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In planning for a sour ale with peaches and apricot, we did a bit of research on the microorganisms typically used for making sours and put together a recipe for a fairly basic pale ale with Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, and Pediococcus, adding the fruit during primary.

Our local homebrew shop, however, was out of Brett but we were able to pick up everything else, thinking we'd just use the pedio. After some additional research though, it seems that Brett is practically seen as a requirement with pedio due to its heavy production of diacetyls.

Should we hold off on brewing until we can get Brett or is there something else we can do to help limit diacetyl production?

Is this something that could be addressed with a diacetyl rest (maybe in combination with pitching additional yeast?)?

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You can certainly pitch the Brett later. As mentioned the Brett will help with diacetyl, but it also helps with the ropey dextrinous 'gunk' that Pedi starts to throw in there. Without Brett that stuff doesn't clear out very easily. You need Brett to break that stuff down.

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You're right on the common combination of pedio and brett due to diacetyl production. But pedio doesn't start working for 2-4 months, and has a time-frame of 4-9+ months. So you have plenty of time to source brett to add to help with diacetyl production from the pedio.

I'm honestly not sure if a traditional lager-style diacetyl rest (probably with newly-pitched sacc. yeast) would help with pedio-produced diacetyl.

  • The timeframe comment is definitely a good point. I figured if the answer here was that we should add Brett (even if it was a while from now) we would still have time to obtain and pitch it. I'm partially just amazed as this seems like a problem that should have multiple solutions but the consensus seems to be that there's just the one. – thesquaregroot Nov 12 '15 at 4:00

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