About Me

Russian River Beatification

Chad Yakobson, MSc.

Brewing and Distilling

I’m a Colorado native, craft beer enthusiast and the Owner/Brewer of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. The research contained throughout this site is a collection of lab work and fermentation trials that was the topic of my dissertation for an MSc. degree in Brewing and Distilling from the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling located at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ve always been fascinated with the Biochemistry behind yeast fermentation. Studying Brettanomyces spp. gave me the chance to learn more about a yeast species which is relatively understudied in the brewing industry and gain a complex understanding of its fermentative behavior.

I’m open to being contacted about anything brewing related, including barrel-aging and yeast culturing. My interests involve the sensory aspects of beer flavor and aroma, especially the influence yeasts have on their development. Most importantly I’m interested in the rarely studied effects of bacteria souring organisms and the so called “wild yeasts” Brettanomyces. Cheers,

Chad Yakobson

“Chad is a bright guy with a passion for beer related micro-biology. I’ve learned more about Brett from him than just about anyone around and his input has helped us make better Brett beer.” – Larry Horwitz, Head Brewer at Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester

12 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Hi Chad,

    About 2 years ago I brewed a Flanders Red Ale and added some Brett to sour it. It has been sittiong in a secondary for 2 years with a nice white head (bacterial??) on it. I’m actually a little afraid to taste it and I’m not sure what to do with it. Is it safe to drink? Should I blend it with another beer? Should I kill off the Brett with Camden tablets and then add some yeast for carbonation? Any recommendations? Robert

    • The “white head” is a pellicle formed by the Brettanomyces sp. yeasts. It is a naturally occurring product from their development throughout the beer, and can be found in many “sour ales” which use Brettanomyces in their production. I’ll have some photos up soon of a few of the pellicles I had form during my fermentations. I would say you should use a wine thief to poke through the pellicle and sample some of the beer. It is safe to drink and could be ready to be bottled. The chance of a harmful bacteria forming in the beer is not something you need to worry about, they can’t really compete with the yeasts you pitched. I wouldn’t recommend using sulfur or any tablets to kill the Brettanomyces just bottle condition with the yeast in it. Cheers,

  2. Hi Chad,

    I’m a Dekkera/ brettanomyces researcher in australia mostly wine though. I just wanted to say I am really entertained by your blog. I hope the furture goes well for you, It sounds as if your doing some really experimental brews. love it!

  3. […] came across a great blog today by a Masters Candidate and Professional Brewer from Colorado that focuses strictly on the funk.  He is using his blog to document his research into several […]

  4. This site rocks! please email me…I’ve got a specific question. We’ve got tons of brett fermenting here too…
    Larry Horwitz
    Head Brewer
    Iron Hill Brewery

  5. How did I miss this site… I LOVE THE FUNK!!! Larry’s right, this site rocks!
    Terry Hawbaker
    Bullfrog Brewery

  6. Chad,

    You gave a great presentation at our homebrew club meeting in Fort Collins. I’m ready to start trying some all-bret fermentations. Any chance you could share that presentation with me?


  7. […] The best online source so far for Brettanomyces research is the Brettanomyces Project by Chad Yakobson, MSc. For his dissertation, he grew different strains of Brett under various conditions and […]

  8. […] I will plate fresh dregs from a wild ale and there are some candidates to select from. Importantly, Chad Yakobson from the Brettanomyces Project and Crooked Stave suggested that I isolate strains from lambics. He […]

  9. Hey Chad,
    Will campden tablets inhibit or completely stop the growth of B. burx?

    • I have seen some papers that report that they will if the usage is high enough. But I think some strains are not as sensitive and will not be inhibited. I’ve seen barrels of beer which had campden tablets form Brett aromas and flavors over time..


  10. Chad,

    Thank you for posting this as an open source project as it has been a huge asset to my brewing knowledge on the subject of sours. Assuming you read this comment, please email me because I have a very specific question for you regarding alcohol tollerance and residual sugar I was hoping you could answer for me. Keep up the good work!

    Dan G.

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