Author Topic: 100% Brett First Attempt  (Read 1056 times)

Offline rbowers

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100% Brett First Attempt
« on: November 04, 2014, 08:34:42 PM »
Going to try a 100% Brett fermentation and needed some help.
I was going to use the recipe from the AHA website (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrew-recipe/beer-recipe-of-the-week-100-brettanomyces-belgian-specialty-ale/) which describes using a mix of two different strains of Brett.
Questions:
1) will the Brett perform well at the low temp recommended (65F)?  Seems well below the optimum temp recommended by white labs.
2) will Brett Brux Trois strain also work well for a primary fermentation (if I can't get my hands on Brett brux/lambicus)?
3) there seems to be a lot of variety in how fast I should expect these to ferment out- some say months, others something not too longer than a typical ferment schedule.
4) are starters necessary?

Thanks.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: 100% Brett First Attempt
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 10:37:57 PM »
The big thing with a 100% brett fermentation is that you need a lot of cells. Think lager pitching rates instead of ale. so a 5 liter starter would not be out of line for a 5 gallon batch.

you will also get a very different character from a 100% brett ferment than from a mixed ferment. cleaner and more like a traditional sach fermentation
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Offline kramerog

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Re: 100% Brett First Attempt
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 11:24:20 PM »
Going to try a 100% Brett fermentation and needed some help.

2) will Brett Brux Trois strain also work well for a primary fermentation (if I can't get my hands on Brett brux/lambicus)?
3) there seems to be a lot of variety in how fast I should expect these to ferment out- some say months, others something not too longer than a typical ferment schedule.
4) are starters necessary?

Thanks.
Having done a few all Brett beers:
2 - I don't see why not
3 - I guess it could be highly dependent on strain and temp.  I'm recalling that my ferments were basically done in 1 month.  However I probably allowed the ferments to continue for a few weeks after that to be sure so I didn't get any bottle bombs.
4 - Yes unless you are doing a small batch size.  Do not chill the starter because Brett takes a long time to get restarted after being cold.

Offline GolfBum

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Re: 100% Brett First Attempt
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 02:50:04 AM »
1) The 100% brett I just brewed was at 67 degrees the whole time and fermented just fine. I don't see why 65 would be any different.
2) I also used Tois by itself and it was fine all by itself. It didn't really get me very much brett character (little citrus funk) but it was enough for the first batch. Next batch I may try a new strain but Tois worked well.
3) A month was how long I let mine ferment for and it was done in that amount of time. It took off really quick with the starter I made. I am going to experiment on my next batch and bottle half after a month or so and then the other half after 3 and see the difference.
4) Yes, starters are necessary. I used one vial and created a one liter starter for two weeks-ish. I have read that if you stress the brett it will produce more of the brett characteristics but I don't know that for a fact. The beer tasted pretty clean for being all brett.

Have fun brewing with brett. It is a lot of fun and you get some pretty interesting beers.

Offline stpug

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Re: 100% Brett First Attempt
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 06:49:21 PM »
I'll reiterate that primary fermentation with Brett don't generally achieve the "described features" of the strain as provided by yeast packagers. Most of those features come from secondary pitching and aging. This is not to say you won't get any of those features, but they'll likely be very subdued.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: 100% Brett First Attempt
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2014, 03:13:47 AM »
I haven't done it, but expect good results.  I have done the Trois after a neutral sacc addition and with time, it works great.  I want to see how it goes straight up.  One guy I know did an all brett kolsch - and it was surprisingly good!  Not truly a kolsch, but it let the brett shine through really well.
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Offline rbowers

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Re: 100% Brett First Attempt
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2014, 08:55:15 PM »
Separate question:  I have a split batch of dark saison fermenting now of which I wanted to take 3 gallons and pitch some brett as a secondary fermentation once primary fermentation is about complete.  Would it be better to:

a) Rack the beer off the saison yeast then pitch brett with beer into a new carboy
b) Simply toss in the brett and let beer sit on all the yeast (old and new)
c) Is it possible to rack the beer to a small 3 gallon keg and do a secondary fermentation there with the brett, periodically releasing pressure so as to prevent excessive CO2 buildup. 

Knowing that not too much extra growth would occur with the brett addition due to not many sugars being left in the beer I wouldn't be too concerned about excessive yeast build up in the final beer.  Also its fairly dark and a saison so not excessively concerned about brilliant clarity.  Is that sound logic?

Offline brewinhard

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Re: 100% Brett First Attempt
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2014, 09:23:12 PM »
Your best bet is choice C if possible.  Do release the pressure valve every few weeks after adding the Brett.  I like using kegs as secondaries for ease of sampling and for the sheer fact that you can then serve out of the same vessel when the flavor profile suits your tastes.