Brewery QC - Using Brett/Bacteria in a Clean Facility
Using bacteria in a clean facility
The risk here depends entirely on the type of bacteria introduced. Some brewing bacteria such as L. plantarum and L. rhamnosus very rarely pick up hop resistance, while others such as L. brevis more commonly do. As a result, selecting a lower-risk product such as pure L. plantarum or our Lactobacillus Blend 2.0 can make it possible for a brewer to sour in the tank and not have to reboil, since the Lactobacillus is relatively benign.
That being said, we would suggest using dedicated soft parts for tanks that get Lacto, and to ensure cleaning SOPs are excellent for hoses and pipework. The place we see the most issues with Lactobacillus cross-contamination is low IBU beers (<20 IBU).
Using Brett in a clean facility
In general Brett poses a lower risk for cross contamination than diastatic S. cerevisiae (saison yeast) as Brett is slow-growing and makes pretty distinct flavours, making it easier to diagnose/track. I would suggest using dedicated soft parts for tanks that get Brett, and to ensure cleaning SOPs are excellent for hoses and pipework. The place we see the most issues with Brettanomyces cross contamination is high gravity barrel aged beers (such as imperial stouts) where Brett character may not be desired. Brett is highly tailored to growing in and surviving in places that other yeasts wouldn't bother.
There are breweries we work with that run funky beers and clean beers in the same tanks, but of course some precautions are necessary. Here is a presentation from Chad Yakobson at Crooked Stave that outlines managing multiple risk levels of products, it's very similar to what we do in the yeast lab.
Brewery Contaminant Sampling Plans on YouTube
We are available if you have any other questions.