Author Topic: Brett Mash Temperatures  (Read 1875 times)

Offline jmt278

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Brett Mash Temperatures
« on: December 24, 2014, 07:40:28 AM »
I am planning on brewing a Brett inspired ordinary bitter and had a question about mashing temperatures, trying to keep to style, and how the Brett will behave given all the variables. For style, I was going to mash lower, I was thinking around 152°, but as I was reading The Mad Fermentationist, he notes that a higher mash temperature will give the Brett more dextrins to consume.

Since I am not planning on doing a 100% brett ferment, but still want a noticeable Brett characteristics in my beer, does it make sense to increase the mash temperature of the mash. My thinking is that although it would ordinarily create a more full bodied beer, because the Brett has a very high attenuation, the beer will still end up being more light bodied. Is the correct, or am I thinking about this the wrong way.

Thanks for all your input.


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2014, 09:16:30 AM »
Which brett?

Im fairly new to using brett. But my understanding is that, yes they will ferment long chains but much more slowly. So I think i would ask myself how long i wanted this beer to take.

Another thing I gather about brett is that you get brettiness from stressing it. (Such as under pitching, or competing with other strains etc) they also can consume sac yeast esters and convert them to brettiness, or so ive heard. I understand that the opposite is also true. A straight brett with ideal conditions can produce a non bretty clean beer.

I'm still wrapping my mind around a lot of this. For example, brettiness to me is so indicative of farmhouse beers that I am struggling trying to imagine a bitter with brettiness and still recognizing it as a bitter. Not that it wouldn't be super tasty... but at some point I wonder.  Sort of like someone brewing a black saison IPA? Well maybe yours isnt that crazy?

Ive done 3 bretts so far. One was ready to bottle in 2 months. It was lacto at 100º for a week, then bret lambicus at 68 for 7 weeks. The other two were Roselare and will have at least 6 months before bottling (brewed august and still working) I call all of my bretty beers Farmhouse and leave it at that regardless of grain bill or fruit.

Oh... mash temps. I mashed the lacto/brett beer at 148 because I wanted it done quickly. I mashed the fruited roselares at 156 because I wanted them to take their time.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 09:18:37 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2014, 03:28:36 PM »
Brett was first isolated from English porter so its connection to English beer is less remote than you think. Brettanomyces is Greek for "British fungus" after all.

You'll end up with a lot of brett character whether you mash at 158 or 152. Brett finds plenty to eat no matter what. Brett can eat the dextrins created at warmer mash temperatures but it isn't necessary for brett to create all of its interesting flavors. Brett will have its hands full creating flavors out of yeast esters and hop compounds. I would not recommend against mashing high but I believe our insistence that brett beers need a higher mash temperature is not based on anything more than an only partially correct assertion that brett needs a dextrin source to ferment into flavors. I would instead say mash at whatever temperature you like but plan on sitting on that beer for 6-9 months (or more) so brett has time to manipulate the flavors in the beer.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2014, 06:26:33 PM »
So it sounds like you have decided to add your brett in the secondary?  What do you plan on primary fermenting the beer with?  I would mash a few degrees higher than you normally would for an ordinary bitter.  This will help to provide some extra residual dextrine for the brett to consume in secondary.  You can also add some "body" building malts to help give you a higher FG after the primary is complete leaving the brett something to chew down on. 
Plan on around 6 mos or so for the brett to have a good impact on the bitter.

Jim -

Sorry for hijack - Did your lacto primary ferment beer get sour enough with 7 days before the brett?

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2014, 06:38:31 PM »
...You'll end up with a lot of brett character whether you mash at 158 or 152. Brett finds plenty to eat no matter what...

YES!

Brett will metabolize (and create flavor compounds from) many things in beer. Think about a brett saison, or Orval - very dry beers that continue to develop brett character as they age.

That being said, traditional ordinary bitters are brewed to maximize body. Otherwise, such a low gravity beer will seem watery and lifeless.

If you want to increase the perception of body in this beer, mash high (160F wouldn't be too high). I like to no-sparge when mashing for body to minimize temperature drop during sparging. You can also increase the perception of body with adjuncts: flaked barley, oats, or rye.
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Offline jmt278

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2014, 07:09:59 PM »
...You'll end up with a lot of brett character whether you mash at 158 or 152. Brett finds plenty to eat no matter what...

YES!

Brett will metabolize (and create flavor compounds from) many things in beer. Think about a brett saison, or Orval - very dry beers that continue to develop brett character as they age.

That being said, traditional ordinary bitters are brewed to maximize body. Otherwise, such a low gravity beer will seem watery and lifeless.

If you want to increase the perception of body in this beer, mash high (160F wouldn't be too high). I like to no-sparge when mashing for body to minimize temperature drop during sparging. You can also increase the perception of body with adjuncts: flaked barley, oats, or rye.

I do have a small addition of flaked oats. According to the BJCP guidelines that I was looking at, the mouthfeel for the ordinary bitter was light to medium light body, but you make a good point that I might want a little more body to counteract the low gravity. 

So it sounds like you have decided to add your brett in the secondary?  What do you plan on primary fermenting the beer with?  I would mash a few degrees higher than you normally would for an ordinary bitter.  This will help to provide some extra residual dextrine for the brett to consume in secondary.  You can also add some "body" building malts to help give you a higher FG after the primary is complete leaving the brett something to chew down on. 
Plan on around 6 mos or so for the brett to have a good impact on the bitter.

Jim -

Sorry for hijack - Did your lacto primary ferment beer get sour enough with 7 days before the brett?

I haven't decided yet. I was going to go one of several routes. Either the London Ale III yeast (Wyeast 1318) and then pitch the Brett Bruxellensis (WLP650) or I was possibly also going to pitch the Wyeast 3711 French Saison yeast and let it ferment further down and perhaps bottle condition with the Brett instead, depending on what the FG was.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 07:15:14 PM by jmt278 »

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2014, 12:21:25 AM »
So it sounds like you have decided to add your brett in the secondary?  What do you plan on primary fermenting the beer with?  I would mash a few degrees higher than you normally would for an ordinary bitter.  This will help to provide some extra residual dextrine for the brett to consume in secondary.  You can also add some "body" building malts to help give you a higher FG after the primary is complete leaving the brett something to chew down on. 
Plan on around 6 mos or so for the brett to have a good impact on the bitter.

Jim -

Sorry for hijack - Did your lacto primary ferment beer get sour enough with 7 days before the brett?
Yes its very sour

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2014, 07:16:58 PM »
Cool -

 I am making a large L. brevis starter Friday and plan on pitching that at 98F for 7 days or so into a 1.058 OG pilsner based grain bill (with some extra specialty malts) followed by a Brett trios ferment in hopes of getting that typical tropical fruit (pineapple, mango) with a nice sourness to back it up. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2014, 10:59:04 PM »
Cool -

 I am making a large L. brevis starter Friday and plan on pitching that at 98F for 7 days or so into a 1.058 OG pilsner based grain bill (with some extra specialty malts) followed by a Brett trios ferment in hopes of getting that typical tropical fruit (pineapple, mango) with a nice sourness to back it up.
Should turn out tasty. Remember, low IBUs.

Offline narvin

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2014, 01:21:06 AM »
To the OP: I would suggest experimenting for yourself, but in my experience a well attenuated beer can still get significant Brett flavor contributions in the secondary.  Orval uses a long, low mash and attenuative yeast yet develops a ton of character in the bottle while only dropping 3 or 4 points.  I would focus on making the base beer you want and give the Brett aging time to give it character.
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Offline jmt278

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2014, 07:12:00 AM »
To the OP: I would suggest experimenting for yourself, but in my experience a well attenuated beer can still get significant Brett flavor contributions in the secondary.  Orval uses a long, low mash and attenuative yeast yet develops a ton of character in the bottle while only dropping 3 or 4 points.  I would focus on making the base beer you want and give the Brett aging time to give it character.


Thanks. That sounds like the best option. Do you recommend against bottling with the Brett even at the low attenuation I hope to be getting? Or should I let it sit in secondary for awhile still?

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2014, 06:13:10 PM »
Thanks. That sounds like the best option. Do you recommend against bottling with the Brett even at the low attenuation I hope to be getting? Or should I let it sit in secondary for awhile still?

There is disagreement on the subject but I am not a big fan of bottling with brett. You have no control over brett in the bottle and any sugar-based fermentation by brett is necessarily going to result in CO2 and the only place for the pressure from excess CO2 to go is into the beer and into the headspace (unless the bottle explodes). It's a recipe for gushing bottles if you don't know how dry brett will get the beer on its own. My opinion is that if you want to bottle with brett then you should first brew a batch and use brett in secondary to see how dry the beer gets then you can dose at bottling on the second batch because you know how much fermentation to expect in the bottle and you can adjust your priming sugar appropriately. As you may have guessed, I am very much not a fan of gushing bottles.

Other people will tell you they have had good success and avoided the gushing bottle problem.
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Offline chezteth

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2014, 07:48:00 PM »
Thanks. That sounds like the best option. Do you recommend against bottling with the Brett even at the low attenuation I hope to be getting? Or should I let it sit in secondary for awhile still?

There is disagreement on the subject but I am not a big fan of bottling with brett. You have no control over brett in the bottle and any sugar-based fermentation by brett is necessarily going to result in CO2 and the only place for the pressure from excess CO2 to go is into the beer and into the headspace (unless the bottle explodes). It's a recipe for gushing bottles if you don't know how dry brett will get the beer on its own. My opinion is that if you want to bottle with brett then you should first brew a batch and use brett in secondary to see how dry the beer gets then you can dose at bottling on the second batch because you know how much fermentation to expect in the bottle and you can adjust your priming sugar appropriately. As you may have guessed, I am very much not a fan of gushing bottles.

Other people will tell you they have had good success and avoided the gushing bottle problem.

I have never bottled with brett. Although, the first time I added brett to the secondary I didn't let it sit long enough before I bottled and I ended up with gushers. Fortunately, no bottle bombs. Now I leave the beer with brett in secondary for several months before I bottle to be sure the brett is done attenuating the beer.

Cheers,
Brandon

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2014, 12:17:32 AM »
On some podcast I heard that the up side is that brett go lower but produces less CO2 getting there. I should zip an email to Wyeast to confirm sometime

Edit: email sent "how many volumes per degree plato brett vs sac?"
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 12:23:20 AM by klickitat jim »