WLP644 Background

We have received some questions as to whether White Labs WLP644 Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois is not a strain of Brettanomyces. We obtained the original culture from a reputable source,​ ​identified ​as​ ​a species of​ ​Brettanomyces.
We have been doing experiments on this in-house and sending the strain to​ ​independent​​ ​laboratories​ for some time. When we have a definitive genetic answer we will be happy to share that information.
In addition, we have had a​​ 2-year collaborative research project​​ to completely sequence more than 96 of our yeast strains, both​ ​Brettanomyces and Saccharo​myces, which we hope to begin publishing in 2015. The complete sequencing of brewers yeast strains in this magnitude has never been done before, and we expect it will change the way many yeast strains, this​ one​ included,​​ ​are currently categorized and understood.
Chris White and Neva Parker, White Labs

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Chris/White Labs

Thank you for addressing this issue quickly. Please keep us updated.

I appreciate your honesty, but honestly it's a such a fantastic strain that I don't care what it is. I'm sorry there are D-bags out there giving you trouble about it. Keep cranking out the good stuff!

You're missing the point. Its not about it being a fantastic yeast or not, which it is. Did you see WL's post on facebook about it?

"We have received some questions as to whether White Labs WLP644 Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois is not a strain of Brettanomyces. We obtained the original culture from a reputable source, identified as a species of Brettanomyces.
We have been doing experiments on this in-house and sending the strain to independent laboratories for some time. When we have a definitive genetic answer we will be happy to share that information.
In addition, we have had a 2-year collaborative research project to completely sequence more than 96 of our yeast strains, both Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces, which we hope to begin publishing in 2015. The complete sequencing of brewers yeast strains in this magnitude has never been done before, and we expect it will change the way many yeast strains, this one included, are currently categorized and understood."

If there shouldn't be a concern, then WL wouldn't be going through these efforts of working on sequencing these brewers yeast strains.

Also, this will cause Pro Brewers to have to reconsider how they are advertising some of their Brett beers. I'm sure this will cost them $ in this process of advertising corrections.

Lastly, concerning BJCP competitions and the additions of new categories this next year - this will have an effect on this as well.

No one blames WL malice in any way and I don't see anyone being a "D-bag" about any of it. So, that comment was uncalled for.

Cheers.

Thank you for diligently looking into this. It would easy to just brush off those with questions and just say that it's Brett without looking deeply into it. I eagerly await the answer!

Thanks for staying on top of this and keeping us in the loop!

I don't know why people are blowing their pants out on this. If the yeast is doing what you want, why the concern? I even read a forum where someone was 'worried' that "this really isn't brett" because he has several beers going with it. Why would the name alone affect anything? Maybe it isn't brett. Does that mean it won't produce a unique and flavorful beer? Hardly. If you used it a week ago, before any of the hoopla, and used it this week after all this, what difference does it make unless you're so into just bragging up the fact that it's a brett beer?

I'm not even beginning to understand the controversy. Apparently there's a subset of brewers who brew based on name alone of the yeast and put the final product as a secondary event. That doesn't even compute.

Thanks for the update!

Wicked Weed won gold at GABF for 100% Brett Trois fermented beer. They've been selling a product that may not be correct in labeling. Granted, if it tastes good, then its good!

But I think the concern here is that people were making beers and selling them based on the yeast and its characteristics. Plus, you get a whole lot less brett in a vial than sacch...so theres some concern. Esp. when pricing out a 100% brett beer to sell in market.

Plus- people probably dedicated special equipment for their brett beers to learn that if they were only dabbling with Trois..that it may have been for naught.

Dear "I Don't Know Why People Are" think of it this way... ever brew a Belgian Golden Strong? What if all the sudden you discovered that your Belgian yeast wasn't Belgian after all? What if it was really an American Ale strain that throws lots of phenols above 70*F? Some people would be like, "Oh well, tastes close enough to a real Belgian for me." others would question their recipe and yeast strain selection. What about all the people that feared Brett for their entire brewing careers that finally took the plunge only to find out that they just used another Sacc strain, no differnt than brewing a Hefe or ESB? What about Chad Yakobsen who built his Doctoral and Brewery on Brett as a primary strain, and not just Brett in general, but this Brett strain (one of the main primary strains he uses is Brett Drie, BSI's version of this strain)? Just saying.

For Chris/White Labs, thank you for your transperency, as well as your willingness to invest the time and money into finding out if this is legit. Either way, I have it on the stir plate, and will be using it in my IPA this weekend in a side by side with 001.

The issue with it being labeled as /Brett./:

If this strain isn't actually /Brett/, it would probably be a really bad choice for using as the sole /Brett./ in a Lambic style beer, where the activity of /Pedio/ and other lactic acid bacteria can lead to copious amounts of byproducts such as diacetyl and EPS. /Brett/ is often viewed as required to reduce these compounds to acceptable levels. For some, this might mean that additional yeasts need to become part of a breweries arsenal.

With that said, I do love what 644 does as a primary fermentation yeast, and will continue to use it in that capacity, regardless of its identity.

As there is more to this than simply a classification issue, I as well as many others look forward to your public release of information. If the strain is not Brettanomyces, it may not change much for this strain in particular it changes a lot for Brettanomyces. Much discussion has been built on the idea that Brett can make fruity clean beers based on this syrain. If it's not brett then that changes.

I really like this yeast. If it's not Brett, maybe you could rename it to the yeast previously known as....Hope it remains available.

Who cares what it is as of now....It is what it is, This is one of the best strains out there. Please do not quit making it.

I am just wondering when they are going to come out with the revelation that this is a sacc strain (as others have shown) and start packaging it in much higher cell counts. That is my only concern. Love the yeast, but just want more than a drop of it in a vial that I then have to step up more times than other sacc cultures.