Monday, July 19, 2010

The Brett of Cochonette

This spring I isolated yeast from Cochonette, an amber beer brewed by Brasserie à vapeur. I noticed, when drinking the beer, that there was something funky going on. Not surprisingly, because brasserie à vapeur is an artisanal brewery and their brewing technique is much lika it was 100 years ago. So, yeasterday I was refreshing my yeast bank and came across the vial of Cochonette yeast. I still wasn't sure what caused the funky sourness in the beer (lactic acid bacteria, brett?) so I decided to have a look under the microscope. I haven't been able to take pictures yet, but from the look of it, this beer was heavily "infected" with brettanomyces. Looks like I will have to isolate single colonies... Oh well, that just increases my yeast bank with one more strain: the Brett of Cochonette!

Edit 21/7: Picture!

The small round cells are Saccharomyces, the smaller and slimmer ones the Brett. As I said, more Brett then Saccharomyces...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Introducing project Hanssens

Now that I successfully hav isolated a Saccharomyces and a Brettanomyces strain from Orval, it is time to go wild. A few weeks ago, I drank a Hanssens oude geuze. I saved the dregs and poured some DME wort on to bow some life into this wild dormant soup. After a day, the dregs had come to life and were happily producing CO2. I will now plate out this mini starter and hope to get some nice colonies. By making a starter I should have favored the growth of Saccharomices strains, so theoretically thay should show up first on my plate. After a while I also hope to get some Brett strains appearing. I also would like to get som Pedio or Lactobacillus out. For that I will use DME agar supplemented with 10 % tomato juice, some dead yeast and 2% CaCO3 to buffer te acid produced. As a teaser, here's a picture of what my mini starter looks like under a microscope. The tiny rods are most likely Lacobacillus of Pediococcus. The bigger cells look like yeast, of which the round ones look like Saccharomyces and the smaller ones Brettanomyces. To be continued...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Planning the next brewing season. Suggestions?

During the summer I will take it a bit easy. I will mainly be drinking instead of brewing. However, the recipe designer in me can't help thinking about hte next brewing season, again dominated by Belgian beer styles. Here's what I want to brew during the fall (if I manage):

  • Dubbel

  • Tripel

  • Strong golden ale

  • Lambic

  • Imperian amber wit

  • Blonde

  • 100% Brett amber ale (Brett from the Orval project

  • Strong saison with Sorachi Ace hops

The reason why I want to brew these beers is either because I brewed them before and want to improve the recipe, or because I feel the urge to experiment with hops and yeast strains. More then one of them will be split batches, with several yeasts in parallel. I really don't feel like washing 1000+ bottles, whitch is approximately what it will take to bottle all of these beers. Should I consider kegging? I don't know, in my opinion, nothing beats bottle conditioned beer!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Project Orval, the first pictures!

I have finally managed to take some pictures of some of my orval clones. On the left you can see one clone, probably Saccharomyces cerevisiae because of its rounded shape and budding daughter cell. On the right you see a clone with the working name "tiny colony" because it grew much slower on wort agar. Judging by its slow growth and its ogival shape, this is probably a brett strain. At least it's not Saccharomyces cerevisiae.