Author Topic: Adding Dextrin for Brett  (Read 3207 times)

Offline newrocset

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Adding Dextrin for Brett
« on: October 03, 2014, 11:56:23 AM »
I have a brett/lacto blend which I want to pitch into my finished Saison.  I will be adding a pound of dextrin for the blend to feed on and was wondering in what form the dextrin is added to the beer?  I would like to add it in a liquid form (to avoid any stirring) and am planning to dissolve the dextrin in about a quart of RO water, then add it to the saison - does this sound like a reasonable way to go?
Have a Kolsch and a smile!

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6193
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 01:19:52 PM »
I've only ever seen powdered Maltodextrin. I'd just boil it briefly in enough water for it to dissolve, then cool and add it to the fermenter.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1363
  • Saint Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 02:32:43 PM »
Why?

Brett doesn't need dextrin to contribute flavor.

Think about Orval, Boulevard Saison Brett, Jolly Pumpkin beers. Huge brett flavor in beers that have been fully fermented by Saccharomyces yeast in primary.

Just pitch the blend and let it go.
Twitter/Instagram: @southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments: http://SouthHouseBeer.com/

Offline newrocset

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 02:49:52 PM »
The saison is already fermented out, so there's nothing for the brett to eat.  I'm adding Dextrin so the brett will break down those long dextrin chains to continue with the fermentation...the reason I'm going this route is because I mashed at a low temp range to make an attenuative, low dextrin wort, for purposes of making the saison.  The souring is an experiment that I'm doing on 5 gallons of the split 10 gallon batch.
Have a Kolsch and a smile!

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3225
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 03:17:43 PM »
A typical pound of powdered maltodextrin will gain you about 6-8 pts in 5 gallons.  A half pound will gain you about 4 pts or so.  I have done this with success before, but I will tell you that trying to dissolve maltodextrin and boil it is a huge PITA!!!!  It does not dissolve well and definitely will boil over very, very easily.  It sticks to the sides of a saucepan like you wouldn't believe and when trying to minimize the amount of water to boil it in, it can cause a real headache.  I am not saying you shouldn't do it, but it will be a b**** to work with. 

An alternative I have heard of is to add some uncooked wheat spaghetti strands (think about 3-5 pieces) into your fermenter and allow the brett/lacto to chew on this.  From what I have read they will consume this and they will break down over time.  Might be something to try although I cannot give you firsthand experience as I can with the maltodextrin.

Good luck and please let us know what you decide upon...

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1363
  • Saint Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 03:27:06 PM »
The saison is already fermented out, so there's nothing for the brett to eat.  I'm adding Dextrin so the brett will break down those long dextrin chains to continue with the fermentation...the reason I'm going this route is because I mashed at a low temp range to make an attenuative, low dextrin wort, for purposes of making the saison.  The souring is an experiment that I'm doing on 5 gallons of the split 10 gallon batch.

Brett will create flavors without fermenting sugar/dextrin. Actually, if you add sugar/dextrin, brett will make more alcohol, which will distort the side by side tasting at the end of the experiment.

Brett will metabolize other compounds besides sugars to create different flavors (acids, hop compounds, yeast esters, etc etc). Even at 1.000 FG, brett will continue to change the flavor of the beer.

Starch/dextrin are important in lambic because of the long lag time of pediococcus. Pedio has the ability to break down starch/dextrin, but it can take 8-12 months to reach ample cell counts and start producing acid. Brett works in concert w/ pedio, reducing diacetyl and turning lactic acid into ethyl lactate (pineapple-peach ester).

The wonderful thing about making a mixed-culture saison is bearing witness to its evolution. It is fantastic fresh and fantastic with age, evolving into different beers in different stages. Not only is adding additional fermentables unnecessary, it (IMO) takes away from this experience.

Trust me on this - just pitch your mixed culture and let 'er go for awhile.
Twitter/Instagram: @southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments: http://SouthHouseBeer.com/

Offline troybinso

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 03:45:27 PM »
The saison is already fermented out, so there's nothing for the brett to eat.  I'm adding Dextrin so the brett will break down those long dextrin chains to continue with the fermentation...the reason I'm going this route is because I mashed at a low temp range to make an attenuative, low dextrin wort, for purposes of making the saison.  The souring is an experiment that I'm doing on 5 gallons of the split 10 gallon batch.

Brett will create flavors without fermenting sugar/dextrin. Actually, if you add sugar/dextrin, brett will make more alcohol, which will distort the side by side tasting at the end of the experiment.

Brett will metabolize other compounds besides sugars to create different flavors (acids, hop compounds, yeast esters, etc etc). Even at 1.000 FG, brett will continue to change the flavor of the beer.

Starch/dextrin are important in lambic because of the long lag time of pediococcus. Pedio has the ability to break down starch/dextrin, but it can take 8-12 months to reach ample cell counts and start producing acid. Brett works in concert w/ pedio, reducing diacetyl and turning lactic acid into ethyl lactate (pineapple-peach ester).

The wonderful thing about making a mixed-culture saison is bearing witness to its evolution. It is fantastic fresh and fantastic with age, evolving into different beers in different stages. Not only is adding additional fermentables unnecessary, it (IMO) takes away from this experience.

Trust me on this - just pitch your mixed culture and let 'er go for awhile.

I'll agree with this.

I had once thought that Brett needed some sugar or starches to eat in order to produce it's typical flavors and aromas, but I have since learned that the Brett will work on fermentation byproducts of a typical Sacch fermentation. I had a Saison made with WY3711 that went down to 1.003 that I pitched some Brett Brux into and there wasn't much of a change in gravity - it finished at like 1.001, but there was an obvious and desirable contribution from the Brett.

I say try it without any additional dextrins and see how it goes. You can always add it in a month if you aren't satisfied.

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6193
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 05:12:44 PM »
The Brett doesn't need the dextrin, but if the lacto is going to produce any acidity, it will need some food.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline troybinso

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 05:38:37 PM »
The Brett doesn't need the dextrin, but if the lacto is going to produce any acidity, it will need some food.

Good point.

Offline newrocset

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 06:18:45 PM »
The Brett doesn't need the dextrin, but if the lacto is going to produce any acidity, it will need some food.

I really like the idea to pitch the brett w/o dextrin, but given this reasoning, it seems like I might want to add a 1/4# or less of dextrin directly to the beer to help out with the lacto as I would like to have a little bit of that lactic acidity.  Does this sound like a good gamble?
Have a Kolsch and a smile!

Offline ynotbrusum

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2801
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 06:35:28 PM »
I guess the question should be asked -What is your final gravity?  That will give you a better indication of where you will end up.  I agree that Breet needs no more food, but if you want the Lacto to work on something it needs something there to work on.  Brett will metabolize whatever is there, including Sacc. yeasts.

Guessing blindly, I figure the MD will give the Lacto some munchables.  Give it a shot.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1363
  • Saint Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 08:34:10 PM »
Depending on the hopping rate and ABV, you probably won't get much (if any) lactobacillus activity at this point.

Just as well, lacto won't ferment long-chain dextrins.

If you add sugar, brett will ferment it first.

If you add maltodextrin, brett will break it down to sugar, and then ferment it.

If you want acidity, you can blend in some sour beer or add lactic acid directly. A touch of lactic acid is nice because brett can convert it to ethyl lactate.

You could add a mixed culture with pediococcus, but IME pedio in secondary usually has a huge lag time (8 months minimum) and isn't worth it for the small amount of acidity you need in a brett saison.
Twitter/Instagram: @southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments: http://SouthHouseBeer.com/

Offline ynotbrusum

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2801
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2014, 08:48:10 PM »
Depending on the hopping rate and ABV, you probably won't get much (if any) lactobacillus activity at this point.

Just as well, lacto won't ferment long-chain dextrins.

If you add sugar, brett will ferment it first.

If you add maltodextrin, brett will break it down to sugar, and then ferment it.

If you want acidity, you can blend in some sour beer or add lactic acid directly. A touch of lactic acid is nice because brett can convert it to ethyl lactate.

You could add a mixed culture with pediococcus, but IME pedio in secondary usually has a huge lag time (8 months minimum) and isn't worth it for the small amount of acidity you need in a brett saison.

Good point, Kyle.  I forgot that Lacto doesn't handle the long chains.  I suppose he could do a small sour mash hit it with. Sacc, then blend back to taste.  But that is a bit more work.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline newrocset

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2014, 06:46:51 PM »
Thanks for the great advice from everyone....my FG is around 1.001.  I haven't decided yet what I will actually do, but I don't think it will hurt to add a little MD and see what happens.
Have a Kolsch and a smile!

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3144
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Adding Dextrin for Brett
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2014, 02:44:29 PM »
The whole magic of adding maltodextrin to beer to create acidity and/or funk is the sour homebrewing equivalent to other homebrewing myths like the danger of boiling in aluminum or the requirement to use a secondary in all beers. It's something that somebody just said and it stuck. There is a time and place for it (just like a secondary vessel) but you really have to know why you are adding it for the right reason. You have received some very good explanation why it is probably not the right path for what you desire.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing