Mixed Cultures

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Mixed cultures contain 2 or more different genera from each of these genera of organisms: Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Brettanomyces, and Saccharomyces (see each of the previous links for commercially available pure cultures of these organisms). For mixed culture blends that contain other genera such as Lachancea spp, Pichia spp., etc., see the Nonconventional Yeasts and Bacteria wiki page.

(Note: this definition is partly determined by the structure of this wiki. All of the commercial cultures are separated by genus rather than species on this wiki. Technically, any culture that contains more than one species could be called a "mixed culture". However, for the purposes of organizing the charts of commercially available microorganisms by genus, for now the above is the definition of a "mixed culture".)

Commercial Mixed Cultures

Culture Charts

In cooperation with Eric Bandauski [1].

For mixed cultures that contain genera other than Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus, see Nonconventional Yeasts and Bacteria.

Bootleg Biology

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
BBXSS-0715 Sour Solera Blend NA NA NA Source: A “living” culture blend propagated from our carefully managed continuous solera fermentation.

Many lab-produced multi-species culture blends fail to reproduce the richness and complexity of traditional lambic-style fermentations in their first effort. This can be a result of artificially slamming together cultures after pulling them directly from the freezer.

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. This blend can sour in a matter of months at 70ºF or higher, or if you prefer a more prolonged fermentation, use large amounts of aged hops and/or ferment and hold at temperatures below 70ºF.

This blend is available seasonally, and will always be changing and evolving due to the nature of solera fermentations. Warning: No two Sour Solera Blend releases will be the same, and neither will their fermentations.

A 1 liter 1.030-1.040 SG unhopped starter (use DME or wort) for a 5 gallon batch of beer is recommended. Use a stir plate for 1-2 days. Keep the starter below 70°F [2][3].

BBXMTF-0616 MTF Baltifunk Mega Blend/MTF Funkapolis Mega Blend 96-100 Med-Low 65-80°F Available for limited time after each HomebrewCon. Source: A “living” culture blend propagated from bottled dregs sourced from the Milk The Funk bottle share at HomebrewCon. Years produced: 2016, 2017. This blend is only available once during this pre-sale. No further homebrew culture props will be produced. Warning: No results can be guaranteed. This blend has not been tested by Bootleg Biology. See this Bootleg Biology blog post.
BBXMAD1 – The Mad Fermentationist Saison Blend 68-80 Availability: Limited. Source: A unique blend of cultures curated by The Mad Fermentationist, Michael Tonsmeire. Bootleg Biology is proud to announce The First Official Mad Fermentationist Culture! Fine tuned over two years, this blend morphed over time to become an elegant powerhouse of classic Saison spice, stone-fruit Brett, lactic tartness and a dry but well-rounded body. The final master blend consists of Saison yeast, wild Saccharomyces, rare Brettanomyces and an opportunistic Lactobacillus culture. At temperatures as low as 68F (20C) The Mad Fermentationist Saison Blend exhibits a relatively clean primary fermentation profile and high attenuation. Traditional saison temperatures (around 80F/27C) bring out citrus and elevated phenols (pepper and clove). The Brett character shifts depending on wort composition, as maltier beers emphasize cherry and stone fruit qualities. This blend integrates beautifully with fruity and tropical hops, with the unique Brett culture keeping hop aromatics crisp and bright for an extended time. For best results use a highly fermentable wort, dry hopping during the tail of active fermentation, and carbonating naturally [4]. There has been at least one report on MTF of this blend producing considerable tartness at 22 calculated IBU.

Attenuates a highly fermentable wort in 3-4 weeks, and can be bottled/kegged after that time. Brettanomyces character appears after 4-6 weeks. Works well with hoppy beers. Low acidity, and low funk even after aging. Not hop tolerant [5].

Boutique Yeast

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
BY-A Brett. Saison Blend High - Very High Medium Low - Low 65-95°F This blend is perfect for creating low-funk, low tartness, Belgian-based Brettanomyces Saisons. The Brett. strains bring ripe, tropical fruit with low funkiness. The first Sacc. strain is a traditional high-temperature Belgian Saison strain, the second is a Belgian-style Abbey strain that help ensure quick attenuation, aids in flocculation, and provides additional complexity to the finished beer. Shipped in a 10mL, screw top vial with cell count, viability, and contamination testing report. Recommended making a 1-2L starter.

Brewing Science Institute

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
B-73 Roselare Blend 80%+ Varies 65-85 Our blend of lambic cultures produce beer with a complex, earthy profile and a distinctive pie cherry sourness. Aging up to 18 months is required for a full flavor profile and acidity to develop. This blend will produce a very dry beer due to the super-attenuative nature of the mixed cultures [6]. Does not contain Pediococcus by default, but they will include it if asked [7]. Lactobacillus species is L. delbruekii [8].
B-82 Belgian Sour Ale 75-80 Med 65-80 Spicy, phenolic and tart in the nose. Very tart and dry on the palate. Phenols and esters well balanced, with a very dry and complex finish. High acid producer [6].

Dry Yeast for Sour Ales BlackManYeast

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
American Sour Mix (A4) 62-75°F A4 American sour mix is blended for primary fermentation with ale yeast and a double dose of lactobacillus. The blend does well at room temperature for no-fuss fermentation. Use to create unique American Sour ales.
Flemish Sour mix (F4) 60-72°F F4 Flemish sour mix produces a sour with fruity and spicy notes. The pediococcus and lactobacillus create a sharp sour that plays well with crystal malts. Use to create moderately sour Flanders ales, Oud Bruin, and Gueuze.
German Sour Mix (G4) 60-68°F G4 German sour mix is blended for tartness, a heavy dose of lactobacillus and alt yeast make a perfectly crisp sour ale. Use with sea-salt for a sour Gose, add smoked malt for a traditional Lichtenhainer, or keep it simple with a refreshing Berliner Weisse.
Belgian Sour mix (B4) 62-82°F B4 Belgian sour mix provides a light lemon-peppery note reminiscent of Trappist beers. The profile is extended with the addition of pediococcus and lactobacillus. This blend is great for deep farmhouse ales.
Kettle Starter Mix (K4X) 90-110°F K4X Kettle Starter Mix is a limited release of Pediococcus and Lactobacillus formulated for pH adjustment. Add to 5 gallons of wort at 90°F-105°F hold temp for at least 24 hours before boiling. Boil when pH has expected 1.2 point drop. Activity will slow at this point yielding a light earthy balance with light to medium acid.This blend can also be used as a starter culture to blend with your current bottle dregs. Temperature Range 90°F-110°F. Please email barrett (at) blackmanbrewing (dot) com for international shipping [9].

East Coast Yeast

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
ECY01 - BugFarm A unique blend of yeast and lactic bacteria producing sour beers with leather, fruit, and cherry stone flavors. Perfect for Flemish reds, oud brune, other sour ales. The blend contains a base Belgian yeast, several Brettanomyces, Lactobacilli, and Pediococcus [10]. Over time displays a citrus sourness and barnyard funk profile. Homebrew vial (125 mL) is suitable for a 5-10 gallon (8 gal ideally) 15°P batch without a starter [11].
ECY02 Flemish Ale Blend of yeast and lactic bacteria producing sour beers with leather, fruit, and cherry stone flavors, base Belgian yeast, several Brettanomyces, Lactobacilli, and Pediococcus [10].
ECY06 Berliner Blend 70-74 Designed to be pitched into primary fermentation for Berliner weisse, Gosebier, and other styles where lactic sourness is desired, the blend contains a kolsch ale yeast, Lactobacillus brevis and Lactobacillus delbreuckii subspecies delbreuckii [12].
ECY20 BugCounty 20 different isolates combined. Brettanomyces dominants the overall population. Several species of Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus [10].
ECY23 Oud Brune 68-74 For primary fermentations. A unique blend of fruity Belgian Saccharomyces yeast and Lactobacilli species (L. delbrueckii and L. brevis). For those who prefer sourness without the presence of Brett [10].

Escarpment Laboratories

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°C Notes
Belgian Sour Blend A blend of 4 Brettanomyces strains isolated from Belgian Lambic beers, alongside 4 strains of Lactobacillus and 2 strains of Pediococcus, for the production of mixed fermentation sour ales. For best results, we recommend using this blend in beer with less than 7 IBUs initially. Subsequent generations can use increasing IBUs. This is supplied at secondary fermentation pitch rates, and is intended to be used in secondary or as a copitch, alongside a primary fermentation strain of your choice. [13].
Fruit Bomb Saison 80+ Med-Low 22-27 This high-character blend contains a Saison strain with balanced ester and spice aromas, a Brettanomyces anomala strain with tropical characteristics, and a complex and fruity Brettanomyces bruxellensis strain. Highly suited to aroma hop or fruit-forward farmhouse ales/saisons. NOTE: the Saison yeast in this blend contains the STA1 gene, meaning it is Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus. Many Saison yeasts are diastatic, due to the desire for very high attenuation levels. However extra care must be taken to ensure these yeasts do not cross-contaminate non-diastatic yeasts. Contact us for more information. Alcohol tolerance: 12+% [13].
New World Saison 80+ Med 20-25 A new world Saison blend containing Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces to produce a fruity, funky beer with rustic charm. Brett character increases during aging. NOTE: the Saison yeast in this blend contains the STA1 gene, meaning it is Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus. Many Saison yeasts are diastatic, due to the desire for very high attenuation levels. However extra care must be taken to ensure these yeasts do not cross-contaminate non-diastatic yeasts. Contact Escarpment Labs for more information. Alcohol tolerance: 12% [13].
Ontario Farmhouse Ale Blend 80+ Med-Low 22-25 This strain of Brettanomyces bruxellensis is noted for very prominent pineapple esters alongside a good dose of funk. It is suitable for primary fermentation of 100% Brett beers or secondary fermentation where some extra fruit and funk is desired. Works great with hops when co-pitched with clean ale strains as well, for faster turnaround of Brett IPAs [13].

Fermmento Labs

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°C Notes
FB5 Sour German Beers 17-22°C Blend of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (German ale yeast), Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus brevis [14].
FB9 Wild Aliens 28-30°C Blend of Brettanomyces bruxellensis and Pediococcus pentocaseus [14].
FB11 Sauer Bugs 25-30°C Blend of Pediococcus pentosaceus, Lactobacillus fructivorans, and Lactobacillus penosus. Designed for kettle souring [14].
FB13 Fazenda 25-30°C Blend of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Brettanomyces anomalus [14].

GigaYeast

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
GB144 Sweet Flemish Brett 80-85 Low 68-75 Produces a sweet, slightly fruity profile with just a hint of barnyard and spicy phenolics
GB122 Berliner Blend A blend of neutral ale yeast and lactic acid bacteria. Use directly in a primary to make a crisp, sour beer! LAB is the same strain as GB110 [15]. See also Don Osborn's review in 2016 and reviewed again in 2017.
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. LAB is the same strain as GB110 [15].
GB121 Farmhouse Sour Low 68-80 Belgian Ale Yeast, Brettanomyces and Lactic Acid Bacteria, Bright sour flavors with sweet, fruity esters, small amount of spicy phenolics and a hint of funky barnyard. LAB is the same strain as GB110 [15].
GB124 Saison Sour Low 68-80 Sour with fruity esters and black pepper. LAB is the same strain as GB110 [15]. See also Don Osborn's review in 2016 and reviewed again in 2017.
GB150 Sour Cherry Funk 89 68-80 Blend of 3 Brett strains and Lactic Acid Bacteria. This blend creates an amazing complex, sour beer with fruity cherry esters. Fermenting in the presence of 7-10 IBUs will cause the fermentation to complete much more quickly but will slow the souring — expect to wait 3-4 months for significant souring. Fermenting with zero or less than 5 IBUs will allow souring to happen much faster (within two weeks) but will cause the fermentation to take up to 4 weeks to complete. See also GigaYeast Sour Cherry Funk, by Don Osborn (2016) and reviewed again in 2017.

Imperial Organic Yeast

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
F01 - Chimera Three Bretts (claussenii, custerianus, lambicus), L. brevis, and a Belgian Sacch.
F02 - Gorgon Two Bretts (lambicus family), L. delbrückii, and the same Belgian Sacch as F01.
F08 - Sour Batch Kidz 80+ Low 68-76 Sour Batch Kidz is a blend of low attenuating Belgian saison yeast, Lactobacillus brevis (not hop tolerant), one Brettanomyces bruxellensis strain, and one Brettanomyces anomalus strain [16]. This blend is great for emulating lambics, Flanders reds, sour farmhouse ales and any other brew you would like to funk up [17]. As much as 4 IBU will inhibit the Lactobacillus, and Imperial Organic Yeast recommends no hops with this blend. The Brettanomyces is "mostly" the same as their Suburban Brett [18]. MTF thread on experiences with this culture.

Mainiacal Yeast

Most of this lab's mixed cultures are listed on Nonconventional yeasts and bacteria.

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
Doughy Physique 80-100% 62F-80 This blend has 2 Pediococcus pentosaceus strains, a Pediococcus damnosus (different then in Gose gone wild), 2 Lactobacillus plantarum strains, 6 Brettanomyces bruxellensis strains, 1 Brettanomyces anomalus, and then a sour dough culture that was adapted over to beer. The sour dough culture had 2 dominate Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, one being a diastaticus variant. It also contained 2 dominate Lacto strains that are still having the sub species identified. IBU tolerance - 10-15 of of the Pedio but slows down acid production. Lacto is around 1 IBU. Without any hops this blend will get to 3.1-3.4 pH [19].
Gose Gone Wild! 85-100% 60-78 This is a blend of a Pediococcus damnosus, Pediococcus pentosaceus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, 2 strains of Oenococcus oeni, and 4 strains of Brettanomyces bruxellensis [20].
MTF Quick Souring Blend 60-100 This blend include 4 Kveik strains with all of their yeast and bacteria included. Simonaitis(we know its technically not Kveik), Gravnin, Hornindal, and Raftevold. We’ve also added two Lactobacillus plantarum strains. We find this blend makes a sour pineapple apple cider type beer. The bacteria in this blend is very hop intolerant so we’d suggest little to no hops at all to achieve souring. If hops are desired we’d suggest dry hopping after the desired acidity is achieved. The temperature range is between 60-100F. We suggest around 85-90F for optimal performance from both the yeast and bacteria. We also suggest adding yeast nutrients on any ferments over 80F as the Kveik in the blend can be a bit more nutrient demanding at higher temps. This blend can also be used for a longer term ferment with Brettanomyces in secondary. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Milk the Funk [21].
Raftevold gård 70-83% 70-110 This Norwegian Kveik culture has a very distinct burnt orange peel character. Its very Saison light farmhouse in flavor profile. This culture contains bacteria. See Larsblog for more info. See also Mainiacal Yeast for more kveik strains that are pure yeast. Homebrew and commercial pitches available [22].
Simonaitis 70-83% 75-105 This is a farmhouse yeast from Lithuanian (similar to Kveik). Light hints of orange zest, stone fruits, with a nice acidity level. This culture has Lactobacillus present so some souring will occur and may progress over long-term aging. See Larsblog for more info. See also Mainiacal Yeast for more kveik strains that are pure yeast. Homebrew and commercial pitches available [22].

Omega Yeast Labs

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
Where Da Funk OYL-210 78-88 Low 68-80 A blend of a mild Brettanomyces anomalus [23] isolate from a Colorado brewery known for its Brett beers and two strains formerly classified as Brettanomyces but since found to be Saccharomyces (Trois and ECY-03b). This blend p/roduces huge tropical fruit aromas during fermentation that fade somewhat during conditioning. Has a wide temperature range and ferments very dry, leaving little body. Consider adding flaked oats if additional body is desired. This blend will not produce significant “funk” or acid, even with extended aging. The blend pairs well with fruity aroma hops to make a unique pale ale. Homebrew pitches contain ~150 billion cells [24].
Bit O' Funk OYL-211 85+ Low 68-80 This blend contains the two Saccharomyces strains from blend #1 for primary fermentation and is spiked with Brettanomyces bruxellensis for development of moderate “funk” during a secondary fermentation. The “bit ‘o funkiness” will take extended time (3+ months) to develop. Trois (Sacch), ECY-03b (Sacch), and bruxellensis blend. Homebrew pitches contain ~150 billion cells [24].
Bring on da Funk OYL-212 85+ Low 68-80 This blend contains the two Saccharomyces strains from blend #1 for primary fermentation and is spiked with Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Brettanomyces lambicus, two Brettanomyces isolates from a Colorado brewery known for its Brett beers, and two Brettanomyces isolates from an “Intense” Belgian source for a funky, fruity and complex brew. Brett character will develop over time. Acid production will increase over time given exposure to oxygen. Trois (Sacch), ECY-03b (Sacch), bruxellensis, claussenii, lambicus, custersianus, and naardenensis blend; funky and fruity given time, acid production increases with exposure to oxygen over time. Homebrew pitches contain ~150 billion cells [24].
C2C American Farmhouse OYL-217 75-85 Low 68-80 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. The blend results in a fast developing fruity and funky farmhouse ale. Homebrew pitches contain ~150 billion cells [24]. Making a starter for this blend is optional, and Lance recommends not worrying about throwing off the ratio of strains. The beer should start off clovey, and gets funky over time. The Sacch strain is predominately clovey at 68-70°F, and can have additional fruity character to compliment the clove above 70°F [25]. Some brewers report that the Brettanomyces character is more expressed after keg/bottle conditioning, although this might just be due to giving the beer extra time in general (3+ months) [26].

SouthYeast Labs

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
Native Flanders Blend Low Location: Southeast USA, Belgium

Born of native yeast strains, two isolated Belgian Brettanomyces strains and one of our house Lactobacillus strains, the Native Flanders Blend is a hungry and highly attenuating combination. We recommend that you let it sit for 6 months or more to allow all the flavors to develop. Your patience will be rewarded with a floral nose and an ester profile reminiscent of cherry pie. The phenolics aren't very dominant in this blend, but it has a sharp acidity, smooth mouthfeel and leaves just a little apparent sweetness. The Native Flanders Blend will let you know when it is done by flocculating out. This is a 120 ml pitch suitable for a 5-gallon batch.

Saison 1 Blend High Medium Use for Blonde, wit, saison, sours. "Medium acidity". 2-4 weeks in primary. Large bouquet of fruit and spice; complex [27]. Contains two unidentified yeasts, along with their N1 "Native Strong Ale" Sacch strain. The two unidentified strains are assumed not to be Sacch or Brett at this time. SYL is waiting on DNA lab results on these two yeasts. "The one behaves more similar to sacch, while the other more brett. Both are very acidic strains with notes of peach, citrus and apple cider." [28]
Walhallaweisse High NA 86°F A 50/50 blend of their Lactobacillus 2 and Musserweissen Sacch yeast. Low to no IBU's. Cap fermenter for 24 hours, then agitate the fermenter, and then add an airlock. Allow 2-4 weeks for fermentation/souring [29][30].
Farmhouse Saison Blend High Low Use for farmhouse ales. "Medium acidity". Peach, citrus esters; straw spice phenolics. 2-6 months to reach maturity [27]. This is the same blend as Saison 1, but also includes their Lactobacillus 2 strain, and an unidentified Brettanomyces strain that is very similar to the Boulevard Saison-Brett strain [28].

The Yeast Bay

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
Mélange 85 Med 68-70 two Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates, Saccharomyces fermentati, five Brettanomyces isolates, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus delbreuckii and Pediococcus damnosus. If you want acidity quickly, we recommend keeping the IBU low (0-5 IBU), starting with a fermentation temperature of 70-72 ºF for the first few days and then raising the temperature to 75-80ºF to encourage development of sourness (Lactobacillus, Pediococcus). For a slower developing beer that exhibits a rounded balance of funk (Brettanomyces) and sourness we recommend ~5-10 IBU, mashing on the high end, fermenting at 68 ºF and holding at that temperature for an extended period of time. Approximately 29 bilion cells/vial [31]. Contains strains that are determined to be Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus [32].
Farmhouse Sour Ale 80-90 Med 70-78 Expect this blend to take 1-3 months to begin creating appreciable levels of acidity. This blend contains two farmhouse/saison Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates, Lactobacillus brevis, and Lactobacillus delbreuckii. The two Saccharomyces strains will combine to create a delightful ester profile of grapefruit and orange zest, accompanied by a mild earthiness and spiciness. The two Lactobacillus strains will produce a balanced acid profile, given a suitable supply of accessible carbohydrates that remain after the bulk of fermentation has been completed by Saccharomyces. Expect this blend to take 1-3 months to begin creating appreciable levels of acidity, depending primarily upon fermentation temperature and the IBU. Higher fermentation temperatures and lower (0-5) IBU will produce elevated levels of acidity. Lower fermentation temperatures and higher (10+) IBU will produce lower levels of acidity. Approximately 53 billion cells/vial [31]. Contains a strain that is determined to be Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus [33].
Saison/Brettanomyces Blend 80+ Medium-Low 70-78 This blend combines one of the Saccharomyces strains from the Saison Blend and two unique Brettanomyces isolates from our yeast library. The Saccharomyces yeast strain is a strong attenuator that produces a delightful ester profile of grapefruit and orange zest and imparts a long, dry and earthy finish to the beer. The Brettanomyces strains are both good attenuators that produce some fruity esters and mild funk, and add a bright character to the beer. The combination of these yeast produces a dry but balanced character with a delightful ester profile and just the right amount of funk. The two Brett species are both bruxellensis, each isolated from a different Belgian lambic beer [34]. Approximately 58 billion cells/vial [31].
Saison/Brettanomyces Blend II 82-85 Medium-Low 72-80 The cultures in this new and unique blend include two saison-style Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates (Wallonian Farmhouse II and Wallonian Farmhouse III) and two Brettanomyces bruxellensis cultures (TYB184, TYB207). This blend will produce a beer that is bursting with classic saison character with a rustic kick of Brettanomyces fruitiness and funkiness. While exhibiting a mild hay/barnyard component, the overall character is heavier on the fruit-forward end of the spectrum compared to our original Saison/Brettanomyces Blend. The Brettanomyces portion of the culture tends to generate character rather quickly owing to the nature of the strains used. Approximately 30 billion cells/vial [35].
Transatlantic Berliner Blend 85+ Med-Low 66-75 Transatlantic Berliner Blend is culture a long time in the making that marries Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces from two continents. Separated by the Atlantic Ocean, man-made borders and thousands of miles, our isolation efforts have brought these strains together! Transatlantic Berliner Blend is a blend of a clean ale strain (Germany), a healthy dose of both our Lactobacillus plantarum (US) and Lactobacillus brevis – Strain TYB282 (Mexico) isolates, and a touch of our Beersel Brettanomyces Blend (Belgium) and Brettanomyces bruxellensis Single Strain Isolate TYB184 (US). This culture will ferment to a crisp dryness over time and produce the trademark Berliner Weisse lactic acid backbone, with a touch of Brettanomyces tart citrus character and funk. Cell count: ~15 billion cells/vial.
TYP House Sour Blend 85+ Med-Low 68-78 The Yeast Bay House Sour Blend is complex blend developed over three years of isolation work, currently consisting of the following organisms: 3 Belgian/Saison Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates, 16 Brettanomyces sp. isolates, Saccharomyces fermentati, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus delbreuckii, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus sp. ("uncultured Lactobacillus" sequencing result), Pediococcus damnosus. This culture will produce a dry, acidic, complex beer over time with a complementary profile of lactic acid, pineapple/orange/lemon/floral esters and earthy funk. The Lactobacillus and Pediococcus have been maintained in the presence of moderate IBU (~5-10) with the hope that a slightly more hop-tolerant population will persist. However, as with the Mélange Sour Blend, if you want acidity quickly, we recommend keeping the IBU low (0-5 IBU), starting with a fermentation temperature of 70-72°F for the first few days and then raising the temperature to 75-80 ºF to encourage development of sourness (Lactobacillus, Pediococcus). For a slower developing beer that exhibits a rounded balance of funk (Brettanomyces) and sourness we recommend ~5-10 IBU, mashing on the high end, fermenting at 68 ºF and holding at that temperature for an extended period of time. Approximately 30 billion cells/vial [36].

White Labs

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
WLP611 New Nordic Yeast Blend 65-75 Med-Low 50-86 Isolated from spontaneously fermented apples on a remote island off the coast of Denmark in the fall of 2009, this culture is a unique blend of three yeast strains (two belonging to Saccharomyces cerevisiae and one Torulaspora delbrueckii). These yeasts through 100+ lab hours have been tamed from the wild to meet process criteria for professional use. Although originally thriving in the simple sugar fermentations such as wine and cider, this blend ferments maltose as well and has been used to make a series of true New Nordic Beers of which many were presented at the Copenhagen Beer Festival 2015. This blend has a characteristic aroma profile, especially at higher temperatures, that resemble classic styles such as Belgian saison or German hefeweizen. Notes from Mark Baldwin on MTF: "Lots of isoamyl acetate and a weird overripe red apple ester. Not much spice so I wouldn't recommend it as a saison yeast like they mention but it was fine as a Hef-type yeast without the clove. It tasted much better fresh than with some age on it." [37] Release from Yeast Vault [38].
WLP655 Belgian Sour Mix 70-80 Med 80-85 Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and the bacterial strains Lactobacillus and Pediococcus.
WLP630 Berlinerweisse Blend 73-80 Med 68-72 German Weizen yeast and Lactobacillus (does not contain Brettanomyces) [39].
WLP665 Flemish Ale Blend 80-85 Med 65-80 Saccharomyces yeasts, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus, this culture creates a more complex, dark stone fruit characteristic than WLP 655 Belgian Sour Mix
WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend 75-82 Med 68-72 Farmhouse yeast strain and Brettanomyces. Light funk, pineapple, phenol, anise, fruity [40].

Wyeast

Name Attenuation Flocculation Temp°F Notes
3278 - Lambic Blend 70-80 Varies 63-75 Belgian style ale strain, a sherry strain, two Brettanomyces strains, a Lactobacillus culture, and a Pediococcus culture
3763 - Roeselare Blend 75-80 Varies 65-85  Belgian style ale strain, a sherry strain, two Brettanomyces strains, a Lactobacillus culture, and a Pediococcus culture. Takes 14-18 months to develop acidity. Keep IBU under 6 for more acidity. Re-use the yeast cake for greater acidity in future batches. Adding fruit after the beer has aged for a few months will help increase acidity due to LAB fermenting the new sugars [41].
3203 De Bom 70-75 Varies 80-85 Under optimum conditions, beers can be ready for consumption in 1-2 months.This is a "Private Collection", which means it is only offered occasionally for a single season (Michael Dawson from Wyeast indicated that this culture may return at some point).
3209 Oud Bruin 70-80 Varies 80-85  sour blend is built for dark, malt-accented sour styles – like 3763 Roeselare™ it will create sharp acidity, but unlike 3763 it will leave the malt character intact, creating a balanced and complex end product. Excellent base for blending fruit in secondary. This is a "Private Collection", which means it is only offered occasionally for a single season (Michael Dawson from Wyeast indicated that this culture may return at some point).
3191 Berlinerweisse Blend 73-77 Low 68-72 This blend includes a German ale strain with low ester formation and a dry, crisp finish. The Lactobacillus included produces moderate levels of acidity. The unique Brettanomyces strain imparts a critical earthy characteristic that is indicative of a true Berliner Weisse. When this blend is used, expect a slow start to fermentation as the yeast and bacteria in the blend is balanced to allow proper acid production. It generally requires 3-6 months of aging to fully develop flavor characteristics. Use this blend with worts containing extremely low hopping rates. This is a "Private Collection", which means it is only offered occasionally for a single season.
3031 - PC Saison-Brett Blend 80-90 Low 65-80 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; aging brings elevated Brett flavor. Expect high attenuation with this blend. This is a "Private Collection", which means it is only offered occasionally for a single season. From Wyeast: "The 3031 blend is a couple different saison strains and a Brett c. The blend should produce a moderate Brett character is a relatively short amount of time (approx. 8-12 weeks), which should increase with age. It will do best at a fermentation temp of 65-80*F, with higher ester formation at the upper end of that range." [42]. The saison yeast has been determined to be Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus [43].
9097 - PC Old Ale Blend 75-80 Med 68-75 Wyeast, as part of their Private Collection series, has come out with their Old Ale Blend. Using both an attenuative strain of Saccharomyces and a strain of Brettanomyces, the two work in tandem to create lovely, classic British-style ales. Working particularly well in darker worts, this blend can create wonderful barleywines, old ales and strong ales. The blend creates ales with a nice fruit character and wonderful esters, and the Brett will work on the beer with time, bringing out pie cherry notes with the tart sourness and horse blanket flavors typical in traditional, well-aged old ales. A great strain to use when producing big beers that will develop deep and complex flavors over time! This is a "Private Collection", which means it is only offered occasionally for a single season. The Brett is rumored to be Wyeast 5526 (Lambicus) and the Sacch is rumored to be the Thomas Hardy yeast [44].

Starters and Other Manufacturer Tips

In the past, some yeast manufacturers (namely Wyeast) did not recommend making a starter for mixed cultures. Reasons varied from "throwing off the ratio of microbes" to "creating acetic acid". In regards to the first concern, throwing off the ratio of microbes will likely not be a real concern. It is possible that this will change the profile of the fermentation (for example the beer might turn out more sour because the lactic acid bacteria were allowed to grow more cells in the starter), but if treated properly all of the microbes will have a higher cell count after a starter is made, and the yeast (both Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces) will be more viable after a starter. Pitching a second culture of fresh ale yeast isn't necessary with mixed cultures that have their own S. cerevisiae, and making a starter ensures the cell count is high enough. However, some mixed cultures might not come with Saccharomyces out of the package, or in the case of a re-using a sour yeast cake the Saccharomyces might be dead. In such cases the brewer may choose to pitch fresh Saccharomyces separately (see re-using a sour yeast cake). Oxygen does not inhibit lactic acid bacteria in general, so this is generally not a concern.

If the package is fresh, then a starter is generally not required. If the package is nearing expiration or expired and buying a new package is not an option, or if the batch of beer is much larger than what the package is intended for, then we recommend making a starter for all mixed cultures (including Wyeast Roeselare). In general, we recommend a 500-1000 mL starter (~1.040 OG with DME) for a 5 gallon batch. Run a stir plate on the lowest setting, or use occasional manual stirring with no automatic stirring. If the package contains Brettanomyces, then run the starter for 4-6 days; if the package does not contain Brettanomyces then run the starter for 24-48 hours. Do not use hops in the starter unless inhibiting the lactic acid bacteria is desired. One may want to have an anaerobic starter in the case that the brewer wants to inhibit the yeast growth (both Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces) in the starter. Remember though that yeast needs oxygen in order to grow viable cells, so yeast growth under anaerobic conditions won't be optimal [45].

In regards to the concern about oxygen and acetic acid production, oxygen does encourage acetic acid production in Brettanomyces (see Brettanomyces starters). However, a starter can be decanted to remove the starter beer if it smells highly acetic. Some brewers have reported not decanting the starter at all, and the small amount of acetic acid present doesn't make a large impact on the final beer due to dilution. Therefore, in general, it is good to use aluminum foil to cover the starter instead of using an airlock. If the starter is going to be stored for longer than 2 or 3 weeks, then use an airlock after 3-6 days to limit the acetic acid production and store it at refrigerator temperatures. Long-term exposure to acetic acid and low pH will lower the vitality of Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and lactic acid bacteria. The viability of the microbes will get worse the longer the starter is stored. Some strains of Brettanomyces, saison yeast, and lactic acid bacteria might remain more viable than regular brewer's yeast over time in these harsh conditions, but a starter that is 6+ months old should be treated like a sour beer yeast cake) and a fresh starter should be made to make sure the cell count is adequate at pitching time. Low pitching rates in general are sometimes acceptable for sour beer fermentation, as long as adequate growth of each species can occur during fermentation.

See the recommendations below from smaller yeast labs below for examples of how to treat mixed culture starters.

Effects of Mixed Cultures on Growth

Some recent studies have looked at the effects of growth on individual genera within a mixed culture.

Cell growth can also be influenced by the presence of other microorganisms, such as lactic acid bacteria, Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces. One study by Hübbe showed that L. brevis and L. parabrevis grew to the normal high cell counts when grown individually and without competition. When co-fermented with Brettanomyces, the cell count of L. brevis was halved, and the growth rate of L. parabrevis was greatly diminished to about 15-20%, indicating that the ability of Lactobacillus to compete with Brettanomyces is species dependent. The pitching rate of Brettanomyces was also tested, and seemed to not have an effect on the Lactobacillus growth. When co-fermented with both S. cerevisiae and Brettanomyces, the Lactobacillus growth was greatly diminished to about 2-13% of what the normal cell growth was without competition. This appears to correspond with anecdotal reports from brewers that some Lactobacillus species/strains do not compete well with yeast, especially S. cerevisiae. The growth of Brettanomyces, however, was not affected by the presence of Lactobacillus [46].

Brian Martyniak showed that Brettanomyces growth can be inhibited by the concurrent growth of S. cerevisiae under anaerobic conditions. In aerobic conditions, oxygen appears to help Brettanomyces out-compete S. cerevisiae. The presence of lactic acid bacteria does not greatly effect Brettanomyces growth [46][47]. Hübbe showed a similar result by showing that both B. bruxellensis and B. anomalus grew essentially the same amount by themselves or with Lactobacillus, but growth for both Brettanomyces species was greatly inhibited when co-fermented with S. cerevisiae. Therefore, when making starters for mixed cultures of Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces, the brewer might be able to favor Saccharomyces by limiting oxygen, or favor Brettanomyces by introducing oxygen during growth. Data from Thomas Hübbe and Mark Trent support that the initial pitching rate doesn't have a great effect on the final cell count in pure Brettanomyces starters or beer, indicating that Brettanomyces is fairly forgiving in regards to small initial cell counts [46][48].

Manufacturer Tips

The Yeast Bay on Mélange and Farmhouse Sour Ale

"You can definitely make a starter for the Melange or the Lochristi Blend. For the Lochristi, run it semi-aerobic for 4-6 days in the 70's and then let it settle at room temp and decant what you can if the starter is large. For the Mélange, run the starter semi-aerobic at 66-68 F for 24-36 hours. This should build up the yeast population sufficiently while not allowing the bacteria to become to active and produce a ton of acid." [49]

For The Yeast Bay Farmhouse Sour Ale, a starter is optional. If the brewers is looking for more farmhouse character from the yeast, create a normal starter with yeast nutrients, and use a stir plate. If the brewer wants to stress the yeast and favor the bacteria, do not make a starter. Nick Impellitteri says that he prefers to do a starter so that the yeast has a good, clean fermentation. He then ages the beer and waits for the bacteria to sour it over time [50].

Dry Yeast for Sour Ales BlackManYeast on all blends

"My yeast blends are 95 billion CFUs of bacteria for primary fermentation [with] 1.055SG/5 Gallon direct pitch." - Barrett Tillman, owner of BMY [51].

Separate Brettanomyces culture(s) recommended. Order of acidity from least to greatest is: A4, B4, F4, G4, and K4. Generations 2 and 3 start to become more acidic [52].

Omega Yeast Labs on Saccharomyces/Brettanomyces blends

Since there is little evidence for ratios of S. cerevisiae to Brettanomyces in these types of blends as having a great effect on beer (see Brettanomyces secondary fermentation experiment), there is no reason not to treat a starter for these types of blends as a normal Saccharomyces starter. A small number of Brettanomyces cells will produce the same effects as a large number of Brettanomyces cells, and having a proper pitch of Saccharomyces will help prevent fermentation off-flavors from the Saccharomyces. Step up the starter as many times as needed for larger pitches. This goes for blends from other yeast companies as well [53].

Storage

Generally, store mixed cultures at a steady, cold temperature. It is best to use a mixed culture before the package's expiration date, but if the mixed culture is stored past it's expiration date, a starter might help increase viability of some or all of the microbes. For storing a mixed culture in the form of a yeast cake or sour beer, see Storing a yeast cake or sample for more information.

See Also

Additional Articles on MTF Wiki

External Resources

References

  1. Eric Bandauski's Yeast Strain Guide
  2. Bootleg Biology Facebook Page. 09/01/2015.
  3. Conversation with Jeff Mello regarding starter temperature for BBXSS-0715 on MTF. 10/27/2015.
  4. "The Mad Fermentationist Saison Blend". Bootleg Biology website. Retrieved 02/21/2017.
  5. Tonsmeire, Michael. Comments on Reddit. Retrieved 02/21/2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 BSI Yeast Description Guide. Retrieved 03/15/2016.
  7. Conversation with Shawn Savuto on MTF. 06/20/2017.
  8. Conversation about BSI Roselare on MTF. 04/06/2016.
  9. Kettle Starter Mix K4x. BlackManYeast website. Retrieved 08/08/2016.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 http://www.eastcoastyeast.com/wild-stuff.html Wild Yeast / Brettanomyces / Lactic Bacteria. ECY Website. Retrieved 04/22/2018.]
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  17. Imperial Organic Yeast website. Retrieved 09/14/2016.
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  22. 22.0 22.1 Private correspondence with Justin Amaral by Dan Pixley. 01/24/2018.]
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  40. Jeff Young of Blue Owl Brewing on MTF. 07/05/2016.
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  42. Private correspondence between Ben Campbell Dunstan and Wyeast. 10/02/2015.
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  44. Conversation with Brandon Jones about Wyeast 9097 Old Ale blend. 11/4/2015.
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  48. MTF Brettanomyces Propagation Experiment
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