettanomyces…

  1. Hey man,
    We’re having another Brett infection stint. I just checked Northern Brewer and the site says they can’t mail Idophor via airmail. How can we get some over here across the pond? Bummed we missed the IPA Jubilation btw.

    1. Hey!

      Maybe you’ve already figured this out — replying to comments is harder than tweeting on an iPhone, at least for my blog — but you can make iodophor at home, super-cheaply! No need to order from overseas at all!

      All you need is a big bottle of iodine, which definitely should be available from at least one big pharmacy in Jeonju — try a place near 전북대 병원 if the biggest one near you doesn’t have the stuff. (I think they come in 1L or 1.5L bottles.)

      There’s a post up on HBK amount the dilution amounts, if you want to be absolutely perfectly exact you’ll want a dropper as well so you can count out the drops as you add it to your water. But I find that 1/4 tsp per gallon is a very close approximation that saves time when it comes to using the stuff as a no-rinse sanitizer… at least. I haven’t had serious problems with infections or upset stomach diluting by that amount.

      Hope this helps!

      As for missing IPA Jubilation… well, can you make it to the Fall Beer Festival? Should be a nice range of beers, including a couple of Brett-funk experiments (one Amber, one, er, well, it was supposed to be a Belgian Dubbel but came out way under gravity so it finally was a brown Enkel, sort of), plus a Belgian IPA that was brewed on the IPA day, and then of course a good range of Ambers, Saisons, IPAs (including a Pliny clone), and Weizens. Should be a fun day!

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