Collaboraters for BBA/EBY Brett Experiment wanted

Hello fellow yeast ranchers and Brett aficionados. Are you interested to be part of a large-scale Brettanomyces fermentation project? If yes, please read on. If not just ignore this post.

All started with the latest update of my yeast database which now consists of close to 100 isolated yeast and bacteria strains. After the last database update in mid June 2013, Bikes, Beer & Adventures (aka Jeffrey Crane) contacted me and asked for the strains to give me feedback in return. Since I haven’t actually brewed with any of the strains yet and kind of postponed the testing part for later on, we both agreed on an experimental setup to test all the different Brettanomyces strains in a single Brett-beer experiment. Jeffrey and I came up with a nice experiment to test some of the Brettanomyces strains I currently have.

2013-04-13-15-36-30The basic idea for this experiment is to brew a rather simple beer, split the batch and ferment the split parts with individual Brettanomyces strains only. Then evaluate the outcome of the beers, evaluate the individual strains and return the results to me (or make them otherwise available to me like posting on a blog etc). The recipe for this experiment, developed by Jeffrey, is mentioned below.


BBA/EBY-Brettanomyces Experiment

Numbers: Volume [L] 18 (5 gal)
Original gravity 12.5°P (1.050)
Terminal gravity Will depend on strain used
Color Around 10 EBC
ABV Will depend on strain used
Grains: Pilsner malt (4 EBC) 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs)
Munich malt (14.5 EBC) 0.5 kg (1.0 lbs)
Wheat malt (4 EBC) 1 kg (2.0 lbs)
Acid malt (5 EBC) 0.17 kg (6 oz)
Hops: Styrian Goldings (4.5% AA) Add 28.3 g (1 oz) and boil for 60 min
Saazer (4.5% AA) Add 28.3 g (1 oz) and boil for 10 min
Yeast: EBY Various strains in split-batch-mode
Water: Mash: 10.4 L (2.75 gal), sparge: 19.8 L (5.2 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @67°C (152°F), 60 min @67°C (152°F), sparge at 74°C (165.2°F)
Boil: Boil for 60 min
Fermentation: Oxygenate your wort as normal
Primary 1-31 days at around 20°C (68°F)
Secondary 1-31 days
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 2
Maturation time N/A

How does the experiment work?

As a participant of the BBA/EBY Brettanomyces Experiment you will receive a small amount of the Brettanomyces strain(s) from me, propagate them to have enough yeast to pitch, follow the recipe and procedure mentioned above, split the batch and let the shares ferment with the Brett strains. Then evaluate the beers and give me feedback about the individual strains. After the experiment, you are free to keep the individual strains and use them as you like. One request though, please only subscribe to the experiment if you follow the recipe, procedure mentioned above. There will be time for individual tests later on.

What about the individual Brettanomyces strains?

The strains are all isolated from different sour beers by myself and haven’t been tested on full-scale yet. If everything works as planned the following 20 strains will be sent out:

EBY001 (B. girardin I), EBY002 (B. dreifonteinii I), EBY005 (B. cantillon I), EBY007 (B. italiana I), EBY008-013 (B. cantillon II to VII), EBY014-015 (B. lostfontain I and II), EBY016-017 (B. lambeek I and II), EBY019 (B. cucurbita I), EBY020 (B. jurassienne), EBY021 (B. bruery I), EBY035 (B. cucurbita II), EBY038 (B. cantillon VIII) and EBY048 (B. italiana II).

For more information about the individual strains check out my page with all the strains I currently have (go to EBY program).

  • I will either send you the entire set of Brettanomyces (around 20 strains) or a subset of them. Please notice that I can only send out 8 complete sets of Brettanomyces (8 samples of each strain)
  • Yeasts will be sent to you in 1.5 mL Eppendorf tubes (1 mL of liquid culture) and I only charge the shipping costs
  • A 200 mL unstirred dry malt extract starter (20 g of DME to 200 mL of water) should be enough to get you enough yeast to ferment 2 L of wort (0.52 gal). I recommend to start the yeast starters three weeks before the brew day. If possible, sterilize your yeast starters using a pressure cooker as it might take more than a week before any signs of fermentation are visible. Brettanomyces grow really slow. If the yeast starter is not sterile, any contamination can easily out compete the slow-growing yeasts
  • If you send me some interesting yeast/dregs in return, I will send you the Brettanomyces strains for free
  • I will send out the yeasts somewhere between mid to end of August 2013

How can I participate?

Please only participate if you follow the recipe, procedure mentioned above. The whole purpose of this experiment is to get as much information about the strains as possible.

Please further notice that I haven’t tested most of the Brettanoymces strains on full-scale yet. I therefore cannot make any predictions about the fermentation performance nor the aroma, flavor profile of the out coming beers. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are strains not suitable for fermenting beers.

  • First, go to and choose the yeast strain(s) you want to test. Please notice that I only send out eight samples of each yeast strains. I kindly ask you to only choose the yeast strains you are actually going to test
  • If you are interested in the strains but don’t want to participate in this experiment, please subscribe to!forum/eureka-brewing-yeast to get email alerts of future strain releases
  • Second, write me an email to with your shipping address and your name you used in the doodle list
  • Third, the world-wide shipping costs (yes, I ship the stuff around the globe) for all the 20 yeast strains should be less than 20 USD (a rough estimate). However, I will charge you only the costs I actually paid at my post office in the end. To make my life easier, I would like to deposit all the parcels at my post office (by mid to end of August 2013) and then send you the quotes I had to pay afterwards. I therefore can’t tell you the exact shipping cost before the actual shipping
  • And finally, payments can be done using Paypal (please add another 1 USD to cover the fees) or directly to my Swiss bank account

I would be really happy to get as much collaborators as possible. So please spread the word. If there are more collaborators out there than yeast strains, or the available yeasts are gone within an instant, I might even think about another re-release of yeast strains.

If anything is not clear feel free to comment below or write me an email to

I am really looking forward to this experiment which will hopefully be fun, exciting and a real adventure. Cheers, Sam

Launching Eureka Brewing’s Yeast lab

Eureka, I am really pleased to announce that I finally have all the equipment ready to send out yeasts from my yeast library to other (home)brewers. My yeast lab will mainly focus on different Brettanomyces strains, other souring bugs, blends and any kind of not commercially available yeast strains. To have a look at my preliminary yeast program please visit the respective site.


Sources for further Brettanomyces strains

Please further notice that I don’t accept any orders. Currently, the strains are only available to collaborators for testing purposes. I plan to release strains on an irregular basis. All information concerning releases, costs, cell counts etc. are and/or will be available on the respective site.

Cheers, Sam

#68 Dark Berliner Sour

Eureka, its time for another recipe. Actually this one is not as straight forward as you might expect from my previous recipes and might be hard to reproduce. The idea for this beer came up during the lautering process of my #67 Koschei Imperial Stout batch. Brewed 51 L (13.5 gal) of Imperial Stout and could not throw away the second runnings which still had a gravity of 12°P (1.048). I therefore used the runnings as a base for this recipe and went from there.

I collected the runnings up to a total volume of 10 L (2.6 gal) and added a package of Wyeast’s Lactobacillus delbrueckii to the unboiled mash as the mash reached a temperature of 40°C (104°F) and let the mash sit at 40°C for a three days until the sourness was at a good level. I then let the wort cool down to around 20°C (68°F) and added the unboiled, per-soured wort on top of a Wyeast’s 3191 Berliner Weisse cake. I left the beer on the Berliner Blend for nearly two months and kegged the soured Stout into a small keg. Kegged the beer on the 9th of December 2012 and left the keg at a relatively warm place to mature. I then forgot about this beer for a while…

This changed in late Spring of 2013. I re-discovered this particular keg in my cellar during an inventory and was quite excited to try a first sip of this beer. The ABV for this one is around 5 %. For a style, it should be something like a dark Berliner Weisse. Since Weisse originates from white in German, it would not much sense to call it a Dark Berliner Weisse. I therefore simply call it a Dark Berliner Sour. Or maybe there is already a suitable beer style for this kind of beer. Let me know if there is a matching beer style for my beer.

DarkBerlinerWeisseAroma: Smells like a cold brewed coffee gone sour with a touch of lemon, dark chocolate and bonfire smoke. Can even detect a hint of gingerbread. Impressive aroma profile and really interesting aroma combination.

Appearance: Deep black color, clear with lots of bubbles rising to the top. Not very long-lasting off-white head

Flavor: Hint of dark chocolate, very subtle roast character and a nice level of sourness. Even some red grape and wood character like in certain wines. Tobacco is there as well. The sourness and the flavors from the roasted barley really go along really nice.

Mouthfeel: Light body, average carbonation level, very dry but not too thin, silky and lightly sour finish. Detectable astringency. Very refreshing. Leaves a smoky impression on the tongue like you get after smoking a cigar.

Overall Impression: Quite impressed how this one turned out. Despite the roast character, this beer has a lot of flavors common in red wines. Not only that, it reminds me of Jolly Pumpkin’s Madrugada Obscura. With the exception that this one is not really funky. I am further surprised how the sourness plays with the roasty, astringency characters. The play along really nicely.

I expected to get a huge mess of a beer. Simply because the grist of the Imperial Stout was not really destined to turn into a sour beer. Nevertheless, the beer turned out to be way more complex than expected and is a very interesting one. Maybe not the kind I would drink for a whole evening but I have others that drink this one in pints. I might brew another batch of this one in the future and mature it in my Whisky barrel to see how this one turns out after some time in a wooden barrel. Cheers and thanks for reading

#78 Shishiga Universal Stout

Eureka, I would like to publish another dark and evil recipe. The recipe of today is for a massive Imperial Stout (OG 1.146) and a measured/calculated ABV of 17.6%. 17.6% is my current record in terms of ABV (but it won’t be the record holder for long). Because this beer doesn’t fit the BJCP 13F category for Russian Imperial Stouts, I call it a Universal Stout.

The recipe below should get you a wort of roughly 24°P (1.099). Don’t try to get higher original gravities than 1.100 or you might stress the yeasts too much. Let the yeast start the fermentation at lower gravities and increase the gravity step-by-step during the active fermentation by adding further fermentable sugars. Second, use a yeast strain that is able to deal with higher alcohol levels. I chose White Labs WLP099 Super High Gravity yeast strain for this purpose. According to White Labs, this strain should be able to deal with alcohol levels of up to 25% (White Labs WLP099).

Recipe: Shishiga Universal Stout
Numbers: Volume [L] 16 (4.2 gal)
Original gravity 34.5°P (1.146) (measured, see text)
Terminal gravity 6.2°P (1.024)
Color Around 200 EBC
ABV 17.6% (v/v)
Grains: Pale malt (6.5 EBC) 6 kg
Wheat malt (4 EBC) 0.9 kg
Roasted barley (1150 EBC) 1.1 kg
Carafa 1 (900 EBC) 1.1 kg
Caramunich 2 (120 EBC) 0.4 kg
Toasted oats (around 100 EBC) 2 kg
Whisky malt (20 EBC) 1 kg
Hops: Northern Brewer (10% AA) 100 g and boiled for 60 min
Magnum (15% AA) 63 g and boiled for 60 min
East Kent Goldings (6.7% AA) 50 g and boiled for 10 min
East Kent Goldings (6.7% AA) 10 g and boiled for 1 min
Yeast: Wyeast #1098 British Ale
White Labs WLP099 Super High Gravity Ale
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 31 L (8.2 gal), sparge: 30 L (7.9 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @66°C (151°F), 90 min @66°C (151°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Boiled for 60 min
Fermentation: Primary 4 weeks @20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter, starting gravity of 24.2°P– 4 days into fermentation: Added WLP099 and yeast nutrients– 6-14 days into fermentation: Added 0.9 kg of candy syrup, 0.5 kg cane sugar, 1 kg cane sugar, yeast nutrients in daily small additions
Secondary 3 weeks @15°C (59°F) in plastic fermenter on Rum soaked wood chips (50 g medium toasted French oak chips, 50 g medium toasted US oak)
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 2 (force carbonated in keg)
Maturation time Years

03.29.2013: Toasted some oak flakes in my oven at 120°C (248°F) for 20-30 min until the flakes had a brownish color and smelled like popcorn. In then crushed all the malts and mashed everything in at 66°C (151°F). I then left the mash rest for 90 min. Then sparged at 78°C (172°F), collected the wort and added the hops according to the recipe. I further on collected the second runnings for a smaller 12°P (1.048) Stout. I cooled the wort down to 20°C (68°F) and added a massive amount of WY1098 British Ale yeast according to the common pitching rates. The fermentation took off within a couple of hours.

04.02.2013: Four days into the fermentation. Added 200 billion WLP099 yeast cells with a small yeast nutrient addition. Gravity was already down to 8.7°P (1.034). Well done British Ale yeast.

04.06.2013: Added 0.9 kg of homemade candy syrup, 0.5 kg cane sugar, 1 kg of white table sugar, yeast nutrients over the next four days in small, quarter-daily additions.

04.10.2013: Last sugar additions.

04.27.2013: Racked beer of the yeast cake into a secondary fermenter. Added 100 g of a 50:50 blend of medium toasted French and US oak chips that have been sitting in some rum for a couple of months.

06.19.2013: Kegged the beer and force carbonated it to a carbonation level of 2 vol of carbon dioxide. And now its time to wait for the first tasting. Concerning the alcohol measurement. I calculated an original gravity of 34°P. One way do evaluate the ABVs is to measure the beer’s terminal gravity with a hydrometer (6.2°P in this case) and measure the Brix using a refractometer (18°Brix in this case). From these two values, one can calculate the actual original gravity. I use “Die Kleine Bieranalyse” for that purpose. In my case, the original gravity was 34.5°P I calculated an ABV of 17.5% from these two values.

I am really happy how this batch turned out. Luckily, it was no problem to ferment this beast and the terminal gravity is not too low nor too high. Judging from the first preliminary tasting, the wood character is way better than the beer I matured in an actual Whisky barrel. Will see how this beer develops over the next couple of months. Cheers and stay tuned!

#72 Belgian-Brett Ale

Eureka, sharing another recipe with the world. All started with the need to get rid of some ingredients such as leftover hops, malts and yeast. My goal was to brew a hop-forward not too bitter Amber Ale. Something for a general public. On the other hand to use Wyeast’s 3789 Trappist Blend. According to Wyeast, this blend consists of Saccharomyces and some Brettanomyces strain(s). Some say this blend consists of the yeasts used by Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval. I chose this blend to be suitable for such a beer because of three reasons. First, serving the fresh beer will not have too much of Brettanomyces character and be more accessible for a general public. Second, the Brettanomyces might help to decreases the body of this rather malty beer and improve the hop aroma. Third, further maturation should give the Bretts enough time to put their fingerprint on the beer aroma/flavor and maybe be more for the Brett lovers.

Recipe: Belgian-Brett Ale
Numbers: Volume [L] 20 (5.3 gal)
Original gravity 14°P (1.056)
Terminal gravity 2.7°P (1.010)
Color Around 20 EBC
ABV > 6% (v/v)
Grains: Abbey malt (45 EBC) 1 kg
Munich malt (15 EBC) 1.2 kg
Pilsner malt (4 EBC) 2.7 kg
Carabelge (35 EBC) 0.2 kg
Cara Munich 3 (150 EBC) 0.2 kg
Hops: Amarillo (10% AA) 5 g and boiled for 60 min
Columbus (15% AA) 5 g and boiled for 60 min
Simcoe (14% AA) 5 g and boiled for 60 min
Cascade (5.9% AA) 30 g at flame out
Amarillo (7.8% AA) 15 g at flame out
Simcoe (12.9% AA) 30 g at flame out
Dry hops 50 g Simcoe (12.9%), 50 g Amarillo (8.5%) and
50 g Cascade (5.9%)
Yeast: Wyeast #3789 Trappist Blend
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 13 L (3.4 gal), sparge: 21 L (5.5 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @66°C (151°F), 60 min @66°C (151°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Boiled for 90 min
Fermentation: Primary 13 days @20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter
Secondary 14 days @20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter with the addition of dry hops
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 2 with sugar addition
Maturation time Weeks to months

02/10/2013: Brew day! Nothing special to add here. Basically followed the recipe above.

03/05/2013: Tasting:

batch72Aroma: Very, very fruity (mango and lots of oranges). Reminds me of a certain local fruit juice. No Brett funk yet. Very nice aroma! (Tasting in July: Aroma very similar to Orval with a certain Brett character)

Appearance: Amber-brown, clear, 1 finger white head with nice bubbles rising to the top

Flavor: Very fruity (tropical fruits) with mango, oranges and some citrus character. Subtle maltyness and very well-balanced (malt and hop). (Tasting July: Fruit character not as prominent anymore. But a bit of Brett twang is definitely there now, balance is now more on the hop/bitter side, malt character vanished).

Mouthfeel: Medium body, average carbonation level, no bitter finish. (Tasting July: Rather dry and slightly bitter finish).

Overall Impression: This is a very nice brew. It is not overly bitter but has a huge tropical fruit aroma. And I am not the only one that likes this beer. I shared some bottles with friends and they loved it. On feedback I got was like “get this brew on tap”. The character of this beer changed over the last weeks and you definitely get a certain Brett character now. I will further mature the beer and see how much of Brett it will get.

I already re-used the base recipe for another batch. Left the Carabelge aside and used a different kind of yeast (Wyeast’s American Ale strain) to see, how much the beer depends on Wyeast’s Trappist Blend. Sure the Brett character will not be there but I currently have way enough beer to mature anyway (and a lot of stuff that will require maturation is still fermenting). By the end of 2012, I had 508 bottles of beer stocked in my maturation cellar (equal to 269 L of beer). This number might be even higher now because I mature some beers in kegs. Anyway, this batch was a complete success: Got rid of some ingredients, was fun to brew, got a nice beer in the end and my friends liked it as well. Cheers and thanks for reading