« on: July 04, 2010, 07:20:40 PM »
Today I opened my first bottle of an all-Brett Saison made with the Wyeast 5151 (carbed for two weeks). I did make a starter. I pitched to 1.5 liters of ~1.040 made with 80% DME and 20% dextrose. It dropped clear after 5 days, and I decanted and repeated the 1.5 liter starter. I vigorously aerated both starters, and the starter had a clean, fruity, pineapple heavy aroma, with little Brett funk. I did a limited aeration of the 5 gallon Saison (splashed while siphoning from kettle to fermenter, nothing else), and the finished beer has less fruit and more funk, but is nicely balanced. It's vaguely reminiscent of a young Orval. It took three days to see any noticeable fermentation activity, and you will (probably) have less visual evidence of fermentation. The brew dropped its krausen after a couple of days, but there was still plenty of bubbling through the blow-off tube. Total fermentation took 4 weeks, and finished at 1.003 (1.058 O.G.). It did drop pretty clear, and formed a nice cake, although it took longer than a typical ale yeast. I'd say the Bretts are very unpredictable, no two beers will ever be alike, and no matter what you do (starter or no starter, aerate or no aerate) you'll get an interesting brew in the end. Good luck and have fun!