Author Topic: First time with Brett  (Read 1974 times)

Offline rjharper

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First time with Brett
« on: December 08, 2011, 08:41:44 AM »
I brewed a Belgian Strong Dark about 10 days ago. It was 1.099 OG on WLP 550 Belgian Ale slurry, mashed at 156F, with D180 syrup.  Smells gorgeous.  SG after 10 days is 1.040 and its still going, albeit slowly, tastes good alrady but still sweet.  I've never Brett'ed before but its tempting, and this seems like a good candidate if I cant get it down to the target 1.018.  I'm tempted to let Sacch run its course then throw in a vial of WLP650 Brett Brux.  But I have unknowns, so help.

Starters.  Do I need a starter for WLP650? It says you can pitch direct, and that Brett should be underpitched. I;ve also read that its slow to get going so dont waste time, just pitch and be patient.

Bottle conditioning.  I don't want to put sour beer through the keg system.  Do I just wait for Brett to finish out, then prime and bottle like normal?  Do I need to to worry about bottle bombs?

Reusing equipment.  I've seen the argument of dedicated Brett equipment.  I've also seen the argument that PBW and sanitizer will take care of it. Just stick to metal and glass that doesnt scratch.  Maybe dedicate a bottling wand though.

Stuck fermentations.  Brett will eat what Sacch wont, right? So if your fermentation sticks, and you cant get it down low enough, and the style is right, one option to save the beer is to Brett it and forget it?

Thanks in advance.
Ross

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 10:17:41 AM »
First of all let's talk about sanitation and your equipment.  I brewed my first brett beer about 10 years ago.  I set aside 4 kegs and one tap on my kegerator for brett or sour beers, but after a while I got lazy and just started using whatever keg was handy.  I still have the dedicated tap, but if I have 2 different brett or sour beers on tap I use whatever other tap is open.  Brett is just another variety of beer yeast and is easily handled with your normal sanitation methods.  If you're still nervous bottle it, but that makes me even more nervous.  The only bottle bombs I ever had were from a batch of cherry brett.  It's very hard to know how much more stuff brett will eat so carbonation levels are more difficult to predict than with normal beer yeast( whose name I can't spell).  Look at how heavy Orval bottles are-I would be terrified of bottling in anything lighter duty than them.
About your beer.  I think given that mash temp 1.018 is pretty optimistic.  I brewed a Belgian strong dark with the D2 syrup and 1 pound of white sugar, mashed at 150 and it only got to 1.024 fro 1.098.   
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline bo

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 10:19:16 AM »
This thread title sounds like a love story. :D

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 10:20:10 AM »
Don't need a starter.

Don't need to worry about bottle bombs.  After several months the beer will have stabilized to its new FG.  You might want to add a little fresh Sacch yeast when you add your priming sugar.  Sugar gets completely used up and doesn't leave unfermentables for the Brett, so there is no chance of bottle bombs.

I reuse everything except my Autosiphon (don't use a bottling wand), I have had no issues with contamination of subsequent batches run through a fermentor.

Yes Brett can utilize more complex carbohydrates than Sacch.  So it is an option.  Or you can use a lambic blend that has Bretts and bacteria.  A Belgian dark strong ight make a decent base for a Flanders red.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 10:22:04 AM by tomsawyer »
Lennie
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Offline rjharper

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 10:24:18 AM »
This thread title sounds like a love story. :D

Haha nice  :-[

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 10:27:10 AM »
 A Belgian dark strong ight make a decent base for a Flanders red.
In fact it does, I have one on tap right now secondaried on 10 pounds of local cherries.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 10:30:51 AM »
That's an awfully strong Flanders.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline rjharper

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 10:35:31 AM »
 A Belgian dark strong ight make a decent base for a Flanders red.
In fact it does, I have one on tap right now secondaried on 10 pounds of local cherries.

I was just thinking about adding cherries too.  Here's my recipe so far

18lbs Belgian Pils
1lb White Wheat
8oz Special B
4oz Aromatic
2lbs D180 syrup
2oz Hallertauer @ 60mins (4.6%)
1oz Sty. Goldings @ flameout (2.6%)
WLP550 slurry

Mashed at 156F for 60 mins. 1.099 OG. 1.040 after 1st week @ 62F, then house temp and water bath dropped so it started to sleep.  Water bath is up to 68F now, roused and bubbling again nicely.  Now I'm really intrigued by Brett'ing and maybe some cherries...


Online morticaixavier

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2011, 10:36:52 AM »
That's an awfully strong Flanders.

havn't you seen him with his shirt off? he's a strong guy! okely dokely!
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2011, 11:43:21 AM »
That's an awfully strong Flanders.

havn't you seen him with his shirt off? he's a strong guy! okely dokely!
;D  He's ripped!
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2011, 11:52:00 AM »
That's an awfully strong Flanders.
Yes I thought about suggesting to dilute it somewhat.  The general malty, dark fruit aspect was where I was drawing a similarity to Flanders red/brown.

What do cherries have to do with Flanders red?  You wouldn't need fruit to get a sour cherry flavor.  Not that fruit wouldn't be tasty.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2011, 12:04:47 PM »
That's an awfully strong Flanders.
Yes I thought about suggesting to dilute it somewhat.  The general malty, dark fruit aspect was where I was drawing a similarity to Flanders red/brown.

What do cherries have to do with Flanders red?  You wouldn't need fruit to get a sour cherry flavor.  Not that fruit wouldn't be tasty.
I agree you can get cherry notes without any fruit, but it is very common to use sour cherries in a Flanders.  I've got 5 gallons on some sour cherries now :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2011, 12:08:54 PM »
That's an awfully strong Flanders.
Style guidelines are for wimps. 
It actually was an afterthought to add Roselare and cherries. because I didn't really like the beer as it was.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline narvin

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2011, 12:31:55 PM »
That's an awfully strong Flanders.
Style guidelines are for wimps. 
It actually was an afterthought to add Roselare and cherries. because I didn't really like the beer as it was.

I always thought that high OG beers that end up too sweet are for wimps  ;)
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Offline markaberrant

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Re: First time with Brett
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2011, 02:24:33 PM »
I agree you can get cherry notes without any fruit, but it is very common to use sour cherries in a Flanders.  I've got 5 gallons on some sour cherries now :)

I kegged up this year's blend of my Flanders Red a few weeks ago - half the batch sat on 6lbs of sour cherries for 3 months.  Tastes unreal!