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I'm reading a recipe for a Sanctification clone, which is one of Russian Rivers Blonde Sour Ales. The recipe for the yeast read as such

Brettanomyces bruxellensis culture, Wyeast 3112 or White Labs WLP650 (3 qt./ starter)

Brettanomyces lambicus culture Wyeast 3526 or White Labs WLP653 (1 qt/ starter)

Lactobasillus delbrueckii culture, Wyeast 4335 bacteria (3 oz/ starter)

Then it instructs to "pitch bottom half" of yeast starters. Ferment starting at 72 degrees.

Any ideas on what any of this means? If I'm only pitching the bottom half, then how much exactly is "the bottom half"?

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Brett has very low flocculation, so unlike a Sacc. starter, where you can only pitch the concentrated sediment of flocculated yeast, with Brett you'll need to pitch the "bottom half" of the starter volume to make sure you get most of the yeast. While you could just pitch the whole volume, since brett needs larger, lager-sized starters, you want to decant at least some of the starter beer so as not to affect the overall batch flavor- and volume-wise.

At least, that's my edumacated guess.

  • Awesome. That does make sense. Very helpful. Another problem I've run into is that the local homebrew store, while plentiful in its stock, is often limited in its yeast availability. Do you know if there are any substitutes for the yeasts listed, in the event that they aren't stocked with the specific yeasts the recipe calls for? Or is there a generic approach to creating sour funk with yeasts that are readily, and not seasonably, available? – g0dluvsugly Sep 18 '14 at 21:44
  • Though you might get something close (and maybe even better!) with some other Brett. strains, but those are literally 2 of the like 5 commercially cultured Brett strains available right now. The bacteria (Lacto) is unique in behavior and results. But, same here: brett and more "esoteric" cultures are special-order at my LHBS. I plan those ferments out a few weeks in advance, due to lead times on special ordering the yeast, longer/larger starters, longer ferment time, &c. – jsled Sep 18 '14 at 22:13

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