General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

When/how to add Brett as a secondary yeast?

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erockrph:
So I'm going to be brewing my first Brett-aged beer soon and I'm looking for some pointers on how to manage the Brett. Here's what I have planned so far:

This upcoming Monday - Brew 3 gallons of a 1.040 table saison as a starter for my primary yeast (WY3711). Planning to pitch in the mid-60's F, hold it for about 2 days then let it take off as best as I can (my basement is still fairly cool, so I'll probably have to insulate in combination with my brew belt).

The following Monday - Brew 3 gallons of a 1.080 Bière de Garde and pitch onto my saison yeast cake. Planning to ferment in the low 60's F for a couple weeks, then let it come to ambient for long-term aging.

I have a vial of Brett Trois that I'm going to use for the Bière de Garde. I'm looking for some significant Brett character in the finished beer. Any suggestions on how to handle the Brett aging? Do I need a starter for the Brett if it's just the secondary yeast for a 3-gallon batch? When do I pitch it? Should I wait until the 3711 starts to finish up, or should I pitch it sooner to give the Brett more food to start off with? Thanks!

reverseapachemaster:
If you want more brett character you don't want to use a starter. Like other expressive yeast, the more stressful the initial conditions the more flavor compounds it will produce, although brett will make flavor compounds for months/years to come.

You can just pitch brett when you add the biere de garde wort on the yeast cake. It's not going to consume much of the sugar ahead of 3711 but there's no reason to delay pitching it. Brett takes a longer period of time to develop critical mass than sacc strains.

redbeerman:
I do not make a starter for Brett used in the secondary.  Make sure the vial is still within its usable date range though.  I have had less than optimal results with expired vials and great results from fresh.  The fresher the better.

gmac:
WLP670 is a blend that I think is very similar to what your asking about. Obviously both yeast get pitched at the same time. I think the sacc gets going fast and the Brett is slower and cleans up all the leftovers. Assuming this is true, I wouldn't think it would matter.

redbeerman:

--- Quote from: gmac on April 10, 2013, 09:52:34 AM ---WLP670 is a blend that I think is very similar to what your asking about. Obviously both yeast get pitched at the same time. I think the sacc gets going fast and the Brett is slower and cleans up all the leftovers. Assuming this is true, I wouldn't think it would matter.

--- End quote ---

I'm not a big fan of that because I don't like leaving the full load of primary yeast around while the Brett does it's work.  I know the Brett is supposed to clean up the autolysis byproducts, but I have had great results racking into the secondary and then pitching the Brett.  I just think leaving a primary yeast at warm room temps for a year like the Brett likes is not a good idea.

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