Commercial Yeast Laboratories
WY3031-PC Saison Brett Blend – "A blend of Saison yeast and Brettanomyces creates a dry and complex ale. Classic earthy and spicy farmhouse character meets tropical and stone fruit esters."
WY3191-PC Berliner Weisse Blend – This blend makes a solid Berliner weisse with a hint of funk from “a unique Brettanomyces strain from a now defunct brewery in Berlin.” The tartness from the Lactobacillus is on the same level as the German examples I have sampled, which is to say mild. Some people do not like Brettanomyces character in their Berliner weisses, but I enjoy the added complexity and dryness.
WY3203-PC de Bom Sour Blend – A new release for summer 2014. They advertise this blend of Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces, and brewer's yeast is supposed to be capable of producing a sour beer in less than two months at 80-85°F (27-29°C). They suggest fermenting in the low 80s to favor the Lacto. They also recommend the questionable/novel technique of skipping aeration initially, but adding 4 PPM of oxygen every other day once 80% of the expected attenuation is completed.
WY3209-PC Oud Bruin Blend – Another new release for summer 2014. They say the results are similar to Roeselare Blend, but will not disrupt the malt character as much. Intended for dark sours and fruit beers especially. This blend contains only Lactobacillus and brewer's yeast, no Brettanomyces.
WY3278 Lambic Blend – A blend of all of required microbes including strains of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. The first pitch makes for a rather tepid lambic, but the blend serves as a solid base for augmenting with bottle dregs. Pitch brewer’s yeast in addition to the blend to avoid the resiny off-flavors. My first batch of lambic took four days to show visible fermentation. Wyeast responded that this blend is intended to mimic the slow start of a spontaneous fermentation, but with the time involved I prefer to reduce variability.
WY3763-PC Roeselare Blend – A blend of all of microbes including Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, sherry flor yeast, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It is intended to replicate the house culture of microbes maintained by Rodenbach for their Flemish reds. In an impermeable fermentor, the first pitch produces a rather lackluster sour beer, but subsequent repitchings lead to increased sourness and funk. One of my favorite blends, but it too benefits from additional microbes.
WY3789-PC Trappist Blend – A blend of Belgian ale yeast and Brettanomyces bruxellensis intended to mimic the character of Orval (although Orval does not pitch Brettanomyces into their beer until bottling). It does a good job of accomplishing its stated goal, producing classic, if aggressive, horse blanket aromatics given adequate time.
(Discontinued) WY5110 Brettanomyces anomalus – This strain is no longer sold because Wyeast determined that it was actually a different species of Brettanomyces than they had claimed. This strain provided a classic leathery flavor to English ales when used as a secondary fermenter, and was also a good choice for primary fermentation (although it did not perform well at elevated temperatures). It was isolated from Pizza Port’s original batch of Mo’ Betta Bretta.
WY5112 Brettanomyces bruxellensis – Provides the classic Brett character made famous by Orval. Descriptors include farmyard, wet hay, horse blanket etc. It is a good choice for secondary fermentation of hoppy beers and saisons in particular.
WY5151-PC Brettanomyces claussenii – The mildest strain in the current Wyeast lineup. It is similar to their Brettanomyces anomalus with flavors ranging from tropical fruit to leather depending on the conditions it is given. I like it in beers where I want the Brett aromatics in a supporting role.
WY5223-PC Lactobacillus brevis – They claim this strain is more hop tolerant than their standard Lactobacillus (WY5335). It is heterofermentative and will produce both lactic acid and alcohol.
WY5526 Brettanomyces lambicus – Big cherry pie character when young, but the fruitiness fades as the beer ages. This strain is a good candidate for a primary fermentation, or as an addition to darker beers. It produces more perceived tartness than the other Brett strains in my experience.
WY5335 Lactobacillus (buchneri) – A hop intolerant strain, it will struggle to produce lactic acid in wort above about 6 IBUs. A good choice if you want to brew a sour beer without Brett character. This is not the same as the L. delbrueckii strain sold by White Labs. Wyeast claims their isolate is capable of increasing the acidity without significantly lowering the gravity. The strain is only capable of 10-12% apparent attenuation on its own according to Wyeast’s tests, although several brewers I spoke to reported experiencing as much as 70% attenuation when pitching it alone. Wyeast attributed this to Saccharomyces cross-contamination.
WY5733 Pediococcus – Will produce abundant lactic acid and diacetyl, but will not cause your beer to become “sick” in my experience, despite Wyeast’s claim to the contrary . It is typical to pair it with Brettanomyces, which reduces the diacetyl the bacteria produces to less-flavorful compounds.
WY9097-PC Old Ale Blend – An English ale strain paired with Brettanomyces lambicus. Be careful not to let strong English ales fermented with this strain finish too dry. An ideal candidate if you are planning to kill the microbes before it gets too dry and funky (see Chapter 13).
WLP630 Berliner Weisse Blend – Contains a hefeweizen Saccharomyces strain along with Lactobacillus, so it will not result in a beer as clean as a classic Berliner weisse. It produces a beer closer to Professor Fritz Briem 1809, which exhibits banana and clove aromatics in addition to sourness.
Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois Saccharomyces "bruxellensis" Trois – First released in mid-2012 suggested to be White Labs version of Brett bruxellensis var. Drie, the huge tropical and citrus esters it produced during primary fermentation were similar to what I have tasted from the BSI strain. However, in 2014 genetic analysis conducted for Omega Yeast Labs (and echoed by others) found that it was in fact Saccharomyces. White Labs confirm a few months later. More details.
WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii – Brilliantly fruity strain, although given enough time in a stronger beer it tends towards leather. This strain is a wonderful choice for primary fermentation of pale lower gravity worts, especially into the 80s°F (27-28°C) where the fruit character becomes peachy and tropical. White Lab’s Neva Parker noted that “B. claussenii is not a mixed-culture, despite what rumors have been out there.”
WLP648 Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois Vrai – "The vrai (true, in French) Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois. The infamous strain used for all-Brettanomyces fermentations, has a robust, complex sour character with aromas of pear. Best used as a primary fermentation strain." A true replacement for B. bruxellensis var. Drie?
WLP650 Brettanomyces bruxellensis – Similar to the Wyeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis, but with slightly more aggressive farmyard funk aromatics. Wait until after primary fermentation is complete to pitch it unless you want an assertive Brett character. Used for bottle conditioning it gave a wonderful citrus character that was perfect for a batch of Belgian single I brewed.
WLP653 Brettanomyces lambicus – This strain has a much more aggressive and funky-smoky character than its Wyeast equivalent, lacking the cherry pie character that is usually cited for this strain. It is a good addition to certain blends, but pitched on its own, especially early in fermentation, it is too assertive for my tastes.
WLP655 Sour Mix 1 – Contains Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus, all of the strains needed to ferment a long-aged sour beer. The funk character of this blend is more aggressive than the Wyeast blends.
WLP661 Pediococcus damnosus – White Labs sold Pediococcus as part of blends for years before releasing it as a single microbe pitch to homebrewers. This is likely because it is a prodigious diacetyl producer best used in combination with Brettanomyces (nice to have the choice).
WLP665 Flemish Ale Blend – A blend that is White Labs’ response to Wyeast Roeselare Blend. It contains all of the microbes needed to ferment a Flemish red or oud bruin (brewer’s yeast, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus). Its first release was in September 2012, so I have not had an opportunity to sample a finished beer fermented with this blend, but White Labs suggests it produces more “dark stone fruit characteristic” than their Sour Mix 1.
WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend – A combination of a saison brewer’s yeast and a Brettanomyces bruxellensis strain. The blend is based on one used by The Lost Abbey, the brewery is located close to White Labs. This strain provides earthy aromatics similar to the regular White Labs Brettanomyces bruxellensis, but is not quite as aggressive (although that may be a result of the highly attenuative brewer’s yeast strain included).
WLP672 Lactobacillus brevis – Claimed to produce more lactic acid than than their culture of L. delbrueckii.
WLP677 Lactobacillus delbrueckii – This heterofermentative bacterium produces lactic acid and alcohol, but not much distinct character of its own. It is does not produce lactic acid as prodigiously as the Wyeast strain, but it is a bit more hop tolerant (White Labs claims to 20 IBUs). It can ferment most of the most common sugars available in wort including: glucose, fructose, maltose, maltotriose, raffinose, and even lactose (but not mannitol, melibiose, or xylose), which means that it will cause a significant gravity drop on its own. The Berliner weisse I fermented with this strain alone achieved 75% apparent attenuation, but only a faint tartness.
East Coast Yeast
ECY01 Bugfarm – Each Bugfarm iteration contains a unique combination of 10-20 microbes isolated from a variety of top-shelf sour beers (e.g., Russian River, Fantôme, Cantillon, and 3 Fonteinen) and other sources (e.g., sourdough, and kombucha). The Saccharomyces is usually a blend of saison strains, but little of that character is expressed in the finished beer. Bugfarm III produced bright sourness with a fruity Brett character, while Bugfarm IV provided a sharper sourness to a barrel-aged golden ale. Pitching one of these blends (when fresh) does not necessitate augmentation with any other microbes.
ECY02 Flanders Red – Similar to Wyeast’s Roeselare Blend, but intended to produce more sourness on the first pitch. It is fine on its own without additional souring microbes because it is balanced to have a greater proportion of lactic acid bacteria. I'm told the best barrels from the first two sours at Modern Times were inoculated with ECY02.
ECY03 Farmhouse Brett – This blend is a combination of several saison strains (sold without Brettanomyces as ECY08 Saison Brasserie) and a Brettanomyces isolated from Fantôme. This strain adds a subtle leather and funk, closest to the discontinued Wyeast Brettanomyces anomalus.
ECY04 Brett Blend #1 – A mix of Brettanomyces strains isolated from gueuze (i.e., Boon, Girardin, and 3 Fonteinen) that add an aggressive, complex Brett funk, horse blanket, spice, and over-ripe fruit aromatics. A blend that is best to save until after a highly attenuative primary fermentation is complete to temper its flavor contribution.
ECY05 Brett Blend #9 – Even more aggressive barnyard Brett character than Blend #1, best saved for beers that are already quite dry. With “goaty” mentioned in the commercial description I have been too nervous to try brewing with it yet. The strains were isolated from Rodenbach Foederbier, and New Belgium La Folie.
ECY06 Berliner Weisse Blend – This blend contains Kölsch yeast along with a high ratio of Lactobacillus (L. delbrueckii and L .brevis), which makes for more aggressive sourness than either the Wyeast or White Labs Berliner weisse blends.
ECY19 Brettanomyces custersianus – In primary fermentation, this strain produces a surprisingly lager-like character when young. As the beer ages a tropical fruitiness emerges, maybe a hint of DMS. Oddly the opposite was true when I used the strain as a secondary fermenter, fruity when young, much cleaner as it aged a few months in bottle. This strain was originally isolated from Bantu (millet) beer brewery in South Africa.
ECY20 Bug County – A mixture of basically all of the microbes that East Coast Yeast produces, including ECY01, 02, 03, 04, 05, as well as additional B. bruxellensis, B. lambicus, B. anomalus, B. claussenii, B. nanus, B. naardenensis, B. custersianus, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. This is produced in small volumes even as far as this nano-yeast lab is concerned.
ECY23 Oud Brune – Many brewers rely on the same culture for their Flemish browns as they do for their reds. However, the complex blend of microbes (including Brettanomyces) is often too attenuative. With only brewer’s yeast and three strains of Lactobacillus (L. delbrueckii, L. mali, and L. brevis), this blend leaves more residual body and malt character than blends like ECY02 or Wyeast Roeselare that contain Brettanomyces.
ECY24 Brettanomyces nanus – Like their B. custersianus, the only isolate from its species available from a brewing yeast lab. It was isolated from a bottled beer from Kalmar, Sweden. Used for primary fermentation this strain creates a big white wine grape character, spicy, with some chlorine-like aromatics. Reminiscent of a saison. Used for secondary fermentation in a saison, the unpleasant aromatics faded, leaving the appealing fruity and spicy aromatics. B. nanus has actually been reclassified as Eeniella nana, so genetically it is now considered to be only a close relative of Brettanomyces.
ECY30 Brettanomyces naardenensis – Another East Coast Yeast exclusive. The only information about it entered in the yeast bank that Buck obtained it from was that it was isolated from Dr. Pepper. This strain is a poor fermenter of maltose, and produces a surprising amount of acidity during primary fermentation. The resulting flavor is fruity with a slightly footy undertone, but overall pleasant. As a secondary fermenter that unappealing component takes over.
ECY34 Dirty Dozen – Includes 12 Brettanomyces isolates including "various isolates from lambic-producers, B. bruxellensis, B. anomala, B. lambicus, and B. naardenensis."
The Yeast Bay
Nicholas Impellitteri sent many of the strains he had isolated to Modern Times for us to add to our barrels, which we combined in various ways. Sadly, I haven't had a chance to brew with his packaged Brettanomyces blends yet.
Beersel Brettanomyces Blend – Two 3 Fonteinen Golden Blend isolates: "All of the strains in this blend provide a balanced profile of fruitiness and funkiness."
Brussels Brettanomyces Blend – Lambic Brettanomyces isolates "barnyard funk with mild acidity and very little fruitiness."
Lochristi Brettanomyces Blend – "One strain provides a moderate funk and light fruitiness, while the other strain adds a more assertive fruitiness dominated by hints of strawberry."
Saison/Brettanomyces Blend – "The Brettanomyces strains are both good attenuators that produce some fruity esters and mild funk, and add a bright character to the beer."
Funktown Pale Ale - Intended for primary fermentation. A mixture of the Conan ale strain, and a Brettanomyces strain well suited to primary fermentation.
Brewing Science Institute (BSI)
BSI primarily works with commercial breweries. They are well known for working with brewers to develop custom blends of strains.
Brett Drei/Drie – The "original" 3 Fonteinen isolate from Geuze Cuvée J&J Blauw - Great for primary fermentation, lots of tropical fruit, especially delicious in combination with American hops.
Lactobacillus delbrueckii – Similar to White Lab's Lactobacillus in my experience. Aggressive and heterofermentative, but minimal lactic acid production.
In Sweden, Maarten Vanwildemeersch started Saccharolicous to sell brewer’s yeast, as well as two strains of Brettanomyces.
Brett I – Orval isolate.
Brett II – A unique isolate from Brasserie à Vapeur Cochonne. Vanwildemeersch described as reminiscent of French cider.
A microbe hunter named Jeff Mello isolates some strains from sour beers, but also less traditional sources (especially truly wild yeast). Has grown from a part-time hobby to Nashville-based fermentation geek-out.
BB0034A Funk Weapon #1 – "This rare, and commercially unavailable yeast isolate, produces pungent horse blanket and fresh leather aromas. Perfect for breaking out the funk in farmhouse-style beers."
BB22204 S. arlingtonesis – A wild Saccharomyces captured from Jeff's old backyard in Arlington Virginia. "This culture ferments extremely cleanly in the low 60’sF (Kolsch and Lager hybrids), and subtle fruity/citrus esters in the higher end of the Ale fermentation range (wheat-centric beers)."
BBXSS-0715 Sour Solera Blend – "Instead, our Sour Solera Blend contains a unique and complex collection of Sacchromyces, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and other funky yeast and souring bacteria pulled from an active fermentation."
(Retired) Foedre's Folly – Flemish red blend grown from a swabbed foeder.
(Retired) Honey Lee – Wild Colorado honey isolates.
(Retired) Kombucha – Kombucha isolate, relatively mild character.
(Retired) Pithos Blend – Lambic blend.
SouthYeast isolates, trains, and characterizes a variety of wild strains. I've yet to use any of their strains, but I hope to soon! They have a couple non-Saccharomyces strains (B3 - blueberry and P1 - peach) that may produce lactic and citric acid, but they are still undergoing tests.
Lacto1 – Isolated from spontaneously fermented beer. Mild acidity.
Lacto2 – Isolated from prickly pear fruit. More aggressive acidity. Homofermentative (i.e., produces lactic acid without ethanol).
Native Farmhouse Saison – Three native South Carolina saison strains, plus a unique isolate of Brettanomyces bruxellensis.
Native Flanders – B3 farmhouse strain, two isolates of Brettanomyces and Acetobacteria we isolated from a contaminated sour barrel.
Walhallaweisse – 50/50 blend of P1 Musserweissen and Lacto2.
Omega Yeast Labs
OYL-210 Where Da Funk? – A blend of fruity Brett strains intended for primary fermentation.
OYL-211 Bit O’ Funk – The fruity strains from "Where Da Funk?" with the addition of a funkier B. bruxellensis.
OYL-212 Bring On Da Funk – Omega's funkiest Brett blend.
OYL-217 C2C American Farmhouse – "A 'coast to coast' blend of a saison strain from a famous Northeast U.S. brewery and a Brettanomyces strain from a Northwest U.S. brewery."
OYL-218: All The Bretts – "This will be an evolving blend comprised of nearly every Brettanomyces strain in our collection (inaugural release will contain 12 strains)."
OYL-605 Lactobacillus Blend – Includes very aggressive Lactobacillus plantarum isolate. According to the manufacturer it is capable of kettle souring to 3.42 in 17 hours and 3.24 in 40 hours at moderate temperatures (70-90F).
GB110 GigaYeast Lacto – "A robust, fast souring lactic acid bacteria. Produces a clean tart flavor."
GB121 Farmhouse Sour – "A blend of Belgian ale yeast, Brett and lactic acid bacteria sweet, sour and a little funky"
GB122 Berliner Blend – "A blend of neutral ale yeast and lactic acid bacteria. Use directly in a primary to make a crisp, sour beer!"
GB123 Sour Plum Belgian – "Belgian ale yeast and lactic acid bacteria. Cleaner than GB121. Creates a beer with stone fruit/plum esters and sour notes"
GB124 Saison Sour – "A blend of saison ale yeast and lactic acid bacteria that produces a sour beer with fruity esters and a touch of black pepper"
GB144 Sweet Flemish Brett – "A pure Brettanomyces strain that produces a sweet, fruity nose with just a touch of barnyard and phenolics. Use in a primary to make an all brett beer or in the secondary to add character during aging."
GB150 Sour Cherry Funk – “A new blend of 3 Brett strains and lactic acid bacteria from GigaYeast. Produces a tart, complex beer with notes of cherry and a hint of barnyard (aging will intensify flavors). This blend is perfectly suited for a primary fermentation and will attenuate an average beer over 80% in 7-8 days at 71F. You can also use it in a secondary to add complexity to a finished beer.”
RVA 600 Lactobacillus – Homofermentative Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
RVA 601 Pediococcus – "Lactic acid bacteria used in souring Belgian-style beers such as gueze and Lambic. Acid production increases with storage. Temperature range is 60-95º F."
Black Man Brewing
Produces blends of dried ale yeast and lactic acid bacteria. Currently bring-your-own Brett although they are searching for a lab that will dry Brett for them.
A4 American Sour Mix – Ale yeast and Lactobacillus.
B4 Flanders Sour Mix – Ale yeast, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus.
F4 Belgian Sour Mix – Ale yeast, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus.
G4 German Sour Mix – Ale yeast and Lactobacillus.
Escarpment Yeast Laboratories
An Ontario-based yeast lab that will have some interesting sounding wild strains.
Small yeast lab in Colorado specializing in funky/wild microbes. Interesting: "Our blends are maintained in a constant solera process, ensuring slight continual development and stable organism counts."
BY-01: Wild Brett Isolate #1
BY-02: Wild Brett. Isolate #2
BY-40: Tropic Brett
BY-50: Funky Brett
BY-A: Brett. Saison Blend
BY-B: Wild Ale Blend
BY-C: Lactobacillus Blend
Imperial Organic Yeast
A20 Citrus - Sounds similar to WLP644 Saccharomyces "bruxellensis" Trois, "When you want to use Brett, but you don’t... As funky as saccharomyces gets."
F08 Sour Batch Kidz #1
W15 Suburban Brett
Inland Island Brewing & Consulting
INISBC-901 Brettanomyces Brux. I - "Isolated from a brewery in Brussels this particular Brettanomyces strain in known for producing aromatics reminiscent of horse, barnyard, sweat, and goat."
INISBC-903 Brettanomyces Brux. III - "Produces an aromatic profile that is more mild than INISBC-901 with increased tropical fruitiness."
INISBC-913 Brett. Barrel Yeast III - "Isolated from a famous American wild ale brewery. Produces mild acidity and tropical fruit notes."
INISBC-991 Lactobacillus brevis - "Lactic acid bacteria that produces lactic acid. Produces more lactic acid at higher temperatures and in low hop worts."
INISBC-992 Lactobacillus delbrueckii - "Lactic acid bacteria that produces lactic acid. Produces more lactic acid at higher temperatures and in low hop worts."
INISBC-993 Lactobacillus fermentum - No description.
INISBC-998 Pediococcus damnosus - "Gram positive cocci that produces lactic acid. Also produces diacetyl and several proteins that may cause a "rope" to form in the beer."
Lots of strains listed (some that sound as if they might be sour/funky), but not much information provided.
JY87 - Brettanomyces bruxellensis Chateaux - "Strong pineapple and stonefruit aroma after prolonged fermentations (3-9 months). Great companion to beers that could use some funk, and complements hoppy beers perfectly. Flocculation is low, strain will form a pellicle when oxygen is present."
Amateur Yeast Wranglers
Serjanov isolated three strains from Cantillon Iris, which are surprisingly fruity, lots of strawberry and sweet melon.
C1 – "Incredibly sweet smelling, strong fruity smell with apples, pears, mangoes, honeydew, lots of honey, elderflowers, just general non-specific flowers and fruits, wood, hay, Bretty funk."
C2 – "Strawberries, bubblegum, green apple, pear with a little wet sock/ good cheese and slight vinegar. Finishes dry."
C3 – "Fruity and pineapple were the most common descriptions for aroma. Also there was more funk on the palate."
Jason Rodriguez isolated two strains from Blåbær Lambik. Interestingly, neither is highly attenuative, making them good choices for bottle conditioning where they produce aromatics, but not excess carbonation.
CB1 – Too urinal-cake-forward for my tastes.
CB2 – Produces a wonderful blend of funky aromatics is a surprisingly short amount of time. We'll be using this one at Modern Times in several beers.
The Mark of the Yeast
BBY009 Wild Canadian Blend - "Dregs from a blend of several sour/barrel aged beers from Trou du Diable. Complex woody-fruity aroma in the lab, untested in beer" .