Managing Clean and Wild Beer Production in a Shared Space

Craft Brewers Conference 2021
Location: Denver, Colorado
Speakers: Chris Davison, Moragh Goyette, Kurt Lymburner, Riley Wetzel

Brewing both traditional Saccharomyces-driven (aka clean) beer and wild, mixed culture, or spontaneous (aka sour) beer in the same facility can be a daunting task. We’ve all heard the stories of rampant cross-contamination or unintentional sours at other breweries. We’ve been told the old adages of how it’s impossible to kill Brettanomyces and that once it’s in your brewery it never leaves. Plenty of brewers will tell you that it’s professional suicide to ferment mixed culture beer in the same building as your flagship brands. Over time, however, we’ve learned that most of these fears are unfounded or fairly easily mitigated.

This team of brewers is here to dispel the myths and offer unique insights into how you can ferment clean and sour beer in the same facility. Many of us have worked or currently work in facilities that co-ferment wild and clean beers only a cooler, wall, or tank away from each other. With careful planning, attention to detail, and organization, it is possible to have the best of both worlds. While it is certainly healthy to respect the risks associated with using wild yeast and bacteria, it is also unnecessary to completely abstain for allowing them to enter your brewery.

Learning Objectives:

  • Dispel some of the fears of fermenting wild and clean beer in the same space Cover how each presenter handles this task at their own brewery Provide some easy to follow guidelines that will greatly reduce the risks associated with working with wild yeast and bacteria in a shared space Outline some of the costs and risks associated with co-fermenting sour and clean beers Cover both practical and ideal brewery layout and procedural considerations

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